ArtSpace Gallery, Wed 17 Jun.
Fresh from a highly successful run with previous show, A Storm In A D-Cup, Amelia Ryan hit the Adelaide Cabaret Festival at full speed with a new show that picks up where the last one ended. Arriving onstage in fine style – on a sack truck (driven by pianist/arranger/composer Matthew Carey), dressed in a bed sheet, champagne bottle held high a.k.a. THAT statue, Ryan opens with an energetic Don’t Stop Me Now. What followed was a mix of fun musical parody and anecdotes, charting her attempts to transform from ‘Queen of Calamity’ to ‘Lady of Liberty’.
The list of ballsy female role models is long with Ryan citing the likes of Mia Angelou, Lady Gaga, Joan Rivers, Gloria Steinem and Madonna as her inspirations. Ryan takes strength from women who don’t give a damn, letting Tony Abbott know exactly what she thinks about Gay marriage rights in a colourful number that was greeted with great delight by the crowd. At other times the show felt a bit flat as Ryan struggled to connect despite her best efforts at encouraging crowd participation. Although, having said that, dragging audience members onstage for a ‘drinking game’ and as ‘props assistants’ did provoke a great response.
Highlights included her parody of Farnham classic, You’re The Voice as an appeal to her throat surgeon not to ‘stuff it up’ and a hilarious borrowing of a Cyndi Lauper hit, renamed Wine After Wine. There is no doubting Ryan’s cabaret talents – she is instantly likeable, sexy and has a great talent for writing witty lyrics that in this case, exhort everyone to get out there and get liberated. Her voice on the night struggled to reach the high notes but her message was loud and clear regardless. Amelia Ryan is Woman, and she roars!
Rosie van Heerde
Amelia Ryan Is Lady Liberty continues at ArtSpace Gallery, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times until Fri 19 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 or bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.