Space Theatre, Fri Jun 6
What a stellar start to the Cabaret Festival! Caroline Nin is an accomplished and commanding performer. It is impossible to take your eyes off her when she is on stage. She is captivating, dazzling, sexy and hilarious. Nin is an icon in France and a Helpmann Awards Nominee for Best Cabaret Performer (2012) and it’s easy to see why.
In Songs And Stories Of The Paris Lido Nin plays Lola Lola, a seasoned performer of the legendary Paris Lido who is ‘losing her marbles’ after performing two shows a day, six days a week for nine years. Lola Lola’s days start at 7pm and are filled with bars, whiskey and men – and performances, too. These long whiskey-fuelled nights seep into daylight as Lola Lola seeks the wealthy gentleman of her dreams. And whatever Lola Lola wants, she gets… until she is let down by her strange and fickle lover.
It would have been easy for a show like this to bury itself in caricature, but thanks to Nin’s performance, this never happens. Lola Lola’s story is utterly convincing and real. The show is packed with surprises and goose-bump inducing moments. You will know many of the songs, but some may be new to you – or a familiar song might be sung in French or German instead of English. The encore is a truly special moment – be sure to clap and stomp loud enough for Nin to come back at least once!
Nin’s vocal ability is stunning and the ease of her delivery belies many hours on stage, but it is her stage presence that is truly spectacular. Nin is indomitable and owns the stage. Sitting in the audience you get the feeling that she’s the kind of person you would like to know. I bet she’s got some stories too – and I’d love to sit in a Parisian whiskey bar with her and have her whisper them to me over a glass or two.
If I had any complaint about Songs And Stories Of The Paris Lido it would be that it all ended too soon. Too much Caroline Nin can never be enough.
by Lynette Washington
Caroline Nin performs Songs And Stories Of The Paris Lido at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, until Sat Jun 9.