[ADELAIDE PREMIERE ~ ADELAIDE EXCLUSIVE ~ UK ~ IF YOU LOVE… A CURVE BALL]
Dunstan Playhouse, Wed 19 Jun.
In one of the quieter, more pensive moments of Dickie Beau’s show he smiled at a guy at the front and quipped, “And you thought you were seeing a cabaret show!”, and it was a nice but pointed gag because what we were actually watching was something quite unexpected.
An ambitious one-man performance preoccupied with notions of communication and expression, this began with Dickie (who briefly played Kenny Everett in Bohemian Rhapsody) taking to the stage in a (hello) sailor suit and elaborately miming an old monologue by late great Carry On star Kenneth Williams. It was a funny curtain-opener with extra meaning later, but then he suddenly switched gears and we were into a mind-bending Terence McKenna recording and a costume change to the tune of – what else? – F.R. David’s sweet 1981 one-hit-wonder Words.
A long period in the dark with only Beau (now in very tight shorts) speaking perhaps went on a bit too long and there was a little awkwardness to the more cerebral aspects, but it was tough not to be impressed anyway, and an interlude featuring a Eurythmics classic was an amusing highlight too, even if, as he stated, it was apparently suggested by his director to lighten the mood.
Like most shows that tend towards the personal and intellectual, this certainly seemed to puzzle some of the audience members, and when the surprisingly moving grand finale happened – complete with Spiegel Im Spiegel, more uncanny lip-synching and gloriously graphic language – a few of the punters actually semi-stormed out. But why? After all, they were only words.
And words, don’t come easy…
Dickie Beau – Unplugged continues at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, from 9.15pm until Thu 20 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 or bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Katherine Leedale