[NETHERLANDS/GERMANY ~ AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE]
Dunstan Playhouse, Thu 21 Jun.
Adelaide (“the town of sexuality and possibility” apparently) loves Sven Ratzke, and although there was sometimes a dark and curiously German aspect to his new show, his whooping fans had a ball anyway. As obviously he did too, mein liebling.
Looking like some perverse hybrid of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and 1980’s Flash Gordon, and complete with a Phantom Of The Opera mask and a cape that might have been borrowed from Sesame Street’s The Count, he opened with Elegant Man before offering an explanation for the title of this show, as well as some banter about how a previous Adelaide audience had been driven to a wild orgy on stage as he took photos from the seats.
A series of funny, often wonderfully odd monologues led into each song: a piece about pimps was followed by a lounge-lizard version of Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life; a tale of boozy raunchiness led to a cool take on Lou Reed’s Satellite Of Love, deconstructed in a manner that would surely have made David Bowie (producer of Reed’s Transformer album) smile; and Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World had a haunting, even creepy performance-art aspect.
A lovely speech about weirdly-German-sounding Greek gods is capped off by a rollicking cover of Rufus Wainwright’s Arachne, and when he sits on a stool by the keyboardist (dressed, like the rest of the three-member band, in a Saturday Night Fever suit) to croon the classic Love Is Like A Cigarette, it’s obvious that this quieter tune is intended as a means for him to get his breath back. And fair enough.
Mephisto was another highlight (in German and English), and then he ditched the old ‘pretend-he’s-not-coming-back-for-an-encore-business’, instead asking if we wanted one more song and then offering it in the form of Goodnight Ladies, as he leapt and swished about slightly perilously given his huge heels.
Und ja, ich bin ein homme fatale!!!
Sven Ratzke performs Homme Fatale at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times, until Sat 23 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 or bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.