Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2019 – Dickie Beau – Unplugged -4.5*

Dickie Beau : Unplugged : photos by Claudio Raschella

‘Unplugged’ begins with an upbeat vaudevillian cabaret performance in which Dickie Beau channels the actor Kenneth Williams via brilliant lip-sync and physical performance. But the tone of the show soon shifts into something much more meditative and philosophical.

Through his masterful use of the ancient art form of mime he takes us back to our early human roots: to the beginning of human vocal interaction and its consequences. Dickie animates audio recordings of the philosopher Terence McKenna and of past festival director Peter Sellers to take us on this journey through history and time, illustrating how word and image are inextricably linked, how they can bring us closer together but also how they can drive us apart.

At times poignant and sad, at other times laugh out loud hilarious, this is an astonishing piece of theatre exhibiting great skill, inventiveness, and daring. He presents much, much more than a simple cabaret act. His timing and vocal dexterity are often mind-blowing.

The audience are kindly dealt with throughout and made to feel part of the stories he tells. We are treated to interludes of song and dance with the opportunity to sing-along/sync-along. He leads us by the hand into the lives of others, invoking Greek myth to introduce the modern day narcissist Dimitri and also ‘Echo’ : an unknown middle aged woman who, via a lost-and-found-again recording made for her lover, is brought to life before us. We listen to her voice and are amused, surprised, and maybe a bit embarrassed to be listening to something that was not intended for our ears.

Self-described Shape-Shifter/Shirt-Lifter Actor/Artist, Dickie Beau is best known for his work in alternative drag and lip-sync which he has turned into a ground-breaking artform of his own. He is also an accomplished actor of stage, tv, and film.
This is the Australian premiere of ‘Unplugged’. The final performance is tonight, 9:15pm 20th June in the Dunstan Playhouse.

Leave a Reply