RAW: Cabaret Festival – Simon Burke – Festival Centre Stage – 4K

Simon Burke is well known to Australian audiences for his roles on TV and in films, having wowed the population with his AFI winning performance in The Devil’s Playground at the tender age of 13 and then appearing in such beloved TV shows as Brides of Christ and, the big one, Play School. He has appeared at previous Adelaide Cabaret Festivals but this is the first time he’s presented his own show.

Something About Always, shares its title with his debut album, though the show includes many songs from other parts of his life, as well as a handful from this record. Joining Burke on stage, providing pleasant musical accompaniment, are his co-producer Daniel Edmonds on piano, Lucas Edmonds on drums and piano accordion, Brendan Clarke on bass and Barrie Shaw on reeds.

Over the course of an hour and a quarter, Burke presented us with highlights from his life, performing favourite songs from musicals he’s starred in and adding fun behind-the-scenes stories in between. Showcasing his additional talent as a dramatic actor was a scene from Three Furies – Scenes from the life of Francis Bacon. For the most part though, the atmosphere was light and fun, with many song lyrics “reimagined” in amusing ways to tell the story of Burke’s journey.

Burke’s voice is full and rich, showing why he has got to the level he has in musical theatre. His choice of material is a good mixture of fun and sincerity. For someone who has performed on some of the most renown stages, with some of the best known actors, in some of the best loved shows in the world, it was sweet to see a small amount of nervousness in his performance as he presented his first cabaret show to Adelaide audiences.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

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