CABARET – The Suitcase Royale: The Ballad of Backbone Joe – Space Theatre – 4K

It’s been too long since Adelaide was graced by the presence of The Suitcase Royale. Performers Jof, Miles and Glen have a style which is unique and delightful; combining theatre with various forms of puppetry, slapstick humour and live music, and all presented on sets, and with props, constructed from salvaged objects. Early comers were treated to a few tunes from the boys until the rest of the audience were settled and the show began proper.

It’s 1938 (sort of. Not really) and in a small Australian town, private investigator Von Trapp has taken on the identity of boxer Elijah Upjump, in order to infiltrate the world of local fighting identity Backbone Joe and his bastard manager, Messy Dimes Dan. Something’s up with Dan and Joe, and Von Trapp has become caught up in it when all he really wants to do is deliver a letter to Joe. It’s not the most complicated of plots, but the plot isn’t really the point of a Suitcase Royale show.

The magic of the show comes from the dynamic of the three performers – the energy with which they bounce off one another, the combination of mediums utilised, the improvisational style of delivery – and their creation of a scungy, absurd, but beautiful setting for their show to be presented in. Musical interludes progress the story while also adding a charming mood which sets the quirky scene. The songs are of an enjoyable American rockabilly style, with the vocals containing a wonderful mix of gravel and guttural twang.

This is guaranteed to be different to anything else on offer during the Cabaret Festival – and kudos should go to the programmers for having the vision to include it in the line-up. The Suitcase Royale once again present an enchanting evening of eccentric entertainment.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

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