FRINGE CABARET – Anya Anastasia: The Executioners – Queen’s Theatre – 4.5K

scaled__GEE5687-WhiteAlexander Ewers

Anya Anastasia is magnetic. From her dramatic entrance, to her samurai slashing, ju-jitsu jumping climax, she holds full sway in her new and limited edition performance “Anya Anastasia: The Executioners”. On trial? 21st century social and political mores. Presiding and adjudicating? Anya herself, as judge, jury and executioner. At stake? An hour of your time – categorically worth every minute – and maybe just the whole fabric of modern Western civilization and culture.

There is nothing pedestrian or passe about “Anya Anastasia: The Executioners”. Set in the groovy Queen’s Theatre on Playhouse Lane, everything about the show is fresh, energetic and invigorating. Anya herself, dressed and heeled in Gaga-esque glory, holds forth in a light hearted dissertation on all things current affairs, as seen from the perspective of one of the disillusioned proletariat “trying to make a difference” in the world. The following social and political commentary is a tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless insightful dissection of Western culture, ranging across topics including immigration, climate change, social media addiction, insipid political leaders, and even the all-prevalent materialism that seeps into even our best and most generous acts. All of this is accomplished to a soundtrack of original lyrical and musical compositions, delivered with the marvellous combination of vivacity, heart, and humour so unique to cabaret.

The performance itself is a masterful production. Anya’s vocal abilities need little embellishment, and she effortlessly navigates both a powerful upper register and the more dulcet, contemplative moments in the show. While a remarkable musician in her own right proving equally capable on piano and ukulele, she is adroitly supported by a multitalented and droll accompanist playing an eclectic combination of instruments oriental and conventional. The combination of lyrical levity and vocal prowess is captivating, a fitting medium through which to shine the spotlight on issues personal and endemic.

Funny, thought-provoking, musical, entertaining – “Anya Anastasia: The Executioners” is cabaret performed as cabaret should be. Musically it is entirely satisfying. Thematically, it proves a perceptive analysis of personal, local and global trends and dilemmas. And as testament by the truly cross-sectional demographic present, it is show that has wide appeal to those seeking comedy, cabaret and contemplation alike.

Kryztoff Rating 4.5 K

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