ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL   –  Thursday 21st June 2018  Dunstan Playhouse

Review by


With a respectful acknowledgement of Country this talented cast of five cast off into unknown waters.   I  have seen several of the individual performers previously but never a Slingsby production featuring these  artists together.   The set was a mysterious  backdrop of  projected images on huge sails…  The Stage veritably dominated by a cluster of musical instruments, microphone stands, amps,  electronic gee-gaws and a full set of drums and percussive instruments.     Cameron Goodall introduced the vehicle;  a book about An Island In Time that his Grandma gave him when he was a child.   This is an imaginary musical journey sailing into the waters of allegory.   The premise is based on the generation and evolution of a volcanic “island” to a complex and thriving ecosystem  in balance  with itself over time.

Then the interlopers arrive and gradually dominate the ecosystem and the island.  They begin to break up into factions and fight over territory, destabilising everything and destroying the balance of this Eden.  They turn their attention to another Island nearby and set off for a new life.   Eventually the Island returns to its previous balance and the new Island is destroyed leaving a barren lifeless rock,  adrift in a cruel sea.    The scene zooms out further and further until we see the Earth, alive and its antithesis  Mars .     The musical performances are excellent and the set and animation is poignant in its simplicity.

Leah Flanagan and Cameron Goodall at times harmonise their voices so beautifully and one could easily imagine them performing together as a duo in other guises.  The multi instrumental, multi talented troupe played up a storm.    Satomi Onishi on drums and percussion with Quincy Grant, Cameron Goodall, Leah Flanagan, and Gareth Chin, each taking turns on vocals  and variously on keyboards, piano accordion, saxophone, banjo, ukelele, guitars,  clarinet etc steered us through the treacherous seas of our emotions.   Directed flawlessly by Andy Packer.

While this show would stand on its own via it’s music, performances and artistic and creative displays it really is far more.   The story alludes to the plight of refugees perhaps fleeing to an Island like ours.  No less poignant and appropriate that this show had its World Premiere on World Refugee Day.  It speaks to the proclivity for humans to drift out of balance with their environment with the macro view of Earth and Mars as island planets adrift in the cosmos .  Perhaps a lesson of what may happen to an “Island” in time.   It is a   delightful show, clever, original,  a little quirky, exotic, creative, meaningful and oh so very entertaining.   That’s a winning formula for me.            4.5K

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