RAW: Cabaret Festival – Amy Housewine: Back to Crack – Banquet Room – 4K

There’s something truly voyeuristic in Western culture, in that we love to hear about someone famous who has gone and stuffed up their life. We take a lot of pleasure from these stories and revel in their falls from grace. One of the entertainers who just keeps coming up with the goods (see last week’s incident in Serbia) is Amy Winehouse. She, or at least Amy Housewine, was kind enough to grace the stage during the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

In case the name hadn’t given it away, this is a parody show. Housewine enters, expletives blazing, and creates a concoction from audience members’ drinks that would be worthy of any uni party. The opening song Valium (a take on the Mark Ronson number, Valerie, that Winehouse sings on) is a pun filled romp which sets the scene well. The songs are not restricted to Winehouse’s own back catalogue though, with old favourites such as If I Only Had a Brain reworked (into If I Only Had Cocain) to create great hilarity.

A show such as this has the potential to get old quickly – just how many songs changed to be about drugs can be funny in a row? – however, performer Lisa Adam, and co-writer Trevor Ashley, have structured the evening well to ensure this doesn’t happen. Amongst the songs are segments of stand-up comedy, a beat poem about the greatest night of Housewine’s life and serious contemplation of how it all went wrong. There is also some fun audience participation, which would be enough to make Slim Dusty turn in his grave. On top of this, Adam has a wonderful voice, certainly matching the vocal talents of the lady that is her inspiration.

The audience clearly had a good time (some too good a time possibly, but maybe they were just getting into the spirit of the show) at this balanced and well executed mix of light comedy and musical prowess.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

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