CABARET FESTIVAL – Eddie Perfect: Songs from the Middle – Dunstan Playhouse – 4K

With Songs from the Middle, Eddie Perfect shows that there can be stories worth telling found in even the most mundane of settings. In this case, that setting is the comfortable, middle class town of Mentone, Victoria, and the stories focus on both the town itself and its history, plus Perfect’s experience of growing up there.

Originally performed in 2010, this revamped version of the song cycle is a more serious offering from Perfect than much of his other work (Shane Warne the Musical; Drink Pepsi, Bitch). However, there are still good helpings of comedy included, with odes to Bunnings and the Frankston train line, and tales of alien encounters, incorporating his customary dry humour and clever wordplay. The musical arrangements are superb, with Perfect’s sonorous voice complimented excellently by the full sound of the 10 piece ensemble, made up primarily of students from the Australian National Academy of Music.

Perfect is also an excellent narrator, telling engaging backstories between songs. Juxtaposing the lighter songs, there are plenty of heartfelt moments through-out. One of the most emotionally honest points comes in the encore song, Napean Highway, which explores the double edged relationship you can have with your hometown, and the emotional freedom that comes with facing up to those feelings and moving on. It is the perfect closing to this enjoyable and satisfying journey.

Kryztoff rating: 4K

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