Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. 19 Jun 2019
Dickie Beau straggles through the red velvet curtain upstage, exploding into view in sailor outfit, precise vaudeville like moves, bravura charisma, suitcase and umbrella in hand. He’s immediately seduced the audience.
Then follows the most extraordinary, heightened evocation of comic dialogues in voices surprisingly like stars of the Carry On films; Kenneth Williams and more with the most precise physical choreography to character imaginable.
Is that his real voice?
Even then, when you twig it’s an offstage broadcast voice, it’s still not yet clear how cleverly the show name hides an extraordinary depth, deeply engaging, seriocomic profundity harboured beneath such a shallow, surface level description.
Unplugged here, is nothing of the kind which normally comes to mind. Lip syncing is involved obviously, yet doesn’t even stack up to predetermined experience or expectation.
It is in fact, key to something so deep you only realise it quarter way through the seemingly too swift 90 minute deep dive into the soul of this thing we know complexly as language, more poetically profound, ‘the word’ and through words, identity.
What is a disembodied voice? What does it mean?
This is the ongoing, perplexing, fascinating, fantabulous and illuminating experience of this production. Beau propels us through powerful, yet measured expositions on the voice, the word - from lip-synced Annie Lennox song Here Comes The Rain Again, to deep considerations on how we perceive the world via the first words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Beau resolves the whole conundrum in such a deeply personal way, despite the many laughs, one can never again see themselves or their world in the same way ever again.
When: 19 to 20 Jun
Where: Dunstan Playhouse