Hew Parham. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Artspace. 11 Jun 2016
Imagine cabaret is a glove: a beautiful, glamorous, very expensive stylish must have, to die for glove, styled with the finest songs; sharp, biting, sexy, rebellious.
Now imagine a tall white face French clown takes that glove and turns it inside out exposing its stitching, a flaw here or there, a hidden patch; these are the things behind the glamour we usually don’t want to know about.
Welcome to Rudi’s The Rinse Cycle, where suffering is entertainment of the most miraculous order.
Under Sarah Dunn’s superb direction, Hew Parham delivers the performance of his career. His Rudi is a masterful clown willingly suffering in the laundromat of life by giving up performances on the command of an offstage voice to cleanse his smelly artistic soul.
From rudely hilarious violin played on multicoloured long johns, to heart wrenching, ultra angst laden renditions of Weil and as many cabaret standards as possible - even anti standards - Rudi turns himself inside out for our amusement; just like he has that glove of cabaret.
There is nothing he will not do, not a musical cadence he will not seek to reach, not a ridiculous moment will he not pass the opportunity to fall into.
Parham’s clowning, paired with song, is exquisitely rich in emotional depth, powerful in vulnerability, and overwhelming with white hot truth. At the same time, he’s ruggedly unforgiving in parody to the point a song is not needed for the bit involving wearing a flannel shirt. See it. You’ll get it!
The rinse cycle of cabaret through to popular music culture is a very thorough and rough treating one, much to the audience’s sheer delight.
Aaron Nash’s superlative accompaniment on piano provided Parham’s performance with the musical gusto and rebellious gravitas needed to make a perfect production.
When: 11 to 13 June