Musical Bang Bang

Musical Bang Bang Cabaret Festival 2024Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Banquet Room. 14 Jun 2024


The nature of improv is such that it is very hit and miss, and often both. This production is no different, although it is fortunately more hit than miss.


Jane Watt and Rob Johnson have been leading this show for some time at various festivals and it runs quarterly at the hayes in Sydney, so if you missed it this time, catch it next time you’re there. The remainder of the cast is a moving feast, and this production also featured Artistic Director Virginia Gay, who seems to pop up all over the place.


Julia Zemiro, Tom Cardy and Orya Golgowsky round out the cast, with Victoria Falconer improvising wildly on piano – kudos to her!


The show began with a quick, episodic improv game to smooth the way for those who hadn’t been exposed to the concept before, and there were surprisingly quite a few this night. A little more ‘miss’ with this one, but they were just warming up. Audience member Chloe provided the key words for a song (favourite film, place to go, etc) and the cast began to feel their way in, managing to create a workable and entertaining song of ‘Die Hard and the Mall’s Balls’.


Then on to the musical, which was created in the same fashion with audience suggestions. Hence we ended up with ‘The Pageant: The Musical’, with key words dictating that it had to be a children’s pageant, and must contain baton twirling and helicopter parenting.


Gay came straight out of the blocks with Zemiro as her feisty stage mother. Oddly enough, Gay declared that she was 19, and quickly reverted to a six year old with psychosis. Beautifully worked. Zemiro did some channelling of her ‘Fisk’ character, over-bearing and always right. The interplay between these two was delightful, as were Gay’s exchanges with her dead father. Equally entertaining is he partnership of grandfather Orya Golgowsky and frustrated grandchild Rob Johnson.


There are some very clever turns (the spooning song) and Falconer moved them along brilliantly, both anticipating and encouraging a bit of musical mayhem. This is a cast obviously experienced in improv, ready with their ‘Yes, And’, ready to move in from side of stage when a scene started to flounder, picking it up and moving it on.


With improv, the audience must be prepared to go along for the ride that the cast is taking them on; this night they certainly did. A welcome addition to the Cabaret lexicon.


Arna Eyers-White


When: 14 to 15 Jun

Where: The Banquet Room

Bookings: Closed