Geraldine Quinn has been doing the Melbourne Comedy Festival for ten years. Naturally, this means her 2016 show Could You Repeat That? is a rock-fuelled, reshuffling of her songs into a joyful, ballsy hour of cabaret, with jokes packed in tighter than her fabulous sequinned dress.
Quinn is an award-winning rock goddess who, if you haven’t seen her perform before, may be familiar to audiences from her stints on Spicks and Specks and The Weekly. The control she has over her voice is extraordinary, and she can go from soft, emotional ballad (“you don’t have to sing the shit out of everything,” a friend once told her – and she clearly doesn’t have to) to rock anthem at the flick of a switch. Or, more accurately, at the flick of the switch of the massive lit-up sign referencing her vagina, which shares the stage with her and threatens to melt her into oblivion.
Quinn welcomes us with a song formally requesting we be her audience for the night. It’s an endearing start to the show which moves along into a string of songs about noble bogans and a great quest undertaken by Dandenong-dwelling Renee to visit her true love in Altona (it takes “three train lines and a couple of buses and a scooter” to get there in case you were wondering).
We have songs about those little moments of connection you have with strangers, about family, about being just drunk enough to dance. There are moments when Quinn is larger than life, but mostly she’s just herself: funny, sardonic, self deprecating and fun. She’s the sort of performer you can imagine approaching at the bar after the show, and it is this authenticity that really shines through.
Quinn is backed by a great band, and peppers her songs with funny tales from festivals past. My favourite moment, though, was the finale. The lyrics are too profane to be repeated here, but let’s just say it will become your new life mantra from the moment you reach the first chorus, and will be stuck firmly in your head for days on end. It’s a pretty fun souvenir to take home from a great night of cabaret.