Tina del Twist (Spiegeltent: Perth Cultural Centre)

TinaIt was a shame the evening I saw this clever cabaret the audience numbers were low because this cabaret artist certainly deserves an audience.

Appearing on stage in a perfectly timed alcohol stumble, Tina (Wes Snelling) had the small audience in her hand from the first swig of vodka to the last stumble 50 minutes later out the back of the Spiegletent.

I admit I have never heard Tina before, but I certainly wish I had. I feel I have been missing out on one of the most unique voices to have hit the cabaret stage. It is jazzy, smoky, powerful and heart wrenching. A voice I could certainly listen to for longer than the 50 minute show.

Tina’s comedy is both perfect in its timing and acid in its delivery. Watching the audience participation (sometimes volunteered, other times not) Tina is the Queen of the hilarious put down.

Beautifully support by Twist (Stephen Weir) on guitar, whose playing is superb and dry wit a perfect complement to Tina’s alcohol antics.

There is something tragically beautiful about Tina del Twist and I left the performance feeling I had seen and more importantly heard something very special.

Photograph by Stano Murin

dollyDolly Diamond: Alive & Intimate (Spiegeltent: Perth Cultural Centre)

Walking into the Spiegeltent to see legendary Melbourne Cabaret performer Dolly Diamond (Michael Dolton), you could feel the audience were up for a good time.

And they were not let down.

Diamond has that unique ability to combine comic timing with clever camp wit, from heckling late comers to ‘intimate’ conversations with unsuspecting patrons, but all in good humour. Upon seeing a group of older patrons, Diamond’s thinking outload observation that they might have been the cast from the movie Cocoon – brought the house down.

Wonderfully supported by Mark Jones on Piano, the show was slick and hilarious with Diamond’s voice and experience coming to the fore. Diamond’s take on Que Sera Sera an evening highlight.

An Ode to Diamond’s time as Oliver on the West End, it isn’t often you hear the whole musical in ten minutes, but Diamond and Jones did just that in a wonderfully energetic moment culminating in a tent of patrons joining the chorus of Oom Pah Pah.

Judging by the number of audience chatting to Diamond and Jones in the courtyard after the show, they delivered what they set out to do, to give the audience a great laugh and a rousing good time!

I certainly did.