Each year the Adelaide Cabaret Festival brings together a group of aspiring young adults to cultivate and nurture into cabaret performers. From this we see talented emerging artists bound onto the cabaret circuit in all their glory, and with this, saw 2016’s Class of Cabaret graduates return to the 2017 Adelaide Cabaret Festival with a bright & thoughtful show – Retrospective.
The stars, Alex De Porteous, Claire Morphett, Eva Rundle & Jerome Javier, are an eclectic foursome that each bring an individual presence to the show. The night commenced with a perfectly delivered ‘all in’ performance of ‘Revolution’ and it was from the start their confidence on stage was evident and we were in for an enjoyable experience.
With Libby O’Donovan and Michaela Burger at the helm as mentors and directors, Retrospective was destined to be quite brilliant. And it was. After the intro number the cast performed one by one acknowledging their musical heroes or songs that touched them. It worked well, with the non-performing artists taking a stool at the side of the stage watching in admiration their co-stars sing their magic. The set list was impressive, with well known songs being the choice, which allowed the audience to instantly connect with not only the song but also the singer. The renditions were beautiful.
Eva Rundle’s ‘Primadonna Girl’ was remarkable but her version of Amy Winehouse’s ‘You Know I’m No Good’ totally had the audience in her grasp. She played the guitar with passion and her raw and strong voice gave the song what it deserved. Amy would have been proud.
Morphett’s ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ was stunning and was a gorgeous performance while looking the part in a slinky green dress that was cabaret worthy.
Jerome Javier, the only male in the ensemble, made his mark with a beautiful and heartfelt ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ dedicated to his late father. This was one of the highlights.
While, Alex De Porteous, in a black sequined gown, could have stolen the show. Her audience interaction was on point but it was her Bowie mash-up that commanded the crowd ‘Life on Mars’, ‘Space Oddity’ & ‘Ashes to Ashes’ simply owned the night.
The night wrapped up with all four together again with a female medley of some of the favorite biggest hits from female stars. Spice Girls, Katy Perry, Cyndi Lauper, they were all there. Jerome’s ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ seemed the only one that didn’t work BUT ‘True Colours’ was stunning and emotive.
Seasoned Mark Ferguson did a flawless job as accompanist and musical director.
All four of the voices from the group are brilliant, they have great stage presence and they clearly all have a path to Cabaret stardom. As they further their careers it is obvious they will further polish and tighten up any weakness’ they may have, but it was a solid performance that left the crowd very happy. A fabulous night out.
3 words: Watch. These. Names.