Ah, fake Russian accents. After all, why not? How many real Russians to you expect to be attending a small cabaret sideshow, down a hidden little laneway at the quaint and wonderfully curious Butterfly Club? They’re busy going to lavish operas, attending lengthy Tchaikovsky recitals, opening up weighty tomes by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and appearing as villains in mindless action films. But then, you may yet attract a cosmopolitan reviewer, and he might have brought a date. It must be said that the follow-up awkwardness was well averted by our strongman and woman for the night. What have they got to be scared of, anyway? One did just eat glass and smash a plate over his head, while the other was surprisingly inventive in what she can do with a bed of nails.
This is back-alley cabaret at its most back-alley. Performers seemingly picked and dropped into a situation they were entirely unprepared for. However, make no mistake, these are professionals. Under pressure to pull stuff out of their hair (I’d say arse, but one of them actually did that). There were card-based magic tricks, accomplished despite the unexpected presence of mirrors about the stage; a belly dancer with a beautiful black-headed python and musical numbers impressively performed, given their nonsensicalness.
It was that kind of show. Oddities, Twists and Marvels delivered on its promise; a small ensemble of street performers, brought together, and put on stage. It didn’t seem rehearsed, even our MC seemed to be grappling for things to say and do, but when the songs, acts or feats of weirdness were begun, there was evidence of highly polished and skilled performance art. It’s a concept of which judgement should be left entirely to the beholder; do you want to see a bunch of stuff just happening? If so, this is your show. Or not, because it was one night only. So while it is highly recommended, albeit not for the faint of heart, you’d need a time machine to actually see it.
Sucks to be you.
Review by: Max Davine