Thursday, 5 October 2000

Remote AND Man, Woman, Sex, Revenge, Oct 5, 2000

Remote by Crow's Bar Cabaret
La Mama at Courthouse until October 15, 2000
Man, Woman, Sex, Revenge by Steve Wheat
at La Mama until October 15, 2000
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Remote is the latest cabaret production form Ella Filar's Crow's Bar Cabaret. It is a musical miscellany divided into three separate stories.

Filar's original songs are in the style of 30s Berlin Cabaret. They are raunchy, often political with witty rhymes, grotesque characters and vivid stories.

They are played by a live four piece band. (Filar keyboards, Ron Linser percussion, Billie Jean Clancy violin, Russell Praetz  sax/clarinet.)

On stage, in addition to the musicians, are four performers speaking the narrative, singing or dancing. (Tania Bistrin, Joanna Seidel, Hemi Titokurawu, Elisa Grey)

Part one has an intermittent narrative about a butcher, baby cow and vegetarianism.

Part two is less successful. It's songs are great but its short comic sketches about political and judicial corruption don't work.

Part three is the most theatrically successful segment. It integrates music, dance and narrative about a gypsy woman in a colourful and atmospheric scene.

Man, Woman, Sex, Revenge is a black comedy written and directed by Steve Wheat for Cloudburst. Simone (Sarah Chapman) is driven to revenge on Nigel, (Craig Goddard) her ex-lover, when he dumps her after two years.

We first see Simone with a gun, threatening both Nigel and his new mousy girlfriend, Michelle. (Karissa Clarke OK) She is angry, she is dangerous and the police are on the phone every five minutes to negotiate a release of her two hostages . They offer pizza in exchange.

This is suspenseful and witty piece from the company that brought us Cloudburst in 1996-97. The performances are consistent and impassioned although Michelle is a little too underplayed.

There is a great dramatic moment when the truth of the relationship is revealed. Simone is not the woman we think she is and Nigel will not  remain the man he is if Simone has her way with a scalpel.

By Kate Herbert

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