Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Thursday, 2 August 2012
Mademoiselle, Michael Dalley, Aug 1, 2012 ***
by Michael Dalley, co-created by Michael Dalley & Paul McCarthy, music by
Michael Dalley & John Thorn
At fortyfivedownstairs, Aug 1 to 19, 2012
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Aug 1
Michael Dalley & Paul McCarthy
IF YOU'VE EVER LOATHED A BOSS or been bullied by a manager, the acerbic, seething resentment of
Michael Dalley and Paul
McCarthy’s sneering, mincing servants will raise a sour grin.
Dalley’s previous cabaret shows, features perky, old-fashioned tunes played by
pianist John Thorn, and Dalley’s social satire and caustic lyrics that, in this
show, attack the privileged, the upwardly mobile and the bosses.
The show starts like a
rocket with Dalley and McCarthy dressed to the nines in tuxedos and sporting
synthetic, platinum wigs and perpetual sneers as they attack their wealthy
boss, in the derisive tune, Mademoiselle.
bickering old queens unite in their scathing mockery of the rest of the world,
singing such corrosive and outrageous songs as, Other People’s Rubbish, The Nasty Queen from Menswear, The Table Manners of the Petit
Bourgeoisie, The German and the Choirboy and The Passive-Aggressive Filipino Amway Lady (a
barely disguised Rose Porteous caricature).
After a truly rollicking
and hilarious first 30 minutes the show stalls, the songs and lyrics are less
successful and the characters lose their momentum.
The latter half feels
under-rehearsed and the arc of the story of these characters is unclear.
What is missing is a stronger ending
song, tighter dialogue in the second half and a bigger finish that perhaps
reincorporates their attitude to Mademoiselle, their off-stage nemesis.