Cabaret Festival Review: Nosferatutu

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Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 22 June 2018

Nosferatutu is a bizarre combination of cabaret spectacular and gothic pantomime, written by Tommy Bradson and directed by Sheridan Harbridge.

The houselights dim and an Italian ballerino walks gracefully onto the stage. His tight white pants leave nothing to the imagination as he introduces his band – including piano, violin, and cello – and welcomes everyone to his one-man production of Swan Lake. As the captive audience begin to shift uneasily in their seats, wondering if they walked into the wrong theatre, a slender man in the front row screeches with desire and jumps onto the stage, biting Prince Siegfried and (mercifully) cutting Act I short.

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While the ballerino slumps over and quietly bleeds out onstage, we meet the true star of Nosferatutu – Kevin the vampire (portrayed by Bradson). He regains his composure and looks awkwardly to the audience, apologises and explains in a high-pitched anxious tone that this is all a mistake. Once in the spotlight, Kevin embarks on several existential monologues on the meaning of life, the predictability of art, and the daily struggles of being a vampire. Kevin is painfully aware that he robbed the audience of their production of Swan Lake and coerces a hapless usher (portrayed by Harbridge) into helping him finish the ballet. Their efforts, though admirable, inevitably degenerate into a slapstick comedy of errors.

Bradson and Harbridge have a wide musical repertoire, from operatic arias to Let’s Face The Music And Dance and Milkshake. Though perhaps their most impressive duet is a medley of Dancing On My Own and Private Dancer, accompanied by the visibly nervous onstage musicians. It is impossible to look away as Kevin gets closer to completing his very peculiar production of Swan Lake.

The entire show is filled with nervous energy and wild talent. Bradson and Harbridge have excellent chemistry and comedic timing. Together these two young artists create an unforgettable night of vampiric theatre.

Reviewed by Nicola Woolford

Rating: 4/5

 Venue: Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 22nd – 23rd June, 2018
Duration: 75 mins
Tickets: $46.90 – $36.90
Bookings: https://www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au/

 

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