Cabaret Fringe Festival Review: Publicly Private


Presented by Adelaide Cabaret Fringe
Reviewed 8 June 2017

Performing her first one-woman cabaret show, local artist Nicole O’Rielley played to a sold out crowd last week at La Bohème.

Befittingly titled Publicly Private, O’Rielley unravelled some of the more vulnerable moments of her life by wearing it as a badge of honour. Through a series of quirky and heartfelt songs, her talent and passion was clear right from the get-go.

The audience were introduced to the performer as she stepped onto the stage wearing black overalls and flowers in her hair. Numerous lamps scattered the stage, allowing spectators to easily become comfortable in the intimate setting.

A particular highlight of the show was when she expressed how she wanted to ‘get even’ with a former lover by exposing his faults in a song entitled F(*ck you) Sharp Minor. She expressed her discontent over the ending of the relationship and how ‘since [they]broke-up, Satan’s filing [her]nails.’ In another standout piece, she took us through some of the odd, but nevertheless hilarious, moments she experienced during a hook-up. Loud chuckles filled the space as she expressed how they ‘went into an apartment that wasn’t his’ and ‘watched a pornographic movie they both starred in.’

Her voice was very compelling and demonstrated a strong vocal range. A recurring structure with a lot of her songs was how they would begin with soft, whimsical melodies and then suddenly erupt into madness.

O’Rielley’s audience interaction was also quite humbling as she quite openly spoke about her crohn’s disease, her youth and her love life–but from a comedic point of view. It almost became a separate component to the songs that were, for the most part, full of angst and melancholy. It became an interesting dynamic of the show as spectators were able to experience both sides of O’Rielley’s personality–as an artist and as a person. Her carefree persona also made it seem as though the audience were having a casual chat with a friend.

The performer’s genre and style seemed heavily inspired by the likes of Regina Spektor, Abbe May and Björk, but with a distinctive twist. A bunch of her songs even seemed reminiscent of Spektor’s earlier cult classics, such as Pavlov’s Daughter and Back of a Truck.

Overall, it is no wonder this emerging talent has gained so much attention during this year’s season of the Cabaret Fringe Festival. She has a distinct and honest point of view that should be shared far beyond the petite space of the La Bohème stage.

Her final shows during the Cabaret Fringe Festival will be on 17 June and 23 June. Tickets are limited and selling fast, so secure your seat by booking online here.

Reviewed by Tanner Muller

Rating out of 5: 5

Venue: La Bohéme, 36 Grote Street, Adelaide SA
Dates: Thursday 8 June, Saturday 17 June and Friday 23 June 2017
Duration: 60 Minutes
Tickets: General admission $20.00 and Concession card holders $13.00


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