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Fringe review: Anya Anastasia - The Executioners

Adelaide Fringe

Part musical theatre, part cabaret, The Executioners features satirical humour, an original score, lyrical wizardry and whimsical dance. And it’s brilliant. ★★★★½

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Anya Anastasia has been performing her previous original shows Rogue Romantic and Torte e Mort: Songs of Cake and Death to critical acclaim internationally and at recent Adelaide Fringe and Cabaret Festivals. New show The Executioners is premiering at this year’s Adelaide Fringe.

The historic Queens Theatre, originally opened in 1841, provides an old-world, spellbinding contrast for the highly contemporary, digitally enhanced piece about the millennial dilemma of saving the world one post at a time while still having a life.

Anastasia’s voice – free, open and versatile – is the star of the show. Her humour and political and social consciousness are the driving force; her zen-like yoga spirituality the heart. Throw in a white jump suit, with shades of Charlize Theron in Prometheus, and you have a multi-dimensional performer who commands the audience.

Some 13 or 14 original songs blend in with monologue and some things in between. The lyrics are quite staggering in their scope, rhyme and wicked humour. Performed like a poetic, lilting rap, they explore the commendable social, environmental and political consciousness of the current generation with the comfort of executing action with the touch of keyboard and the changing of a profile pic.

This is great writing, worthy of several viewings, set to enjoyable melodies with a well-integrated concept.

The last two songs about being a master or a slave and about ultimately reconnecting spiritually with the earth provide the musical highlights. Special mention to Gareth Chin, who provides musical backing and cameo vocals, and partners Anastasia in a hilarious dance that somehow pays homage to Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg in The Avengers.

Anya Anastasia is an amazing talent and one hopes that a cabaret style show that is not about love and loss, but right on point with the current dilemmas of our world, will survive beyond the Fringe. It deserves to.

The Executioners continues until March 12 at Queens Theatre. Anya Anastasia is also performing her show Rogue Romantic at Gluttony until March 18. Read more InDaily Fringe reviews and stories here.

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