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Cabaret review: The Wine Bluffs

Cabaret Festival

Cabaret comedy show The Wine Bluffs is, of course, all about wine and wine ‘wankology’, but it’s also an hilarious homage to South Australia.

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What you want from the Cabaret Festival is someone to make good fun of whatever it is you’ve come to see and also make you appreciate it; this isn’t the theatre, after all, it’s the cabaret. The Wine Bluffs is all about wine, so here comedians Damian Callinan and Paul Calleja are making fun of winos and wine wankers (aren’t they the same?) – and what better place to do that than in Adelaide at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

This is wine wankology at its funniest.

The problem is that there’s no wine bar in the Banquet Room, so I suggest you buy a bottle (at one of the Festival Centre bars) for the table because the boys on stage are drinking the whole way through – and talking about drinking and laughing about drinking – and that one glass you bought for the show is going to go really fast.

This show is as much about wine – and how to taste it and how to read the blurbs on the bottles and how to know if, blessed be, you’re a connoisseur – as it is a homage to South Australia, proud wine country that it is.

When the hosts asked for audience participation to find out who was the biggest wine wanker in the room, those who hadn’t tried a Grange had to sit down. When hardly anyone did, there was a sense of ownership among the crowd: yes we are wine drinkers and we are proud!

And hats off to Callinan and Calleja for knowing the territory – Peel Street, Power fans, Modbury and Maggie Beer. If their show is about wine, then they’d better know all of Adelaide because all of Adelaide drinks wine. And apparently it’s hilarious to make fun of ourselves while extolling ourselves.

Callinan is a three-time nominee for the coveted  Barry  Award  at  the  Melbourne  International  Comedy  Festival (you might’ve seen him on Before the  Game  or Spicks  and  Specks), while Calleja  is  one  of  Australia’s  top  television  comedy  writers  and  performers, appearing as “the  guy  behind  the  counter  at  the  sex  shop” on The Secret  Life  of  Us. They’re no slouches, and it shows.

I smiled so much my cheeks hurt and I laughed so hard I doubled over.

Adelaide, go see them and laugh your ass off, feel proud of who you are, then take a train home before midnight because what kind of city would we be if we had late-night trains? Doesn’t matter; drink wine.

The Wine Bluffsfinal performance is tonight in the Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre. See more Adelaide Cabaret Festival coverage here.

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