Amelia Ryan is the small-town-born, multi-talented cabaret act that you really must check out this Fringe season. I’d tell you the name of the town she hails from, as it really is giggle-inducing, but that would spoil one of her many punch-lines. It’s best left to her, as she truly does dazzle as she does her thing on stage.
And what is Ryan’s thing? It’s a spectacularly creative show in which she candidly and generously takes her audience through several stages of her hilarious life.
Early on, Ryan provides a clear, humour-laced warning that she will be sharing significant events from her life, chiefly through bursting out into song. These well-timed tunes comprise her original, wry and whip-smart lyrics, accompanied by talented Dave McEvoy on the piano. Several are sung to tunes of well-known classics, such as 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Going On?” and “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago.
Many audience members will relate to Ryan’s delightful anecdotes. Running late, missing flights, revolting against parking fines – she shares it all in her six (or are they seven?) inch heels and hot-pink number. She has an energetic stage presence, which seems contagious. The crowd loves her.
Likening life to a series of catastrophes and calamities, and owning the fact that hers really is a mess, Ryan’s show is, in contrast, well-structured and beautifully paced. Even when her admissions dip into a much more sombre mood towards the end, it is very fitting. It is then perfectly wrapped up with her wit and I was left wanting more of her fantastic voice and downright hilarious tales.
It’s not surprising that Ryan has taken this performance to New York. It’s show tunes meets Sex and the City meets a very grown-up version of Glee. With lots of swearing. And it’s oh so fabulous.
A Storm in a D Cup is being performed in the Campanile, Garden of Unearthly Delights, until March 2.
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Click here for all InDaily’s 2014 Adelaide Fringe stories and reviews.
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