Review: Club Queens at The Chamber at The Queens

Review By Lia Cocks

When the recommendations say mature audiences, not family friendly with occasional coarse language and mild sexual references, you know you are in for an insatiably good night!

Billed as the late night after party to tickle your fancies, Club Queens really will be the place to be seen on a Friday and Saturday night during Adelaide Fringe season.

Opening night hosts, cabaret doyenne Amelia Ryan and arts royalty Mitchell Butel set the tone with their parody song about Covid, cabaret, clubs, and the Clare Valley, all to the tune of ‘I will Survive’.

After welcoming the dignitaries and special guests, all formalities were thrown out the window for a night of unencumbered fun, unpredictable laughs and a teaser of shows that played earlier in the night or are yet to premiere.

The show began with Australia’s favourite Cabaret performer and icon, Carlotta, who taunted and heckled the crowd, much to their delight, all the while smashing out dazzling show tunes leaving the audience wanting more!

Jo Lawry was up next with her soothing, velvety and dulcet tones. One of Australia’s best jazz singers, she has spent the best part of the last two decades living in New York, before the dreaded C-word brought her and her young family back home to Adelaide.

And aren’t we lucky to have her back.

Performing two of her original songs and professing to be ‘not much of a cabaret performer’, I couldn’t pick a better storyteller through music than her.

Authentic, charming, self-deprecating – the most engaging taster of a show. She is one to see.

Mitchell Butel took to the stage for ‘Way Ahead of My Time’, and showed the crowd what an extraordinary singer and entertainer he is, away from his day job as Artistic Director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia. Such a character!

Fresh from his earlier show, Michael Griffiths took to the Club Queens stage with the energy of 5 year old after devouring a bag of Allen’s Party Mix, to play his rendition of ‘Blister in the Sun’ to boisterous adulation from the mob of party-goers. His teaser reveals a show full of energy and excitement.

By this time, the throng of audience members had devoured a number of premium Clare Valley wines and exclusive artisanal Sparkke cocktails, and were well into the lively sing along vibes.

Amelia Ryan delivered her ode to pregnancy and childbirth in a hilarious medley/mash up of songs that had every woman cry-laughing and every man wincing at the thought.

The flawless Libby O’Donovan brought her extraordinary jazz and country twang to sing tunes from her show with Amelia Ryan, UNSUNG, celebrating Australia’s rock and pop divas of the 60s.

Her showstopping delivery of ‘This is a Man’s World’ brought the house down, with her unbelievable range and control of every single note. Breathtaking.

The late night crowd where treated to an apt finale ‘Feelin Alright’ performed by Amelia and Mitchell, which led into the party continuing with the DJ playing and the drinks and debauchery flowing.

Definitely a soiree worth staying up for!

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