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Review: Historians Call Us Roommates - Butterfly Club, Midsumma Festival 

Review by Susanne Dahn

Queer erasure has removed, re-written and overlooked so many of history’s fascinating stories but in this one-hour show, comedian and singer Chelsea Heaney, ably supported by music director Jamie Burgess, introduces us to six people from over the centuries to set the record gay !

From politicians to sports stars, polyamorous authors to convent burning nuns, pirates to spies it’s hard to believe we haven’t heard of them or had no idea they were queer! 

Chelsea has performed and produced shows for the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Melbourne Cabaret Festival and now makes her Midsumma Festival debut. 

This is a great fun show for the Midsumma Festival that makes an important point about minorities through the ages. And, let’s not be smug about it, now. 

And it’s a fun vehicle for Chelsea and Jamie to showcase their comedic and musical talents which includes a clear love of musical theatre. 

Jamie is a very good accompanist and straight man. The show’s structure enables Chelsea to act and sing while she reminds us of the proclivities of the powerful to negate the existence of the powerless. 

Songs like Shania Twain’s Feel Like A Woman gets a great treatment as do Rather Be Me from Mean Girls, Roll in the Hay from Young Frankenstein, Changing My Major from Fun Home, Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA and unofficial gay anthem Secret Love Song from Little Mix. 

Chelsea has a great musical theatre presence and a voice to match which is capable of both range and power as well as great tenderness. 

I learned new things from this show such as that a prominent historical author wore a calcified human heart around her neck. Though I could have lived happily without knowing that. 

But 2 1/2 minutes of this show were priceless and are absolutely not to be missed.  Heaney has constructed an executive summary or cheat notes of arguably the world’s most popular musical theatre production that is utterly hilarious and superbly clever and hopefully will in no way infringe on copyright. It’s sensational. 

I do look forward to seeing what this talented comedian and singer does next. I expect it will be very good. 

Image Supplied

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