’10 Act Cabaret’ was diverse.
Ten acts, two nights, one city. Last Tuesday, The Head Bros launched their very first production, ’10 Act Cabaret’, to a wildly enthusiastic crowd at the Ron Hurley Theatre. For two evenings only, the event showcased some of the brightest upcoming musical stars spanning training organisations such as The Conservatorium of Music, Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre and Western Australia Academy Performing Arts.
The Head Bros recognised how difficult it is for performers to survive their university studies. From twelve-hour days, private tuition and somehow squeezing in work, young performers rarely get the opportunity to create outside of their studies. ’10 Act Cabaret’ provided the platform for students to showcase their talents in self-devised works while giving them the opportunity to be paid for their efforts.
For those who have never attended a cabaret, the evening generally consists of a number of acts (in this case ten) where performers tell a short narrative, interweaving dialogue, musical numbers and sometimes a bit of dance. The culmination of these short acts at the Ron Hurley Theatre created a show which gave audiences a small glimpse into the sheer talent found in Brisbane.
Hosted by one of the Head Bros himself, Liam Head steered the crowds through an evening of entertainment exploring crushes, the perils of the entertainment industry, first dates, robots, Disney villains, dating apps and many others. Throughout the night, Head also conducted interviews with one performer from each performance institution, providing not only entertainment but real-life anecdotes from Brisbane grown artists. Head was wonderfully charismatic in his cameo as host and provided a perfect introduction to The Head Bros. From palm card fumbles to slippery microphones, Head navigated the perils of hosting an event with charm and gave the audience absolute permission to interact, cheer and support.
The Ron Hurley Theatre was the perfect venue for ’10 Act Cabaret’, complete with tiered seating and a spacious stage; performers were able to move freely throughout the space, unencumbered by set, it was simply them, the stage and the audience. Musical Director and accompanist for the evening, Dennet Hudson, was placed stage right and supported all ten performers with skill that nodded to his extensive experience within the industry. Tempos were slick, sound levels were effectively managed and Hudson gave performers a clean slate on which to showcase their skills.
All ten performers were top tier, crème of the crop, the bee’s knees and embodied every other positive cliché in the book. It is clear that these young performers work to hone their craft on a daily basis. Energy was through the roof, notes were perfect and every facet of their being was used to tell their stories.
While it would be easy to rave about any of the performers, special mention goes out to Georgie Taylor and Liam Kirkpatrick who implemented their eight minutes flawlessly. The primary aspect which set these two apart was the pacing of their segments. While both told of personal tribulations, their performances didn’t revolve around them singing the most vocally impressive numbers they could find. Every moment was raw, honest, at times hilarious and clearly left an impact on audiences.
Chelsea Sales started the night with her gloriously entertaining piece about a wannabe villain who gets a little shocked by the amount of death the job may entail. Sales commanded the stage and blew audiences away with her soaring notes and sublime comic timing.
Sean Johnston followed with a piece about ‘coming out’ as a musical performer. Johnston effectively weaved in dialogue with some musical hits, a particular highlight being his rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’. From the short eight-minute segment it is clear Johnston has a voice for storytelling with a wildly impressive range.
Madeleine Ratcliffe had audiences in stitches with her goofy energy and hilarious storyline. Telling the tale of her coffee boy crush, Ashley (Ratcliffe) constructs a robot to take her place and win the coffee boy’s heart. Ratcliffe delivered flawless vocals and impeccable story-telling which left audiences wholly invested in her narrative.
Cristian Robba-Colley busted onto the stage with his wild and erratic energy after coming home from a ‘first date’. While some moments may have benefited from a little more nuance and stillness, Robba-Colley still had audiences laughing along at his plight and enthusiastically applauding his stunning vocals.
Despite some guitar-related technical difficulties, Kyle Colburn powered through and gave audiences reimagined classics from musicals such as ‘Singing in the Rain’ and ‘Oklahoma!’. While his performance was more a revue in style, he still transported his audiences and delivered gloriously dynamic vocals.
Daniel Kirby delivered a hilarious performance surrounding the perils of internet dating from the perspective of someone who films profile videos. Some moments within Kirby’s performance needed a little more pacing to avoid dead time on stage. However, Kirby nailed the difficult repertoire within his performance and delivered a wonderful performance.
Lucinda Wilson and Maddison Hutchens opted for a more revue-style performance which examined shortcomings and aspects of the performing arts industry. Wilson showcased her versatility and incredible vocal prowess by presenting a series of roles she would never be able to play. Hutchins opted for a still and powerful piece that swayed between musical numbers and poems that told the plight of women in theatre. With showstopper numbers like ‘Astonishing’ from ‘Little Women’, Hutchins displayed that women can be badass within theatre and sound darn good while doing it.
The end of the night was met with raucous applause from the audience, complete with the front row throwing flowers onto the stage. ’10 Act Cabaret’ was a demonstration of everything good and positive happening within the Brisbane theatrical space. Congratulations The Head Bros for providing the opportunity for theatrical magic to happen!
Disclaimer: Cast / Production Members working on this show also work for Theatre Haus, but rest assured, we always take steps to ensure our reviews maintain their integrity and are free from bias.