‘10 Act Cabaret’ was playful.
Experimentation, creativity and risk-taking sit at the heart of every new production and ‘10 Act Cabaret’ was the perfect opportunity for new work to have a place to play. Never dwelling on anything for long, The Head Bros presented a speed-dating style of theatre that gave audiences a little taste of a wide variety of work by emerging artists.
In this fun cabaret, ten performers create ten acts, ranging from a Frankenstein-ish doctor to classic musical theatre and even an appearance from Betty White. The Head Bros second iteration of ‘10 Act Cabaret’ brought the variety, hilarity and local talent that Brisbane audiences are coming to expect from the production.
Director and host Liam Kirkpatrick created a throughline for the show adding a poppin’ pink blazer and equally high energy to the swiftly changing acts. Everyone on stage was further supported by James Parkin on sound and lighting, who kept the acts visible and audible – two mighty important things!
Before considering the acts themselves, one must mention the wildly talented Tom Collins, who not only performed as an act himself but gave musical life to each creative’s cabaret. Collins didn’t miss a beat and easily navigated the quickly changing scores. Pacing was perfectly timed and it’s clear that Collins worked with the performers to nail their original cabarets.
Phoebe Lovell opened the show, dramatically crawling towards her coffee – a feeling we know all too well. A comedic performer, Lovell used her physicality to take audiences through ‘The Seven Stages of Coffee’.
Jackson Hughesman showed audiences that he most definitely can be the leading man. Melding comedy with great vocals, Hughesman presented a well-curated cabaret that explores his tendency to get the comedian role when all he wants is to be the heart-throb.
Liam Hartley’s cabaret ‘It’s Not That Simple’ brought audiences classic anthems and proved that love is not quite as simple as the songs may suggest. Never did I think that a harmonica would be such a hilariously integral part of a cabaret, but Hartley’s rendition of ‘Piano Man’ brought an extra layer of pizzazz and was a great opportunity to flex an unusual skill.
A performance highlight was Emma Wilby’s cabaret ‘My Chaotic Brain: A Brief History of Head Injuries’ which was equal parts charming and hilarious. It demonstrated Wilby’s knack for storytelling partnered with a delightful voice.
In a totally different style, Torin Cook’s ‘The Doctor is In(sane)’ used more of a patter style of musical theatre to tell his story of a doctor gone mad. A chaotically fun performance, Cook brought something different to the ‘10 Act Cabaret’ plate.
Georg Gleeson delivered a heartfelt and honest performance in ‘Becoming Georg’, a cabaret that shed light on the journey of coming out. Georg’s voice soared and audiences were able to easily connect to the impactful message of saying ‘I am what I am’.
Olivia Hutchins gave audiences a good laugh in ‘The Little Sister’s Lament’ which told audiences about her struggle in always being compared to her big sister. ‘You and Me (But Mostly Me)’ sat perfectly within the cabaret and Hutchins definitely had her moment in the spotlight. It was all about the little sister this time, and she nailed it!
With one of the most impressive vocal performances of the evening, Jacqui Dwyer brought audiences along on her struggle of ‘Mature Performer Syndrome’. Not only was the cabaret well constructed but Dwyer chose perfect songs for her range and vocal style. A wonderful performance all around.
Kamara Henricks gave audiences a wonderfully unexpected ‘Betty Does Broadway’ cabaret, paying homage to silver screen icon Betty White. Henricks combined her impeccable comic timing, dance and song to deliver a hilarious ‘10 Act Cabaret’ closing act.
The beauty of ‘10 Act Cabret’ is that you never quite know what is around the corner. From trained musical theatre performers to hobbyists just ready to have some fun, ‘10 Act Cabaret’ is a safe and welcoming place for all. Sometimes all you need is a bit of wholesome theatre fun and The Head Bros delivers in spades.
‘10 Act Cabaret’ performed for one weekend only at the Ron Hurley Theatre. To keep in the know about upcoming performances, visit The Head Bros website.