17 April, 2018 in Reviews
In sync with the theatrical magnificence of being backstage in the Malthouse’s Merlyn theatre, cabaret comedy supernova Geraldine Quinn invites us into the emotional and thoroughly entertaining meanderings of her life as a dreamer, daughter, friend, and very unlucky artist in Queen Bitch.
She’s not quite the supreme bitch that the title suggests, unless you count the loud, deep wail of every father in the room when Quinn tells us that, exhausted by her dad’s enthusiasm and generosity while working on her new apartment (just trying to show her how much he loves her), she screams at him of depression and suffocation. But then, who could really blame her? She’d had a year of disaster and was now, full circle, living back in the burbs just five minutes drive from her parents. She needed the break.
The show opens with violin and guitar accompaniment and the infatuation of a ten-year-old Quinn for Oliver Newton John in Xanadu. It’s easy to see the glam rock influence in the lighting, set and Quinn’s costumes, but that’s as far as the superficial drivel of 80’s pastiche goes. This show is so much more.
As well as the Melbourne-centric hilarity of suburban bogan-shaming, there’s deep and heart-strong spiritual reflections and self-analysis, and some awesome observations told as only this cabaret queen can. Even when describing the disaster of her flooded carpet, her spoken word is musical: “shag pile secrets and secretions”.
The musical comedy is a high-energy mix tape showcasing Quinn’s glorious vocal range, sweetened with whimsical lyrics and a heavy dose of edgy, raw and generous self-depreciation. Not bitching, but celebrating her years of being the only single child left in a large family at Christmas, we’re reminded that the son of God was single too, and then gifted with the happiest of toe-tapping tributes to the “swinging King of the Jews”.
The show closes with a tribute to the real bitch who has changed Quinn’s life – a super huge horse-like dog. No longer clinging to the side of life, Quinn’s taking adult-only roller skating lessons and singing Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘I’m alive’. Which is exciting news – I can’t wait to hear what the dog does at Christmas.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival at The Coopers Malthouse
Queen Bitch by Geraldine Quinn
10 Apr – 22 Apr 2018