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DIVA, the Award-Winning Melbourne Fringe Show - Review

Home > Melbourne > Theatre Reviews | Theatre | Performing Arts | Festivals | Comedy
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Event: -
Former opera singer hits a high C
I've now been to five shows at this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival, and have been struck by the depth and diversity of what's on offer, but also the intimate experience that's offered in most cases. This is because many of the performances are held in small venues, scattered across the CBD and surrounding suburbs.

Last night, I saw DIVA, which is described as 'a black comedy about sex, love, death and opera'. Over the space of an hour, we learn the story of the life of June, a former opera diva, whose career ended with her voice failing at the worst possible time - during a performance of Madama Butterfly. Too afraid to leave her apartment, June keeps herself going with a combination of vodka, pills... and masturbation. If you have any qualms about seeing any of these on stage, then this is not the show for you! Be warned!

June, on the decline (image supplied by Creative Collaborations.)

During the show, June takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions - from light humour to the deepest depths of black comedy, bordering on tragedy. On a few occasions, the tragic moments are hard to watch.

Melbourne Fringe Festival 2014
June with 'Eugene', her cat (author's image)

What shone through in this performance is the talent of solo performer Tiffany Barton. This would be an exceptionally difficult show to carry on one's own, given the highs and lows, but Tiffany was a standout.

June demonstrates some of her 'talents' as she eats a banana (author's image)

While it's a solo act, June is 'supported' by some inanimate props; her deceased cat 'Eugene', a manifestation of her ex-lover 'Manny' (a life-sized figure built with cardboard boxes and tubes), and her good friend, with whom we (and June) become acquainted during the show, 'Mr Buzzy', her impressively large vibrator.

June and Manny
June and 'Manny' (author's image)

Overall, DIVA is a powerful performance that's beautifully executed.

The biggest tragedy of last night's performance of DIVA is that the audience was so small. While it was great to have such an intimate experience, a performer with Tiffany's talent deserves greater exposure.

DIVA is playing at Revolt Melbourne, 12 Elizabeth Street, Kensington, until Sunday 28th September. Click here for session times. Tickets are $26 full price, $19 concession. The show runs for 60 minutes and is suitable for 18 plus audience members only.
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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? Admire the talented Tiffany Barton in this black comedy about sex, love, death and opera.
When: 6pm on 25-26 September, 9pm on 27-28 September
Phone: (03) 9660 9666 (ticket sales)
Where: Revolt 2, 12 Elizabeth Street, Kensington
Cost: Full price - $26, concession - $19
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