The Finding Me support group has been a recurring cabaret favourite of mine this year. Debuting with Volume 1 at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and then returning with Volume 2 at the Cabaret Fringe earlier in the year, Volume 3 has come out (pun intended) with their newest installment - Volume 3 - as part of the beloved Feast Festival, which is happening over the next two weeks in Adelaide.
For those who may have not had the pleasure of experiencing what the Finding Me support group is like, expect to see a dynamic cast of four individuals from very different walks of life, who share their stories of what it has been like to be part of the LGBTQIA community.
What is particularly attractive about this show is that it intertwines the fabulous and glamorous lifestyle with some honest, raw, and real emotions and struggles (both internal and external) that are faced by members of the LGBTQIA community.
Supported with tunes supplied by the Tainted Saints, Phi Theodoros effortlessly embodies the persona of each individual and instantly makes each person relatable with her crafty storytelling skills and grappling emotions that are transparent in her monologues. Starting off with a brief introduction into who stands in front of the audience, Phi combines a colourful aesthetic of song and theatrical flair to do justice to each character. Some are filled with tragedy and courage, whilst others beam with pride at taking a stand for who they are and what they believe in.
The common themes around the stories shared throughout this performance are around self-love, self-discovery, acceptance, and identity. While the four characters are unique to each volume, I found the ones in Volume 3 thoroughly poignant, enjoyable, and soulful. My favourite character from this Volume would have to be "Andy", as their profession and struggles resonated strongly with a dear friend who had a similar experience a couple of months back. Andy moved me to tears and the song accompanying this performance could not have been written any more brilliantly. Following that act with a very close second would have to be "Robbo", which included a very impressive rap track with Musical Director James Dean and Tainted Saints band member Troy Benson and that hit all the notes and synced well with the tone of this character.
While my only criticism would revolve around finding a balance between the volume of the music and the delivery of the dialogue to flow more smoothly, this show is packed with potential to grow and evolve, and to incorporate a fresh, new series of characters in their next volume (fingers crossed that this isn't the last we see of this crew!). While there is a minimalistic set up of the stage and props, it somehow works with keeping the tone and pace of the show easy to follow. There may not have been a drastic change in the dress ups either, but it didn't matter since Phi was able to channel the personas of each character gracefully and create an engaging presentation that seemed to connect with the audience well.
With one showdown and one more to go, you won't want to miss being part of this fantastic and supportive group, where people are free to be who they want to be and where anyone and everyone of any gender / sexuality / age / ethnicity / religion is welcome!
Finding Me Volume 3 is the third iteration of the show and has one more performance to go at the fitting and beautiful Queer Culture Centre Raj House on November 16, as part of the Feast Festival.