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Hilary Cole in O.C Diva at Hayes Theatre - Review

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by Katherine Thomas (subscribe)
Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Event: -
One woman with the personality of at least 5 women
Watching someone solve a rubik's cube has never been more entertaining!

The Hayes Theatre continues its string of powerful and touching performances since opening earlier this year with its Sunday cabaret sessions, notably Hilary Cole in OC Diva.

The starlet, who gave an entertaining performance as Janet in 'The Drowsy Chaperone' is back commanding the stage in a one-woman show.

Now as I'm not a particular fan of solo performances I had my doubts as to the diversity and depth that could be achieved in a 1 hour monologue, however the diversity of her range and impeccable comedic timing kept the audience engaged and enthralled throughout the 60 minute performance.

The performance piece is largely introspective and charts Janet's journey through adolescence, university and early adulthood with all the obsessions, challenges and changes one goes through in those periods.

Few would have suspected that the striking brunette before them had been a Lord of the Rings geek, was a compulsive counter, or could do as I mentioned earlier; solve a rubik's cube on cue! The concepts seem in opposition to the glamazon before the audience, in all her fashionable glory that demands attention and adoration. As she progresses through the hour as well one cannot look around and not think that we all must have our own quirks and be our own type of crazy! And the sincerity of her performance left everyone in no doubt that indeed she must be the paradox she was showing us to be.

Dialogue is interspersed with song at frequent intervals that explore further the deeper meanings of earlier discussion. There is a mix of original music in with established numbers which is enjoyable for the audience as the balance keeps maintains a sense of intrigue with newer scores, yet then a sense of familiarity with more recognisable tunes. Janet's unique spin also leads one to consider the power of interpretation and angle. Certainly the audience will never think of 'One way or another' by Blondie in the same way again after Janet's rendition took it from an upbeat girlie dance tune to a sinister Gollum-like mania.

All in all, OC Diva is well worth a visit. The one-woman show is so dynamic you leave feeling quite fulfilled and as though you had seen the dramatic range of an entire company. You share Janet's hope, her despair, her addiction and her desperation. You could even be forgiven for thinking you had heard Bernadette Peter's sing live due to the skill in her imitation of the Tony-winning star.

With the run only lasting 3 Sunday performances and one already off and gone, don't miss out. Head on down to Hayes Theatre for yet another engaging piece of theatre.
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*Katherine Thomas was invited as a guest
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Why? See a star on the rise!
When: Sundays throughout June: 15, 22, 29
Phone: 02 8065 7337
Where: Hayes Theatre Company
Cost: $30-$35
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