A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Bringing Sexy Back to the Kitchen
The lights come up and on stage is... Nigella Lawson. Or not quite Nigella, as it turns out, but a performer who has the look, the voice and the mannerisms down pat, right down to the red dress and glass of red wine.
Raelene Isbester, who plays Nigella, has clearly spent time studying the Queen of the Kitchen. She gives a stand out performance in Nigella - Love Bites, which is currently playing at The Butterfly Club in Carson Lane, Melbourne.
Raelene Isbester gives a convincing performance as Nigella in Love Bites
Through this cleverly written and produced cabaret show, featuring original songs and - inevitably - a cooking demonstration, the audience is given an insight into Nigella. Along the way, there are many funny lines heavily spiced with sexual innuendo. There is also a hilarious audience participation section, in which 'Gregory' acts as sous chef to Nigella, beating ingredients and shaking bottles in a most suggestive way on Nigella's insistence.
My partner Dave points out that it is as though there are two entities on stage during Love Bites - 'Nigella' and her ample backside! The latter is swished and (though I doubt Nigella would describe it thus) twerked in that sumptuous and voluptuous Nigella way that has the audience chuckling.
Just when the show is in danger of being engulfed by a chocolatey syrup of sweetness, it is given balance by shifting the focus to some of the low points in Nigella's life. The death of her first husband, her very public divorce from Charles Saatchi, and the accusations of drug abuse made by her former nanny and personal assistant when on trial for fraud are elements that make Nigella 'real' and not simply a television personality.
Somehow, despite these challenges, Nigella rises above it all, like a well risen sponge cake, to resume her rightful place as domestic goddess and queen of the kitchen.