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Vicarious Cabaret - Review

Home > Adelaide > Musicals | Comedy | Cabaret | Theatre Reviews
by Chloe Cannell (subscribe)
I'm a writer with a love of young adult novels, musical theatre and vegetarian food.
Event: -
A musical about YOU
Overall rating: ★★★★★
Warning: coarse language, sexual references

Surely this isn't ALL completely improvised? I thought to myself while watching 'Vicarious Cabaret' the improvised musical comedy. Adelaide's own musical improvisational comedy group 'Spoonerise This!' will create a musical on the spot including witty one-liners, spoof characters and catchy lyrics. And one lucky audience member will get to be the lead character.

The show's premise is simple, as Mitre Khammash explains at the start of the show. The cast of 5 improvisers tonight include Nick Munday, Elja Parsons, Ryan O'Dea, Kirsty Wigg and Mitre himself, and their accompanist Mitchell Bartel, who will make up story and song about one audience member. In front of the audience, they find one viewer and ask them a few questions about their life such as their profession, goals and family. The cast does not pause for a minute before launching into a musical about this unknown audience member. And as a local troop it must be hard to find someone they don't know.

Spoonerise This group
Members of Spoonerise This!: (L-R) Mitre Khammash, Eleanor Brasted (some performances), Ryan O'Dea, Nick Munday, Elja Parsons & Kirsty Wigg (not pictured)


Tonight's star is a furniture warehouse employee with theatre director ambitions. The next hour is a fun off-the-rails journey as the 5 improvisers use 2 stalls and their own theatrical skills to create furniture-based humour, a foolish antagonist, token romance and an hilarious storyline. I will forever remember improvised tracks like 'What's in a name' when they play into the fact they accidentally gave 2 characters the same name, or 'I remember' as they try to remember the plot to animated films. The musical story becomes about a furniture store raising staff morale by producing a musical about robots. It is as ridiculous as it sounds watching the cast come to this collective narrative goal.

The improvisers immerse themselves in this story no matter how absurd the characters or story sounds. Their great teamwork develops emotions and characterisation by responding well to each other. I often forgot the music was playing live as their accompanist predicts where the cast will go next. The team makes up harmonies, cheesy dance moves and hilarious dialogue throughout the show. And with a different star from the audience every night, no two shows are ever the same.

'Vicarious Cabaret' had a sold-out season in 2018 Adelaide Fringe so don't leave it until it's too late! See this improvised musical comedy at Live From Tandanya until Sunday March 10. Book your tickets now.

Spoonerise This group
Image courtesy of Spoonerise This!


Chloe was invited as guest
Date attended: 7 March 2019
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Why? A hilarious musical made up on the spot!
When: Feb 6-10 9:15pm
Where: Tandanya Arts Cafe @ Live From Tandanya
Cost: Full price: $25 Concession: $22.50
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by Chloe Cannell on 02/03/2019
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