Tina del Twist, Lover Fighter Dancer
Sometimes a member of Talking Poofy, the man behind Wes Snelling - Tina Del Twist is one of my closest friends, and waxing lyrical about him is easy for me. After last year's massive undertaking Kiosk, Wes is performing a stripped back and intimate show as alter ego Tina del Twist. She is a drunken chanteuse, very reminiscent of Judy Garland toward the end of her career. Tina is easily confused, unsteady on her feet, and spends an inordinate amount of time downing shots of what looks suspiciously like vodka, but when she sings, her voice is transcendent. There are several comedic moments, and Tina del Twist is an inherently hilarious character, but comedy is very much a supporting character to the, at turns, soaring and fragile singing voice of Wes Snelling.
If you have seen Tina del Twist before, you will be familiar with her bag of tricks, but even so, it is a very satisfying night of comedic cabaret. Watch out for a deranged moment as Tina helps herself behind the bar, and the bravura vocals on display during a cover of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit.
My sister appears as a member of the supporting cast in Sarah D - Lover, Fighter, Dancer, a sketch show that, throughout the hour it is on, constantly challenges our ideas of gender roles, sexuality and what it really means to be an Australian. Dance is used throughout the show, whimsically, absurdly and at one particular moment, in an extremely confronting manner. (There is full-frontal nudity in this show - not something you expect at 7:30pm!)
There is a heavy reliance on video sketches, and while not all of the gags in the show will make you laugh out loud, you will walk away feeling challenged by the material on display. In particular, the final dance piece, which is the most perfect comment on the 'Hey Hey It's Saturday'/Jackson Jive/Harry Connick Jr. incident I have ever seen. Given that this is the first show from Sarah D and her crew, it is impressive that so many rich ideas have been crammed in, and it points to even better things to come. Look out for an exuberantly performed parody of beauty pageants for toddlers, featuring little boys rather than little girls; it will make you feel extremely icky, but you're never sure why.