Complete Reviews

The Soubrettes at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Sunday Mail - Matt Byrne, June 10, 2007

In short: Breast in show

The Soubrettes are dirty, flirty damsels who like to dominate their cross-legged male audience and show women that a leather bustier lets you say or sing anything you detest or desire.

Tania Kyriakou and Alice Carter are also one of the freshest and cleverest cabaret acts to disgrace the Cabaret Festival with their ample presence.

They are not for the faint-hearted but if you like good clean dirty fun, this is the bust show in town. This is a true double act of tightly choreographed vocal gymnastics, mutual loathing and more wigs than a Dolly Parton tour.

They are potty-mouthed chamber-maids whose dissection of the differences between men and women are poured out in cat-fights, backbites and vitriolic and often brilliant song.

With pushed-up personas, and side-splitting original songs that state the female case, they could make jello wrestling meaningful.

Kyriakou pleas for understanding and shorter surnames in It's Not Easy Being Greek and ensures race gets a tick from these desecrating cows.

Carter puts a simple plea for snagless sex from any male left un-desexed by the feminist's lack of movement, with appropriate props from her accommodating buddy.

Pianist William Poskitt calmly accompanies their myriad frustrations as the token tinkling male, keeping the show moving with a minimum of fuss.

The laughs explode as card-carrying translations turn a Hawaiian love song to a tourist into a plea for credit card commercialisation in native tongue. From the bitchy rich, to audience gold-digging, the Soubrettes stick their bits into everything.

Catch their final show today if you can get a ticket and mark these girls down for the 2008 Fringe.

**** (four stars)

The Independent Weekly - Robert Horne, June 12, 2007

The Soubrettes are a substantial act. They hit the stage in trussed-at-the back-leatherette, bare shoulders and thighs, with horizontally striped long socks. They launch right into a song name-dropping the celebrities who are (not) in the audience tonight, then settle in to an hour or so of high-powered satirical mayhem 'People ask us if we write our own songs,' reveals Alice. 'Of course not, we get some clever man to do it for us.' The irony is shovelled on as they launch into a number about the ideal woman, supposedly penned by Bill Heffernan.

Contemporary satire continues with the girl-group inspired tragic song, I don't know what to do with my hair - it's about a family that bonds while watching Desperate Housewives. A highlight comes with Hawaii, Island of Love - Alice singing while Tania holds up English translations of a story of tropical romance and exploitation: of the natives, the tourists, each other, whoever.

The Soubrettes occasionally traverse the boundaries of good taste. I Wanna Be a Drug Addict featured the refrain 'Shoot up I wanna wanna, Shoot up I wanna wanna, now-wow-wow,' in best late-fifties girl group Brad and Janet style. This was laugh-in-spite-of-yourself country, but the audience split their sides (an antidote to the conservative, super-correctness of our modern society?) The Soubrettes were backed by Will Poskitt on piano, whose lightness of touch and delightfully restrained smirking was the perfect counterpoint to the centre-stage mayhem. The Soubrettes' show deserves greater acclaim and exposure; catch them if you can.

The Program - Stephen Davenport, June 2007

Naughty but nice, masterful and highly original, The Soubrettes are deliciously saucy girls behaving badly.

Backed by William Poskitt on piano, Alice Carter and Tania Kyriakou (The Soubrettes) deliver superbly crafted musical satire that’s fabulous, hilarious and indelible.

This is an inspired show that concentrates on clever songs, crisp comic performances, and brilliant jokes with a purity of essence. The songs are always saying something, and the audience must be blind and deaf not to recognise the targets of the satire. It’s sheer, enchanting entertainment from the first song Drug Addict (in which the pair declare “I wanna be a drug addict, I wanna be down and out… I wanna be dependent on smack,”) to the final song Americans, about racial intolerance. The show is a joyous, exuberant and inventive piece of entertaining political satire.

Quick fire quips, zany asides and cheeky songs blend with razor sharp wit and impeccable timing to bring a brilliantly observed parody on contemporary issues. Target subjects include, sex, relationships, stalking, poverty, travel, ethnicity and STD’s.

There’s a number of surprising and sometimes shocking revelations in an evening of sassy, sharply observed, cleverly written and wonderfully performed cabaret. Each barbed original lyric is incisively perceptive and packed with astuteness and ingenuity.

Fine singers, the Soubrettes are irreverent, raunchy women with an abundance of attitude delivering a host of side-splittingly uproarious numbers in a sophisticated show that is guaranteed to bite. They’re super, they’re sensational, they’re the Soubrettes, and you’d be a fool to miss them.  They bring back the true spirit of cabaret and offer a window into issues we all think about but hardly ever express. It’s a remarkable show, filled with attitude and edge and graced by two remarkable women.

Adelaide Theatre Guide - Fran Edwards, June 2007

What can be said about these ladies that hasn't been said before? Their voices are ideal for musical comedy, hence the soubrette tag, but the risqué lyrics, which are their trademark, leave the average soubrette way behind.

Accompanied by the diligent William Poskitt they meander through their carefully scripted, cheeky and extremely amusing performance. They interact with the audience, handle the offbeat replies, resort to the occasional slapstick routine and keep the show moving at such a pace that too soon it is gone!

Definitely not one for the politically correct, this show is great fun. Tania Kyriakou and Alice Carter have stage presence, musical ability and wonderful comic timing and they use it all with aplomb. I would encourage you to rush to book a ticket, but they are probably already sold out!