Complete Reviews

The Soubrettes and Friends - Variety a Go Go

The Age - Joel Crotty, March 30, 2005

The Soubrettes are back in force. If you like your songs garnished with silly dance routines and even sillier one-liners then this is definitely a show for you. 

Alice Carter and Tania Kyriakou have moulded a 90-minute production that is never less than entertaining. 

There is always a risk that shows based along vaudevillian lines will pall between the various routines, but this show never waned for a second.

In many respects, the production is an ensemble one. Comperes Steg and Durt from Europe (their accents almost embraced the whole European Union), mime artist and dancer Seymour, and the wonderfully batty Princess Sputnik from Vladivostok bridge the various acts with repartee and choreography. Carter and Kyriakou produce some tight numbers that take a swipe at boy-band culture of the '90s, rappers, and silly love situations.

The all-male revue act, Vaudeville X, filled the guest spot: other groups to be slotted in during the season include the Town Bikes and Boner Ballet.

Herald Sun - Xenia Hanusiak, April 15, 2005

They’re spunky, they’re sensational and they are a showstopper. They’re called The Soubrettes. But the problem with their new show is that we don’t see enough of them. 

The SoubrettesVariety Hour and  Half is a true variety show.

Each Sunday night at Bennetts Lane, The SoubrettesAlice Carter and Tania Kyriakou – invite their cabaret friends to the jazz lab.

Each show devotes itself to a theme and special guests make an appearance. Last Sunday, Hawaiian fever took over with grass skirts and hurricane cocktails on order. 

The show is a smooth ride. The format relies partly on improvisational skill and good old-fashioned vaudeville timing and, in this, the artists are abundantly blessed.

Steg and Durt (Rik Brown and Karl McConnell) compere the night. In their persona as a pair of pseudo-intellectual New Age Eastern European artists, the dynamic duo are super. They keep the evening percolating.

Cabaret crooner Michael Dalley from Vaudeville X delights the audience with his smooth lampoons on suburban culture and Princess Sputnik (alias Miria Kostiuk) is what every variety show needs: a Russian raffle girl with gold trimmings and bouffant hair.

In between, Boner Ballet performs its Parisian-styled dance routines with flair; and the clever antics of Krisztian Bagin in his role as mute Seymour are always irresistible.

Powering through all this are The Soubrettes, who sing a range of their standards such as Hair and Drug Addict and make up new songs to honour the theme. We need more of them.

Finally, the master adhesive in this spectacular is the irrepressible talent of pianist Wil Poskitt.

The Pun (Melbourne International Comedy Festival weekly publication) - Merv Collins, April 20, 2006

Whaddya want from a night out at the Festival? Two girls with big personalities singing witty ditties, a pair of improvising MCs sounding like the Swedish chef’s halfwit brothers, a smooth baritone ‘fessing up about ‘reading Freud with his mother’, a Russian Princess, with a suspect accent, handing out ‘fairbewlous’ prizes, a six foot bellhop mangling the props and a bit of nudity?

Well then, it's off to The Soubrettes and Friends - Variety A Go Go with you. You’ll find it all there and a bit more!

The Soubrettes, Tania and Alice, dispense songs of love and angst and the whole damn thing. ‘I’m stuck at the party with you,’ they moan. Their rap routine is great—‘We’re a vegemite sandwich: white, but black on the inside.’

They sing separately too: Tania plaintively, ‘It’s not easy being Greek,’ and Alice, pragmatically, ‘You’re not Mr Right,’ she says, ‘but you’ll do.’

Their talented friends include MCs Steg and Dirk, who plug the gaps between the routines like voluble Spakfilla. They’re sharp and they’re funny.

Princess Sputnik is, ‘How you say eet?’, very beautiful, a graduate of the Vladivostock Institute of Fashion and Astrophysics. She gives some lucky punter a makeover in the interval. Be in it to win it!

And then there’s ‘Princess Blossom’s’ startling reverse strip-tease!

Manchester Lane’s hospitable environment offers food and drink as the cheeky Soubrettes bring the night to an energetic climax! I’ll have what they’re having, thanks!

Soubrettes, friends and variety? Give it a go-go!