The Lulu Show: Life on the Never-Never is exactly what you want from a cabaret. Hilde Louside’s sly and sexy piece examines the financial crisis – via burlesque, jazz and sharp humour. Lulu and her jazz trio are a masterclass in blending tradition and pushing what is possible with the form.
As much educational information as a problem play, with a better sense of humour
Louside’s is a magnetic stage presence, impossible to ignore, demanding the audience’s attention with a flick of her eyelashes. The performance starts off deceptively simple with a few songs about shoes and chocolate; lulling you into a false sense of security. Cleverly raising the idea of giving into your fantasies the pleasure of indulging and consuming. She goes on to open up about her romance with finances. Being seduced by the bank to keep spending, and tracking the reasons and effects of all these people spending money they don’t have. This continues right up to where we are today; where the consequence-free party is still going.
Lulu’s routines are subversively funny, energetically and stylishly performed; the lyrics are witty and darkly clever, and the songs catchy. The choreography oozes glamour and panache, as Lulu burns though a huge number of costume changes and stage tricks; clothes on, only to come off again. Her distinctive sultry singing voice pairing beautifully with the atmospheric classic jazz. Also the vignettes contain as much educational information as a problem play, with a better sense of humour.
This is the ideal show to be taking place in a dark basement. With its flawless vintage aesthetic it looks right at home slotted under the Rose Theatre. This is an excellent, educational burlesque show I would recommend to anyone as it works for established and new cabaret fans. Also for anybody interested in innovative ways of exploring complex ideas onstage, such as the financial crisis.
By M Johnson
Deciding the prospect of a safe career wasn't for them, M Johnson left a Biochemistry degree at the University of Edinburgh, for Drama & Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham. When not directing, writing, teching or acting - they can usually be found making a mess of a kitchen or travelling, on the hunt for interesting places to read.