Cabaret Cabaret with a cup of sherry

Cabaret with a cup of sherry

Any show that offers Old Brown Sherry upon entrance is already good in my books.

Fiona Ramsay and Tony Bentel perform in The Old and the Beautiful on 8 July 2015 at the National Arts Festival.  Songs and spoken word giving a delicate and gritty reflection on the fabric that makes us human and vulnerable.  (Photo: CuePix/ Amanda Horsfield)

Fiona Ramsay and Tony Bentel perform in The Old and the Beautiful on 8 July 2015 at the National Arts Festival. Songs and spoken word giving a delicate and gritty reflection on the fabric that makes us human and vulnerable. (Photo: CuePix/ Amanda Horsfield)

The Old and the Beautiful is cabaret with a twist. Fiona Ramsay and Tony Bentel delight and titillate their audience in a relaxed and engaging question and answer style that takes care of any tension remaining after the Sherry.

Untraditionally for cabaret is the inclusion of poetry and a reading from a Sixties book of sex tips for women in addition to song. “No wonder I didn’t stay married,” Ramsay quips after reading out the extract.

The performance, contrary to the title, is fresh and even a bit risqué. While Bentel is busy on the piano, Ramsay brings out a dildo. She also recites an ode to marijuana, while smoking something that looked a bit irregular.

Her song about being stuck in traffic while trying to get to an audition is particularly relevant, and the audience emitts a dignified chuckle when she blames the dilemma on e-tolls.

The reading of the poem A Cat Named Sloopy is touching, as Ramsay and Bentel bring in their love of their own pets. “If you didn’t cry through that you have a cold heart,” Ramsay says.

Clearly veterans in the industry, Ramsay and Bentel master the routine. Bentel expertly plays the piano while looking at Ramsay, who takes on a number of personas.

The performance ends with a charming rendition of Maybe This Time, a personal favourite. Overall, it was highly enjoyable.

Megan Whittington
Cue student reporter

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