Review: Meow Meow, Holt Festival
07:45 23 July 2014
Cabaret time at the Holt festival and out steps a sequinned songstress who opens with a diva strop - through a glitter lipstick smile - about the lack of adulatory thrown flowers.
She heads to the wings to get a bunch and distributes them to the crowd who launch them, upon the barked command.
The scene is set for an ironic iconic singer with a seriously good singing voice who can hold the audience in a hear-a-pin-drop silence.
But, as Piaf merges with pierrot, she also involves the showgoers in her visual comedy, then breaks off to berate the stage crew when an expected trapeze fails to drop from the ceiling for a big finale.
Meow meow - Aussie Melissa Madden Gray who enthrals audiences across the globe - is purring and rolling her French Rs one moment then baring her claws to shout German instructions at the audience the next. A complex cat.
The Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny bikini novelty song is delivered in a range of languages including Polish and Chinese - but her silky vocals sparkle in an intimate sitting-on-the-stage-front version of Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees.
She entices men onto stage to hold her mic and her body, recruits a gaggle of people to add Barbie doll chorus line dancers to a big production number Down Dolly Down.
And even in the steeply-raked Auden theatre did her trademark crowd surfing.
Her slickly stumbling act has been called kamikaze cabaret. The audience were happy to go to oblivion with her.