Anya Anastasia is a powerhouse Adelaide-raised cabaret artist. In Torte e Mort, she brings us a host of songs centred on Marie Antoinette's death day. Before and after the guillotine.
Poor Marie. She's really sick of all those whinging peasants. Why don't they just "escargot get fucked"? Soon enough, all the champagne really does go to her head. Death then appears, followed by a sexpo-esque Mephistopheles.
There's no story per se, but the charming collection of cleverly-written songs all hang together nicely on the theme. They're catchy, too – I still have "I Ain't Got Nobody" stuck in my head as I write this. And the lyrics! It takes real talent to craft such complex lines that embrace the concept of the show, along with themes ranging from self-loathing to how we value women, and to the inevitability of death.
Throw in plenty of bad French puns, gratuitous swearing and a ukulele, and this show is right up my alley.
From the moment of her unusual entrance, Anastasia impresses. She's frocked out in a lavish 18th-century gown and towering wig, but wait 'til she gets behind the keyboard and starts singing. You'll be instantly struck by her gorgeous, versatile voice and its incredible range. It could mesmerise you for hours.
Anastasia is ably supported on stage by percussionist/puppeteer/executioner Bec Matthews and vocalist/handmaiden Joy Sparkes. The three seamlessly manage scene transitions and costume changes while beautifully rounding out the sound.
This show is technically brilliant and very clever. It mixes things up and throws in some unexpected touches to keep you guessing. The only thing missing for me was that punch of emotional connection.
I extend my thanks to this show's many fans for funding the Pozible campaign that brought it to Adelaide. It was worth it guys, you're onto a real winner.
Torte e Mort is just the ticket for lovers of bold, clever and contemporary cabaret. See Anya Anastasia now, before she becomes a household name.
For show times and to book tickets, see the Fringe guide.