The 2014 Feast Festival is now in full flight with performers from overseas, interstate and our own backyard performing for appreciative Feasters and fans.
On Friday 21st November at The Soul Box on Hindley Street, 3 Queens and a Diva opened to a substantial audience.
Starring Adelaide drag legends Rochelle and Fifi (Richard Laidlaw and Tony Carpenter), and professional performers Sam Trenwith and Kelly O’Brien, this cabaret-style production has all the features for a great night out.
Working from a narrative which explores the traits of a diva and the cast’s favourite divas, the four then ask the audience to choose which one of them is the ultimate diva.
Fifi and Rochelle work beautifully together, as always, and their sassy attitudes towards O’Brien and Trenwith offer multiple opportunities for improvised banter.
Having performed in Adelaide as a pair for many years, it’s hard to imagine one without the other, but they hold their own wonderfully in their solo scenes; Rochelle’s physical comedy a highlight and Fifi’s grace on the stage is insurmountable.
Truly a showgirl, O’Brien is stunningly attractive with a warm stage presence and a versatile voice that fills the room.
Although she plays it safe and sticks to the script in this show, it’s clear there is more to her, which would surely be impressive to see at full strength.
Trenwith is so at ease under the spotlight and provides the majority of the comic moments in the show simply by reading the audience and reacting to the cues.
The strength, control and skill in his voice suits his songs and he obviously enjoys singing them by the way he consumes each lyric and note.
Costumes in 3 Queens and a Diva are sparkly, sequinned and glamorous, as one could imagine, although it’s unclear why in most scenes the four match, except one part where everyone wears blue except Sam – perhaps he was being a diva when the decisions were made?
The Soul Box is a great little venue with excellent sound, lighting and a well stocked bar.
However, for this show, the stage is perhaps a bit too small, especially with four such enormous personalities treading its boards.
A larger stage would suit the choreography better and give each queen and diva the opportunity to stand out more.
The concept of having the audience decide which of the four is the diva is original and provides some hilarious material.
The songs, mostly from popular musicals are recognisable, foot-tapping hits and, on Friday night, were received well, even encouraging many to sing along.
Written by Essential Talent and produced by Feast Festival, 3 Queens and a Diva is a neat little show and perfect for the Festival this year; it’s very funny, deliciously indulgent and a visual spectacular.
Reviewed by Libby Parker
Photos by Cameron Farmer and Libby Parker