Alex De Porteous: a cabaret star on the rise. Photo by Franklin Yao

The Cabaret Fringe Festival is a wonderful part of Adelaide’s culture, as well as being an excellent platform for debuting new talent.

One such talent is 16-year-old Alex De Porteous who was the opening act for Revolution Vocal Studio’s Confessions of a Vocal Instructor.

Alex De Porteous: a cabaret star on the rise. Photo by Franklin Yao
Alex De Porteous: a cabaret star on the rise. Photo by Franklin Yao

With only a 20 minute set to prove her cabaret prowess, Alex De Porteous did just that, and more.

The main event promised to share the challenges of being part of the vocal coaching world, which might not have been the best advertisement for the business.

Having Alex as an opening act using the skills she’s learned at the studio, however, is a perfect testament to the training provided at Revolution.

Wearing a floor length, black, sparkling gown, Alex was every bit the cabaret performer she aspires to be.

The narrative of her short opening act was based around the discovery of her love of cabaret, which built to an obsession and has now turned into her main ambition.

Alex has natural stage presence; she chatted easily with the audience, thinks on her feet, and segued seamlessly into songs.

Accompanied by Victor Oria on keys, Alex was well rehearsed, watching Oria for cues, hitting each note easily and with exceptional vocal control.

Opening with The Church’s ‘Under the Milky Way’ was an excellent way to highlight the strength of her voice, and the cabaret arrangement of the 1980’s pop/rock song was hauntingly beautiful.

With measured, powerful vocals, Alex continued the show with Wham’s ‘Careless Whisper’, Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ and a lovely arrangement of Britney’s ‘Oops, I Did it Again’, linking each song to a story about her desire to be a cabaret star.

She was witty and charismatic, and her enthusiasm for her art form was quite contagious.

By the time Alex De Porteous had introduced the feature production and left the stage, the audience were sufficiently warmed up and ready for Tania, Chantelle, Cecilia, Sarah and Angus to take to the stage and spend an hour showcasing their vocal abilities.

Opening with their version of ‘Let it Go’ from the Disney film Frozen, but changing the lyrics to match their exasperation about having to teach the song to young students, the five vocalists were very talented, using perfect harmonies and effective formation and stage technique.

Each taking their turn on stage to tell stories of how they came to be vocal instructors, and what they like about the job, the performers sang a range of songs with some stunning and unique arrangements.

Highlights were NSync’s ‘Bye Bye Bye’, Bruno Mars’ ‘When I Was Your Man’ and the finale, which was a particularly impressive medley of the troupe’s favourite songs in a nicely constructed mash up.

If the talent and stage abilities of Alex De Porteous are anything to go by, Revolution Vocal Studios can confess to being rather good vocal instructors.

Reviewed by Libby Parker
Photo by Franklin Yao