Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Liberation Day

One of the most idiosyncratic of the numerous bars and venues in Melbourne CBD is The Butterfly Club. Tucked away at the very end of a laneway leading from a subsidiary backstreet in Melbourne's CBD, this venue is a treasure-trove  of entertainment from cabaret and stand-up to straight theatre and music.
Finding the venue at the far-end of Carson Place, I ascended the stairs to the bar area lined with a cornucopia of various toys, trinkets and knick-knacks from bygone days lending it a cosy, intimate atmosphere thanks to the mismatched furniture and often threadbare seating.
Despite a pre-show drink spillage, I was all prepared for an enjoyable evening of entertainment. The lights dimmed and we awaited the arrival of Amelia to the stage.
After a few silent seconds, series of thuds from the rear of the room had the audience turning their head to see what the commotion might be to find Amelia being slowly wheeled down the steps toward the stage on a parcel trolley, holding aloft a bottle of champagne. Her able wheeler pulled her onstage before (noisily and calamitously) disposing of said trolley backstage.
There followed an hour of entertaining anecdotes punctuated by appropriately chosen songs with slightly altered lyrics, all predicated on the notion of 'What is liberty?'
Amelia's previous show 'Storm In A D-Cup' was an honest and funny look at herself and her life growing-up in rural Australia.
This new show explores her quest to liberate herself from her own seemingly-calamitous lifestyle and to attain some form of balance and fulfilment.
The journey this takes the audience on is full of perfectly selected and altered songs from AC/DC to Disney, and Chumbawamba to Whitney - each illustrating Ryan's points perfectly as well as showcasing her amazing voice.
She is ably accompanied throughout by the marvellous piano playing of Matthew Carey, whose tinkling between set-pieces adds beautiful atmosphere to the tales told.
Will Amelia extricate herself from her bad habits and achieve her dreams? Is she solely responsible for the Prosecco shortage? These are both questions which may never be satisfactorily answered, but this is a show which is laugh-out-loud funny and bristling with talent.
Amelia Ryan - Lady Liberty is playing at The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne CBD at 8pm until May 31st.

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