Adelaide Cabaret Festival Review: Flo & Joan

FIFTY+SA Arts Reviewer, Dave Bradley, reviews Flo & Joan: Now Playing for Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Brit sister act Flo & Joan’s hour-plus performance showcased their fabulously deadpan charms, with Flo on keyboards and recorder, and Joan on recorder, bongos, a few drums and, early on, an egg-shaker-thingie.

Taking to the stage to proclaim that they are, in fact, siblings (and yes, they are too!), they kicked proceedings off with a scathing song about modern dating apps, before introducing a series of themes that just kept on popping back up: their tense relationship with their Mum (a lover of ghastly kitsch); their tendency to overthink things (which Joan is concerned will continue to her dying day); and their supposed fear of coming to scary, boozy Adelaide. A complex ditty about getting wildly smashed at a pub is a seriously hooty highlight, as was a loudly disco-fied piece that stopped amusingly abruptly.

The pair’s distinctive talent for wonderfully torturous tunes climaxed with a totally brilliant (and totally epic) ballad about lowbrow Linda (don’t ask!), and there were many references to the pressures of being sisters so often on the road together, and how they occasionally cut quiche with credit cards in hotel rooms (???).

Obviously cautious to keep to the 60-minute running-time rule (as have been a fair few Cabaret shows so far, but that’s okay), the sisters seemed to finish up with an infectiously earwormy showstopper that managed to be hilarious and weirdly haunting.

But that wasn’t the end, and they quickly returned for one of the funniest encores in the history of, um, encores.

Image credit: Claudio Raschella


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