Dusty Limits: Mandrogyny

Mandrogyny contains many universal themes, including an exploration of self, identity and gender expression. Limits never fails to delight the audience with his cabaret-style moves; he illustrates his clever and original lyrics with camp candour. His impressive vocal range is showcased across multple genres. Limits engages audience members with charm and wit. His reference to autofellatio in the song Narcissist had the audience in stitches.

Dusty Limits fans will not be disappointed by this high quality performance.

The set of nine original songs, with lyrics by Limits and music by Michael Roulston, come from his latest album Life and I. Limits’ voice envelopes the audience in a velvet layer, with a surprising epithet at the core of each song. In Confidence is a hilarious piece, jammed to the rim with fabulous comic timing and word play. The audience were grinning away, as Dusty recounts the trials of attempting to tell a female friend an important secret.

Fans who may be used to seeing Dusty perform with his band will take a few songs to get used to the use of a backing track; nonetheless flamboyantly stylish gestures and dance moves serve up a visual feast that complement the velvety voice and svelt delivery. We are taken through the four stages of Mandrogyny: goth, Edwardian, genderfuck; the final stage I will save for audiences to discover for themselves.

An eventful journey down to, and day in, Brighton is retold in A Lovely Day, performed with a Cockney, twang-your-braces, style banter. It is left up to the audience to decide whether the saucy events recounted really happened. Let's just say it entails some "cash in hand"…

Songs are interspersed with references to key stages in Dusty’s upbringing; whether we are hearing about his teenage years in the (then) homophobic Queensland Australia, to a special costume for a Sindy doll, or how just the possibility of seeing Halley’s Comet proved to be literally a life-saving experience. These authentic and relatable anecdotes keep the audience engaged and wondering about the life of the man, behind the performance.

Think you know what ‘MSM’ means? Be prepared to have your horizons broadened … This hilarious piece has killer lines such as "frottage in a cottage, with a lightbulb on low wattage". The sucking capability of a Dyson is used as an entertaining comparator to the subject matter. The audience were in stitches at the rhyme used alongside the line ‘taking two fingers’.

From Dusty’s alleged ‘role’ in the death of Sir Geoffrey Howe, to the song Heaven or Hell? exploring the quandry of where atheists end up, when they die, Dusty’s inner goth fesses up to a love of graveyards. Hilarious lines about the size of a grave and an insightful Edinburgh reference are well received.

The costume change at the finale is a callback to an earlier set-up, which rounds the show off with a smile. The closing number High Heels by the Sea was dedicated to all the performers in the room. The audience smiled with recognition at tales of resorting to the use of Febreze (when you can’t afford the dry cleaning bills), the tribulations of removing glitter from your pets, in addition to dragging your suitcase across cobbles with tourists in the way, to the lack of a pension scheme.

Dusty Limits fans will not be disappointed by this high quality performance. Mandrogyny is a crowd-pleasing feel good show, entertaining the non-initiate as well as die hard fans. Dusty Limits is most definitely "Confabulous"! See it while you can.

Reviews by Annabel Pribelszki

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The Blurb

How did a little boy obsessed with dinosaurs grow up to be a louche singer in make-up and heels? ‘The king of cabaret' (Canberra Critics Circle) sings songs about love and death, self-pleasure and radical social policy, and tells his life story, most of which is probably lies. Bawdy, hilarious, scathing and melancholy. 'If only the show was twice as long. Do. Not. Miss. This.' **** (Scotsman). 'Great songs, superb writing, wonderfully witty. Sometimes outrageous; often provocative; delicious throughout' ****½ (TheClothesline.com.au).