The apocalypse is here! No-one is sure how it started or what’s going to happen but luckily, Laurie Black has gathered us in the safe environs of La Boheme to wait out the worst of it.
Amanda Palmer better watch her back.
Black is a striking figure on stage; she’s like a cross between Mad Max’s two powerful women, Furiosa and Aunty Entity (Tina Turner in Beyond Thunderdome – great movie) with a goth-cabaret vibe. From the opening number to the end of the show she sings her own original numbers alongside brilliant and beautiful covers. It’s what could be considered standard cabaret fare but Black has a very definite take on what cabaret can be and there’s a sense that she’s not afraid to shake things up.
Whilst singing both at and away from the piano, Black often seems to drift into her thoughts and is almost distracted by her own lyrics. A beautiful moment sees her remove her perfectly applied make-up before a heart-breaking rendition of Johnny Cash’s Hurt during which she discards her costume accessories to truly reveal herself to the audience. A later sequence where she tries to re-apply her make-up goes disastrously wrong and her use of a permanent marker to do her eyebrows might be a decision she’ll regret but it brought the house down. At one point, Black exclaims that this isn’t the award-winning show she anticipated but the rough edges only add to the intimacy of the performance.
Amanda Palmer better watch her back; Laurie Black is clearly the heir apparent to the alt cabaret queen throne. I couldn’t imagine a better host for an end-of-the-world party.