She’s played in the West End, sparkled in
When Meow Meow sings our hearts soar with her. Life is short. Life is ridiculous. Life is beautiful.
Huge fake eyelashes fluttering with confusion, Meow Meow adjusts her corsage, steadies her chaotic backcombed bob and vows to make the best of it.
Of course it’s all show. International cabaret star Meow Meow is a perfect fit for the Brighton Fringe and the Spiegeltent is an ideal venue. And while there is undoubtedly a roundabout, we are also surrounded by sexy royal Georgian splendour.
The fragility of glamour and the vulnerability of the diva are at the heart of the performance of this carnival queen, who sprung from the fertile cabaret culture of Australia but who has a deep soul connection with the European traditions of Paris, London and Berlin.
If it wasn’t so funny it might be heart breaking. Meow Meow smiles through her distress as she misplaces costumes, struggles with her smoke machine and laments the absence of proper circus rigging and a Las Vegas lightshow.
The comical misadventures serve as a counterpoint to her astonishing world class voice, which can be huge and powerful, delicate and sweet and is marvellously theatrical, often shifting styles dramatically within the space of a single song.
Accompanied on piano by the brilliant, and delightfully, up for anything, Michael Roulston, Meow Meow switches from Spanish to French to English and even ventures into Polish and Chinese during a farcical burlesque number.
Cabaret classics from the eras of Brecht and Piaf and Brel stand alongside contemporary numbers from collaborators such as Amanda Palmer, as well as a sprinkling of heart stopping numbers written by Meow Meow herself.
She evokes political catastrophe and chaos, alongside tales of women who sell themselves, of dreams of perfect love and of those who plunge headlong into life and break, repeatedly, pulling themselves back together and pretending everything is alright.
We are often laughing but when the illusion, momentarily, comes together, the glamour and the emotion are real. When Meow Meow sings our hearts soar with her. Life is short. Life is ridiculous. Life is beautiful.