Once in a blue moon

By Bradley Storer

Yana Alana, the internationally renowned self-proclaimed ‘cabaret provocateur’, returns to fortyfivedownstairs for a second season of her Helpmann Award-winning show Between the Cracks. The title of the show proves to be literal as well as metaphorical, as the cabaret diva (the alter-ego of performer Sarah Ward) emerges into the spotlight clothed in a coat of blue body paint, a dishevelled Marie Antoinette-worthy wig and nothing else.

Between the Cracks

Yana Alana is a narcissistic, self-absorbed and utterly irresistible creation, her feline grin and razor-sharp tongue making her seem (even completely naked) the most confident person in the world. Her vocals are perfection, ranging from a high classical soprano to a ballsy and bluesy belt in her lower range. Her accompanist, Louise Goh, provides the silent straight man to the flamboyant Yana, getting some of the biggest laughs of the night without moving a muscle.

The show itself, seemingly centred on the eternally self-involved Yana’s attempts at self-improvement, deliberately (and hilariously) pushes at the boundaries of acceptability, with songs on topics ranging from anal sex to the inability of celebrities and political figures to say the word ‘sorry’. Scattered throughout are chapters from Yana’s self-help book (whose name is unprintable here) and her witty and winning self-penned poetry. The journey to the show’s surprisingly touching ending, while making sense on an emotional level, is hard to trace intellectually, which makes one wonder if the show has a point or purpose at all – although with a star as charismatic as this, it hardly matters.

Don’t miss out on the return season of this ferociously talented, endlessly provocative and unquestionably hilarious cabaret performer!

Venue: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Time: 7:30pm Tuesday- Saturday, 3pm Sunday
Dates: 16 – 21st December
Tickets: Table Seating $45, Full $42, Conc $35
Bookings: Online at, Phone: (03) 9662 9966