In this classic cabaret Fifi La Boom recounts her experiences living the glamorous London lifestyle.
By Joana Simmons
Classic cabaret combines with self-deprecating Aussie charm in Fifi La Boom’s new one-woman show, Brexiter. FiFi tells, through song and relaxed conversation with the audience, all the woeful and wonderful things that giving a crack at the big time in London brought. And, how her choice to move home after eight years came with its own discoveries. The songs spread from Phantom of the Opera to Jungle, and Fifi’s subtle nuances enticed many hoots and laughs from the audience.
Prahan’s MC showroom is set up in classic cabaret style: a lush red velvet couch, a piano and tables with little candles. When Fifi La Boom bursts onto the stage in a red sequined gown and stilettoes, she immediately puts smiles on the audience’s faces. Divinely dressed, she delivers her show in stream of consciousness like manner. Stories of London life such as auditions, the tube, the pubs and all those side jobs an artist does to survive help us warm to Fifi.
Highlights for me were her rendition of Jungle’s “Busy Earning” which is about the hustle of London (“no one even has time to say ‘Bless You!’”), her story of a lost toy, and a completely on-the-money delivery of “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera. There were a few moments though where her singing or song choices fell short, as either they were too long, didn’t have enough physicality, or didn’t sit well in her voice – which is a shame because she sure has a good set of pipes!
The showiest and strongest vocal numbers were found in the middle of the show, rather than the opening. I also noticed some of the text’s delivery created a disconnect between the audience and the story. Such moments however, were redeemed by her fantastically dry comments and subtle facial expressions that gave both sass and life to her character and had us all laughing.
The backdrop, that consisted of a slideshow, provided visual support to the performance. It included pictures of London, of Fifi’s journey and images that seemed like they had been taken from the internet. This convention enhanced the show particularly when they were pictures of her, as they was completely heart-warming.
The pianist, Jane Matheson did not miss a note or a beat. She was truly engrossed in what she was doing, playing with as much expression in her body as what was reaching our ears. The sound and lights were simple, but flawless. One thing I absolutely loved was the ending, the part in me that loves a happy ending was completely won over and indulged as the performance closed.
True tales like this onstage remind us that we’re not alone. Fifi La Boom gets up there, in this classic cabaret, to celebrate and commiserate all she has done in an entertaining evening. Go and get yourselves a sweet little seat!
Brexiter plays at MC Showroom until 4 March. Tickets can be purchased online.