BWW Review: ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL 2017: DILLIE KEANE: HELLO DILLIE! at Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
Dillie Keane is the founder and pianist and, with Adèle Anderson, the co-songwriter behind the extremely popular and hilariously witty works of the trio, Fascinating Aïda. It is common knowledge that Anderson was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and her many fans will be extremely happy to learn that she is now clear of the illness and recovering from the treatment. This put the group's performances on hold, but did not prevent her continuing to co-write more songs. Although Hello Dillie! is a solo performance, Anderson was also co-writer of this production.
Fascinating Aïda first, and last, appeared in Adelaide in 1988. After the show I bought what was then their current album, The It, Wit, Don't Give a Shit Girls which, way back then, was only available on cassette tape. It has been well played over the years. It has been far too long a wait, but it was well worth it. I was not the only hardcore fan in the audience.
Back then, cabaret was vanishing and the group was one of a very small core keeping it alive. Now, cabaret is flourishing, and Fascinating Aïda is still as vital and as important as ever. Hopefully, we will see this sensational trio back here before too long.
Keane's solo show is different from the trio performances, although she included a couple of old favourites especially for her Adelaide appearance, knowing that we would want to hear them again after all this time. The main part of the production was new, with songs based on and around love, in all of its aspects.
Although she is a highly accomplished pianist, she relinquished the role to Michael Roulston for this production, giving her the opportunity to add more physicality to her performance. Roulston is also performing with Sarah-Louise Young in their show, Songs for Lovers (And Other Idiots).
Many of the songs were witty, a few were introspective, and some very poignant, such as the woman telling of a good life with her husband, but aware of the Little Shadows, those of the children that they couldn't have. One of the extra songs was one of my own personal favourites, Look, Mummy, No Hands, probably the most poignant song that she has written, for which she took over the piano to accompany herself. It was received with loud applause.
Telling the philandering Pam where to get off, and stay away from her husband, drew equally loud laughter, and Hokey Cokey brought the house down, with a description of a mature age sexual encounter. Her Average Morning certainly seemed to ring a few bells with members of the audience. Finding that a man was Much More Married than he admitted also seemed to connect with several people. So many Shattered Illusions.
An encore was, of course, called for, with much stamping of feet. Taking to the piano again she described another aspect of love, Dogging, leaving the audience laughing and applauding at this other special inclusion, just for us.
The many songs were interspersed with the wit and wisdom of Dillie Keane as she introduced the songs and provided background information, as well as telling a little of her life and loves. Keane is the consummate cabaret performer and the genius of the lyrics that she and Anderson have penned, coupled with terrific music, has drawn massive numbers of people to her shows over the 33 years that she has been writing. The number hits on Youtube videos is massive.
It was all over far too quickly, leaving the audience wanting more, which is as it should be. Keane is every bit as wonderful as she was in 1988; even better. As soon she is "getting the band back together and taking it on the road", we want to see Fascinating Aïda here in Adelaide again. Get well soon, Adèle.
You can buy the DVD of Hello Dillie here, http://www.dilliekeane.com/merchandise/