STUDENT CENTER - COLLEGE EDITION
Click Here for More Articles on STUDENT CENTER - COLLEGE EDITION

BWW Review: THE TIGER LILLIES PRESENT EDGAR ALLAN POE'S HAUNTED PALACE – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2019 at Elder Hall, University Of Adelaide

BWW Review: THE TIGER LILLIES PRESENT EDGAR ALLAN POE'S HAUNTED PALACE – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2019 at Elder Hall, University Of Adelaide

Reviewed by Fiona Talbot-Leigh, Thursday 28th February 2019.


The Tiger Lillies return to Adelaide to premiere their new musical theatre piece, Edgar Allan Poe's Haunted Palace. Elder Hall was the perfect venue to stage this bizarre, gothic show.

Originally formed in 1989, the band's name is rumoured to have been inspired by a murdered
Soho prostitute called Lillie who used to dress up in animal print. The current members are Martyn Jacques, accordion, lead vocals, piano, harmonica, ukulele and banjolele, Adrian Stout, double bass, backing vocals, jaw harp, musical saw and Theremin, and Jonas Golland, drums, backing vocals and percussion.

This cult British trio has been described as the forefathers of Brechtian Punk Cabaret. They have a unique sound and style which merges the macabre of pre-war
Berlin with the savage edge of punk. This award-winning avant-garde three-piece band combines cabaret, vaudeville, music hall, and theatre into one and the result is both fascinating and profound. They have won many awards with their unique sound and over the years have performed in Adelaide on multiple occasions, where they have always been a crowd favourite.

Their musical style is mainly influenced by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera and, for this show, they took inspiration for the script and music from the life of Edgar Allan Poe. Visually, this piece is stunning. Jacques, Stout, and Golland presented themselves in gothic costume complete with their well recognised painted faces. Behind them, a bland, two-tiered set was bathed in different scenes. Projected onto it at different times was a stately home, a red velvet cabaret curtain, a street in the mid-1800s, and an asylum, all brilliantly achieved.

Assisting The Tiger Lillies onstage were two actors, Lucy Kirkpatrick, who portrayed Poe's wife and mother as well as an unhinged assistant named Doris, who conversed with the audience in-between songs and added lots of spunk to the show, and the other was a gentleman named Peter Caulfield, who played Poe who, when he sang, had the most beautiful voice that made me wish I could have heard more of him.

Through spoken word and song, the audience was introduced to the somewhat tragic life that was Poe's. Jacques sings and speaks only in falsetto. His tone was reminiscent of Dame Edna's and, as I looked at him throughout the evening, I couldn't help but get a glimpse into what our Dame could have been like had she chosen a different path in life.

Jacques often piercing voice has the most beautiful vibrato and is so haunting but, at times, this impeded his delivery and some of the meanings of the songs were lost on the audience, as they couldn't always hear the words. The script could also do with a bit of tightening as some scenes lacked clear direction, but the overall result was unique and somewhat dreamlike.

Jacques, Stout, and Golland are multi-talented musicians and all put their acting skills to the test, which helped bring the story even more to life.

One of the most poignant moments of the performance was when they set to music the words of Poe's well-known poem, The Raven. I felt it didn't go for nearly long enough and possibly deserved to be a part of the main show, rather than the encore.

This show seemed to be a more mellow version of The Tiger Lillies but, if you like jazz and the blues with a touch of melodrama and darkness, then you could find yourself being swept away in this sad and dark tale.




Related Articles



From This Author Barry Lenny

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram
   
popup