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Corey Ignace reviews Mademoiselle for Laneway Magazine

See the review in its original context here.

Michael Dalley’s newest work, Mademoiselle, was the most vulgar, crude and amazing display of comedic theatre I’ve ever seen. Dalley and Paul McCarthy embodied two sparkly, overdressed, flamboyant man-servants that had the crowd in stitches from beginning to end.

Heading down into fortyfivedownstairs, I had no idea what to expect, the promo description of ‘gothic camp’ meant I was in for something unique to say the least. I got my tickets, grabbed a wine and headed in, ushered by a lovely older man to our seats. The audience, which was very ranged in age, gender and level of flamboyance, filled every seat. All we could see from the performing end was a small podium with a toilet in the centre. Lights dim and I’m anticipating a small time, pleasant little show… how wrong could I be? I suppose the toilet should have been a give-away.

Two white-wigged, suit-wearing butlers thrilled their audience with absolutely cringe worthy and insulting songs. The singing was a bit pitchy but vocal perfection would only have stolen the show from the stark rudeness that was winning a laugh from every belly in the room. Making fun of Geelong and Tasmania (literally no one was safe), the predominantly British accents often merged with that of a bogan Aussie. Targets ranged from IBS to gay priests and even radioactive dim sim poop. In fact, the duo expertly insulted every possible minority, and all with luminous smiles on their faces.

John Thorn, the pianist and musical director, kept the mood and held the melodies just long enough to give everyone time to finish wetting themselves between lines. Audience interaction was minimal but just engaging enough to brutally spatter the front row with a little extra offensive banter.

The show was a delightful way to spend an evening and I’d nearly be tempted to take a few select friends just to see their shocked faces. Every member of the audience, even the lonesome old lady adjacent to me with the surprisingly open sense of humour, somehow found relatable parts of the show and were consequently drawn in. Although not for the faint-hearted or easily-offended, Mademoiselle is a great night out and is sure to steal some politically incorrect laughter from any audience. I’d highly recommend it to anyone but my mum.

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