Popping off to Hayes Theatre, new Sydney home to local cabaret and musical talent, I caught Blue Saint’s ‘Guilty Pleasures’ in its last show on Sunday. Like most shows I turn up to these days, with the exception of most of those in print, I really don’t know what I am walking in to see. I cross my fingers and hope for the best and with ‘Guilty Pleasures’, I got it.
The show, book by Josh Robson with music and lyrics by Hugo Chiarella and Robert Tripolino, is a new Australian cabaret that has already had a run in Melbourne before it landed here, created from a new company with an impressive pedigree. Most are fairly recent graduates from VCA and, like most artists in an over-flooded market, they have created their own work to showcase the wealth of talent at their disposal.
‘Guilty Pleasures’ tells the story of five women, trapped in situations either beyond their control or of their own making and each commit great acts of violence to extricate themselves from the threats they see in front of them. It’s ‘Bombshells’ meets ‘Chicago’ and beautifully performed by Angelique Cassimatis, whose triple threat skills of acting, singing and dancing are all utilized with deft ability. She manages to create five distinct women for us on stage, all different from the next and draws the audience in to this extreme world of choices and consequences.
Choreographed by Amy Campbell (top three in So You Think You Can Dance and now a very accomplished choreographer), the ending sequence of dance captures the frenzy and flight of our women. Peter Amesbury’s lighting design also enhances the transitions between characters and creates a distinct environment that reflects the personalities and duties of each woman, whether that is the gentle world of the domestic or the grimy world of prostitution.
‘Guilty Pleasures’ may only be 45 minutes in length but it packs a punch and all the more so in discovering that it is an original local work from such young artists. As the company’s first major work, I expect we are going to see great things from Blue Saint Productions in the future.