Friday, March 30, 2012

Storm in a D Cup

Storm in a D Cup runs at the Phoenix Theatre in Coniston on 30-31 March & 6-7 April. Written and performed by Amelia Ryan.

Amelia Ryan’s Storm in a D Cup is a riot of a show. Messy and chaotic and funny, Ryan sings and laughs her way through scenes from her tempestuous life and drags the audience right along with her. While it’s not a perfect show, it’s top-notch entertainment from an extraordinarily talented performer, and if you get a chance to see this quirky little cabaret, you should definitely take it.

Ryan is at her strongest when she’s narrating slash singing her way through specific episodes from her life: about parking tickets, about UTIs, about her love life. The section on her love life is the best section of the whole show – alternately hilarious (seriously, this show is worth going to see for her spiced-up rendition of Cellblock Tango alone), poignantly sad, and uplifting. My favourite number in the whole show was her statistical analysis of why, yes, she probably will find another man. I spend so much of my day-to-day worklife as a romance novel scholar immersed in this grand you-are-my-soulmate-there-is-no-one-else-for-me narratives that the idea that yes, you might have loved someone but statistically they probably fall somewhere on a bell curve, was incredibly refreshing. It also didn’t hurt that that song is achingly, side-splittingly funny. Ryan has a wonderful gift for comic timing and if the whole musical theatre doesn’t pan out for her, I think she probably has a future in standup comedy.

The weaker parts of the show were the more soapbox-y. Not that the message was a bad one (or even a particularly complicated one), but the live-your-life-love-your-life preaching was a little jarring at times and didn’t quite fit the flow of the show. If Storm in a D Cup was going to be tightened at all, these are the places where the trimming should be done. All this said, these numbers were still entertaining, and Ryan’s rendition of U2’s Beautiful Day was 100% gorgeous.

Ryan really hits her stride in the second act, but the entire show is great fun. If you happen to be in Wollongong in the next week or so, do yourself a favour and head down to the Phoenix Theatre in Coniston and check out Storm in a D Cup. (Hopefully, Ryan will also take the show to a few more places, so if she comes to your city, seriously, go along.) Amelia Ryan is an extraordinarily talented and highly charismatic performer, and Storm in a D Cup is wonderfully entertaining: well-written, beautifully sung, tragic and comic and riotous all in one. Highly recommended.

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