Suzy Goes See’s Best Of 2014


2014 has been a busy year. Choosing memorable moments from the 194 shows I had reviewed in these 12 months is a mind-bending exercise, but a wonderful opportunity that shows just how amazing and vibrant, theatre people are in Sydney. Thank you to artists, companies, publicists and punters who continue to support Suzy Goes See. Have a lovely holiday season and a happy new year! Now on to the Best Of 2014 list (all in random order)…

Suzy x

 Avant Garde Angels
The bravest and most creatively experimental works in 2014.

 Quirky Questers
The most unusual and colourful characters to appear on our stages in 2014.

♥ Design Doyennes
Outstanding visual design in 2014. Fabulous lights, sets and costumes.

♥ Darlings Of Dance
Breathtaking brilliance in the dance space of 2014.

♥ Musical Marvels
Outstanding performers in cabaret and musicals in 2014.

♥ Second Fiddle Superstars
Scene-stealers of 2014 in supporting roles.

♥ Ensemble Excellence
Casts in 2014 rich with chemistry and talent.

♥ Champs Of Comedy
Best comedic performances of 2014.

♥ Daredevils Of Drama
Best actors in dramatic roles in 2014.

♥ Wise With Words
Best new scripts of 2014.

 Directorial Dominance
Best direction in 2014.

♥ Shows Of The Year
The mighty Top 10.

♥ Suzy’s Special Soft Spot
A special mention for the diversity of cultures that have featured in its programming this year.

  • ATYP



Photography by Roderick Ng, Dec 2014


Best of 2018 | Best of 2017 | Best of 2016Best of 2015Best Of 2013

Review: Short+Sweet Cabaret 2014 (Short+Sweet)

sscabaretVenue: New Theatre (Newtown NSW), Jan 8 – 19, 2014
Festival Director: Kate Gaul
Musical Director: Daryl Wallis
Image by David Paul Jobling

Theatre review
Featuring a diverse selection from the Sydney cabaret scene, Short+Sweet encapsulates the best of our weird and whacky performers, all of whom are idiosyncratic and many, talented and original. The inaugural event concluded with an awards night where winners were announced (list below), based on votes from a judging panel, as well as audience selections. It is noteworthy that among the 40+ acts, a vast majority of participants were female, even though the winners list reads to be fairly gender balanced. This is a space that attracts female artists, and Short+Sweet should be lauded for its establishment.

Highlights include Thomas Albert and Samuel Valentine, two ridiculously talented young men who wrote several original songs and the script for Dirty Sexy Politics, which showcases their skills in comedy and musical performance. Theirs is unquestionably one of the most substantial and confident compositions in the festival, and are greatly deserving of both their award wins.

Harry & Liv is a sibling pairing, by real-life siblings Charlotte and Evan Kerr. Their musical talents and chemistry as a duo are outstanding, leaving an indelible impression and winning them two awards. The brother’s performance of “I Go To Rio” is a particularly effervescent moment in the festival. There are a few pieces in the festival that would benefit from extended renditions (they are only allowed 10 minutes each), and this is one of them.

Another duo Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen wow’d the audience with their vocal abilities in Strange Bedfellows, a piece about twisted friendships that features unrelenting camp humour. Camp features heavily in the festival. In Dance With De Vil, Brendan Hay plays Cruello de Vill (Cruella’s son) with enough flamboyance and vitriol to make his mother beam with pride, and to win Best Male Cabaret artist.

Other memorable performers include Anne Wilson who presented two creations including the hilarious Pastor Dorcas who very excitedly warns her congregation about Judas who is known for “back-stabbing” (that’s a paraphrase). Great work also, from Irene Nicola who starts off with a nerdy striptease and ends with some unexpectedly beautiful singing, but not before providing a very dense lecture on performance theory and psychoanalysis.

Musical director of the festival is Daryl Wallis, who must be congratulated for the brilliant accompaniment he provided to more than half the acts. He has had to perform a very wide range of styles for performers from all kinds of backgrounds, and on many occasions, supply crucial dramatic or comedic accents. Wallis’ contribution to the festival’s success cannot be understated.

Peoples Choice for Best Cabaret Dirty Sexy Politics

Judges Choice for Best Cabaret Harry & Liv

Best Original Music Thomas Albert and Samuel Valentine Dirty Sexy Politics

Best Script Cienda McNamara Hardly the Portrait of a Lady

Best Comedy Hardly the Portrait of a Lady

Best Burlesque The Good The Bad and the Fugly

Best Newcomers Charlotte and Evan Kerr Harry & Liv

Best Female Cabaret Artist Cienda McNamara Hardly the Portrait of a Lady

Best Male Cabaret Artist Brendan Hay Dance With De Vil

5 Questions with Lady Cool (Tamarind Elkin)

rsz_1583099_4306672What is your favourite swear word?
Egg. I fell in love with the N.Z film ‘Boy’ & adopted their use of the word Egg as a derogatory term about someone. And to be honest, much like when the philosopher Satre wrote “Hell is other people”, what most inspires me to use cuss words is the behaviour of some Egg…which is unfortunately all too often!

What are you wearing?
Chanel no.5 (it’s way too hot to wear anything else)!

What is love?
According to Jesus it’s unconditional forgiveness.. Wish me luck with that one won’t you…

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Fortunately or unfortunately however you view it, I’ve been way too busy doing shows this last year to go & see any.. (use to be the other way round)!
However as a Xmas gift I’m going to see a Beatles tribute show @ the Sydney Opera House this Saturday, so in advance ill give it 5 stars… just to practice my positive thinking.

Is your new show going to be any good?
I certainly hope so..! I feed off the audience so they do help determine the outcome. It went down like cream cake @ The Camelot Lounge so ill see how the audience respond to it in a more theatre style setting. Much like when Oscar Wilde muttered “The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster” I too pray the audience is cool 😉

Lady Cool (Tamarind Elkin) appears in “Conversations with My Shrink”, week 2 of Short+Sweet Cabaret.
Show dates: 15 – 18 Jan, 2014
Show venue: New Theatre

5 Questions with Maryann Wright‏

rsz_maryann_wright1What is your favourite swear word?
Fuck. It still delivers an acidic bite in some contexts and can be a satisfactory meaningless expression in others.

What are you wearing?
Honest answer – gym clothes. Just finished a pilates class and am too lazy to change. In my head I’m wearing something… at least mildly attractive and a little more breathable.

What is love?
Selflessness, Sacrifice, good Sex. Notice the trend of Ss? They’ve got something going for them.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Carrie the musical, 5. I hear the actress who played Frieda was fucking hilarious (see above – question 1).

Is your new show going to be any good?
It’s my first fully-fledged cabaret so you know what they say about first time experiences. But it’s called NUTS and I’m a little nuts, so there’s a start. Got the casting right.

Maryann Wright stars in NUTS in Week 1 of Short+Sweet Cabaret.
Show dates: 8 – 11 Jan, 2014
Show venue: New Theatre