Friday Night Freaks

Udderbelly Festival
Until July 4th, 2014

by Joanna Orland

The long-running Friday Night Freaks returns to this year’s Udderbelly Festival with EastEnd Cabaret returning as hosts.  The cabaret duo are the perfect hosts to this late-night cabaret comedy variety show bringing energy, freakiness, comedy, music and sexuality to spice up the night.  Also, who better to keep the rather tipsy audience under control than EastEnd Cabaret, as proven when the duo’s diva Bernadette Byrne arrived on stage riding a two-headed manbeast comprised of a pair of temporarily tamed male members of the audience.

The lineup of freaks who took the stage on Friday May 23rd was eclectic to say the least.  Lady Carol was up first, a ukulele musician with an epically strong voice as her weapon of choice.  She hushed the otherwise chatty audience and showed us how freakishly powerful her lungs are.  This singing act was followed by German Olympic Skiing champion Flange Krammer, a character act that thrives on jokes so bad they are good.  It takes serious skill to be this masterfully unfunny.

The audience returned from topping up their drinks in the intermission to a much stronger second half.  The second act began with EastEnd Cabaret performing a live rendition of their hit song Danger Wank.  Finally the audience was at attention!  Then came what was the most interesting and innovative act of the night – Ruth Less – otherwise known as Mannish from Frisky & Mannish.  Ruth Less’s set is a mixture of performance art and dance.  There are no words to describe what she does on stage without spoiling the performance for future audiences, but what I will say is that it is absolutely brilliant.

The night ended on a less freakish act in the form of standup comedian Pete Johansson.  Now why would a Canadian comic be put on a freakshow bill you might ask yourself.  Well, perhaps his delivery and subject matter are a bit too risque for a normal run-of-the-mill audience.  Pete touches on some taboo subject matter, not for the sake of shock, but for the sake of good storytelling and humorous anecdotes.  He was also the one act who was not afraid to confront the audience on their rather rude behaviour throughout the night as he confronted a woman in the front row for talking during his set.  It’s a darn shame he didn’t come on stage earlier in the night to put them all in their place.  I know it’s a late show on a Friday night and most everyone in the audience is tipsy or beyond, but why on earth would someone come to a show just to talk throughout it?  Forget the performers, the true Friday Night Freaks were in the audience!


Visit Udderbelly Festival for future Friday Night Freaks lineup & ticket information.

One Response to “Friday Night Freaks”

  1. Patsy says:

    I cannot tell a lie, that really heelpd.

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