Adelaide Cabaret Festival: Sunglasses at Night – The 80s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret

Geraldine Quinn - photo by Claudio RaschellaWelcome to the 1980’s! A decade full of weird and wonderful music and pop art culture. Some will remember the 80’s as a fun and colourful era, but this sing along cabaret show will take you to the dark side of the 80s – reminding us of the nuclear woes and do any of us really remember them?

I mean we were too busy boofing up our hair with enough hairspray to help contribute to the thinning ozone layer. Cue the Ultravox hit Vienna – the perfect song for an apocalyptic mood and to get you ready for the best sing-along of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Geraldine Quinn is pure 80’s with her big orange hair, big shoulder pads and a big high waisted black belt. Her dress was so high she joked “the front row are asking, are we supposed to see her knickers?” as she replies “Yes you are!“ having us all in fits of laughter. Even the back rows could see her knickers!

With help from keyboardist and vocalist Cameron Thomas the next song starts where we all belt out loudly the chorus of “I wear my Sunglasses at Night” to then stop in silence and ask ourselves – what’s the next line? Realising “maybe I don’t know this song as well as I thought!!!”.

In fact, nearly all of the audience had no idea and that’s when we needed lyrical guidance on the video screen. Handwritten lyrics with Quinn’s own interpretations of what could have or should’ve been the lyrics, as well as other funny and well thought of connotations. For instance, changing Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield line “we are strong” to “we arse tron” basically says it all.

Throw in some Kate Bush, audience participation of moody 80’s poses and 99 Red Balloons. Combined with hilarious banter between songs, dance moves to even rival Michael Jackson (ok maybe rivaling the two guys from Black Lace, you know the ones that sang Agadoo), an enthusiastic audience eager to sing the hits of their generation, and the longest version of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart you will ever hear – equals one hair raising fun filled evening.

Side note: Agadoo was not in this sing-along – but maybe next time it should be!

Sunglasses at Night – The 80s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret
Artspace – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Performance: Sunday 17 June 2018

Image: Geraldine Quinn – photo by Claudio Raschella

Review: Anastasia Lambis – courtesy of All About Entertainment