We’re in the Toff in Town and there’s a collision of Twin Peaks imagery and geography. Beautiful Dark’s show is titled Welcome to Twin Peaks and so much of it is present throughout: Waitresses dressed from the Double R Diner rove on the periphery (we’ll see them later on); the heavy red curtain across the stage suggests the Red Room; the violent strobe and staging during one number is reminiscent of the Bang Bang Bar from Season 3; and then there’s a band themselves.
This isn’t a group of hastily clad musicians in ill-thought kitsch costumes, rather a fantastic tribute to a collection of characters and the genius of Mark Frost, David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti, and Julee Cruise. It’s slightly expanded band, haunting as much as they pay homage.
Split down the middle, it’s Andrew Campbell on guitar, Zoe Hunting on synth, and Rebecca Blakeney on keyboard (and occasionally log) on one side with Bianca Raffin on drums, Andy Hazel on bass guitar, and Dandelion Jackson on sax on the other.
Held in the middle by the light of a projector is lead singer, Ann-Marie Sullivan. Her silhouette is sharply defined on the rear wall, short, slow fragments from the TV show playing behind her. Not every number requires vocals, but when they do, Ann-Marie’s voice is the perfect mix of the surreal and angelic as befitting the source material.
A sense of “Play” is palpable, a good way to describe the atmosphere Beautiful Dark engender over their set. There’s absolute craft, stunning moments of song and music, but they’re always careful to not take themselves too seriously. It makes for an entertaining night, something Dale Cooper would be right to call, “Damn fine”.
Welcome to Twin Peaks
The Toff in Town, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Sunday 22 September 2019 – 9.00pm
Season continues to 29 September 2019
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au
Image: Beautiful Dark presents Welcome to Twin Peaks – photo by Anna Kiparis Photography
Review: David Collins