Representing the full spectrum of the queer community in a 2 hour show featuring 14 acts is a huge ask, and 2016’s Night of the Queer rises to the challenge with fearless, fabulous flair.
MC’d by the deliciously naughty Adam Burrell, who keeps the flow of the whole show moving with perfect pace; he also manages to belt out at least 3 solo numbers himself. Night of the Queer is full of hits and very few misses, and features both established and emerging talent from the New Zealand performing arts scene.
To say the show is varied is an understatement. We have dance-hall cabaret, we have aerial acrobatics, we have song and drag and dance and comedy – it’s an absolute treat (and if there’s a number you don’t particularly like, chances are it’ll be over in a few minutes anyway).
Highlights included the superb Penny Ashton as the Loose Chanteuse, showing off incredible comedy and singing talent by making up, completely off the cuff, hilarious songs about audience members. From Spain we have an electrifying flamenco performance by Isabel Rivera Cuenca (soon to be performing at Q), and then there’s Molly McDowall as an extremely cheeky (literally and figuratively) magician’s assistant, pulling more than just rabbits from her hat. Vocally, we are treated to the haunting, soulful voice of Sarah Nessia, and the spare, nuanced tones of Fin McLachlan – both were excellent performances. With the acclaimed Okareka Dance Company providing the choreography and dancers for a number of the numbers, the whole show was polished and delightful.
With bar service to the tables in the theatre, a truly excellent accompanying live band and performances of such a high calibre, Night of the Queer is not to be missed.
Reviewed by Natalie Ridler