Review | Life is a cabaret with ‘Reuben Kaye’ at Fringe World

Reuben Kaye | The Rechabite | til Feb 14 | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

What good is sitting alone in your room? Just go see Reuben Kaye.

You may have caught this magnetic performer at Club Swizzle or had the pleasure of snapping up a ticket to one of his limited solo shows in past years, but in 2021 Kaye brings a two full seasons of world-class cabaret to Fringe World Festival.

Striking a statuesque figure in his high-heeled boots, Kaye needs neither microphone nor elevated stage to command the room. A one-person tour de force, Kaye whirls his audience through a one-hour masterclass of cabaret in this incredible solo show.

Kaye ticks every box one would expect from a cabaret show with a swipe of his bold, red lipstick. Mighty storytelling, soaring vocals, glittering costumes, a silver tongue combined in one unapologetically fierce and exquisitely queer package.

Throughout the course of the evening Kaye unpacks major moments in his own life, bringing audiences on a journey with him from childhood to the stage. Sharing memories of his acerbic heavy-smoking German mother and Russian artist father, the performer revisits moments of both tremendous joy and harrowing despair as he unflinchingly recalls his experiences of the school yard, his coming out and his relationships with his family; sewing broken-down verses of Boys Don’t Cry between each tale.

Though intimacy is, as with many great cabarets, at the heart of this show; humour and high-camp are at the forefront of this escapade. Kaye is not scared to take a big swing for a big laugh, and almost every hit was a home run. I’m certain Kaye would have no trouble improvising an entire set with his wicked wit and hypnotic charm.

If life is a cabaret, old chum, Reuben Kaye is the Master of Ceremonies.

See Reuben Kaye at The Rechabite until Sunday 14th February. For tickets and more information, head to

Leigh Andrew Hill is an editor at OUTinPerth, with a BA from the University of Western Australia in Media Studies & Art History. Since 2005, Leigh has studied and practiced journalism, film-making, script-writing, language, contemporary performance and visual arts. Leigh is also a freelancer writer, and producer and presenter on RTRFM 92.1.

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