Review | Reuben Kaye brings cathartic release with ‘The Kaye Hole’

The Kaye Hole | The Rechabite | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★*

The Kaye Hole at The Rechabite is a perfect example of late-night cabaret with a twist.

How strange and ironic to be wearing a mask and viewing such subversive late-night cabaret, in an extraordinary space that has become The Rechabite. The once home of the temperance movement, promoting total abstinence from alcoholic beverages; irony at its best.

Lockdown was only a week here in the Perth region, a short time, though it threw a spanner into the tight working schedule of the Fringe World season. Entering back into the world of human interaction, seemed joyful yet daunting to many, the unknown can always be a tight rope to manoeuvre.

The Kaye Hole late-night cabaret provided the ground for our transition back into the world; even with protective face masks. Cabaret at its core is about combining multiple artforms for social commentary and is audience-based performance.

Kaye Hole is punk, with lashes and lashings of humour at the heart of it. Incredibly camp, unashamedly camp, throwing any semblance of guilt or shame to the ether, like a fistful of glitter into the faces of ultra-conservative attitudes; subversive like the best cabaret can be.

With humour comes critique and analysis of the flawed contemporary world we inhabit. By raising anger and sadness up in front of an audience through humour, we can see through the velvet curtain, without the work being self-indulgent.

By revealing different viewpoint of the world, dangerous views to some; conveyed through humour thoughtfully and directly: cabaret can be a doorway into serious issues facing our world.

Humour can be cathartic, part of a grieving process, purging us momentarily from the past and present; an anaesthetic. There is much humour from Reuben; we continuously laughed our tears away.

The Kaye Hole, presented the queerest, loosest, hottest acts of the fringe, a changing smorgasbord of talent. The Kaye Hole allowed acts that usually get pushed aside because they are on the edge, queer messy loose political angry; with an extra-large spoonful of joy to make it go down.

Twisted in the best possible way, subversive to the eye and the ear. The Kaye Hole is a changing curation of acts by Reuben Kaye, from aerial artists, circus, comedians, burlesque, boylesque, singers & drag performers to complete the night.

Reuben Kaye as our lavish host, accompanied by their band My Preferred Pronouns, worked up a tornado of sound. Reminiscent of the tornado embedded in our collective conscious from The Wizard Of Oz, supporting Reuben’s live vocals.

On the night we were lucky to experience many performers originally from Perth, now making their lives in the bigger world overseas; though due to the pandemic have come back until this worldwide clusterf**k is over.

Beau Sargent who studied at the Australian Ballet School, originally from Perth now based in London, has worked with Bernie Dieter, La Soiree and Marcia Hines in Velvet during their time in Perth. Beau mesmerised, seducing the audience into visual desire with their perfect skills and physique using an aerial hoop.

Miss Betty Bombshell, based in Melbourne has the title of Miss Burlesque Australia 2019, performed a fluorescent neon burlesque number entrancing the audience with their glamour.

Elke Uhd raised on the coast of South-West Australia and now Berlin-based is a Circus Artist using the trapeze with extreme skill and fluidity.

Emily Chilvers, trained at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), created a stunning aerial movement work with rope, making people gasp in delight holding their breath; in anticipation.

Joni Hogan, from Joni In The Moon, hailing from Perth, sang solo with the backing of My Preferred Pronouns. Joni sang their 2015 release, War and Porn. A politically and socially-charged, hauntingly beautiful otherworldly song; a perfectly mesmerising moment of the night.

Henry Boles aka Ash Traylia, another Perth based artist, performed a near-naked work, challenging the audience and their experience of performance art. It was a quick gear change for the night and one that rounded the cabaret into a deeper catharsis.

Perth’s own Karl Kayoss (Mr Boylesque Australia 2017), seductively blinded the audience with their hypnotic boylesque persona as only Karl can do.

Reuben Kaye created a rapid monologue, halfway through the cabaret, that transcended the now, high-speed storytelling of everything wrong with the world; delivered so eloquently; like a vixen.

Reuben Kaye, the love child between Julian Clary and Dame Edna Everage, created in a test tube through in vitro fertilisation and brought up by Aunty Judith Lucy and many Guncles (gay uncles) drag queens; has become a cabaret icon and much-loved family to Perth Fringe World. Go and experience Reuben Kaye if you need some cathartic release.

Reuben Kaye has one more show as part of Fringe World’s encore season TONIGHT, Tuesday 16th February. For more information head to

Guy Gomeze is an artist, arts worker, photographer, writer, and occasional curator, they have worked in the arts for 25 years between the east coast and west coast of Australia.

(*Editor’s Note: Our reviewer had asked if we could list this show as six (out of five) stars, but we thought we’d better stick to the rules.)

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