Review | The D & Me: An Intimate Cabernet

The D & Me: An Intimate Cabernet | Girls School | Until 16 Feb | ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Perth born and raised Sven Ironside now lives in London where he has been chasing dreams of fame and fortune which have so far eluded him. He says that he is waiting on tables and waiting for “the sweet embrace of death”.

D stands for depression and, wearing a sad clown face, Sven warns the audience in the small classroom at the Girls School that things are going to get freaky. And they do … as he explores depression, drugs and breaking up with his boyfriend while drinking cabernet and gradually taking off his clothes.

In an obviously personal narrative, he confesses that he is not very good at doing things that he is meant to do. There are some very dark moments and I certainly wouldn’t recommend the show to anyone actually suffering from depression as some of the gallows humour made me quite uncomfortable at times.

There is a lot of audience interaction … especially for the ones who volunteer to be his helpers and I asked one of those helpers was she thought of the show. She said that she found it entertaining and the random giggles from the very small audience confirm that others felt the same.

Sven is certainly very talented. He sings, plays the ukulele, dances and promenades around the stage in impossibly high heeled boots as he tries to tackle his insecurities about being gay by reenacting an old cure for homosexuality that was very confrontational. Obviously he doesn’t go through with it but my partner and I both closed our eyes anyway.

Using humour as a coping mechanism, and continually checking if the audience was ok, Sven keeps jumping back and forth over that line between genius and lunacy. As his makeup smudges with the intensity of his performance, he seems to be channeling The Joker, as performed by Joaquin Phoenix.

See The D & Me: An Initmate Cabernet until 16th of February at Girls School.

Lezly Herbert has jumped from dance (ran a ballet school) to drama (was Camille in Lady of the Camellias at uni) to film (tutoring at Murdoch Uni) to teaching to philosophising (has a Masters in Philosophy from UWA). She has been reviewing films, books, dance and theatre since the dark ages (1996).

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