Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett – REVIEW

Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett – REVIEW
Image: Source: Supplied, Belinda Rolland © 2024

By Hope Pratt

The Sydney Spiegeltent comes alive once again with Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett. Dieter hosts a dazzling display of the weird and wonderful, carefully balancing her campy comedy with some truly amazing feats of death-defying gravity. 

Going into the Spiegeltent there is already an air of expectation. Ushers in tight clothes and feather boas and glitter help people find their seats. A woman lays on the stage kicking her feet as she draws lines of suspicious white powder with a credit card. The Viers are already playing funky jams as bursts of colourful lights illuminate the velvety top of the tent. 

In the wings, Dieter leans against a wooden post and stares out across the crowd. No one notices her, but for a moment I’m convinced our eyes have locked and she’s staring right at me with a smirk. Then she’s gone, appearing on the other side. I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, but I want to know what’s going to happen. 

Source: Supplied, Belinda Rolland © 2024

From her first song, a raucous cover of Come Together by The Beatles, Dieter commands the stage and the audience alike. She is quick witted and wildly inappropriate in the best of ways. As she weaves through the lines of seats for some rather intimate crowd work, she is able to draw people out of their shells and onto the stage, all of whom are good sports about it. We’re in stitches by the end of the song, thoroughly warmed up for a night of fun. 

“She is quick-witted and widly inappropriate in the best of ways”

I won’t give too much away about Club Kabarett because I want people to see it for themselves. What I will say is that each performer Dieter introduces to the stage completely owns it in their own way. Whether being suspended mid-air or playing with fire, each brings their own charm and daring to the stage. You’ll either be on the edge of your seat or doubled over belly laughing the entire night. 

Source: Supplied, Belinda Rolland © 2024

Before the final performance of the night, Bernie comes out to sing once more – she covers Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead, a seemingly odd choice for a night caked in glitter. And yet, there is a sincerity and earnestness to this section of the show. It’s melancholic, but not unwelcome. Dieter brings a rawness to the song and powerful honesty that doesn’t stop the show; rather, it provides an appropriate moment of pause before the fun returns. 

Not for the faint of heart but worth it all the same, Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett is a strikingly courageous romp that will leave you in awe. 

Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett is in season until July 28th. Find a showtime for you here

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