Review: Anya Anastasia: The Executioners at The Gilded Balloon
4★★★★

Australian livewire Anya Anastasia and her musical partner-in-crime Gareth Chin take on the frustrations of the modern Western world in this slightly unhinged and totally charming cabaret performance.

While this white spandex clad executioner slays her targets of modernity, social media, and herself, her technical execution lacked polish, and a few moments of poor timing takes the audience out of the romp, planting them back in the starkly set venue.

Armed with a headpiece made of iPhones and a shiver inducing voice, Anya Anastasia’s slightly hysterical portrayal of a contemporary young woman navigates topics such as slacktivism, social media, the Trump/Russia relationship and the difficulties of the lotus position in heels. This is a fresh take on cabaret, and the clever use of technology and soundscapes adds a futuristic edge to Anyas depiction of a flustered and frustrated millennial. Full of energy and acerbic wit, this piece bounces between a bizarre piece of physical theatre, beautifully written original songs, and an uncomfortably honest conversation with a close friend.

Anya and Gareth play brilliantly off each other, with Gareths eye rolling dryness and musical talents well complimenting Anyas smooth voice and endearingly manic delivery. Sadly, the pair had a few issues with timing, unsurprising giving the sheer volume of different instruments, songs, genres and moves being busted out on stage.

Despite the kinks, the pithy writing and the high energy on stage ensures the audiences enjoyment, engagement and even education. Anyas offbeat and in your face performance and Gareths understated skill and excellent delivery keep the audience slightly uncomfortable and extremely entertained. Keep an eye out for the unexpected but oddly perfect fight scene, which Im sure will only improve as the performers get more confident in the space.

Anya Anastasia: The Executioners, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 1-26 Aug (not 13th), 8pm.

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