Cabaret sensation Meow Meow returns to Malthouse Theatre just in time for the silly season. And you had better believe the seasoned performer knows how to make a memorable entrance. In the case of Apocalypse Meow, she staggers through the audience wearing impossibly high heels and a pregnancy belly, toting an inflatable donkey and bags of shopping, and all the while smoking two cigarettes at the same time. It’s safe to say this isn’t your traditional feel-good Christmas pageant. Of course, watching Meow Meow in her element (in front of an audience) is always a joy, even when she’s lamenting Christmas disappointments.
The stage design is more construction site and less carols by candlelight. Disco balls and caution tape decorate the space in equal measure. Work lights (not fairy lights) illuminate the stage and Meow Meow’s three piece band wears sequined jackets and safety hats.
There’s not a strong singular story line, but the lose premise is Meow Meow’s obligated to ‘deliver’ a Christmas show. So much of the show is comprised on shorter bits as she attempts to fill 90 minutes – pills are popped, songs are sung, two young orphans make an appearance, and snow flurries burst through the plywood door. It’s comedy and chaos that still pulls on your heart strings. The subject matter is more personal than political, so you can comfortably invite your parents, cousins, or coworkers. (The show was first performed at London’s Southbank Theatre in 2014). It is also a welcome break from all the standard holiday schmaltz and saccharine. (Although she does still manage to slip a traditional Silent Night carol into the show.) I’ve never been a huge fan of the holiday season as an adult, but I’d happily lounge at Meow Meow’s fishnet clad feet and listen to her serenades from now until Christmas.
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
Apocalypse Meow: Crisis Is Born runs 7 November – 1 December 2019 (90 minutes) at Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank VIC 3006. Buy tickets now. The venue is accessible.