Review: Season of the Witch

An enchanting evening of powerful drag and bewitching cabaret

cabaret review (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Published 29 Feb 2020

Wundes emerges in a black body-suit and bright flower-like tulle. They belt out Judy Garland’s ‘Over the Rainbow’ and, it is clear, we are watching a powerhouse performance.

Paying tribute to the witchiest of artists, Wundes casts a spell of darkness and vulnerability in a space that is typically bright and camp. They exude old-school cabaret class and perform with subtlety and nuance. But it’s not all serious, and there’s a tongue-in-cheek sense of play at work among the darkness.

Costume changes are disguised by slick multimedia that cycles through various manifestations of the witch, from The Wicked Witch of the West to Practical Magic, and the performers who embody the persona on stage. Not only is it an enchanting distraction, but taps into the biggest themes of the show: transformation and power.

The narrative is hidden in the songs themselves. Wundes dresses in varieties of black. Soundtracked by Kate Bush’s ‘Running up that Hill’ through to Lana Del Ray’s ‘How to Disappear’, the music brings a sense of struggle. That’s until Wundes’ grand emergence dressed in Glinda the Good Witch fairy-floss pink – aptly accompanied by David Bowie’s ‘Changes’.

Wundes is exceptional, and the only thing that would make this show stronger is if there was more storytelling to cement the narrative and create an even greater sense of intimacy. Regardless, Wundes enthrals and, as the standing ovation testifies, they have the power, talent and grace to cast their spell over an entire room.