Five reasons to see Torte e Mort: Songs of Cake and Death
Satire, striptease and cake: Anya Anastasia's show has a lot of ingredients
Anya Anastasia stars in this cabaret show, which follows the life, death and hilarious self-realisations of Marie Antoinette. Here, Fiona Shepherd picks out five reasons you should go and see Torte e Mort at Assembly George Square Theatre this Fringe …
1. There's a devil of a central performance from rising cabaret performer Anya Anastasia, who made her name fronting the Bird Wizdom Cabaret in her native Adelaide before moving to Melbourne last year. Here she takes on a handful of roles – Grim Reaper, she-devil and most notably 'the queen of decadence and deficit' Marie Antoinette, who is portrayed in full opulent 18th-century costume and towering powdered wig, 'but heaps more Australian'.
2. It's a cautionary comedy song cycle. The terminally unpopular French queen, who infamously and possibly erroneously quipped 'let them eat cake' when told that her subjects had no bread, is depicted on the day of her execution, receiving visitations from the afterlife in 'a story of excess, hedonism and potential earthly consequences'. Shouldn't that be deathly?
3. There's satire and striptease. And a ton of French puns as Anastasia/Antoinette pontificates at the piano on a range of subjects – the corrupting influence of power, body image, greed, celebrities behaving badly and that death comes to us all – before casting off her many layers in a bravura burlesque display while keeping a hand on the piano keyboard at all times. You don't get that from Tim Minchin.
4. She bangs the drums. Or rather, Anastasia's versatile sidekick percussionist Bec Matthews does. Matthews is another capable multi-tasker, who can turn her hand to singing saw, kazoo, shadow puppetry and chopping heads off as required.
5. Because who doesn't like cake? Although it's a touchy topic for Marie Antoinette's subjugated subjects.
Assembly George Square Theatre, 6–29 Aug (not 15), 6pm, £12 (£10). Previews 4 & 5 Aug (£6).