The late night cabaret showcase has long been a staple of the Fringe. The format is pretty straightforward. There is a host who glues together an ever changing line up of guests, all of whom are doing their own shows and are keen to find. So it can be a great way if discovering less well known acts that you may well have otherwise missed. This is absolutely true tonight. I bit more of that soon.

Laurie Black is our Bad Luck guide and she is a striking presence from the moment she arrives on stage with her black and white Betty Page hair-do and figure hugging leotard. I had actually seen her earlier the same evening as she is part of Anya Anastasia‘s band, so she is a busy gal this Fringe.

It’s this Brit’s second trip to Adelaide Fringe. The atmosphere is warm and friendly from the start, explaining how things are going to work and some guidelines so ‘none of us die’. Within minutes the audience is singing the Bad Luck Cabaret song and her version of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. She plays with the audience who share their own stories about good and bad luck. Pretty quickly you feel safe (not always the case at a late night Fringe show) and almost like you are at a good friends house playing party games. With our host introducing other chums to get up and do a turn for the party goers.

Tonight’s first guest is Frankly (aka Nicole O’Rielley). Adelaide based cabaret performer who sounds like Regina Spektor, but she is much funnier. She is doing a show called Publicly Private : The Introvert Cabaret at Chateau Apollo (at the Cranker). She does three songs tonight that back up the claim on the Fringetix page that she has a tendency to ‘swear and over-share’. Definitely somebody to add to your ‘check them out’ list this season.

Laurie has us wrapped up in some hilarious arts and crafts, which we take to with great enthusiasm and a certain amount of competitive spirit. She sings a great song about Pound Shop cigarette lighters, called You Light Up My Life. It is probably the best song about pound shop cigarette lighters you will hear all Fringe.

Laurie’s second guest is from the UK, in the shimmering form of Alfie Ordinary, who arrives in glitter shorts and jacket and a matching diamante studded eye patch and performs The Greatest Love of All. He’s off to a (deliberately) shaky start before he gets a little help from, well I am not going to tell you who he gets help from, because you should go and see his show ‘Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous’. We have a lovely sing-a-long with Alfie to Queens Bohemian Rhapsody as an encore the one other song he did tonight. His show is on down at Plaza Parlour at Royal Croquet Club for the entire run of the 2018 season.

Laurie sings a great song called Moonshine (White Lightning) to see us off into the night, but meets us outside for chats and selfie’s and gossip, exactly like you might do at the end of somebody’s party you should feel lucky to have been invited to.

I am looking forward to seeing her debut solo show Laurie Black : Live where she takes on songs by Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine amongst others. There are only two sessions for her solo gig (March 8 & 15 at La Boheme). Come and make friends with the remarkable Laurie Black.

Four and A Half Stars

Fringe Review by Ian Bell

For more info and tickets for Bad Luck Cabaret head to https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/bad-luck-cabaret-af2018