The Tiger Lillies: Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunted Palace @ Elder Hall, Adelaide Fringe, 27/2/2019

I love a good musical and the Tiger Lillies presented a wonderfully quirky twisted and gothic performance. Carried by the music of Tiger Lillies, it is a multifaceted show mixing music, theatre and video projections, which retrace the “secret” biography of Edgar Allan Poe. 

The Tiger Lillies are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year and in that time they have produced many albums and books, been in many shows like this one and have appeared in a few films as well. Over this time the leader Martyn Jacques’ has been through a few band line up changes. Tonight his falsetto brought to life this dark story while he played ukulele, accordion, and piano and was ably supported in the musical department by Adrian Stout’s bass, saw and theremin and Jonas Golland on understated percussion rounded out the trio. Many of the lyrics are lifted from Edgar Allan Poe poems or adapted from his stories. There were fantastic renditions of The Raven, his most famous poem and Tell-Tale Heart. 

Credit must go to both the actor playing Poe who gave us an absolute manic performance and his partner in crime who played all the very different female roles. At one stage she was slithering across the stage like a cross between both Magenta and Riff Raff from Rocky Horror.  A highlight for me was the murder ballad Annabelle Lee with its haunting piano and otherworldly theremin and its tale of love after death. The dark cabaret of this song and many others would neatly fit into the Adelaide Cabaret Festival later in the year, where the Tiger Lillies actually performed 2 years ago. 

Hopefully, this show is not the last we see of the Tiger Lillies at the Adelaide Fringe. I would love to see their show from 2014 called Lulu – A Murder Ballad.

Adelaide Fringe Review By Richard De Pizzol

For tickets, show dates and times for The Tiger Lillies present Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunted Palace head to Fringe-Tix.

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