Adelaide Fringe Review: Storm in a D Cup - The Campanile (28.02.14)

Amelia Ryan has lived an interesting life – a gay father, a transsexual stepmother, adventures in exotic dancing, a tumultuous history with automobiles and a string of failed relationships, some hilarious and others heartbreaking. She does the world a favour by rolling the tale of her not so average life into a string of catchy cabaret tunes in "A Storm in a D Cup", a biography brought to life using cleverly reconstructed pop hits and the unique wit of someone born to be an entertainer.

Presented with a great blend of dry, cynical sarcasm and bubbly optimism, Ryan had the audience hanging off her every word from start to finish. The show opens with her bursting on stage, decked out in an extravagant sequined gown and red stilettos, two champagne flutes in hand, looking every part the diva extraordinaire. She questions her reason behind the flashy outfit and decides on this - 'while you can’t polish a turd, you can roll it in glitter'. And here you have the perfect metaphor behind this hour of classic cabaret entertainment; a beautiful woman who at a glance looks the very image of success, but behind all the glamour is just as flawed and messed up as the rest of us.

The first half of the show brings us up to speed with the early life of Amelia Ryan, beginning around ten years old when she finds a pamphlet on the family coffee table offering advice for gay married men. This is just the tip of the iceberg. She takes us through the ups and downs (well, mostly downs) of growing up in a non-conventional family in an isolated Australian town, of struggling to make it as a performer and the woes of losing (and later finding) love.

While the first half of the show is very light-hearted, the second half takes a bit of a serious turn. Ryan speaks of the pain of lost love with a refreshing sincerity, where the sting can still be seen behind her eyes but she chooses to pick herself up with admirable optimism. Although it was a bit of an odd turn to an otherwise all out comedy, the audience seemed grateful for the words of wisdom and the heart-on-your sleeve honesty.

"A Storm in D Cup" doesn’t necessarily break any ground, but it’s a lovely performance by an impressive woman who provides an entertaining insight into a life with a story worth sharing.