Arts and Culture

Sure Sign of Love Review

Written by Tamara McDonald

 

Melbourne cabaret performer Elena Gabrielle makes her solo debut in self-penned show Sure Sign of Love this Melbourne Fringe Festival. A satirical, musical delight, Gabrielle laments love and astrology, taking the audience on a journey of romantic mishaps and the zodiac signs. Gabrielle regales the audience with tales of her own love life, littered with characters that are both entertaining and flawed.

Gabrielle declares at the beginning of the show that she is currently dateless for her brother’s upcoming wedding, and in a quest to change this, begins scouring through the list of star signs for a suitable match. A voice over reads profiles of men of each star sign, and Gabrielle begins her dissection.

It’s clear that Gabrielle has a genuine interest in astrology and the signs, and admits to having cancelled dates due to a cheeky Facebook stalk leading her to pre-empt that her and prospective date aren’t astrologically compatible. Despite being disillusioned to mainstream media’s interpretation of the zodiac (she once lived with a cynical boozehound who invented a major media organisation’s horoscopes), Gabrielle definitely knows her stuff when it comes to signs and their idiosyncrasies and characteristics. Gabrielle’s observations about both horoscopes and men are astute and amusing, and she conveys her romantic struggles and dating disasters through both story telling and song.

Gabrielle’s performance takes place on a tiny stage upstairs at The Butterfly Club, a quintessentially Melbourne venue down a tiny lane way. As well as a small theatre, The Butterfly Club is home to a quirky bar, which is decorated with an eclectic range of artsy clutter. Despite the threadbare set, Gabrielle’s charismatic presence is more than enough to keep the audience occupied- she makes the most of the intimate venue, energetically bounding across the room. Not only is her passion for performance and astrology evident in her acting- her whole look is cosmic and quirky.

Her NIDA training and extensive experience is evident, with Gabrielle’s musical segments a highlight of the show. Whether bursting into classical or hip-hop song, its clear that Gabrielle is an experienced and passionate performer when it comes to musical theatre. The show is rife with popular culture references, and a highlight comes when Gabrielle bursts into an array of boy band classics (*N SYNC, One Direction) to demonstrate the Aquarian leading man’s arrogance.

At only sixty minutes, Sure Sign of Love is a great post-dinner treat. The Butterfly Club is a great place to go for a laugh and a cocktail, and Gabrielle loves to chat with the audience over a drink after the show (she derives a great deal of joy from listening to others’ dating disasters). Sure Sign of Love makes for a delightfully cheeky night out, and is an energetic performance that both astrology devotees and cynics will delight in.

Sure Sign of Love runs until Sunday 20 September at 8.30 pm at The Butterfly Club. Tickets can be bought at www.thebutterflyclub.com

About the author

Tamara McDonald