Adelaide Cabaret Festival Review: Tina Del Twist is Gold Class

You can tell the moment that Tina Del Twist (Wes Snelling) lurches out onto stage, with a bottle clutched in her hand, knocking over several props along the way, that this is going to be a wild ride. Introducing her band, visible to only Tina, she reminisces about her recent “world tour”, which we suspect may be as realistic as her backing band.

Fortunately, her very real guitar-toting accompanist, Twist (Stephen Wier) comes on stage, and somehow manages to keep Tina on track during the performance. At times she strays down the classic drag path, cheesy songs sung in very high voices, before abruptly doing an about turn and suddenly we are faced with the story of being an outcast at the family Christmas lunch or a story of homelessness. Comedy is used as a club to get her point across.

The traditional third wall between the audience and the performer is shattered. She spots a long lost cousin at the front table and reminisces about their non-existent time together. She strolls to the back of the theatre to chat to the sound desk about his broken dreams. After a story of her time at Woodstock, she finds a hidden joint hidden on her person and takes a break outside.

Tina Del Twist leads us on a trail that is treacherous and full of unexpected twists, yet we all arrive safely at the end. The long-suffering Twist tells us so much without saying a word. A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind man. The connection between the two performers is a strong point in the show.

Tina Del Twist is a fun show that is almost bipolar in it’s presentation and one that leaves the audience laughing as they go. Watching Tina is like watching a car crash in slow motion. We don’t want to look, but we can’t turn away. Make no mistake, this is a clever and engaging show and one that entertains well.

Tina Del Twist plays the Artspace at the Adelaide Cabaret until June 16th.

The reviewer attended the show on 15th June. Feature photo by Stano Murin.