Adelaide Fringe Festival Review: Anya Anastasia Rogue Romantic – Royal Croquet Club (Performances until 19th March)

As we take our seats in the Black Forest at the Royal Croquet Club, we spot a lone figure in a flowing red dress slumped over an onyx grand piano. Around her three other figures are cleaning and sweeping. Oblivious to the crowd around her, she begins a piano melody, a sad song about loneliness. There’s something in her eye. It’s just glitter.

A sudden moment of awareness and she notices the audience for the first time. Suddenly Anya Anastasia comes alive! She’s fallen in love with the crowd and the crowd are here to fall in love with her.

The stage erupts with music, the backing performers, Laurie Black on keys, Annie Siegmann on bass and Bec Matthews on drums sound incredible. It is now that we realise that this show is about us, the audience, as much as it’s about Anya the entertainer. She wants us to love her, whatever it takes.

There is audience participation; don’t expect to sit quietly in your seat and go unnoticed, that’s not Anya’s style. There will be impromptu acts of striptease, candlelit dinners for two, drinks, music and fun.

Anya will find her true love, unless of course there’s something just not right; or maybe someone better will come along. The stage is reminiscent of a Berlin nightclub, with lighting designer Michelle Thorne and Anya’s team of creative directors crafting an entertaining and personal glimpse into Anya’s psyche.

Moments of sadness are balanced by moments of sheer madness and laughter but isn’t that what life’s about? Falling in love, until something better comes along. For tonight at least, Anya is just perfect.

Anya Anastasia’s ‘Rogue Romantic’ plays at the Royal Croquet Club until March 19th – grab your tickets here. The reviewer saw this show on March 5th.