Review: Larry Paradiseo and the Fabulous Dame Farrar – Carita Farrer Spencer
Carita Farrer Spencer has done something special this comedy festival – she’s given you two shows for the price of one.
First up on the Larry Paradiseo and the Fabulous Dame Farrar double bill is Dame Farrar herself, a diva from a long line of divas; oft-married, never-tamed. The Dame has one of the most incredible voices you’ll come across in a comedy show, and she puts it to good use in her incredible, unique renditions of all your favourite songs. She also regales us with stories of her husbands (were there seven? Or eight? Who can keep track), her upbringing in the Hungarian opera scene and the tragic death of her mother at the hands of a bottle of Listerine, before launching into show-stopping renditions of well-selected show tunes and pop songs.
The highlight of the show, however, comes after the intermission, when the Dame relinquishes the stage to the charismatic, unstoppable Larry Paradiseo. Larry is the Tramp to the Dame’s Lady, and he wastes no time in wooing every female audience member he claps his eyes on (although, some might argue, with limited success). Carita seems to have an absolute ball playing Larry, throwing the character around the stage with incredible energy, some rough charm and very little shame. Larry’s set also features a surprise entrance by everyone’s favourite Eurovision winner, so prepare yourselves!
At its bare bones, The Dame and Larry are your typical drag act – over-the-top, camp fun; more cabaret than comedy. The Dame’s backstory is entertaining, but not particularly funny, and is probably more suited to the cabaret scene than to the comedy festival. But Carita’s amazing voice carries the Dame’s act to new heights, and the irrepressible fun of Larry makes for a hilarious second half of the show. If you like a bit of cabaret in your comedy, get down to the Galleon Cafe before the 12th of April and get your fix.