Even having read the synopsis, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from I, Divine. Staged in a small, intimate space with minimal props, the hour-long show is exactly why people love cabaret.
With only four cast members (two backing vocalists and two main performers), this show takes place in two different times and places. First we’re introduced to Brett (Caity Fowler), a typical comic book/sci-fi geek who doesn’t have any real direction in life. He runs a chatroom called Supergods, which Otrera (Emma Clair Ford) accesses in an attempt to ask a prophet about her destiny. For those that haven’t heard of her, she’s the founder and Queen of the Amazons, but this show is set before that.
In essence, this is a show about a strange pair: a geek and a demigoddess. There’s a lot of geeky references and jokes, and a lot of amusing misunderstandings. There are also a lot of gorgeous a cappella songs – however, a lot of them had similar tempos and blends. For future shows, I’d love to hear a bass added to the back-up vocalists too, because the show was fairly light on the lower registers.
The story itself is pretty interesting – Brett is a prophet because he has a computer and Google to answer Otrera’s questions – but isn’t fully resolved. While Otrera seems to have found peace by the end of the show, Brett is far less developed. Speaking of Brett, the fact he is played by Caity Fowler and that ‘Brett’ can possibly be a woman’s name lends itself to a queer interpretation, which I found fitting due to the topic of Amazons. In fact, reading Brett as a woman is far more interesting than reading him as a man. (Of course, there is some dialogue specifically saying he’s a man, but it’s interesting to try that alternative reading.)
Altogether, I, Divine is an interesting show about finding one’s place in the world. While it started off strong, it seemed to be a little directionless near the end – however, it still boasts gorgeous original music and a talented cast.
I, Divine shows at Kew Court House from Thursday June 26 till Sunday June 29, 7pm. Tickets start from $24. To book, check out their Melbourne Cabaret Festival page.