The crowd, electric with anticipation, roared their delight, when the darling of the international cabaret circuit, and showman extraordinaire, Reuben Kaye, finally made his spectacular entrance. Immaculately made-up and high kicking his way the length of the stage, he soaked up the spotlight, dazzling one and all in his sparkling red ringmeister coat and batting his long lashes. Kaye brandished his signature pony tail mic to exuberantly greet everyone, revelling in his enthusiastic welcome and for giving him an ‘audible erection’!
One person described the energy in the room as literally “bouncing off the walls”.
The performance was unforgettable and cumulated in not one, but two, standing ovations at the end of the 75-minute performance.
Reuben Kaye is acknowledged for his provocative sharp, subversive exploration of sexual liberation. In this special solo, one night only, WA premiere, he revealed for the first time a deeper, more compelling side to his persona. Kaye combined story and song to give fleeting snapshots and insight into his painful evolution from a 10-year-old, bullied, Australian ‘girly boy’, of cultured immigrant parents, to the powerful London based supernova he is today.
Despite its gargantuan size, the club with its hazy rich red lighting contributed to the intimacy of his story. He held us captivated, holding his space in that huge crowded venue like a beacon, shedding his flamboyant coat and stripping down to his shirt and braces to openly share his journey. What struck me was the skilful way he played with us, as a cat does, intuitively reaching just the right degree of tension and pathos before offering reprieve and snapping back into something more familiar and irreverent. It was sheer alchemy.
Kaye’s early exposure to art and culture is evident. He has a quick repartee and acid tongue. His rapid rap to LGBTIQ was astonishingly quick. His delivery was flawless, showcasing his multiple talents, dancing, singing, storytelling and extraordinary wit. Reuben involved everybody, inspiring us with the message that we are all special and can be anything we want to be. He left us wanting more, generously encouraging support for other Fringe performers.