Cabaret at Komedia on a Bank Holiday weekend – there’s nothing quite like it! And a night with Dusty Limits? Well, he’s something else (something very good but something very else). Dusty positively radiates charm and charisma. It’s hard not to fall in love with him from the get-set-go of the show. He has so much stage presence; you can’t tear your eyes away. Talking of eyes, his practically “pop” (in fact, I might try out that makeup on myself).
“Smizing” (that’s smiling with your eyes for those who don’t watch ANTM) and schmoozing aside, Dusty is one hell of a talented performer. His voice prompts a fair few goosebumps on unsuspecting limbs… (by which I’m talking about arms and legs, you dirtbags!)! The songs themselves are brilliantly written and perfectly performed. Musician and composer, Michael Roulston, accompanies Dusty on the piano. The two have great chemistry and pizzazz (did I just say “pizzazz”? Sorry…).
There are songs about MSM (men who have sex with men who protest they aren’t “gay” or “bisexual”), completion anxiety (an artist’s inability to finish anything they start – totes know the feeling), a retrospective look at the ridiculous debates surrounding gay marriage (and the ludicrousness of the House of Lords), family f*ck-heads (a rather warped yet fitting family portrait), and the show culminates with a psychotic medley, which includes “real” disorders from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; aka, comedy gold).
The show will have you laughing your arse off but there are also some touching moments too that will no doubt prompt a fair whack of reflection as you undertake your journey home. Dusty exposes the absurdities of the DSM; there’s even a condition called “temper dysregulation disorder”, which is basically another name for “teenager”. Dusty makes a good point; if we’re all depressed and anxious doesn’t it mean there’s something wrong with the world… and not us? He also portrays attitudes to the elderly and homeless in a way that makes you giggle one minute and squirm the next. We soon realise that Society is the one who’s f*cked up, not us. Dusty & Michael question the need to stick labels on everyone, the willingness to hand out pills in order to help us cope with life. We’re also reminded that homosexuality was once classified as a mental disorder and suddenly the show is laced with an inescapable fear, an anxiety of our own making (well not ‘ours’ – theirs – the powers-that-be, I mean). That being said, the sensitive subject matter is handled with care and Dusty’s striking honesty and open vulnerability entrances throughout.
Oh and as with any cabaret, there’s a nice dollop of audience participation where you get to shout “cock” at the top of your lungs and scream your heart out to the tune of “I’m not normal”. Arrh, we all felt better after that. We all need a bit of Dusty in our lives. Check him out next time he’s in town!
[Komedia, Brighton – @KomediaBrighton / Dusty Limits – @DustyLimits / Brighton Fringe – @BrightonFringe / http://www.michaelroulston.co.uk ]