The Famous Spiegeltent, 100 Devon Street East, New Plymouth

20/08/2015 - 21/08/2015


Production Details

Life is a one-woman show for risqué rabble rouser Yana Alana, who lets it all hang out. Literally.

The edgy alter ego of Sarah Ward delves into deep and dark places of burlesque and blame in her show Between the Cracks.

After time in rehab, Yana Alana unapologetically returns to bare all through song, poetry and her own style of dance. Her laugh-out-loud performance has been described by the Sydney Festival as “cabaret at its very best – incisive, hilarious, confronting and, most of all, musically divine”.

A mistress of emotional manipulation, the woman in blue invites you to view the world from the heart and mind of a fragile and courageous diva. Imagine Liza Minnelli as a Smurf with an addiction problem.

Between the Cracks is on for two nights only.

Warning: Contains nudity and coarse language

The Famous Spiegeltent
Thu, Aug 20 & Fri, Aug 21, 2015

Theatre , Burlesque ,

Crude, classy, outrageous and never sleazy

Review by Holly Shanahan 21st Aug 2015

The festival guide describes Yana Alana as a “risque rabble rouser” and her show in the Spiegeltent does not disappoint on any account.

As the show begins, we are warned by the voice over that “this show contains bad language and nudity, so if you are easily offended please *** off now”. The tone of the show is set from here. It is crude, classy and outrageous, but surprisingly, in a way that is wonderfully entertaining rather than crass.

When the lights come up, Yana Alana stands resplendent in her deep blue and diamante ‘birthday suit’, complemented by a huge wig and sparkling platforms. Sauntering down the aisle, up close and personal with the audience, she belts out her first number: ‘I’m Blue’ (and she certainly is). It is entertainment in itself to see the initial reactions of the Taranaki crowd, delighted and confused as to where they should look!

This is the kind risque cabaret I loved in Melbourne. I initially think it could be a bit outrageous for a slightly older, more conservative Taranaki crowd, but the buzzy chatter when the show is over tells a different tale.

Yana Alana is a character created by Sarah Ward: an emotionally fragile, demanding diva who has no idea quite how tragic she really is.  She is like a blue, nude Mary Poppins in fast forward on valium.

The show numbers are created around topics from her current self help book ‘Go F*** Yourself’, from which she also reads excerpts, broken up by disputes with her accompanist. Hilarious and sometimes very rude, she is a talented singer with a huge range and belting voice.

The gift of great cabaret is in the artist’s skills at interacting and improvising with an audience. Ward is very clever, she has a strong grasp on her character and isn’t afraid to go out of the box (and/or people’s comfort zones!) for a laugh. Though it is rude, it never crosses too far into sleazy or gross. 

The Spiegeltent is geared perfectly towards this kind of show. Yana Alana mingles through the seats and booths, tasting people’s wine and sitting on knees as she goes.

While a few of the songs aren’t quite as good as others, most are very funny, and I am certainly wowed by Ward’s voice. My face hurts from smiling and laughing for a full hour. She is a fabulous cabaret artist and I would definitely see her next time around.


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