CABARIOT: Frisky and Mannish

Concert Chamber, Town Hall, Auckland Live, Auckland

29/09/2016 - 02/10/2016

Auckland Live International Cabaret Season 2016

Production Details

It’s time for a revolution. 

There’s fire in the disco, blood on the dancefloor, and super-hot sparkly rage in our hearts.  

Cabariot is more than a show, it’s a night of passionate polemic. A burn book for Generation Y and an evening of disorder, dissent, and drinking.  

Cabariot is a show with counterculture cachet that’s going to fix all the wrongs in the world. It’s angry but funny and a little bit sexy.  

Frisky and Mannish 

Frisky & Mannish are the mad scientists of pop, mixing unlikely solutions from incompatible artists and distilling entire genres into their separate elements with the tenacity of a Rottweiler and the charm of a Disney prince.

Cabariot: Frisky and Mannish 
Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall
29 SEP – 2 OCT
$18.00 – $264.00

60 minutes, no interval
Contains adult themes
Accessible seating available
Hearing aid loop performances 

Theatre , Cabaret ,

Putting the riot in cabaret

Review by Candice Lewis 30th Sep 2016

Cramming around a small table with strangers, the atmosphere in the Concert Chamber is festive, a backdrop on stage featuring a white stylized fist clutching what appears to be a red flag. Hang on, that’s no red flag, it’s a stiletto sharp enough to be used as a weapon.

Mannish (Mathew Floyd Jones) plays the keyboard and a haunting, high, perfect note enters the room before the siren appears. Frisky (Laura Corcoran) is glorious, her pace bride-slow as she sings herself onto the stage. Fortunately, Frisky is not falling into a Whitney Houston style over substance (no pun intended) trap. Her voice is more than technically good, it has purity and soul.  

In the original spirit of Cabaret, Cabariot embraces a political edge with a lot of humour. Frisky asks the audience what makes them angry. She approaches a couple of people, but no one says child murder rates in New Zealand, unkindness or ignorance. I guess no one wants to bring the mood down. As an example of what makes her angry, Frisky describes not being able to find hairclips even though she just bought some. Maybe it’s just as well she didn’t ask me what makes me angry. Now I have a weird mixture of hairclips, rape, dead children and poverty all mixed up in my mind.

Fortunately this spiral is broken by the call to interact with a rallying cry and high five with a neighbour. We all scream out our rage, and yeah, I feel better. The opening act explores what might be the right song to truly celebrate feminism. Helen Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman’ doesn’t get a look in as the songs explored are primarily along the lines of Sugababes and Beyonce.

Quickly critiquing each song and how it falls short of embracing equality is extraordinary, due to the fast pace and flawless connection between the English duo. If I’m not smiling I am staring in appreciation.

There is a reasonable amount of material directed at fat as a feminist issue.  I happen to take one of my thinnest and most conservative friends to the show which I do not recommend. At one point Frisky makes a joke along the lines of not being real woman unless you are a size 16 or over.  Maybe it’s meant to be satirical comment, only it does annoy me as it perpetuates shame. Whether a size 10 or 16, why should anyone be put down for their size? Please do correct me if I’ve misunderstood.

Their song on fat-shaming is clever and depressing and they talk it up as the most controversial part of the act. Where they do in fact shine is in the music itself. Mannish is creepy-camp with magic in his piano sweet fingers, his voice complementing Frisky’s beautifully. 

The show appears to be aimed at a non-heterosexual audience yet I don’t feel excluded. They conclude with a stunningly funny song. It is so good that I am laughing till I nearly cry. I look around at the audience and everyone is laughing, smiling, alight. We may not all be stars, but all of us are shining, and that folks, puts the riot in Cabariot


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Queen St Riots

Review by James Wenley 30th Sep 2016

Frisky and Mannish are quick to put the audience in their place. Those seated closest to them are clearly the best people in the room. The middle section is okay. This reviewer was seated at the back, fittingly, with the rest of the scum. The Town Hall Concert Chamber is a hotbed of injustice and inequality.

Their banner shows a fist raised in uprising, clutching a red heel rather than a hammer or sickle. Cabariot is Marxist critique with added fabulousness. Their central thesis is the whole system sucks. They say they’re angry. They ask members of the audience if they are angry. A few mumble “everything”. “New Zealand: We need specificity” rejoinders Frisky. Thank goodness this duo from Britain have arrived to shake up the Kiwi she’ll be right apathy. [More


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