Concert Chamber, Town Hall, Auckland Live, Auckland

04/09/2015 - 05/09/2015

The Press Big Top - Busker Park, Christchurch

14/01/2016 - 23/01/2016

Auckland Live International Cabaret Season 2015


Production Details

Auckland Live in association with Auspicious Arts Inc presents

Yana Alana: Between the Cracks

Friday 4 September 2015, 6.00pm and Saturday 5 September, 10.00pm
Live at Concert Chamber | Auckland Town Hall

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Australia’s very own diva extraordinaire – the feather ruffler, the rabble rouser, the cabaret provocateur Yana Alana – takes to the stage with Between the Cracks. Traversing the private places and deepest holes of this multi- award winning diva, she opens up and bares all in a bent night of blues, burlesque and blame.
Yana Alana is one of the most totalising, larger-than-life stage creations to come out of Melbourne since Edna Everage…Between the Cracks is a blast. 
Sydney Morning Herald ****
She is talented and she knows it, and when she revels in her time in the spotlight in this messy, political and fun cabaret, we can’t help but celebrate, too.
The Guardian
Running Time
60 minutes, no interval.
Times are approximate
Ticket Prices
Premium $35.00*
Concession $30.00*
Table of six $180.00*
Premium Elite Experience – $282.00* (only three tables available)
Gallery $25.00*
Bookings: http://www.ticketmaster.co.nz/Yana-Alana-Between-the-Cracks-tickets/artist/2135446?brand=aucklandlive&camefrom=CFC_NZ_TET_CABFEST_SEP15
In Between the Cracks the tyrannical Yana Alana, accompanied by her long-suffering accompanist Louise Goh, bares all, quite literally, through song, eccentric dance, poetry and tantrums.

A mistress at emotional manipulation and the art of entrapment, Yana Alana invites you to view the world from the heart and mind of a solipsistic, fragile and courageous diva who is not afraid to let it all hang out!

The Press Big Top, Busker Park
14th to the 23rd January, 7pm


Theatre , Cabaret ,

In-your-face, over the top yet finds a way to the heart

Review by Lindsay Clark 17th Jan 2016

The politely conventional air of the venue may never recover from the blue dynamite blast that is Sarah Ward’s creation: Yana Alana. Certainly the shenanigans of this hugely talented cabaret diva are remarkable for their exuberance and daring.

Onstage, as we troop in, is a huge decorative arrangement of lurid flora, atop a drapery of blue plastic. Apart from that, the only clue to what we should expect is a conventional musical keyboard and sedate accompanist (Louise Goh, of whom more anon).Then the blue bombshell sweeps down the stairs crooning a blues number. She is all hair and eyes and voice – and smoky blue painted on ‘costume’. It adds up to impact plus.

Tonight, she claims, she is in the mood to reveal her true self, the self apart from “feather ruffler, rabble rouser and cabaret provocateur”. The bait is laid. Who could resist? She’s off on a dazzling exposé (another one) of her expertise in self-help, sexuality, lust and mediation with a vocal range as extravagant as her appearance. In the spoken sequences between the songs her comedic arsenal includes ‘improvisation’ and a gentle session with a ‘Burt Bacharach’, conveniently seated in the front row. 

Her performance is neatly shaped around the onstage relationship with her unflinching accompanist who inspires a splendidly entertaining tantrum as well as an unforgettable apology. The auditorium, with its lecture theatre configuration is not the easiest place for intimate performance, but Yana Alana is not constrained. She works the aisles and entrances with ease and for all her extraordinary get up and exoticism, has a fine line in cajoling the audience members who inevitably find themselves part of the show. 

The revelation promised at the onset is indeed delivered and her final exhortation to live life joyfully adds yet another dimension. In-your-face and over the top as she is, Yana Alana also finds a way to the heart. Cabaret glitz, witty lyrics and all, her show ultimately celebrates self-assertion and belief. 


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Outrageous, messy and fun

Review by Roxanne de Bruyn 05th Sep 2015

Seeing the Town Hall dressed for cabaret is a new experience. Feathers and pink cocktails dress the bar, and the Concert Chamber is filled with tiny round tables dotted with candles. Squeezing into our seats and chatting with others at our table, anticipation builds for a show that’s clearly going to be a little bit different.

A tongue-in-cheek warning about strong language and nudity sets the tone for Yana Alana who appears on stage in a blue body-painted body suit and a lashing of diamantes. Her wild blue wig and ridiculously high blue heels flash in the lights, and as she belts out her first song “I’m blue” it’s clear that she has the talent to match her flamboyant persona.

Entertaining, fun and a bit rough around the edges, Yana Alana somehow manages to avoid pure vulgarity. She uses her body effectively, jiggling for emphasis, and makes her way around the audience, sitting on laps and teasing the men. Confronting and widely entertaining, nothing is out of bounds – she directs the lighting from the stage and argues with her pianist over a ringing cell phone in an ongoing gag that runs throughout the show, inciting laughter with every instruction and gesture.

The laughter continues as Yana Alana reads excerpts from her self-help book Go F*** Yourself, generally precipitating the start of a new emotional breakdown. An interpretive dance and a variety of ribald songs add to the general hilarity while a piece about the general inability of people to apologise (including Yana) adds a political edge to the performance and includes a couple of local jokes for the Auckland audience.

In Between the Cracks, Yana Alana literally bears everything, her strong diva persona crumbling as the show progresses and the body paint rubs off. Her fragile mental state is an ongoing theme and the audience both laughs and sympathises with her as she turns to pills and tantrums.  She loses her wig and covers herself in the blue plastic originally used to protect hapless audience members from her blue paint, yet her voice and stage presence retain the brilliance of her bright blue entrance.

Yana Alana’s voice has great range and versatility and her talent, stage presence and wit gives her performance surprising depth. She plays with the audience throughout the act, drawing us in, as she takes us on the journey with her, letting us spiral through her thoughts and insecurities. She often builds up the punchlines, so they come as no surprise, but it’s the anticipation that’s much of the fun, allowing us to laugh with her.

Despite ostensibly being a one-woman show, Yana Alana has ongoing interplay with her pianist, providing an almost faceless, voiceless character for Yana to project her frustrations onto. This relationship and interaction gives the performance structure and form, allowing the audience to view Yana beyond her diva exterior. Voicing some thoughts and opinions some will share and others will abhor, Yana Alana can be surprisingly critical at times and remains a sympathetic if not exactly likeable character.

The entire performance is written, choreographed and performed by Yana Alana (aka Sarah Ward), and is a professional, fluid piece of work. Not for anyone easily offended by swearing or nudity, Yana Alana is outrageous, messy and fun, and keeps the audience laughing for the entire hour. At its heart, cabaret is about audience interaction and unabashed entertainment and Yana Alana is a great addition to the Auckland International Cabaret Season.


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