Knight's performance as Arachne - who in Greek mythology is transformed into a spider after insulting the Goddess Athena - is absolutely captivating and fascinating to watch. Her vocal cadence is brilliantly used to build the drama and the intrigue of her life and she remains consistent with her speech patterns. Knight presents a number of well-known songs and reimagines the lyrics to tie in with Arachne's life. She displays a great range in her singing ability, from pop ballads to rock to cabaret classics, with the standouts being James Blunt's "Goodbye my Lover" and Chicago's "When You're Good To Mama."
Unlike human Arachne, the set design is humble but confidently establishes the scene and mood, with a large chain running along the walls resembling her web. This simultaneously alludes to her sexual escapades and prowess in luring men to their deaths and an unexpected stage reveal midway through brings us even further into Arachne's penchant for blood sucking. The costume is a simple stroke of genius, with Knight wearing a black tight fitting body suit with four arms - beautifully manicured and jeweled - attached to her body.
Black Widow takes us on a journey through Arachne's life and while this could have turned into a cabaret with big loud numbers about spider senses and being a maneater, Knight takes us into the spiderwoman's thoughts, regrets and longings but with a biting sense of humour. It has a solid structure that covers traditional elements of storytelling but told in a refreshing way that definitely leaves a mark on you.
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: until 15 October | 5:30pm
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $37 Full | $33 Concession
Bookings: The Butterfly Club or Melbourne Fringe Festival