Wednesday 22 May 2024

The Last Word review

Imogen Whittaker likes to have the last word. In her cabaret The Last Word, and as she closes out her 20s, Whittaker reflects on that crazy little thing called love and the relationships she's had in her life.

Whittaker is an engaging storyteller and within the first few minutes of the show, her captivating charm hits every corner of the room. She finds great segues as she moves from song to song without having them feeling shoe-horned in. She's clearly thought about the structure and the purpose behind every little heartache she shares with us. She maintains a strong rapport with the audience and the repeated callbacks and pop culture drops create an atmosphere of familiarity, warmth and vulnerability in the room.

There is a pronounced emotional resonance with all her songs, even when they are filled with witty one liners and comedic moments, like getting RSI from swiping left and right too many times on the apps and the randomness of an ex who bought her a piano. But nothing beats the story of bumping into a man she was dating, along with his wife, and being introduced as a family friend. Yeah...

You can't help but get lost in the music and words and sense what Whittaker is expressing, even if what she is singing about is not something you've gone through. Her words hold weight and power, and it's an experience that both my plus one and myself felt for the whole of The Last Word.

Hopefully we don't have to wait until Whittaker closes out her 30s before we get to see her on the stage again. There is some charismatic star power on display and The Last Word should be the beginning of a brilliant cabaret career for her.


Venue: Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
 until 25 May | 7:00pm
60 minutes
 $39 Full | $35 Conc
The Butterfly Club

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