Review :: Sydney Festival – iOTA: Young, Hard and Solo

January 19th 2012

The smoke machine runs high, the lights go down, and an invisible voice reminds us to turn off our phones and announces that the word ‘cunt’ definitely will not be used in this show. A three-piece band strikes up an anticipatory overture. Finally, carried aloft by a leather-masked gimp, wielding a cocktail glass the size of Tasmania, wearing a smart suit, hooker boots and a lion’s mane of feathers, the star arrives on stage.

iOTA’s Young, Hard and Solo is part cabaret, part memoir; an intimate and hilarious night of song, striptease and coerced conversation.

The Helpmann Award winner and ARIA nominee iOTA is almost too talented. He croons ballads and belts out anthems – some original, some covers of his favourites – with equal skill. He dances with startling control and excellent abandon in turn. He channels Tim Curry, KD Lang and Adam West among others, and is generally totally magnetic for the full 90 minutes.

This show is about iOTA, and there are in-jokes that will make no sense to those who aren’t familiar with his life and work. That said, if a skinny man in a bunny suit slow-dancing with a gimp isn’t your idea of quality entertainment, this isn’t the show for you regardless of how much you already know.

What: iOTA: Young, Hard and Solo, presented by Sydney Festival
Where and when: Sydney Opera House, January 17-21
Tickets: Sold out


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