Review: Paul McDermott – The Dark Garden

Adelaide Town Hall – Auditorium, Saturday, February 15

Adelaide Town Hall Auditorium: Saturday, February 15

Breathtaking, curious backdrops set the stage for McDermott’s show – weird creatures, startled Australian wildlife and a view out into a wonderful nowhere. The Dark Garden, a place McDermott created to cope with terrible grief, emerged in a mismatched selection of stories and songs, all loosely tied around the theme of death. The music was simply astounding. Remarking that he had been told, at age eight, that he had “the voice of an angel but the mind of the devil”, McDermott proved his vocal chords can still pack a punch, 20 years after the demise of the Doug Anthony All Stars. The highlight of his incredible voice was tempered by the comedic material: a long list of masturbation euphemisms and vagina gags. Let loose from the screen-friendly confines of commercial television, McDermott was happy to frolic elbows-deep in filth. A startling look into the private life and thoughts of one of Australia’s most-loved entertainers. Rating: ***  

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