Saturday, 10 March 2018

It's Not Easy Being Green - Cabaret Review

What: It's Not Easy Being Green
When: 7 - 11 March 2018
Where: The Butterfly Club
Created by: Katie Visser
Musical direction by: Joseph Daniel jnr
Performed by: Joseph Daniel jnr and Katie Visser

Joseph Daniel jnr and Katie Visser
Cabaret is a wonderful beast because it can be just about anything.  The main requirement is that it forms an intimate relationship between the performer and the audience. Oh, and it usually includes some songs and even more occassionally comedy (although neither of these elements are essential). Visser's show It's Not Easy Being Green at The Butterfly Club has all of these elements and with a voice made for power ballads with the strength and stamina of a full concert in her lungs, just going for the music alone would make this an enjoyable night out.

It's Not Easy Being Green is about Visser's journey to veganism which she pledged to fully three years ago - a brief and unsuccessful attempt at vegetarianism in her youth notwithstanding. Through her travels, Visser tries to demystify the idea of vegans as hippy, intolerant, skinny evangelists. Vegans are human too you know!

At this point I need to admit the disclaimer I am an omnivore (I never understand why people say carnivore, but that's another essay..) and as a Monist I am one of those people who say 'what about the plants?' To understand why I say that you have to go and see the show.

Don't get me wrong. It's Not Easy Being Green is not a sermon or a recruitment drive and the Oreos Visser hands out early in the show (apparently they are supposed to be vegan) make it impossible to get upset about anything anyway.

It's Not Easy Being Green is a gentle explanation of her motivations and experiences (which does not include a weight loss benefit) and gives us a window into domestic bliss despite one person being a vegan and the other an omnivore and the ever echoing question 'where's the meat?' resounding through her house.

Visser is not a stand up comedian but the song choices she and Daniel have made had us rolling in the aisles. From 'Dancing In The Dark' at the start of her journey to 'Heaven is a Place on Earth' when she finally finds a vegan restaurant in Berwick because her suburb of Crimebourne thinks a vegan menu option is french fries.

After pointing out that the fate of the planet depends on how many cows are farting and a few corny puns which made us laugh, not cringe, Visser really hits her vocal stride in Hart's 'Dog and Butterfly'. She follows this with a beautiful (and original) ode to her husband 'Here's To Us Both (You Know When Someone Loves You)'.

Visser is a vegan for all the reasons everyone quotes - environmental, compassion, being cool - but she is also a Netflix binge watcher so she is definitely one of my peeps too! She totally won me over when she broke social convention telling us "You are not what you eat!"

It's Not Easy Being Green is heartwarming, honest, and beautiful. Don't miss it. It's an early show (7pm) so pop in for a cocktail and a giggle before heading out for more serious shenanigans.

3 Stars

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