Reviewed by Cameron Woodhead

Yana Alana’s many cult followers will know her latest show Covered is a cheeky reference to her last, Between the Cracks, a Helpmann Award-winning cabaret burlesque in which the voluptuous diva performed largely in the buff. This time she has clothes, more lightning costume changes than a Madonna concert, and every word of the show, she proudly declares, is written by someone else.

If you’re worried that Yana Alana has sold out to the mainstream by abandoning performance poetry and singing covers, fear not. Her song choice and vocal style remain completely her own, and the show quotes pop lyrics as kooky as any Yana could invent.

It opens with Shirley Bassey’s History Repeating, performed in Bond girl silhouette against a newsreel montage. (Yana’s creator Sarah Ward has pipes huge enough to effectively impersonate the Welsh songstress, and she gets back to Bassey with I, Who Have Nothing later on.)

Madcap clowning runs through numbers that range from the extremely famous to the obscure. One minute Yana will be crooning the Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever under psychedelic lighting, the next Scout Niblett’s Dinosaur Egg with silly props, or the 1930s ditty If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It, as she squeezes herself into an outfit from Supré.

The musicians – Louise Goh on keyboard and Bec Matthews’ percussion – are terrific, and director Anni Davey​ brilliantly shapes the comic madness.

The audience was in hysterics. Don’t miss out.

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