In Retrostalgia, Matt Format embodies Nanaman, a saucy songstress on a Zimmer frame.
Think Priscilla, Queen of the Aged Care Facility. It's an off-beat combination of lip synching, strange solo sex acts and stripper heels. With an impressive collection of old lady wigs.
The soundtrack is good, featuring The Whitlams' "No Aphrodisiac" and "Break Free" by Queen.
The low-fi lighting setup is a major feature of the show, and was applied to good effect, making varied use of the small space between the slightly clumsy scene transitions.
Costuming is on point, and had me wondering if Format had in fact just been playing dress-ups at his Nan's place and let the idea run away with him. I have to admit that a twenty-something year old man playing a sexually-active geriatric has a certain je ne sais quoi about it.
But it is a limited concept that, while entertaining at first, wears thin fairly quickly. Mercifully, Format understands this and winds up the show within half an hour. Still, if I'd spent $27 on a ticket I'd be pretty disappointed.
This is one of those cases where the description bears little apparent resemblance to the show. Intriguing, but ultimately a bit of a let down.
Meanwhile, I must make special mention of the venue, Basem3nt. Tucked away down an alley off Gawler Place, this adorable little space with super friendly staff is replete with cosy stages and a well-stocked bar. Everyone gets a personal invite to stay for a drink and a chat after the show.