Reviewed by Cynthia Ning
The Sydney Fringe Festival 2023 is in full swing and amongst the list of incredible acts, Jens Radda: Skank Sinatra is a standout one-woman cabaret drag show.
Featured late into the night at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, the architecture and historical decor brought vintage vibes as we were seated at round tables fitting 3-4 people comfortably. Drinks were available for patrons at the bar as the crowd trickled in of various ages and enjoyed the show. Of course, the best seats in the house were closest to the stage where you got to see the Queen herself up close.
The deep magenta lighting against the dark set felt electric, lights dimmed and an announcement was made to snap as many photos of Jens (pronounced with a Y as she is European) Radda as possible to post on socials. She immediately drew people in with her warm and playful nature as she interacted with the audience before gracefully stepping onto the stage in 9-inch heels.
The crisp white power suits and signature platinum blonde wigs were a clever choice as they became a complimentary canvas for the light changes from lime green to crimson red. With make-up, costume and hair on point, I would love to learn how she does her eye-catching mesmerising sparkly eyeshadow.
We got a glimpse into the life of Jens Radda and her journey to be here with us at the Sydney show. Born in South Africa and growing up in the Sunshine Coast, she dived into her self-discovery and secret sauna spots, entwining it with uniquely Australian humour that had us all gagging. Jens gently poked fun at her musical talent coming from her parents sending her to private school with every number spilling out saucy details of her adventures from home to Berlin.
Matt the light and sound technician worked non-stop behind the scenes. Being the perfect distraction for the costume change before the curtain call. Her deliberate short, sharp movements and expressions said it all when recalling men from her past and her professional career to date.
The small and intimate venue could not stop Jens Radda her feeling like she was playing at a sold-out stadium with personal renditions of classic songs such as Bang Bang My Baby Shot Me Down, Strangers in the Night and I Did It My Way. She won the hearts of the audience with not only her quick-witted dialogue and sultry voice but her radiant presence.
A delightful after-dinner show that is only a little naughty and highly entertaining to be a part of.
This Fabulous Cabaret Queen is stamping her mark across every major city in Australia, so make sure to go see Jens Radda wherever you can.