Entertainment Hive 2020

Iota: Slap and Tickle

Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Dunstan Playhouse, June 21-22

Review by Honey B

Slap is a clown and Tickle is a gimp and together they are a good team – until Slap (iOTA) pushes Tickle (Russell Leonard) too far. The pair start off working well together as Slap basks in the limelight and sings his way through a highly catchy ditty, “I may be gay, but I’m not that cabaret.’’ Ever the flamboyant chameleon and front-man, Slap works his way through a range of eclectic cabaret numbers and costumes from the alluring Sirena of the Sea to the hilarious Wayno the Braino and howling cool Wolfman. While Tickle is his ever-steady sidekick - always there and always ready with a prop, microphone or a broom to clean-up. But Leonard’s Tickle is much more than a faceless wallflower – he’s got some marvellous moves of his own and a fun personality. As Tickle takes more of the limelight, Slap becomes a bit crazy and abusive to his friend. Set as a fast-paced, variety-style show, Slap and Tickle is surprisingly emotive and provides wonderful character arcs for both performers. iOTA has talent to spare and moves through a range of personas with ease. My favourite was Sammy the Snake – he was just delicious! Leonard could really move, and his dance numbers became more intense and emotive. It was a joy to see him do a headstand and cartwheel across the stage. The other jewel in this show was the strong 11 piece band backing these two superb performers. The music was amazing, and iOTA’s lyrics are very much tongue-in-cheek. A perfect night out – cabaret or not!
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