Personas shine in What the Fandango?!

Sarah IsonBusselton Dunsborough Times

Award-winning cabaret star Robert Hofmann has enough operatic talent, spicy stand-up and physical humour to fill a room, or at least to fill the four personas he brings to the stage in his show What the Fandango?!

Returning to Busselton Fringe for the third time, Hofmann combines his experiences singing for the West Australian Opera with his passion for cabaret, morphing from one character to the next, all while pulling off numbers from Schubert to Sondheim.

As Hofmann morphs between his multi-gendered characters, he draws sharp contrasts to make tongue-in-cheek social comments.

Church-going aspiring musician Susan Higgins juxtaposes strongly with Helmut Wunderlicher, a lustful, leather-clad German performer, who explores elements of same-sex relationships.

“The chances of unrequited love may be even higher in same-sex relationships because the person you fall for may be straight,” Hofmann said.

“Helmut explores that angst but in a comedic way.”

Hofmann then morphs into the exotic Dr Gaye Thymeinto, before donning the black and white cloth to bring to life Sister Virgillious.

“She’s got into a bit of trouble because she’s performing cabaret shows in her nun’s habit,” he said.

Hofmann also brings with him a musical talent to rival his own, acclaimed accordionist Cathie Travers, who has collaborated with many artists including Meow Meow, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Barry Humphries.

“We’ve got Schubert, Schumann, Sullivan and Sondheim, as well as Noel Coward and Richard Rogers,” Hofmann said.

“The lyrics might be different, Cathie’s piano accordion arrangement’s might spice up the music, but the songs remain what they are: masterpieces.”

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