‘Frozen’. Farnham. Feltching.
All these big topics and more were addressed by Em Rusciano during her Wednesday night performance (11 March) of ‘The Motherload’ at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Rusciano (who will be familiar to people through her time on ‘Australian Idol’,’ The Project’ and various radio stations) was battling with illness on this night; but all the same, was still the eccentric and energetic pocket rocket people have come to expect.
With her guitar-toting dad Vinnie in tow (he was even wearing a fabulous-sequinned vest to match her showgirl outfit) – the former junior champion athlete spliced humorous covers of songs with her ballsy delivery of her material. There was also the Farnsy sing-along that was promised in the promo posters, and no-one was 'too cool for school' to join in the fun. It’s amazing how many lyrics you know – despite never admitting in public to being a fan of ‘Whispering Jack’.
The show’s title should give away what most of what her jokes were about, and as someone who is not a mother (there were more men in the audience than there were childless women) – some of the jokes and observations didn't have quite the same resonance with this reviewer as they obviously did with the rest of the room. For the most part however, all the parents (and those of us who have friends and family with young children) lapped up her tales of projectile vomit and other bodily fluids and ‘bad mother’ moments.
However, despite the wonderful vulgarity there was a warmth at the heart of the show – where her fierce love for her children was a sentiment that was shared individually by all the mothers and the fathers in the Turbine Room.
In among that were flashbacks to her childhood (and an incredible, hilarious and highly inappropriate revelation about her favourite performing artist as a child – John Farnham of course!), a costume change and plenty of audience participation.
Fun and full-on ‘The Motherload’ was more like a bawdy girls’ night out than formal performance. She often came down to the audience to share stories from the crowd (or to abuse them for managing to have children under the age of five who have never watched ‘Frozen’).
If you do make it to her show – be sure to bring enough wine to share. Her favourite is a nice pinot grigio.
Four out of five vomiting babies.