Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Culture TV and Radio

A review of An Audience With Kylie – incredibly extravagant and in need of a camp-o-meter.

It does feel as if a large portion of December’s TV scheduling has been carried out with the phrase “camp as Christmas” in mind. We’ve had Hannah Waddingham doing festive show tunes, Rylan Clark is about to meet Cher, and here we are, facing An Audience With Kylie, an extravaganza so fabulously extravagant that the only time the audience screams louder than they do for Minogue herself is for Alison Hammond, which should be registered as some sort of official camp-o-meter.

The recent event took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London earlier this month. As with the format of an Audience With…, the outcome is always unpredictable. Adele’s performance in 2021 has been highly discussed, with several noteworthy moments, such as her reunion with her former teacher and Emma Thompson’s lively reaction to being present. However, Adele is known to be quite talkative and appears to be very open and honest. On the other hand, Minogue has always maintained a mysterious and professional image, not one to divulge her secrets.

Despite her impressive discography, she doesn’t feel the need to reveal all. Her live show is a compilation of her greatest hits from every era, although she chooses to omit songs from her indie Kylie phase, with a valid explanation. The production is a stunning display of sequins, glitter, and frequent costume changes. She is accompanied by a gospel choir, talented dancers, and an abundance of disco lights. At one point, she performs in front of a dazzling light show reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, while at another, she captivates the audience by draping herself over a grand piano for a heartfelt ballad.

According to her, this is not Kylie’s first time appearing on “Audience With.” Her first appearance was in 2001, which was 22 years ago. However, the audience gave her a standing ovation after her first performance, which seemed to briefly overwhelm her. She joyfully exclaims, “Stop it!” and expresses her desire to savor the moment. Due to the show’s format, some moments may be more memorable than others. Between musical performances, VIPs in the audience have the opportunity to ask Kylie Minogue questions. They often address her with reverence, using her full name. She will then move to a platform in the center and answer their questions.

The diverse range of guests at this event is a testament to the widespread appeal of Minogue. Along with the main attraction, Hammond, there are also a number of British entertainment icons in attendance, including Alan Carr, Carol Vorderman, and Rylan. Comedian Tom Allen playfully notes that he is the only gay man in the room. The guest list also includes actors such as Nicola Coughlan from Derry Girls, Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson, Stephen Mangan, Sir Lenny Henry, and Olly Alexander from Years & Years. Among the lively mix of famous faces, it’s entertaining to try and determine who is a devoted fan of Minogue’s entire body of work and who is simply there for the (presumably) complimentary drinks.

The majority of the questions revolve around the topic of why Kylie Minogue is so impressive. There are moments that make me consider subscribing to the Socialist Worker, such as when Minogue expresses gratitude to her celebrity guests for putting effort into their appearance and hiring a stylist. However, there are also enjoyable stories and interesting anecdotes, including the charming sight of a Bridgerton actor sincerely thanking Nick Cave and being a bit awkward while giving an air-kiss. Minogue exclaims, “Two! So continental!” as she was only expecting one. It just goes to show, celebrities are not so different from the rest of us.

In general, it’s entertaining, a night at home that can feel like a night out, especially if you let loose and dance on the couch, or even get up and dance. I have previously witnessed Minogue’s powerful presence in an arena, and she is an exceptional pop star. She has been in the industry for a long time – as pointed out by Clara Amfo (or Padamfo, as she goes by for the evening), she has had a No 1 album in five consecutive decades – but this year has been particularly successful even by her own standards. “It has been an amazing 2023 for me,” she says, riding high on a new generation rediscovering her music. This is a fitting celebration, a bubbly and light-hearted event that occasionally gets the audience rowdy, although not quite to the level of Thompson’s rowdiness. It is impossible to resist these popular songs. Padam!

Bypass the advertisement for the newsletter.

Source: theguardian.com