HAVING practically invented the modern pop show as theatrical extravaganza, much loved dressing up doll Kylie Minogue has taken a tiny step (in her usual vertiginous heels) back from the circus melee on her current Kiss Me Once tour.
Grand entrances and ostentatious designer costumes were Kylie’s stock-in-trade when Katy Perry was still a teenage gospel singer and Gaga was go-go dancing on the Lower East Side, but now that the pair of them are mounting increasingly maximalist spectaculars, Kylie – almost 20 years their senior – has shrewdly chosen to leave the one-upmanship to the youngsters and concentrate on her biggest plus points – her lengthy and pretty consistent catalogue of processed pop gems and her glam girl-next-door adorability.
The staging was still sleek, mischievous and marvellous, however, with a sexily supine Kylie reclining on a couch shaped like pair of plump red lips for openers and a hot and heavy pop disco soundtrack prevailing for much of the show.
“Tonight could be dangerous,” she warned, exploiting her sunny, coquettish stage presence to the max.
This was a practised though far from mechanical performance from the pocket charmer who didn’t so much keep up with her dancers as glide among them holding elegant poses.
At one point, it looked like she was vogueing with a group of liquorice allsorts to the happy, carefree strains of Step Back In Time, Spinning Around and Your Disco Needs You – someone has clearly been studying at the Pet Shop Boys school of sculptural surreality.
There was further exuberant campery during the so-called “Dollhouse medley” of her early Stock, Aitken and Waterman hits, a gleeful pink frou-frou frolic culminating in a feather bath routine to I Should Be So Lucky.
The mood and look of the show switched seamlessly to accommodate her leather-clad dominatrix version of INXS’s Need You Tonight (a nod to her former boyfriend Michael Hutchence) and Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and then once again for a more family-friendly singalong to Kids with accompanying Mexican wave.
This is the surprising genius of Kylie. She may never have lost that reedy vocal tone (the bare ballad Beautiful was the one dull link) or even exude that intriguing a stage presence, but her experience, professionalism, sweetness and adaptability carried her gracefully through, leaving just enough of a personality vacuum for her to be whatever Kylie you want.
Seen on 12.11.14