Sydney Festival: An Evening Without Kate Bush

Natasha Ciesielski
19th Jan 2024

An Evening Without Kate Bush is a cabaret show by UK singer-performer Sarah-Louise Young paying homage to musical icon Kate Bush.

If you don’t know who Kate Bush is then this probably isn’t the show for you. But fish people, fans of the artist will love this show. And I did. I loved hearing about Kate Bush’s life through her songs, listening to the incredible range the musical genius has gifted the earth, singing along with fellow KB lovers and most of all enjoyed the passion that Young brings to the stage.

Just like Kate Bush the show is a little bit bonkers. It opens in darkness with Young appearing within a fluro pink and purple light reciting And Dream of Sheep in a storytelling manner to the audience.

Young is relaxed, chatting with the Sydney Festival crowd, encouraging howling (a tribute to her album Hounds of Love), which the audience of dedicated fans to the Bush do with pleasure. When Young shouts out “who do we love?”, the response is a resounding cry of “Kate Bush”.

Young’s voice is beautiful. She has Kate Bush’s ethereal quality and an admiral vocal range as she moves through Bush’s repertoire of songs. There’s no doubt Young is talented, she evokes the songstress and has the ability to intricately layer harmonies. Young even sings Babooshka in Russian.

Young of course is not Kate Bush, and as much as she may long to be, she doesn’t have Bush’s skills or charisma. However, she knows this. Young has a background in improv and is a vocal KB super-fan. Her show is a homage to the legend, at times a parody and overall a comedic entertaining show.

Young brings energy and bravery to her show. She throws herself into wacky costumes, including a feathered headdress and a cleaners outfit. The entertainer cartwheels across the stage in a shiny red unitard performing crazy interpretive dance moves much to the joy of the crowd.

Of course, Bush’s smash return (thank you Stranger Things) Running Up That Hill is a featured song, as well as popular hit songs: Wuthering Heights and Cloudburst, but also Army Dreamers, Rubberband Girl, This Woman’s Work and The Man With the Child in His Eyes.

An Evening Without Kate Bush is a unique cabaret performance that evokes Kate Bush and for those who see the show as a plus one, they will most certainly be going home and looking up the Irish deity. Maybe Young can be attributed to creating a new generation of fish people fans?

Four stars. This eccentric show, An Evening Without Kate Bush will delight audiences at Sydney Theatre Company, Wharf 1 (The Thirsty Mile), Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, Dawes Point), until 21 January.

Recommended for ages 12+.

Tickets start from $59 (plus booking fee). For purchase visit》 

Images by Shay Rowan