Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Dunstan Playhouse
Until 14 Jun 2019

Review by Luke Wagner

Winter in Adelaide is always made warmer by the fire that is the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. This year’s program once again features a range of genres and artists telling their stories through cabaret.

Dami Im is one of the artists sharing theirs this season. Im rose to national notoriety when she competed as a contestant on The X Factor in 2013. The shy young Korean immigrant went on to win the season and has forged a career in the Australian pop music industry that has seen her release best-selling albums and represent Australia in Eurovision.

Im has used cabaret as a medium to tell her story from her perspective, as opposed to that which was crafted during her appearance on The X Factor. Whilst it is interesting to hear of her life prior to reality television, the really fascinating and captivating moments of her show come from her discussing how her life changed after being thrust into the spotlight and constantly waiting for this incredible new life to meet its end. This part of her show humanizes her story even more so than her childhood years as a musical prodigy.

Im’s performance clearly demonstrates to the audience that her voice is an absolutely incredible instrument. Whether performing covers of songs from her time on The X Factor, jazz, K Pop or her original songs, Im has a voice that soars and connects with every lyric perfectly. Her musical components are clearly her strength as during moment of her patter dialogue, Im tended to shy away in moments – but eased back into it when she started speaking about the things most important to her, her faith and her music.

This performance was a unique opportunity to hear a refreshingly honest version of events from someone who has lived inside the beast of reality tv and has been able to remain completely true to her values and have a successful career.

Dami Im will continue to showcase her talent in the Australian music industry and if she continues to write original songs like those she performed in this show, such as “Crying Underwater” then she will leave an indelible mark on the musical landscape.