Reviews

Fritz Reviews: We’re Dishing Out Smiley Fritz Slices (Instead Of Stars) This Adelaide Fringe Festival

Can’t decide what to see at the Fringe Festival?

The Fritz team are out and about catching loads of shows, so read on to find out if that one you’re looking at is a winner or a dud. Keep an eye on this post for regular updates.

We’ll plonk the pick of the bunch at the top of this post for the one’s we’ve dished out 5 Smiley Fritz slices (instead of stars).

Blanc de Blanc

Magic Mirror Spiegeltent, The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Katie Spain

If Blanc de Blanc were a date he (or she) would whisper French nothings in your ear, and have you gassed up on expensive bubbles and dancing in your lacy knickers by 10.30pm. That’s the vibe of this slick two-hour show by Strut & Fret, the the production house behind global hits Limbo, Fear & Delight, Cantina, and Madonna’s recent Rebel Heart tour. That explains the tight choreography set to a backdrop of pumping tunes.
There’s not much of a narrative (unless you count Champagne as a worthy focal point) but that doesn’t matter. Each act soars and the balance is just right. From sexy cabaret, high-flying acrobatics, jaw-dropping physical acts and comedy by contortionist Spencer Novich, and moments of brawn and beauty (the bath scene, and Champagne poured via bum cheeks are winners). It has less dark circus than Limbo, more sex than Cantina and is a lot more engaging than Fear & Delight.
There’s a moment towards the end of the show where audience members can have their photo taken with performers (nice marketing move guys), but it’s phones down for the rest of the show. It’s a good thing, too – no one wants their view of buff torsos blocked by flashes of the iPhone kind.
This is a class act. If there’s one show you see at The Garden this year, this should be it.

Rated R18+, see it at the Magic Mirror Spiegeltent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights.

Butt Kapinski

Butt Kapinski

Campanile at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Katie Spain

There’s something seedy about Butt Kapinski. There’s also something undeniably charming about the New York private eye played by comedy artist Deanna Fleysher. He emerges onstage in a long trench coat, illuminated by the portable spotlight he twists and turns to highlight audience members. Butt is here to make a film noir murder mystery and we’re all part of the cast. This is audience participation at its best. Our discomfort turns to joy as the weirdo with a speech impediment weaves his way through the small venue’s seats. It is the kind of ‘make believe’ joy rarely encountered since childhood. Deanna is a master of interactive art (she is also the director and co-writer of Red Bastard) and sculpts us with ease. Corpses, sound effects, dirty cops, whores, priests and mystery – we encounter it all. As a master of improv, she soars when audience members push back. It is belly-laugh inducing stuff. This is the second time in two years I’ve seen this show and like a good South Australian shiwwwwaz it gets better with age.

Rated 18+. See it at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until 19 March.

Sam Simmons A – K

Sam Simmons

Corona Theatre at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Katie Spain

Sam Simmons emerges dressed like a choir girl. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Fans of the comedian know to expect the bizarre from this bald-headed buffoon. We get it, too. According to the Adelaide Fringe program, his show A – K is about a 40-year-old man who hits the stage and reads the phone book. Yes, there’s a phone book involved but the absurdity that is Sam’s brain barely lets him consult it. This is a one-man rollercoaster of life musings, awkward anecdotes about fatherhood, reflections on technology and social media, and moments of downright stupidity. There’s a costume change (which brings us closer to the comedian’s shuttle-cock than we’d like), a hell of a lot of swearing, Sam’s customary use of voiceovers and soundbites, and banter with the audience. “The show is three days old, fuck off,” he says, clearly confused by his own forage into filth.
Sam is on fire. It feels less scripted than shows of the past and the comedian shines during moments of nonsense-packed verbal riffing. No topic goes untouched. We don’t make it through the phone book but we’re left with a sense of shock, awe, and more importantly, a smile on the dial. Bravo.

Rated M at the Corona Theatre at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 19.

Jamie MacDowell & Tom Thum

Jamie MacDowell & Tom Thum

Menagerie at Royal Croquet Club
Review: Naomi Giatas

Name a more iconic duo. I’ll wait. These are two of the most talented performers on the Fringe circuit, and if you’re like me and have seen these incredible guys before, you know an hour just isn’t long enough. Throughout their highly skilled show, Tom and Jamie bounce off each other’s wit and prowess. Jamie with his hands and Tom with his mouth, in a musical sense, gosh. Tom is a world class beatboxer/singer who uses a Kaoss Pad to create loops with the diverse sounds he makes, creating something special in a matter of seconds. Combine that with Jamie’s beautiful and heartfelt melodies, you have a match made in heaven. The crowd loves these guys, you will find yourself clapping longer than socially acceptable, trying to be the last heard clap to show your appreciation. Their banter and limitless talents are something not to be missed!

Rated PG and on at the Royal Croquet Club in The Menagerie until 19 March.

 

 

The Chemsex Monologues

chemsex monologues

The German Club
Review: Jackson Polley

Among the glitter and glam of most shows that tend to be Fringe highlights, it’s easy to forget about a good old fashioned piece of theatre. The Chemsex Monologues pretty much does what it says on the tin but is anything but old fashioned. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the show is that while the subject matter might be gritty and heartbreaking, it still manages to be  hilariously warm and spirited.
The purpose of the performance is to de-cloak some of the assumptions made about the gay community and present them in an upfront and non-judgemental way. The characters are ‘nameless’ to highlight the fact that these personalities could be people in your own life and you’d never know. On a stark set, without props or elaborate costumes, four characters each perform a monologue based on their experience in a community both heightened and decimated by drug abuse.
Through each character’s monologue, we learn about, among many other things, the risks some men and women are prepared to take to achieve a sense of social and personal validation – to feel wanted, valued and loved in a world they’ve never been privy too.
Perhaps most surprising was how these performances were presented evenly keeled between bleak and humorous. The standout performance from the talented cast is narrowly won by Fag Hag Cath”(played flawlessly by Remy Moynes) who perfectly portrays the fabulous-but-flawed character that we all know and love, even if we see that character in ourselves. Overall, The Chemsex Monologues is hard-hitting and touching, but also peppered with rich humour. Any audience would find this hugely rewarding and entertaining.

Rated M and playing at The GC at The German Club until the 19 March.

Comedy Hypnosis! Entranced

ComedyHypnosis

Gluttony
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

I know there are plenty of skeptics out there when it comes to hypnosis. But, I’ve gotta tell you it works! I know this because, Adelaide’s own International Stage Hypnotist; Isaac Lomman, who hosts this show, hypnotised me. Yep, he had me out like a light in under 5 minutes. Did I do anything crazy? Well, I did try and pash our cameraman who was filming the experience. I believed my feet were having a violent argument, I cackled like an old witch and completely forgot the number seven when trying to count on my fingers. Watch video below.

After experiencing the power of hypnosis for myself, I just had to check out Isaac’s show Comedy Hypnosis! Entranced. A sold out house in the Octagon in Gluttony, the crowd was excited. There was a buzz amongst people as some of them debated whether hypnosis was a crock of shit or whether they would volunteer to “go under” and participate on stage.
What Isaac does when he hypnotises his willing audience members who become the stars of the show, looks relatively simple. But harnessing the power of the unconscious mind by allowing his participants to use their imaginations, is a talent that makes Isaac one of the greats. Each show is different. Every night new “guinea pigs” step onto stage, and become the real stars of the show.
I don’t want to give anything away, but you WILL laugh at the embarrassing antics and you’ll walk away wishing you were a participant to find out what hypnosis really feels like. Me? I walked away wanting to find a hypnotist to make me skinny!

This show is rated PG and is on every day until 19 March. Adult tickets from $33.

 

Trainspotting

Station Underground
Review: Katie Spain

A sign leading to the underground Trainspotting venue reads: ‘Warning, nudity, strobe hazard, very strong language, violence, sexual nature, and heavy drug and needle use.’ They’re not exaggerating. This is an intense, visceral, in your face, live adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s fast-paced story Edinburgh’s heroin scene during the ‘80s. Scottish In Your Face Theatre cast members have Glaswegian accents as thick as Vegemite and a tendency to throw profanities, excrement, body fluids, and limbs all over audience members. The venue is a long, narrow nightclub and glow sticks are handed out as the crowd makes their way to their ‘seats’. Most end up perched on the floor – sitting ducks in an immersive explosion of sound, flashing lights, humour, and aggressive characters. Harry Gibson’s adaptation of Welsh’s novel is confronting stuff. Unlike the film directed by Danny Boyle and starring Ewan McGregor, it focuses on the downside of drugs, rather the rush preceding the comedown.
The cast make convincing junkies and our discomfort is audible, especially during the infamous toilet scene. For seventy-five minutes, the underground venue (usually home to Fat Controller) is a horrible place to be. Just like addiction. It’s not for the faint-hearted but this is a powerful piece of theatre. Grab a drink in the Trainspotting-themed bar and debrief when it’s over. You’ll need it.

Rated M15+ and on at Station Underground (enter via 52-54 Hindley Street).

Fritz Rating 5

 

WE LIVE BY THE SEA

Royal Croquet Club
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

Sometimes during an arts festival, something really touches you. It is raw and wonderful and makes you feel. I was lucky enough to have such a special experience on the opening night of the Royal Croquet Club this Adelaide Fringe Festival. The show is called We Live By The Sea and it’s fresh from SoHo Playhouse (New York), the London’s West End and a sold out Edinburgh Fringe season. Not surprising after seeing the show for myself.
The story is told through the eyes of a girl with autism, Kate, her sister Hannah and Kate’s imaginary dog Paul Williams. I can not recommend this show to people enough. If you love a good, deep and beautiful piece of theatre, do not miss this one.
Without a doubt, one of the most moving shows I have seen in years. I laughed, I cried so hard my tears were dripping from my chin and at the end I jumped to my feet for a standing ovation.
Rated PG and on at the Royal Croquet Club for the entire Fringe season. Don’t think about it. Just see it.

Fritz Rating 5

 

Baby Wants Candy The Full Band Improvised Musical

Le Cascadeur at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Jackson Polley

We were beyond giddy in the lead-up to Baby Wants Candy, feeling appropriately like a child who was about to get a treat. Many Fringe shows claim to be highly original but we can tell you for free, they simply cannot hold a candle to the unpredictability of this show. An improvised musical where the entire show is based around the first arbitrary phrase called out by an audience member. Everything is unexpected, the cast furiously conjuring storylines out of the audience’s input, and all this to music. We flipped from pure exhilaration to nervous anxiety, imagining what we would say had we got picked or how would we riff this out if we were a cast member. We watched in admiration as things that should never rhyme suddenly do, but also spin sometimes into the hilariously nonsensical. We left the show on a sensory high, immediately thinking about going to see it again to see which direction the show will take based a new audience’s input. Snap up some tickets before they’re all gone.
Rated M and playing La Cascaduer in the GOUD until 19 March.

An Evening With Amanda Palmer

Her Majesty’s Theatre
Review: Sky Harrison

Amanda Palmer is labelled many things – punk cabaret artist, performance artist, feminist art-pop singer, controversial internet figure, inspiring TEDx talker and author, art collective collaborator and most recently, mother. To her fans, she’s simply Amanda Fucking Palmer, and they’re out in force at Her Majesty’s Theatre to welcome her to the stage.
But first, we’re warmed up by Brendan Maclean (known to many from previous Fringe show Velvet), who’s stunning voice is spellbinding, and Mikelangelo, who treats us to a Leonard Cohen track before rushing off to his own gig.
Palmer kicks off her show from the balcony, with her trademark ukulele for ‘In My Mind’ – a song about the quest for self-acceptance. From there, the show delves into Palmer’s extensive back catalogue as well as some newer songs, including ‘A Mother’s Confession’ that has the crowd singing, “At least the baby didn’t die” in joyful chorus.
Palmer embodies what it is to be an artist. On stage, she gives everything, switching between thundering emotion and light-hearted playfulness in a heartbeat, unafraid of showing her own vulnerability or taking risks. It’s exciting and inspiring to watch.
Highlights include ‘Coin-Operated Boy’, ‘Not the Killing Type’, ‘Map of Tasmania’, ‘Vegemite (The Black Death)’, the menacing ‘Missed Me’ and the beautiful and tragic ‘Bed Song’, as well as duets with Brendan Maclean, including a stunning version of Bat For Lashes’ ‘Laura’. The encore sees Amanda unplug her ukulele and take to the edge of the stage for ‘Ukulele Anthem’, leaving us all on a high.
A couple of songs in, Palmer had announced she was suffering from a mystery illness and promised to turn any vomiting on stage into a piece of performance art. If this is Amanda Palmer at less than 100 percent, she must be perfection in full flight.

 

360 Allstars

RoyalCroquet Club
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

This one is a total crowd pleaser! One for the entire family. This is a radical, ultra-modern urban circus that will have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet to the beats. Everyone will cheer on the Allstars as they impress your pants off with their tricks and talents.
The crew from the 360 Allstars are freaking phenomenal performers. Every single dude in this crew is the best in the world at what they do and they make it looks so spectacular and amazing.
The performers include two world champion BMX flatlander, two world-champion breakdancers, an internationally acclaimed basketball freestyler, and an exceptional roue cyr wheel artist – it is an explosion of street culture on stage.
But for me, the two performers who stole the show were award-winning master musicians Gene Peterson and Sam Perry. Sam “OMG you’re amazing” Perry has unbelievable mad skills as a live looping vocalist and beatboxer. His remarkable talents thrill the crowd as they scream out to the stage wanting more.
Please if you see this show, don’t forget every sound from the soundtrack is being made live on stage!

Rated G and on at the Royal Croquet Club for the entire Fringe season.  Take the kids and they’ll think you’re epically cool.

 

 

Tis A Pity She’s A Piglet

Paul Foot

Studio 7 at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Sky Harrison

There are no piglets in Paul Foot’s show. No pigs of any kind. And that’s just fine, because the UK comedian is a master at leading you up the garden path and twisting your brain in directions you never saw coming. Foot is a regular at the Fringe and is well known from his appearances on UK comedy quiz show Never Mind The Buzzcocks, ABC’s Spicks ‘n Specks, Melbourne Comedy Festival galas and many more.
His absurd and outright weird comedy style is unlike anyone else you’ll see. He has a way of bringing together opposing or seemingly random ideas in delightful and hilarious ways, shifting gears from one form to another, and making comedy out of comedy itself. It almost doesn’t matter what this show is about – even well-worn comedy topics like the perils of long-term relationships become something else in his hands. And while there’s no piglets, there is a monkey and it had us in stitches. (Fans will be pleased to see that his ‘disturbances’ have been kept in and refreshed for this show.)
If your taste is comedy is straight-forward jokes with a flowing narrative, Paul Foot isn’t for you. But if you love absurd, mind-bending, intelligent humour, prepare to have your sides split.

Rated M at Studio 7 at The Garden of Unearthly Delights.

 

 

Zach & Viggo: Thunderflop

Zach & Viggo

The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

I just have to point out upfront that I am a huge fan of nonsensical, absurd and ludicrous comedy. If you too laugh at goofy humour, you’ll love this show. Zach and Viggo had my face hurting from the first role call. A very clever and super funny way to kick off the show.
I was renamed Brian Lufus and my friend Mr Toast Gonzales, the dude next to us Snotty Tinkles. Righto then, let the show begin. What fun. What imaginations. What stupidity. What a buffoonery of a double act. Bouncing off each other (literally) these two have got to be two of the most loveable characters at this year’s Fringe. You can’t help but be drawn to their friendliness and crazy tomfoolery. This show is all fun and games. I loved every second of it.
Catch them at the Garden every night at 7pm until 19 March. The show says it’s rated M and family friendly – I’d lean to the later, older primary school kids/high school teens would think this is the “bomb”.

 

 

Simon Taylor – Spectacular-ish!

Simon Taylor

The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

When you go along to see a stand-up comedy show, you don’t expect magic, dancing and sensational singing all from the same performer. But that’s the joy of seeing a Simon Taylor show – you get it all.
But what you do expect is magnificent comic writing. After all, he’s been a writer for Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show and Comedy Central in the US and also written for Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell on the ABC closer to home. In this year’s Adelaide Fringe show, his wit and writing does not disappoint.
Simon shares his struggle with discovering where he fits on the maleness scale. He’s not a manly trade type man, but he doesn’t identify with the Gay Pride movement at Mardi Gras either. So he’s resided to the fact that he fits somewhere in the middle… like a Vegas dove magician. It is his interoperation of said Vegas dove magician that will have you buckling over in stitches. No spoiler alert here, I won’t ruin it for you. But if you see the show, you’ll know what I mean… good, clean fun.
The show is clever, well-paced and heartfelt as he relives losing his virginity and sings an R’n’B track, complete with dancing and falling in love via Instagram.
If you’re looking for a guaranteed laugh, check out Simon’s show.

Rated M and on at the Garden of Unearthly Delights until 19 March.

 

Ivan Aristeguieta – Juithy

Ivan Aristeguieta - Juithy

Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

My friend summed this show up in 6 simple words after seeing this show… “I want to be a mango”. Boy oh boy, Mr Venezuela… Ivan Aristegueta, you are not only super sexy eye candy, you have a heart and a soul. You made us laugh, you made us think, and you made us fall deeper in love with being South Australian. But honestly, you made us fall madly, and intensely in love with the juicy, delicious mango – no matter what the price tag. Your back-story had me at HOLA. You have done South Australia, Australia and your home country of Venezuela proud mate. Everyone enjoying your show pissed their pants and went home planning a trip to South American just to witness a dog orgy whilst munching unlimited free mangoes. What a joy, what a delight. We are lucky to have you in our lucky country.

Rated M and on until 19 March at The Garden of Unearthly Delights.

 

Reuben Kaye: Success Story

Reuben Kaye

 

Le Cascadeur at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Jackson Polley

Reuben Kaye: Success Story is everything you want in a Fringe show – a sense of humour that would stun Joan Rivers, glittery costumes that would make Elton green and a voice that stops you dead in your tracks. Reuben delivers his razor-sharp wit with an effortless nerve, intertwines storytelling with breathtaking vocals and owns the stage like a seasoned pro. Oh and the makeup? Flawless.
Reuben’s show follows a loose narrative of him becoming the gay superhero that our modern society needs – and boy, do we need him. Invoking the spirit of Dame Edna mixed with the absurdness of Andy Kauffman, Kaye’s performance will be the talk of the town. It would be a tragedy if the show flew under the radar, so ensure you make time to see Reuben, or you may just live in regret.

Rated M and on at Le Cascadeur, The Garden of Unearthly Delights.

 

 

 

 After Hours Cabaret Club

After Hours Cabaret

La Petite Grande at Gluttony
Review: Katie Spain

It’s late but the mood in Gluttony’s La Petite Grande tent is electric. Colourful cabaret and circus characters greet us at the entry, kicking off the cheeky night before it officially starts. You don’t know what you’re going to get at this saucy show. The smorgasbord of talent changes every night. Our packed crowd is treated to a rollicking burlesque acts by scarlet-topped Sydney minx Kelly Ann Doll and the divine Miss Bettie Bombshell, razor-sharp bodily feats by sky-high sideshow act Porcelain Alice (her legs stretch all the way to heaven), a moving, tear-inducing puppet performance by vaudeville master David Splatt, and a special appearance by the dapper, sequin-encrusted Reuben Kaye. We’re told to stamp our feet when we witness something we’ve never seen before. We stamp them a lot. These guys and girls are at the top of their game. Especially during a gut-wrenching whisky-imbibing act (nostrils will never look the same again) and a surprise strip by Kelly Ann Doll’s boyfriend. Bollocks ahoy! It’s naughty, tight, titillating, and terrifyingly good entertainment. See it while you can.

Rated 18+ at Gluttony’s La Petite Grande on until 18 March.

 

 

Justice and Trainwreck Change History

Justice and Trainwreck

The Cranny at The Producers
Review: Katie Spain

What do you get when you put two queer cowboys in a tiny room with a bunch of wigs? Homo-hilarity. Dwayne Justice and Jake Trainwreck are in love and lust. They aren’t the most masculine examples of the wild, wild west but do a mean re-enactment of historical events. There’s a sense of childhood innocence about these two as they take us through a series of acts portraying high-profile deaths, childhood memories and world-changing moments. The audience is included in a non-invasive way and props are simple. This duo doesn’t rely on flash lighting (quite the opposite), elaborate costumes or dick jokes for a laugh. Instead, their facial expressions, expert timing and endearing personalities win us over and engulf us in their bizarre, playful world. This is pure, comic entertainment with a genuinely funny twist.

Rated M at The Cranny at The Producers until 19 March.

Elixir

Elixir

Gluttony
Review: Eliza Oatway

Three guys, three muscled torsos and an hour watching them clown around performing amazing acrobats and clever comedy? Elixir has it all.
Playing three scientists experimenting with the elixir of life while attempting to escape trouble (and a zombie apocalypse), this slick performance is a comedic gem. As their bodies react and the formula starts to have some strange effects, their agility, flexibility and strength comes into play and before you know it, they’re executing amazing tumbling tricks, one-armed handstands, spinning on a cyr wheel and ultimately running amuck.
They’re funny, they’re sexy, they’re strong, and they know how to put on a good show. Trust us, the boys are not bad on the eyes and you’ll be laughing the whole way through.
Rated M and on at Gluttony in The Peacock until 18 March.

 

The Hitchhikers Guide to Australia

Hitchhiker's Guide

The Piglet at Gluttony
Review: Kris Dingey

A packed Speakeasy tent in Gluttony gathered to see Rory Lowe, a British expat who tells his story of hitchhiking from Perth to Broome, partly in a stolen car with a pair of meth heads. It sounds terrifying and a sure-fire way to end up in a casket, however he’s still here to tell the tale. And what a tale it is.
Rory started his routine by introducing himself and what he’s about while getting a feel for the crowd and making everyone feel at ease before lunging into the saga. In addition to being hilarious, his storytelling is captivating and at times you feel like you’re in the car with him, barrelling along a remote highway at 200kph.
After the show we found ourselves reminiscing over a beer about his journey and road trip mishaps of our own. I’m still grinning thinking about it. You won’t be disappointed.

Rated M, at The Piglet at Gluttony until 19 March.

Erotic Intelligence for Dummies

Erotic Intelligence for Dummies

The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

I can never look at a soft toy or koala again without feeling horny. If masturbation, group sex, and sexual safaris are not your thing, give this show a miss, especially before dinner with a 7pm performance time. I wish when I was going through puberty, Helen Cassidy read me bed time stories. I might have blossomed earlier and opened up my mind (and thighs) to the possibilities of soft toy intimacy and love.
To view this show you might want to check your prudishness at the door of this tent of love, opportunity for sexual exploration and understanding. I’ve never experienced group sex with a koala, but I’m glad I have. Euca-Lip-t-Arse for breakfast, lunch and tea. Ooos and ahhs, and laugh-out -loud comic brilliance, dance, song, audience participation and puppetry, will leave you hot, sweaty and maybe, if you like this sort of kink, begging for more. Me? I want to buy a panda suit and live out my fantasies. Bring it on Wang Wang! Not for everyone, but for those who know their body parts inside and out, this will get your motor running…

Rated M and on at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until 19 March.

 

 

Honestly Dishonest

Matt Tarrant

The Octagon, Glutony
Review: Aaron Nassau

It’s a testament to Matt Tarrant’s popularity as a Fringe performer that this year he’s gracing Gluttony’s biggest venue, The Peacock. The venue fits about 500 people, and tonight, Honestly Dishonest plays to a sizeable crown of eager-to-be spellbound fans.
The show opens with a cute montage of notable magicians the likes of David Copperfield, David Blaine and Derren Brown doing ‘their schtick’ and reminding us just how amazing magic can be. What follows is a combination of great laughs, boggling mind reading tricks and some mind-bending ‘I’m gonna google that later’ stunts. There’s a few edge-of-the-seat moments, too.
I’ve seen a lot of magic, so many of Matt’s tricks feel familiar, but his delivery is slick, funny and entertaining, so I don’t mind. Matt has a natural ease on stage that relinquishes the usual ‘bells and whistles’ of magic shows, and interacts with the crowd like they’re old friends. Newcomers to magic will absolutely be blown away by his finale, which involves a child from the crowd and is a particularly charming ending to a well-polished show.

Rated PG and on at Gluttony until the end of Fringe.

 

A Dingo Ate My Baby

A Dingo Ate My Baby

The Cranny at The Producers
Review: Kirstie Forbes

I went into A Dingo Ate My Baby with no expectations. Like betting on horses, it’s more fun to ignore form guides and go based on the name. You win some, you lose some this way, but it makes it that little bit more interesting.
A Dingo Ate My Baby saw a small crowd crammed into the Cranny at Producers bar. Louisa Wall performed a one-woman comedy-cabaret skit, with tap dancing, singing, and beat poetry-rap to the hot crowd. It was bloody brilliant. Utilising a minimal set, looping foot pedals, a keyboard and speedy costume changes, Wall kept the audience engaged largely throughout her performance.
I took an Irish pal, so the title and main thrust of the show were largely lost on him, but he was fairly busy cacking himself throughout it, so I didn’t need to explain anything. It was a pretty good exercise in Australian culture, at the least, a hair-raising, goose-bump inducing feminist war cry at its best.

 

Gingzilla: Glamonster Vs The WorldGingzilla

Raj House
Review: Katie Spain

There’s a lot of inspiration to be found in B-grade 1950’s horror movies, just ask Gingzilla. The seven-foot behemoth in heels fills the small upstairs room at Raj House with more than just her height. The London-based drag queen from Sydney has sky-high pins, fiery red hair and a ginger beard to rival your average bush ranger’s. All fabulous woman, but at the same time, all man. Here lies the point of this show: Be yourself – no matter what that entails. This is a fringe of the Fringe show: raw, visceral, confronting art with a message. As footage from old black and white films is projected against a white wall, Gingzilla takes us on a journey exploring gender inequality of yore and the issues we face today. It’s all done to a cracking soundtrack. This bearded lady has one hell of a voice. Ben Hudson (aka Gingzilla) is classically trained and belts out The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, Tina Arena’s Chains and Kanye West’s Monster with impressive force. He learnt the art of clowning in Paris with French master clown Philippe Gaulier and engages with the audience as he falls, drapes, and goes gaga all over us. There’s some crowd participation, too. Magnums and popcorn never looked so kinky. This is hairy, in-your-face entertainment with a hell of a lot of heart. As a woman I left feeling empowered. The world needs more bearded ladies embracing who they are.
Rated M. See it at Raj House, 54 Hyde St, city from 23 February to 4 March.

 

 

Seymour Mace’s Magical Sh*tcakes From HeavenSeymour Mace

Tuxedo Cat
Review: Katie Spain

Comedian Seymour Mace is depressed. He shouldn’t be. Not about his show, anyway. This Brit is funny. Belly laugh kind of funny. Tuxedo Cat manager Cassandra Tombs fought long and hard to get Mace to our shores after seeing him perform at Edinburgh Fringe and laughing until her “face ached”. She was onto something. His show starts with some awkward dancing and gets progressively weirder from there. There’s a certain angry charm about Mace. And a wicked sense of humour that borders on the absurd. His re-invention of positive affirmation book Life Life Sunny Side Up by artist Jeremyville is some seriously twisted stuff. In place of rainbows, cuddles and smiley fish, he’s drawn dicks, death and copious amounts of shit. His glass-half-empty view of the world is reflected through short skits, each more absurd than the other: insight to the history of The Beatles (performed via small plastic action men), insight to his childhood heroes and failings (performed by audience members), and a quiz of a depressing nature. Some skits are just downright silly comic relief and the snippets of music are gold. A Johnny Cash cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Hurt’ is gut wrenching. We emerged feeling like it’s okay to be depressed, it’s okay to be pissed off with life sometimes, it’s okay to admit it, and it’s fine to laugh while you do. Life, in its moments of laughter, is okay. This is weird, wonderful, thought-provoking stuff. Tell your morose mates. They’ll love it.

Rated PG and on at Tuxedo Cat until 19 March.

 

M.I.N.D.E.D

M.I.N.D.E.D.

Menagerie, Royal Croquet Club
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

I had the pleasure of meeting two of the performers, director Leigh and b-boy Jack before seeing M.I.N.D.E.D. Both are extremely talented and world-class breakdancers. They explained to me, and viewers of FRITZ TV (Facebook Live), that their show is pushing the boundaries of traditional breakdance and is a fusion of breaking, acrobatics, hip-hop dance and contemporary theatre.
It’s all of that and more. However, I will advise that this is not an upbeat hip-hop breakdance show with all the hype you would expect from breakdancers. It’s a beautiful non-verbal theatre piece that uses dance, complex choreography and powerful body movements.
If you are passionate about modern dance and want to see something during Fringe that provides you with some theatrical culture from champion dancers, this show could be just what you’re looking for.
The soundtrack is phenomenal and intense and has been created by Aria award-winning artist Ben Ely from Regurgitator. I congratulate Leah and her crew on busting through the status quo and shaping something new.
Rated family friendly and on until Sunday 5 March.

Club Briefs

Club briefs

Menagerie, Royal Croquet Club
Review: Jackson Polley

It never quite feels like Fringe until we’ve heard Fes Fa’Anana’s voice get the show started. Club Briefs has again arrived, and this time they’ve brought a whole harem of their performance buddies. It’s a delight to see Karen From Fiance, a Melbourne drag queen who is currently making an international splash. Louis Briggs came out as naked as the day he was born – we can’t even tell you what he did on stage (something with lollipops maybe?), he could have sung Ava Maria for all we know because we were that mesmerised. Briefs newcomer Harry Clayton-Wright did something with a vacuum cleaner that would make The Queen faint but absolutely delight Freddy Mercury, so prepare yourself. Get caught up in the climatic finale and then find yourself out on the grass in front of the Menagerie with the rest of the roused audience, realising that you’ve once again been delightfully shocked and amazed by the Briefs boys. We’re intrigued to see if they will have different acts each night and if so, it would be the proverbial cherry on top of the reason cake why you must see this show, and why we’ll probably go again for round two.
Rated MA 18+, playing at Menagerie @ Royal Croquet Club until 5 March.

80’s Made – Totally!

80s made Peter Baecker

The Parlour, Royal Croquet Club
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

If the bangin’ pop synthesiser sounds of eighties’ chart toppers give you happy flashbacks to big hair, gigantic elastic belts and huge shoulder pads, this show is definitely for you. If you mourn the fact that you no longer have your “brill” Smash Hits ’87 vinyl record, or your “choice” Countdown Chartbusters volume one cassette tape got chewed up in your Datsun 120Y’s tape deck, this show is most definitely for you. If, when you hear Cindy Lauper’s Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun, you just want to screech the lyrics as loud as you can into a hairbrush, and the sound of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up sends you into a time war, this show was made for you – because you too were made in the eighties.
Our favourite Austrian, Peter Baecker, is back in Adelaide once again delighting audiences with his one-man show celebrating all the things and music he loves from the golden age of the 1980s.The show is a “choice” soundtrack to his life, and if you’re 40+, or just freak out over the dance hits of the 80s, you will scream, jump around, dance and sing your little hearts out at this show.
This is what I call a rad girls’ night out. I danced my bodacious arse off!
Rated Family Friendly.

Torte E Mort

Royal Croquet Club
Review: Eliza Oatway

If you’re feeling like spending an hour delighted by beautiful vocals, profound talent and a slick performance but also black humour, a cheeky strip-tease and wickedly clever lyrics, we know just the show for you.
Torte e Mort: Songs of Cake and Death performed by Adelaide’s homegrown cabaret songstress, Anya Anastasia, transports you back to the reign of the French Queen Marie Antoinette before turning dark with her timely execution and transformation into a feisty she-devil, tempting the audience to join in her mischievous spiral to hell. Accompanied by a percussionist and a vocalist, the performance is professional and captivating with witty political satire and songs that pull you into her wicked world of cake and death. Coming off the back of rave reviews from Melbourne Fringe Festival and shows around Australia, New Zealand, Prague and Berlin, an hour with Anya Anastasia is a night well spent.

 

Fritz Rating 4

Sonder

Blue Bird Coffee Lounge
Review: Katie Spain

The idea of a one-on-one Fringe performance is enough to scare the bejesus out of most people. There’s nowhere to hide when the audience consists of you and you only. That’s what makes this interactive fifteen-minute show so special. The intimacy. Without giving too much away (that’s no fun for anyone), the set is a bedroom. Performer Catherine Holder invites you in and together you make the bed and engage in a series of tasks. It’s a peaceful, gentle and occasionally disarming insight into human interaction. You’ll leave calm, reflective and more conscious of the way you move through the world around you. There’s a delightful keepsake to take home, too. This is a lovely little piece. Good things really do come in small packages. You can grab a coffee and a bite to eat at the café after you’re finished your culture hit, too.

Rated G, and on at Shantytown Gallery in the Blue Bird Coffee Lounge until 26 February.

Fritz Rating 4

Fauna

Fauna

Review: Eliza Oatway
Ukiyo, The Royal Croquet Club

Fauna ticks all the boxes – completely captivating? Yes. Extraordinarily talented performers? Definitely. Did my jaw drop throughout the entire show? You bet.
Five acrobats, accompanied by a musician, pull you into the contrasts and similarities of human movement and the instinctual primal behaviours of animals. The artists control and contort their bodies in a display of their individual animal characteristics and it’s incredible to watch their skill. They also bring humour into the piece through the actions and expressions they use to reveal their animalistic personalities.
These world-class performers are a stand out and well worth seeing. The show leaves you feeling as if you’ve stepped into another world and been absorbed into their alternate universe of the animal kingdom. Fauna will also leave you stunned at their skill. Don’t miss it.

Rated G and on at The Royal Croquet Club until 19 March.

 

Adelaide Fringe Comedy Gala

Royalty Theatre
Review: Kris Dingey

Often you’ll see a comedy gala on telly and the jokes will be tame and dumbed down for the easily offended viewer. I’m pleased to report that the aforementioned viewer would definitely pen a stern letter to the broadcaster should Adelaide Fringe Comedy Gala be sent out over the airwaves.
With the exception of one act, myself and the rest of the packed Royalty Theatre had constant streams of tears of laughter.
Unfortunately the intended host Peter Helliar was stuck in Melbourne, but funnyman Lawrence Mooney was able to step in and did a mighty good job. The image of him whacking his dick on the side of the urinal to get the last few drops out will take a long time to leave my head.
Big name nationals like Tom Gleeson, Akmal Saleh and Merrick Watts didn’t disappoint, their 10-minute stints were non-stop hilarity. Locals Georgie Carroll and Micky D get real about fat thighs and spectacular ‘woggy’ names. Amos Gill and Joel Creasey were in fine form and Butt Kapinski involved the whole crowd in her hilarious ‘film noir murder mystery’.
What would a comedy gala be without one dud? Sorry Adrienne, it’s probably a good thing you’re only doing one show.
All in all a spectacular evening chokers full of inappropriate sex, race and sexy race jokes that left many with aching laugh muscles.

Fritz Rating 4

Sirqus Alfon

Royal Croquet Club
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

If you’re looking for a show that epitomises what the Adelaide Fringe Festival is all about, it’s this. Sirqus Alfon: I am Somebody is a fabulously entertaining show all the way from Sweden (and Norway). It’s singing and dancing. It’s live music. It’s contemporary and it’s traditional clowning around. It’s got lasers, a boombox and a child’s drumkit. It’s high-tech, yet simple. But most of all, it’s chaotic fun. You will laugh your head off, you’ll ooooh and ahhhh. And you’ll even say to the person next to you “This is awesome” and “I can’t believe we haven’t seen that trick before” and maybe even, “I just can’t wipe the smile off my face, that was so entertaining”. You could see it twice (or three times) and be as entertained and mesmerised as you were the first time. This is sure to be a hit for the RCC.

Rated PG and on at the Royal Croquet Club at 9.30pm for the entire Fringe season.

 

Nurse Georgie Carroll: Gauze and Affect

Peacock @ Gluttony
Review: Kris Dingey

Having a taste of Georgie last week at the Adelaide Fringe Comedy Gala, my expectations for her solo show were high. There wasn’t a spare seat in the Peacock tent at Gluttony, Georgie’s largest crowd to date. Getting a feel for her audience, she discovered more than half were nurses. Naturally, the jokes were aimed at them, however layman enough for the non-medical crew to still have a good belly laugh. Apparently it’s possible to tell the time between poops by only the smell of the most recent stool. Who knew? Nurses, evidently. Sounds gross however it was hilarious. For the nitty gritty details of faeces aroma, you’ll have to hear the full story from Georgie, told in a way only she could.
Georgie has a great ability to work with the crowd and adjust the story on the fly, and offers refreshing insights into the world of nursing which are usually anything but funny.

Gospolation

Cirque Africa Bigtop, Hindmarsh Square
Review: Alex Traeger

As soon as the choir started singing, I got chills that continued throughout the entire show. At times I had to hold back tears of joy from the utter feels! #allthefeels
Each and every member of Gospolation sang from the heart. It was in their faces, their rhythm and their spectacular vocal talent. The band was on point the whole way through and didn’t miss a beat. There were a couple of songs where it was difficult to make out the words but this could have been from my side positioning to the stage, and it didn’t lessen my enjoyment.
A highlight was spotting the cheerful Maggie Beer singing in the audience, and then asked on stage with a group of gospel gal pals to join in the choir. My mum loved this.
A vibrant mix of gospel, pop and rap was the basis of the performance. Gospolation you have won my heart.

Nick Cody – On Fire

Nick Cody

Fowlers Live
Review: Naomi Giatas

After hearing about up-and-coming comedian Nick Cody at the end of the Fringe last year and narrowly missing out, I told myself when 2017 rolls around I’d go see him. Within that year he appeared on Conan O’Brien’s The Tonight Show in the US, Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and then on my favourite TV show at the moment Please Like Me.
Nick is your typical Aussie bloke who humours the crowd about his recent wedding day, honeymoon and general life with partner Lucia. From being cut off by his barista for coffee intake, vegan barbecues to tattoos parents get of their kids’ names, you will find yourself either relating to Nick on a personal level like some of the cackling crowd did or know someone with these characteristics.
I was ready for a night of big laughs, but was slightly underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, Nick’s laidback charm and comedic persona is enjoyable and I’m glad I went, but it doesn’t make him stand out in a crowd of his competitors.

Rhys Nicholson: I’m Fine

Rhys Nicholson

Fowler’s Live
Review: Sky Harrison

Comedian Rhys Nicholson takes a less political focus for his new show I’m Fine, instead mining the fertile comedic ground of his personal life, from the awkwardness of his teenage years and struggles with mental health to the stresses of modern relationships.
The laughs come easily from the moment he steps on stage – many of them thrown to us as asides that catch you unawares. His style of comedy is built on confessional stories, sharp observations and a fearlessness about poking fun at himself and his personal demons. Nothing is off limits, from disastrous teenage blowjobs to fetishes and parental sex toys, but that’s not to say it’s all about sex. It’s as much about the struggle to fit in and the pressures we put on ourselves to be certain things. And though the show is called I’m Fine, it explores the many times he wasn’t, adding a poignancy that underlines the comedy. Among this is his philosophy of ‘find your pervert’, pointing out the vacuousness of lines like ‘just be yourself’ in a society that only accepts certain norms. His rant about healthy people is one of many highlights.
Being new, I’m Fine isn’t as finely honed as the TV performances you may know him from – he’s still trying out jokes and occasionally follows them up with, ‘Not doing that one again’. But that’s part of the charm of Nicholson’s performance, he knows how to turn anything into a laugh, even a flat joke. And it’s a pleasure to watch such a talented comedian work through his new material and maybe even play a small part in helping shape it. I’m Fine is funny, charming and a great addition to the Fringe comedy circuit. Go see it before it ends up on TV, polished to perfection.

Rated M, I’m Fine is at Fowler’s Live this weekend.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

The Parlour at Royal Croquet Club
Review: Sky Harrison

White Rabbit Red Rabbit played here last Fringe and got rave reviews, so I was intrigued to finally get to see it this year. The mysterious show is a difficult one to describe because it’s contents are deliberately mysterious – the play, written by Iranian Nassim Soleimanpour, is a surprise to all who gather not only to view it, but also the actor. That’s because each show is performed by a different actor, who gets the script only when they’re on stage, handed in a sealed envelope. Immediately, it gives the sense that something important is about to happen. Soleimanpour is unable to leave Iran, so he travels via the play – it’s his voice we hear speaking through the actor (in this case Adrienne Truscott, who does an excellent job responding as both an actor and a person), and his presence is added to by the vacant chair reserved for him in the front row. Without giving anything away, the play starts out lightheartedly, drawing audience members to the stage from time to time, and ups the stakes as it progresses, until you’re left pondering the boundaries between fiction and real life, and the group mentality that shapes the society we live in. It’s powerful, affecting stuff, and simple moments elicit the biggest emotional responses. I had to hold back a few tears while thinking of Soleimanpour connecting to us through the play, and though there are many laughs along the way, the audience leaves in a solemn, contemplative state, knowing that something important has happened, and we were part of it. This is suitable for older children – my 13 year old loved it.

Rated PG, it plays at The Parlour at Royal Croquet Club until 19 March.

 

 

YouTunes

YouTunes

Ukiyo at Royal Croquet Club
Review: Mahalia Tanner

What happens when a skilled multi-instrumentalist grows too comfortable in his award-winning Fringe shows? YouTunes is what happens. Like any true music great, Adelaide musician/composer/producer Adam Page decided he needed to step things up a notch with his performance, putting aside the 15 odd instruments he can play with aplomb and crafting an off-the-cuff show centred around sounds collected from the audience.
YouTunes kicks off with an exuberant Page mining sounds from his audience as they wait to enter the venue. (If you want your moment in the spotlight, make sure you arrive a little early!) The opening track is the result of that collection – a brilliant and exciting layering of voices, pops and fizzles coming together to create a moment of musical joy.
This is what Page does best. Music is known as the universal language, but in Page’s world there is a musicality to be found in everything. A whistle from the crowd becomes the baseline for a reggae track. A wet fart noise becomes the chunky beat to an R’n’B tune. A tsk becomes the backbone to a decidedly funky ‘wonky’ beat (made famous by DJ’s like Flying Lotus and described by Page as “pigeon dancing music”).
Page’s passion and joy for his craft shines through everything he creates and is infectious – inviting the audience to listen a little more intently to the music that can be found in everyday sounds.

 YouTunes is rated G and is on at Ukiyo, Royal Croquet Club, March 8 to 11 then 14 to 19.

 

Graeme of Thrones

The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

Graeme of Thrones is structured as a presentation to potential investors (us, the audience) to help the director, Graeme, finance a completely epic live 19-hour long recreation of the entire seven seasons of the HBO TV mega hit Game of Thrones.
It’s not the tightest show, but if you’re a fan of the TV series (oh, and you would have had to watch at least the first two seasons to understand this show) you’ll laugh along throughout the show. But where you will cack yourself is when the actors go off script and improvise. Seriously, this is where the show get’s crazy. The Sansa menstruation scene would have to be one of the funniest sketches on womanhood and a piss-take of this character ever. The three actors in this production would easily slot into any Monty Python film or sketch.

It’s fun, entertaining and at times ridiculous.

The Wine Bluffs

Royal Croquet Club
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a wine wanker, but when South Australian wine lovers get competitive for the title of Wine Wanker, shit gets real. Damian Callinan and Paul Calleja put wine collector up against goon drinker up against French Champagne snob up against Giesen guzzler… the result? A barrel full of laughter and even a few snot bubbles.
These guys have created a great show that shines the spotlight on how to be a wine wanker. It’s clever, creative, colourful and clearly one that South Aussie wine-loving audiences will chat to all their friends about. If you’ve ever wondered what wine goes with Smackos, Chicko Rolls or fairy bread, you’ll be delighted by the quick wit and humour in this show. It went a little bit sideways at times, but I liked it, if it were a wine I’d quoff it… I would definitely swallow and not spit.

 

 

Barbu Electro Trad Cabaret: Review

Barbu

The Peacock at Gluttony
Review: Eliza Oatway

Bearded men, circus tricks, acrobatics and nudity… oh my! Barbu Electro Trad Cabaret has all this and more. The show is quirky, the outfits are weird but the beards are downright impressive and the men can pull off some amazing stunts, showcasing incredible strength and control and leaving you eager for more.
The show steps up a notch when two female performers join them and leave the audience in awe of the ways they can move. One dancer makes the impossible seem possible while contorting her body atop a flying aerial hoop, while making it look incredibly easy.
While there are definitely some bizarre moments (Lucas, the Mentalist, I’m looking at you) and props are occasionally dropped during circus tricks, the show is entertaining the whole way through and the upbeat music has the audience pumping. A lot of fun and well worth seeing; just maybe don’t take your grandma as there are a few naughty bits shown.

Rated PG, Barbu is on at Gluttony in The Peacock tent until 19 March.

Louise Reay: Hard Mode

Room 1 at TuxedoCat
Review: Katie Spain

There’s an important message of censorship at the heart of British comedian Louise Reay’s show but it’s all a little lost in translation. If you’re a Brit or lived in the UK anytime over the past few decades, you’ll get most of the references to things like orchestral classical music event Last Night at the Proms, songbird Charlotte Church and her ex, rugby player Gavin Henson. If you’ve never left Oz, you probably won’t. The crux of the story is clever though, so it’s worth pushing through. Louise, decked in a black, sequined leotard and tights and a dishevelled ginger wig, invites us to imagine a world where the Chinese government purchased the BBC and artists were forced to (attempt to) create in an authoritarian regime. Three ring-in actors (these alternate as the season rolls) in masks keep us, the audience, in line as Louise leads us through the alarming scenario. There’s a bit of crowd participation and an interview with Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei (not the real one, unfortunately). She’s an endearing soul and Hard Mode is evolving. According to Louise it totally changed as Adelaide Fringe season has progressed. This show has a lot of potential so this makes me want to see it again.

Rated M. See it at Room 1 at Tuxedo Cat until March 19.

The Little Death Club

Little Death Club

The Black Forest, Royal Croquet Club
Review: Mahalia Tanner

As someone partial to a good, dark cabaret/circus show, expectation was high for The Little Death Club (LDC). Curated by saucy femme fatal Bernadette Byrne (Mortitcia Addams if she played in an 80’s electro-goth-pop band) LDC is a deranged variety show of rag-tag acts designed to alarm, excite and leave you a little moist in your nether-regions. By no means the slickest of shows, LDC does have its moments – plus it is hard to fault an act that has a message of love and celebration of the kooks, freaks and misfits at its heart.
Highlights include John Waters look-a-like Asher Treleaven delivering a side-splittingly funny dramatic reading of the best of Mills and Boons and Gypsy Wood’s teen dream Carrie moment (with a twist).
Billed as the main act of the evening, the hula-hooping Jess Love delivered impressive tricks along with a few laughs – making a surprise costume change midway through her act that left a few audience members rosy in the cheeks.
The night ended with our gin-swilling glamourous host singing a rousing tune about how drinking, dancing and f**king is the only way through the trying times we are experiencing around the world at the moment. Which is a message that all us Fringe dwellers can get behind.
Little Death Club is rated M (it includes nudity) and is on at The Black Forest, Royal Croquet Club, nightly until March 19.

Prohibition

Prohibition

The Speakeasy at Gluttony
Review: Kirstie Forbes

“A super slick spectacle packed with astonishing acrobats, sassy singers, mesmerising magicians and more…” is the call to arms for cabaret/comedy act Prohibition. Set in the 1930s, this variety show is light hearted with a touch of sauce. Highlights include the well-played hunchback Dado, acrobat Caz Walsh and the shit detective Dirk Darrow. Singer Minnie the Maneater was no doubt leaving many men and women in the audience wishing she would take a bite out of them, but her mouth was used for much better activities, such as singing full throttle and full-throated like some sexy Shirley Bassey-esque dame.
Personally, I was wowed by the acrobat Caz Walsh, with the most impressive antics I’ve seen in some time. Heart in your mouth, are-you-f*#king-kidding-me stuff. Let’s just say I had my hands covering my eyes through moments, in fear of her face and the floor meeting in a meaty crunch. A balancing act which has to be seen to be believed.
Magicians are the devil’s work, to my mind, however, Dirk Darrow played it so smoothly and not at all creepily that I found myself enjoying his part the most. The puns and the jokes were brutal – my favourite kind. Often mine was the only laugh braying out against a chorus of groans as the really crude jokes popped out. Perfect.
The bad? The transitions weren’t always particularly smooth. Meaningless sequences confused rather than added to the flow. I found two of the players ‘meh’ – though their skills were impressive, it was nothing I hadn’t seen before nor was it presented in an innovative way.
Overall it was an enjoyable production, with standout moments of LOLs, physical prowess and a fizzing jazz-pop soundtrack. The audience was loving it, my neighbours on either side laughing and snorting throughout the whole performance. It’s a great late-night show if you want a mix of laughs and ‘ooh-ahh’ performance.

Rated M at The Speakeasy, Gluttony, until 19 March.

 

Luke McGregor – Almost Fixed It

Luke McGregor

The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

My expectations were high. Luke’s show was sold out. How exciting. I scored a ticket to a sold out show. Woohoo. I remember seeing Luke a few years ago in a small tent with a small crowd. But, this night he had hundreds of eager fans lining up for what seemed like hours, just to get the best seat in the house. I think I preferred seeing him in a more intimate venue when he wasn’t a star off the telly. Back when my expectations are blown out of the water. Luke’s awkwardness is endearing. He’s super cute, a ranga and completely neurotic. You want to root for him and be his best friend, and therapist.
His die-hard fans loved his show, no matter how uncomfortable his stories of anxiety, fear and bumbling experiences were. But, I think the show needs finesse and better timing. Sorry, Luke… This performance matched your title of your TV show “Luke Warm…”

Comedians Against Humanity, Hosted by Yianni Agisilaou

Comedians Against Humanity

La Petite Grande, Gluttony
Review: Elyse Williams

Created and hosted by Aussie comedian Yianni Agisilaou, Comedians Against Humanity invites three Fringe comedians to test out their improv skills as the crowd sets the scene using the little white cards covered in Helvetica in their hands. We saw guests Simon Taylor, Trish Parry and Fin Taylor rotate their way through press conferences and news reports, with Yianni prompting, while the crowd asked utterly ridiculous questions expecting answers. “How do you plan to kill the gay aliens?” one gentleman asked. The response? “Kale.”
Some responses make you cackle and some disgusted even the dirtiest of minds; if you find yourself feeling repulsed by the topic, remember that it’s all in the cards.
So if crude humour and taboo topics are not your forte, then Comedians Against Humanity is probably not for you. However, if you enjoy a crude joke (Clive Palmer’s soft, shitty body giving blowies, anyone?), then you’re sure to enjoy this late-night laugh fest.
And while the jokes sometimes fall short, that’s the risk of improv for you.

Rated M and on at Gluttony.

 

Josh Glanc: Manful

Royal Croquet Club
Review: Mikyla Gilbert

I’m honestly not to sure how to explain this show. It’s totally absurd, even cringe-worthy at times. Josh’s character of Dicky Rosenthal is a loveable hyper-masculine beefcake. You can’t help but love him. I wanted to hug him. Dicky is adorable. The awkward silences are comic genius, even though they make the audience uncomfortable or burst out laughing. You can tell that this performance piece is a work in progress and by the end of the run it might be more polished.

 

Jimeoin – Renonsense Man

Jimeoin

Royalty Theatre
Review: Elyse Williams

After years of watching him on TV, my expectations were high walking in to see Jimeoin. Mildly disappointed was how I walked out.
Don’t get me wrong, many a laugh was had as he rambled on about topics such as everyday relationships, how he and his wife communicate, farting and his own written style of pornography. And  the original songs about love were probably the most entertaining part of the show. But overall, it lacked the heart and genuine enthusiasm I’ve seen him portray so many times before and we were left wanting for more. Sorry Jimeoin!
If you’re wanting a quick chuckle and no more, book your ticket. If you’re expecting to leave with your sides splitting, give it a miss.

Until 19 March.

 

A Brief History Of Beer: The New Brew

Brief History of Beer

The Elephant – British Pub
Review: Kris Dingey

I’m a self-confessed beer wanker and my history knowledge could do with a refresh, so what better show to see than comedy A Brief History of Beer: The New Brew? Unfortunately, there wasn’t much about beer, history or comedy. Disjointed appearances from Trish in a Star Trek-ish uniform, Darth Vader outfit and operating an imaginary control panel complete with bleep-bloop-psssshhh noises failed to captivate. There was also a weird need for arm flailing.
Adding to the confusion is the PG rating for a show in a pub about beer and drinking games.
A select few from the small crowd played guess the beer, one of which was my mate, he won a sticker. So, there’s that.
We left underwhelmed and scratching our heads. What just happened?
Rated PG, see it at The Elephant – British Pub until 19 March.
Tickets $20.

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