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Adelaide Fringe Reviews

KILLJOY – DESTROY THE FANTASY – 4.5*

Sometimes confronting and often hilarious, the super-talented Killjoys have brought their joyous burlesque-circus-cabaret-rock show to the Adelaide Fringe.

On their opening night on Tuesday, despite having to deal with injured muscles and broken shoes, they gave a wonderful performance in front of a very appreciative and engaged audience.  Presented almost as a series of variety sketches  featuring dance, song, acrobatics and pinatas, the clever use of humour and outrageously imaginative costumes helped them deliver a strong feminist message without seeming preachy.

Tender moments were provided by a lovely rendition of the folk tale of the Little Match Girl ( involving fire twirling ), and an acrobatic performance portraying the ups and downs of a relationship. And I have to admit that, caught up in the evening’s action, I didn’t see the  brilliant punchline coming.

Waiting in line to enter the tent I was amused by the conversation between the two men behind me who were discussing their relationship woes and the unfathomable nature of women’s behaviour.  I wondered if they had any idea of what awaited them.  Occasionally I snuck a look in their direction and noticed that them seemed to be enjoying it immensely.  Hopefully it helped.

4.5*

Note : this show contains sexual themes and some nudity.

Featuring Amy Broomstick, Cat Scobie and scientist-turned-aerialist Mahla Bird. supported by the Killjoy band consisting of Zak Pidd, Rin McArdle and Jade Stevens.

Empyrean at Gluttony until March 18th

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MARATHON – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2018 – 5*

With their dialogue falling into sync with the pounding of their feet on a lonely road at night Steve and Mark discuss life and love.  They are in training for the New York Marathon.                                                                                                                                                 Brilliantly and convincingly brought to life by Ross Vosvotekas and Adam Cirillo who run for virtually the entire 55 minutes (they have been in training for over 4 months) Marathon is showing in the Band Room of the Crown and Anchor hotel  until March 18th.                                                                                                                                                           The play opens with Steve lying on the ground, seemingly resting or asleep until Mark roughly rouses him.  Steve complains that he is not fit enough to run today, that he has the flu.  His friend Mark continues to drive him on.                                                                       As their run progresses one can start to sense that all may not be as it seems.  The roles of the two runners become reversed with Steve now being the one to lead.  Disorientation starts to set in and familiar landmarks are missed as a fog descends.

Highly recommended.                                                                                                                            5*

Note : show contains coarse language and adult themes.                                                               Written by Eduardo Erba and translated from the Italian by Colin Teevan.

MOJITO! – THE HEMINGWAY CABARET

Mojito! is an entertaining fast-paced cabaret set in Cuba in 1959 on the eve of the Cuban revolution.  Songs from Spain, Cuba, and Latin America are brought to life by an excellent 7-piece band consisting of trumpet, trombone, drums, congas, piano, bass and classical guitar.  The fabulous vocals are mainly provided by Nancy Ruth, Cynthia Madrid, and Diana Scalza, with each having their own unique style.

The action takes place in a bar called La Bodeguita Del Mar and the audience are welcomed by the somewhat dodgy owner Pepe (Christian Cifuentes).  A fun storyline of rivalry ties the show together; rivalry between Spain and Cuba, between two of the women over the attentions of Pepe, and between members of the cast over a prize promised by patron Ernest Hemingway (Andrew Le Roy).

With touches of jazz and lots of flamenco, humour, a hint of politics, and mojitos available from the bar, the cabaret flowed smoothly.  Alain Volodze playing flamenco guitar was sensational.  The audience were encouraged to join in on choruses and to clap along with the rhythm and most were carried away by the vibrant and irresistible Latin music and dance.  The one enthusiastic heckler was soon subdued by the pointed wit of Hemingway.

The Arkaba was the venue for the show during its Adelaide Fringe run.  The troupe are now travelling to the Sutherland Entertainment Centre in Sydney.  Hopefully they will return to us for more shows next year.

4.5*

THE BRIDGE – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2018

Two people, brought together by chance, search for ways to keep hope alive.

Through their nightly shadow-puppet play they are able to create stories and worlds over which they have control.  They can make plans, express their fears, laugh, and make it through another night.

Nameless throughout, with their pasts virtually erased by the calamity and alone in a post-apocalyptic world, they are travelling toward the Golden Gate Bridge.  The man believes that a community of survivors exists on the other side and that they will find there all they need to start a new life.  The bridge comes to symbolise hope, and also the end of  hope.

They cling to one another as the last tangible traces of their past lives fade away.

Actor-writers Nick Rinke and Caitlin Docking bring this story wonderfully to life.  With minimal props, clever dialogue, song and excellent shadow work, they take the audience with them on their journey.

4*

Presented by Green Eggs and Ham, Canada

Bakehouse Theatre.

A HISTORY OF EARLY BLUES – ADELAIDE FRINGE – FEB 2018

It was a full house on a balmy Adelaide evening in the Tin Shed at the Wheatsheaf hotel, but one could have heard a pin drop when Cal Williams unassumingly took to the stage and began playing some lovely slide guitar.  After a few minutes he was joined by Kory Horwood plucking and bowing his double bass, and a little later by the amazing Will Kallinderis on harmonica.

They proceeded to hold the full attention of the audience for the duration of the show with their easy flowing style, expert musicianship and snippets of storytelling and humour.  The early blues music included a touch of soul and gospel, some Appalachian blues played on a ukulele made out of an old copper wood heater, and a beautiful rendition of Parchman Farm featuring brilliant solos by all three musicians.  Will Kallinderis treated us to a demonstration on how to play the ‘tin sandwich’ and a brief history of the instrument. All three performers sang and their voices worked beautifully together.

At the end of the night the audience were invited to participate in a version of ‘Turn Your Money Green’ which they did, with gusto.

The setting was ideal, the weather was cooperative and the audience very appreciative. This was a very classy and engaging show.

5*

 

We Live By The Sea

Adelaide Fringe 2018

We Live By The Sea is a wonderfully atmospheric, imaginative and tender theatre piece which draws the viewer into the world of an autistic person and the lives of those who care about them.

Katy is a friendless autistic teenager with an imaginary dog named Paul Williams.  She lives by the sea with her sister Hannah, who has been thrust into the role of carer as a consequence of their father’s death.

Living with virtually no outside support they meet Ryan, a young man new to the area who is dealing with problems of his own.  This meeting and the bonds that they form are transformative for all of them.

As audience members arrive they are intimately welcomed into these stories within stories and invited to participate in a “different kind of thinking”.

The simple set makes great use of live music, lighting and projection to take us to the sea, and also to experience what sensory overload may feel like to someone on the autism spectrum.

There was brilliant acting from all four cast members, great dialogue and storytelling, humour and sadness.

There will be a soft performance with minimal lighting and sound effects on Feb 25th.

4*

Presented by Joanna Hartstone, Patch of Blue & Hartshorn-Hook Productions.

Empire Theatre, Royal Croquet Club.

OZ ASIA FESTIVAL 2017 – UNTIL THE LIONS – AKRAM KHAN COMPANY – 5*

A stunning retelling of the story of Amba / Shikhandi ( The Mahabharata ) through the eyes of a woman abducted on her wedding day and subsequently rejected by all, which leads her to challenge notions of gender and time and to invoke the help of the gods in order to exact revenge on those who have wronged her.

Her story is told via brilliant contemporary Asian-influenced dance accompanied by music, sound and song.  The costuming and lighting is elegant and spare and enhances the powerful performances which hold the audience’s attention throughout.  The stage, cleverly representing time and also being used as a vehicle for dramatic percussion, is used beautifully to bring the story to life.  The musicians and singers surround the main characters throughout and symbolise how society restrains and sets boundaries for individuals, sometimes to the detriment of those individuals.

The spontaneous standing ovation that the cast received was well deserved.

” Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”    Ugbo proverb

Dunstan Playhouse

Fri 22 Sep   7:30pm

Sat 23 Sep   7:30pm

FRINGE 2017 – ECHOES OF THE MASK – MARRYATVILLE HIGH SCHOOL – 4*

A non-narrative experimental theatre event using film, performance, dance, live and recorded music, and creative set design.  Scenes were written by various groups of students using the theme of voyeurism as a cohesive link between the pieces.

The audience were put in the position of being watched as well as being the watchers, sometimes simultaneously, and the cast were sometimes part of the audience.  This was a commentary on modern life where the boundaries between the watchers and the watched seem to have become more blurred than ever before.  Where everything is recorded and so much is experienced through screens, where people are attempting to find new ways of experiencing the world and to connect with one another. To reach out to people that they have never, and may never, meet.  Where perhaps we expect much more than 15 minutes of fame.

With excellent lighting, music from the band, and confident acting it is a shame that more schools do not offer arts courses of this calibre.

FRINGE 2017 – FABIEN CLARK – DON’T WORRY HE’S NOT PERMANENT – 4*

Appearing in the very small Cranny, where someone had accidentally turned off the aircon, in front of a sweaty audience who had seated themselves so as to be in the direct path of the airflow from the fan was Fabien Clark, heroically appearing at this years fringe despite the fact that he now shares his life with a very new baby and looks quite sleep deprived.

A very funny storyteller who takes the audience from a tinder date which wasn’t really a tinder date (So how did you two meet?) through to unexpectedly meeting her mother (in less than ideal circumstances) to babymoons, and beyond.

It’s easy to forget that this is stand up comedy when Fabien has the audience feeling that he is someone they have just met at a bbq.  Someone who is regaling them with hilarious tales of his relationships with mothers, women, and children.

At The Producers – The Cranny until March 19th.

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