Theatre News

Fab Nobs 9 to 5

There are a couple of small theatre companies operating in the Bayswater area, one of them is Stageworx which is run by Trish Carr, who is a graduate of Deakin University’s theatre program after it moved to Burwood. The other is Fab Nobs who specialise in the production of musicals.

9 to 5 rewinds us to the 80s when technology, by modern standards is extremely backward.

Carbon sheets are used to make copies of your teenage novel and ledger books are hardcovers with lined pages to record accounts which can now be digitally filed on computers. The average worker faces a gruelling 9 to 5 shift five days a week, and the workplace consists of a larger office of employees, mostly women, in the typing pool, supporting a male hierarchy. 9 to 5 is essentially about the oppression of sexual harrassment, but in a lighter, comic strip coloured genre. Rachel Tigel plays a stereotypical role of an office tart, Doralee,  who is misjudged but ultimately leads a revolution against her suppressive superior, a cartoonish Franklin Hare junior played by Ash Cooper.

This is an interesting collective of young people with an interest in amateur theatre alongside those who have a lot of experience, which can be extremely hard to gain, due to the competition in auditions. Auditioning in itself is a craft. Of particular note is Bethany Girardi who plays Maria. Her dancing and poise is notable in the chorus, honed through her involvement in children’s theatre, and credits of the past include The Producers and Funny Girl (MDMS), and Snow White in Snow White. She also manages her own performing arts school.

April 7-22 FABULOUS NOBODYS THEATRE BAYSWATER MELBOURNE

Bachelor of Arts Film and Theatre, Deakin University, Rusden, 1994. Master of Arts Writing and Literature, Deakin University, 2013. Graduate Certificate, Tesol, 2013. Studying Graduate Diploma, Counselling, and Phd preparation, Swinburne University.Published poet, Southerly, national Australian journal.Books written by D.S, Danielle Shelley Carr include Blood for St Valentine, Raiders of the Headland and other stories, Blom-A Woman's Journey, and Ellipse, a collection of her poetry, also translated into Swedish and becoming available in Stockholm Public Library.Completed thesis, Psychological Reflections on Post-Modernist Gothic Literature available at Deakin University library.Danielle has worked as an English as second language teacher at Deakin University.

Profile: View Danielle's profile here

Email: danielle.carr@theaustraliatimes.com.au

clocs les mis

The male singers were particularly strong, the standard was edging close to that of Princess Theatre productions. The barricade looked less convincing, however, it staged the scene. The chorus was large, which enabled a grander scale production. Technical sound effects of gun shots were capably achieved. Spiritual aspects such as death of Fantine, were suitably represented as the spirit transmuted into light from above, and the final scene where Jean Valjean writes his epitaph echoed of Goethe’s Faust in his alchemical study.

CLOC’s Les Mis, May 14, 2017 National Theatre St Kilda.

Bachelor of Arts Film and Theatre, Deakin University, Rusden, 1994. Master of Arts Writing and Literature, Deakin University, 2013. Graduate Certificate, Tesol, 2013. Studying Graduate Diploma, Counselling, and Phd preparation, Swinburne University.Published poet, Southerly, national Australian journal.Books written by D.S, Danielle Shelley Carr include Blood for St Valentine, Raiders of the Headland and other stories, Blom-A Woman's Journey, and Ellipse, a collection of her poetry, also translated into Swedish and becoming available in Stockholm Public Library.Completed thesis, Psychological Reflections on Post-Modernist Gothic Literature available at Deakin University library.Danielle has worked as an English as second language teacher at Deakin University.

Profile: View Danielle's profile here

Email: danielle.carr@theaustraliatimes.com.au

one life no regrets

This is an original Australian musical presented by the Mad Cat Theatre Company, and so reflects the decades that have influenced Australia’s sociological development as a society. After having been to Sweden and England, it is funny to find yourself around the world again, watching a play about a life, country and society that you grew up with and know all too well. It also makes a change from going to see a lot of plays where Australian actors have to assume American accents to tell U.S. stories. This is what makes this original musical so compelling, and appealing. As a musical it deftly portrays in order, the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, 90s through to the Millenium but as it specifically relates to Australia. The original script is by Joanna Buddee, and the strong major character of Sarah is broadly played by Kadey McIntosh.

 

It is fascinating to watch your own country evolve through the different decades. Firstly, we are witness to the 50s and 60s, which I can’t say I was present to, but we view the heady rock’n’roll rhythms of the 50s, then the peace and love seeking anthems of the 60s.  For Australia, therefore, the 70s is momentous, as my early childhood has its background setting in the Whitlam era, when it was time for freedom and change. As an X-generationer I might envy too, the job security and free university of the 70’s. Of course I remember the eighties as the background to my adolescence, and its fashions particularly look askew in the context of historical relativity, but along the way we have learnt of the sedate, conservative era of Robert Menzies, who was a leader suited to his particular times, a safe Australia, with wealth and resources. Then, remarkably we hear about the disappearance of the Beaumont children at Glenelg, in Adelaide, an ever deepening mystery, in 1966. Of course 1980 too produces another mystery, that of Azaria Chamberlain at Ayers Rock in central Australia. Remember the celebration of a nation? The stories particular to each era intersect each act, as a social scene is played out, from the Bicentennial celebrations, to Cathy Freeman sprinting to victory in the Sydney Olympics. Then of course the turn of the century, and the Twin Towers crumbling in New York, in the global spectrum.

 

The noticeable change in fashions is a lesson in life and modernity. Human society is in a state of constant flux, the changing of fashion and sentiment with great pace. Each decade has its own social context, and set of concerns and values. However the human relationship stays a constant, with the central character of Sarah yearning for a relationship, then producing a baby along the way, and finally seeing her father die, which I can relate to, having recently lost a parent. Through the movement of time, we not only change and age, but we lose a few people also. However, the main message is rather interesting, there is great significance in this musical. The study of narrative therapy asks us to look at what aspects of the linear narrative of our lives we have missed, just like we do when we look at a film or a play, in order to fully understand it and ourselves. One Life, No Regrets does exactly that, finding that there is no one perfect moment, or narrative. Life is what it is, and no moment need be changed, yet there may be sense to it, if we fill in the gaps, and contest a different viewpoint.  

 

One Life No Regrets, Renaissance Theatre Kew, 12-14 May, 2017.

Bachelor of Arts Film and Theatre, Deakin University, Rusden, 1994. Master of Arts Writing and Literature, Deakin University, 2013. Graduate Certificate, Tesol, 2013. Studying Graduate Diploma, Counselling, and Phd preparation, Swinburne University.Published poet, Southerly, national Australian journal.Books written by D.S, Danielle Shelley Carr include Blood for St Valentine, Raiders of the Headland and other stories, Blom-A Woman's Journey, and Ellipse, a collection of her poetry, also translated into Swedish and becoming available in Stockholm Public Library.Completed thesis, Psychological Reflections on Post-Modernist Gothic Literature available at Deakin University library.Danielle has worked as an English as second language teacher at Deakin University.

Profile: View Danielle's profile here

Email: danielle.carr@theaustraliatimes.com.au

The Lighthouse Girl with actor Daisy Coyle image credit Robert  Frith

Review by Laura Money

Nestled onto the cosy stage of the Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre WA is a simple set, consisting of a rocky outcrop and dugout containing the minimum accouterments for living – a weathered table and chairs, small desk and instruments for sending off morse code messages. It’s a simple set for a simple story, yet there is a wonderful complexity of emotion that underlies both the stage and its players.

Enter Daisy Coyle, as young Fay – The Lighthouse Girl herself. Fay brims with the optimism and clarity of youth and is set in stark contrast with the surly, set-in-his-ways Lighthouse assistant, Joe (Murray Dowsett.) Coyle’s rendition of the plucky young heroine is a little naive and slightly overstated – her wide eyes and slow, reverent speech is a tad trite – but overall, it’s hard not to fall in love with her wonderfully positive outlook.

Fay and Joe set the scene as they discuss the isolation of living on Breaksea Island. As cabin-fever sets in, Fay’s father (Benj D’Addario) announces that the world is at war and that Albany will likely be the last part of Australia that many young men will see – the ships will be leaving for lands unknown from King George Sound.

As the trio contemplate how the world will change, two young Victorian farmboys – Jim and Charlie (Will McNeill and Giuseppe Rotondella) sign themselves up for what they hope will be the ‘adventure of a lifetime!’ While moored in King George Sound, many soldiers communicate with young Fay via semaphore and morse code. Charlie and Fay strike a special relationship from across the harbour that extends across the world as he finds himself in the far-flung locales of World War I.

The Lighthouse Girl is not groundbreaking, it’s not a terribly new story but it is a beautiful, sentimental piece about identity, family and a sense of home. Coyle’s happiness as Fay is infectious and it’s hard not to empathise with this big little girl with so much energy bursting from her heart. Her desire to help others connect with each other and spread the one thing in this world everyone really wants: love, is truly inspiring.

 

When: 28th April – 14th May 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Studio Underground | State Theatre Centre WA | PERTH

Tickets: $34 – $87.50

Info: Duration 100 minutes | No interval | Suitable 10+

Link: http://www.bsstc.com.au/season-2017/the-lighthouse-girl/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Credit: Sarah Walker and Lindsay Cox

Inspired by Sophocles, Spalding Gray and Bettina Arndt, Ode to Man is a one-woman oration – a series of vignettes that explore the end of men (or, rather, the death of men.)

Emma Mary Hall poses questions surrounding modern masculinity and how it influences – or is influenced by – romantic and public ideals in a world where women either have it all, or are promised it all. She recites portions of Sophocles’ Ode To Man as well as adding to this ‘man’ifesto.

There is whimsical music, critiquing of classical art and fashion and even some rolling around on the stage. Hall is accompanied by a wonderfully clever animation and projection by Lindsay Cox which compliments her fierce ideas and wraps them up neatly in an approachable way.

Hilarious, fun, and at times a little heartbreaking, Ode To Man is a delightful piece of theatre that will stick with you for a long time.

When: 18th April – 6th May 2017 | 8:30pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | PERTH

Tickets: $18 – $28

Info: Duration 60 minutes | wheelchair accessible

Link: http://blueroom.org.au/events/ode-to-man/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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David Jaanz with student/X Factor 2016 winner Isaiah Firebrace. Image courtesy of Lion Hearts Publicity.

The David Jaanz School of Singing has a reputation for producing stars, with a massive list of students who have obtained global success in the music industry since the school opened three decades ago. I sat down with David to discuss why he started the school, the reasons behind it’s huge success, and his teaching philosophy. After some brief introductions…

The Australia Times (TAT): So David, did you work in the industry before opening your own singing school?

David Jaanz (DJ): Yes, I sung in my band. We represented Australia in the World Yamaha Competition in 1989- and we won. We beat 22 000 bands from around the world, and I was signed to Sony.

TAT: When did you open the school?

DJ: Thirty years ago.

TAT: And you have a couple of schools?

DJ: We are in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland. We probably have around 400 students nationally. Singing students vary from beginners to advanced to professionals.

TAT: And what was the vision for when you started, what did you want to create?

DJ: I found that a lot of the coaching I received was very technique based, but lacked a bit of heart, and lacked a bit of soul, and lacked a bit of that X factor kind of coaching.

I just wanted to bring emotion back to singing. I wanted to bring authenticity back to singing. I wanted to bring real storytelling back to singing. That is what inspired me. It’s been an incredible journey- star after star after star for over three decades.

TAT: Has that vision been realised?

DJ: Yes, twenty five years ago I was teaching people like Peter Andre, Merril Bainbridge, Madison Avenue, people with top tens in the US, I’ve also taught people in musicals- The King and I, I’ve got students doing Wicked in Japan, and some of the big musicals around the world.

I veered more into contemporary, so from the ‘recording artist’ point of view- Delta Goodrem, the winner of The X Factor– Isaiah, the winner of  The Voice– Harrison Craig, the winner of Australia’s Got Talent– Bonnie Anderson, and the runners up of a lot of these different shows.

We’ve had lots and lots of success, with incredible voices like Kaity Dunstan who is in the US and touring with some of the major acts. So we’ve been really blessed to be able to bring forth this new generation of singer that’s got a chance on International markets, not just here.

These are cutting edge singers that bring something fresh. We are also very big into uniqueness and songwriting, really building brands. Emotion Centred Singing is mining for uniqueness and greatness in an individual.

TAT: Do you teach all the students yourself?

DJ: No, I carefully select my coaches and train them in the approach- Emotion Centred Singing. So it’s really hard to become a coach here. It’s not about the money, it’s about brilliant singers- and you’ve got to coach them well. It’s about looking after a singers voice- technique, and that balance between technique and the emotion style.

TAT: Does singing at David Jaanz require an audition?

DJ: Yes, we have an audition process. We’ve got to feel like you’ve got something.

TAT: What are some of the recent success stories to come from training at the school?

DJ: I think the biggest one is Delta Goodrem- I worked with her on her album Innocent Eyes which sold 1.2 million copies. Probably the other biggest one is Isaiah right now who is representing us in Eurovision. He’s all over the media, he’s had 50 million views. Just absolutely incredible.

TAT: How do classes run? Do you do group lessons and private lessons?

DJ: We’ve got a very unique approach and I think we need to emphasise that. There’s a certain way we do things, and it brings out champions.

We are very big on personal development, so our motto is- ‘creating the stars of tomorrow’. We teach people life skills, confidence and self-belief in being able to get up in front of audiences. I imagine it would help people that wanted to be business leaders or to get confidence.

Emotion Centred Singing is a lot of inner healing. You have to heal some of the damage of the world. We live in a negative world. We live in a world that conforms and we’re always comparing ourselves to everybody else- and that’s the problem. We need to run our own race.

TAT: It sounds like you have a focus on healing…

DJ: Most coaches just do scales. That’s skimming. That’s like having a cake and just skimming the icing- but you’ve got to go into it. You’ve got to take a bite. A lot of what we do is gospel- it’s about discovering the ‘inner singer’. It’s going deep, so a lot of it is incredible inner healing.

 

 

—-end of interview—-

Links:

http://jaanz.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/davidjaanzschoolofsinging/

https://eurovision.tv/

 

 

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Jamie Breen

Review by Laura Money

So You Think You’re Charlie Smith examines the complex relationship we have with reality. Through the carefully constructed world of reality television, it highlights our obsession with the narrative we tell each other about ourselves. In a world of social media and interconnected global identity, where everything is about the cultivation of your personal brand, right down to the memories we feel and experience, writers Jackson Used and Ben Thomas have created a world where the cut-throat nature of image-as-everything is stripped back and presented to you in all its dangerous, ugly glory.

Three contestants are competing in the most brutal of reality shows. It is not specified exactly what the prize will be or what the dynamic really is. This is a clever parody that rips the guts out of the content in the way that only very good satire can. There is a wonderful undertone bubbling away as tension rises between the characters and power shifts and changes.

With a subtly flamboyant host whose shark-like smile never really matches his eyes and a stone-cold manager who hides behind impeccable hair and make-up to deliver a sinister grooming of the ‘perfect’ contestant, So you Think Your’r Charlie Smith has its finger firmly on the pulse of this interconnected and exposed society.

It’s an unreal world, the fishbowl that the contestants live in is getting smaller and smaller as the line between autonomy and manipulation wavers before your very eyes. How much is real? Come on down and find out!

 

When: 11 – 29th April 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | PERTH

Tickets: $18 – $28

Info: Duration 75 minutes | No interval | Wheelchair accessible

Link:  http://blueroom.org.au/events/so-you-think-youre-charlie-smith/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Perri Cassie

You are invited into ‘Channel Perri’- a one hour live picture of quality stand-up entertainment featuring Melbourne based comedian Perri Cassie, and a stack tonne of his best jokes.

His humour is a mix of observational, self deprecating honesty. The way Perri starts the show is inventive, and immediately gets the audience on board and excited about a show they may have taken a punt on.

Perri is a very good writer. There are consistent jokes throughout each story or topic, making for no dull moments, or waiting for punch lines. His jokes are unique and memorable- the full audience was a mix of different age demographics, but everyone was loving it from start to finish. There were many applause moments after a great punch line.

A likeable and relatable performer with imagination and strength in comedy, his jokes range from what he thinks opening a milk cartoon, not receiving a birthday card and being cheated on, to the shocking thing he did to some slippers whilst working in retail.

This is clever comedy with a wide audience appeal. Book ahead so you don’t miss out!

You can see ‘Channel Perri’…

Date: 12th to 23rd of April

Time: 9:00pm

Location: The Unknown Union, 1000 pound bend, 361 Little Lonsdale Street

Tickets: $10.30-$15.30

Information: No wheelchair access

Links:

 https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/channel-perri

Instagram/Twitter – @channelperri

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 12.44.23 pm

Image courtesy of Blake Everett

Blake Everett is a ‘King of Nothing’, but he sure does ‘rule’ at comedy. This 19-year old comedian has put all his energy into comedy since graduating high school- and it shows. His musical songs are well written and clever. He takes risks. He knows how to play audience interaction to his advantage.

There is no real structure to the show- which Blake tells us. It is a collection of different bits of his comedy- from a joke about his Dad jumper, to a song about sexy snap chats, and a quirky joke about ‘lists’. He’s definitely one to watch on the comedy scene in years to come.

Sweet natured with a sometimes dirty sense of humour, and an intelligent approach to his work. Blake will energise you with laughter from start to finish.

You can see ‘King of Nothing’…

When: 10th-22nd April (no shows 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th)

Where: Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Pl

Tickets: $25

Information: Venue is not wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/king-of-nothing\

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Hartwell Players

Review by Danielle Carr

This play presented a distanced American experience. It is also made clear in the first part that it is a subjectively Jewish American voice. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily far from my experience, though. Because I have a little bit of Jewish ancestry I’m interested to note the rich coiffured ringlets in the women’s hair, something I see a little of in my own. Otherwise it resembles a Riverdancer’s due to Celtic origin. This too in my life has been criticised so I suppose this is where an interlinking occurs with the playwright’s stance that women’s looks are dissected by society.

Some of the argument about the criticism of the female is said to revolve around women being the fairer sex and therefore subject to more intensive scrutiny of their appearance. Of special note in the cast is Rusden College graduate Alison Campbell Rate who has written a play called Hat’s Off to be performed at Brighton Theatre Company. (Rusden College became Deakin University in 1992.) The place that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown travelling there four hours a day which makes me wonder why it wouldn’t have been somehow better to attend the Drama and Media course at Melbourne University. Though this course also inevitably closed partly due to the reduction of the teaching service in the 1990s.

It’s impressive how the production shows that a play can be staged without too much set construction or too many props. The lighting plot is also minimal but suitable for the play’s purposes. It is an example of how the staging of a play can be easier and less momentous. This is educational stage design also for the playwright.

Love, Loss and What I Wore was presented by the Hartwell Players and showed at Ashwood High School Performing Arts Centre MELBOURNE from 6th – 8th April 2017

Bachelor of Arts Film and Theatre, Deakin University, Rusden, 1994. Master of Arts Writing and Literature, Deakin University, 2013. Graduate Certificate, Tesol, 2013. Studying Graduate Diploma, Counselling, and Phd preparation, Swinburne University.Published poet, Southerly, national Australian journal.Books written by D.S, Danielle Shelley Carr include Blood for St Valentine, Raiders of the Headland and other stories, Blom-A Woman's Journey, and Ellipse, a collection of her poetry, also translated into Swedish and becoming available in Stockholm Public Library.Completed thesis, Psychological Reflections on Post-Modernist Gothic Literature available at Deakin University library.Danielle has worked as an English as second language teacher at Deakin University.

Profile: View Danielle's profile here

Email: danielle.carr@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Weeping Spoon Productions

Review by Hasina Reza

When an aloof janitor and a love-stricken man with a beard cross paths in the most unusual way, we are introduced to a whole new world where a lack of privacy and friendship give ‘togetherness’ a brand new meaning.

Shane Adamczak and St John Cowcher share the stage as they capture the audience’s attention with a brilliant performance of combined physical theatre and musical story telling.

Located on the second floor of the quirky Butterfly Club, the small stage is just enough space for the duo to present their unlikely journey. Adamczak’s portrayal of the protagonist Frank, who becomes the unintentional subject of a scientific accident, is perfected so well that even spraying the audience with his janitor props is comical. The show ventures on to explore significant themes of love, friendship, heartbreak and self-fulfillment as the two men overcome their realistic weaknesses with each other’s support.

This brilliantly written show depicts a plot like no other, with crude humour, sailor-standard swearing and clever narration from both actors. The emotion Adamczak and Cowcher display on stage creates a successful and comfortable space of great energy, welcoming endless laughter and cheers from the audience. Nonetheless it is safe to say the lifelike representation of failure followed by a heavy night of drinking and a morning after of endless regrets, allows for audiences to raise their hand in shameless empathy. The pair shares the most of their impressive talents as they engage the wandering eyes in the room with the sounds of their instruments, catchy songs and improvisation.

From two aimless men with contrasting personalities, Frank and Al unite in overcoming the uncalled for scientific accident and befriend one another as the two new buddies embrace the memories of their uncommon 521 day journey together.

 

When: 3rd – 9th April 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: The Butterfly Club | MELBOURNE

Tickets: $25 – $32

Info: Dutration 55 minutes | Suitable 16+ | No wheelchair access

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-ballad-of-frank-allen#

 

Profile: View Hasina's profile here

Email: hasina.reza@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Suren Jayemanne

Review by Jessica Trajanoska

Did you hear? Suren Jayemanne has a white girlfriend! Deus Eczemachina is an intelligently entertaining perspective on racism in Australia, the Wu Tang Clan, and what the difference is between eczema and psoriasis.  Jayemanne shows no signs of nerves, his delivery is confident but not cocky and he creates a comfortable atmosphere for the audience.

When no one feels the need to check their phones during your show, that’s definitely a good sign! Jayemanne delivers his ideas in an amusing and thought-provoking way; he gives credit to the intelligence of the audience, not going for the cheap laughs. Although advocating for policy that would make it compulsory for every straight white female in Australia to date someone with an ethnic background at least once in their lives, the sentiment is that through cultural exposure we can breakdown the hostility that fuels much of the racism experienced, even by Jayemanne himself.

The material is current, referencing the Australian film Lion (and Jayemanne’s uncanny resemblance to actor Dev Patel) and it’s relatable. Jayemanne says what we’re all thinking and probably too embarrassed to say out loud – particularly in relation to racism in Australia. By speaking about his own experiences, not only with racism but white privilege, Jayemanne is able to accurately capture the thoughts and attitudes of the audience.

I suspect we were all laughing not only because the material is funny but also because we can see ourselves in a lot of what Jayemanne has to say. There is truth and honesty in Jayemanne’s material, he isn’t trying too hard and the audience responds to his authenticity. Jayemanne presents some cringe-worthy moments, too that might be too real for some but it’s not for the shock factor. It’s to bring light to the reality of day-to-day life in multicultural Australia. And it’s funny!

 

When: 30th March – 23rd April 2017 | 8:30pm | No show Wednesdays

Where: The Evatt Room | Trade’s Hall | MELBOURNE

Tickets: $18 – $23

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 16+ | Wheelchair accessible

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/deus-eczemachina#

 

 

Image courtesy Paul Richards

Review by Greta Chesterman

Paul Richards’ performance of Echo Chamber at The Butterfly Club is an adrenaline injection of cultural data, so yes, unfortunately, a little depressing! Yet, somehow this humanitarian/comedian pulls off his PowerPoint presentation with a bumbling gregarious nature that charms the audience.

Richards opens the show with facts about technology, and media – not before apologising for his British accent remarking ‘ If you’re British, you’re pretty much always going to have to say sorry to someone.’ The show plays out as an interactive performance where Richards asks questions and the audience votes with the aid of flash cards. His teaching background is quite obvious here. Questions such as ‘Is democracy a good thing?’ and ‘ Is tinder good for society?’ stimulate the audience.

Richards argues his opinions with confidence and dexterity, but yes most people in the audience agree that Donald Trump is a bigot and Pauline Hanson is Australia’s Hitler, so what is he trying to prove here?

The show is a slap in society’s face that says hey guys wake up!

I would have liked to hear more about how Trump’s face looks like an orange ball of pushed in Plasticine, and how Pauline Hanson is the one with the racist virus –  not Muslims. But I very much enjoyed Richards’ views on these serious topics, mainly because I align with his opinions. I do feel that Echo Chamber was more of a teacher preaching rather than a comedian preforming. More experimentation – less structure and Richards will go far.

 

When: 3rd – 13th April 2017 | 10:00pm

Where: Downstairs | The Butterfly Club | MELBOURNE

Tickets: $25-$32

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+ | No wheelchair access

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-echo-chamber#

 

Image courtesy Impromptunes

Review by Danielle Carr

The Impromptunes turn a difficult form of theatre, improvisation – something that theatre group members tend to avoid participating in, into an educated representation of social structure; a piece of Gothic set in a Windsor Castle which we only need to imagine through their characters.

There are no props or sets to assist us in imagining the scene. It is coincidental for me as just a few weeks ago I was in the real town of Windsor. Suggestions of setting given to the actors give way to a secret room which is a prison for those who are locked in there. However this Bronteish ‘Red Room’ does not remain a prison; instead it opens up into a labyrinth, and soon a garden which reminds me a little of a story I myself have written, about an orphan of Botany Bay, and a secret maze.

A knowledge of dream symbolism will reveal that the labyrinth often leads to the centre of the self. It is interesting that myself as an author, and these actors find their way through a similar process, to a similar destination. An actress mentions, ‘the soul’ and it is only in passing. It is interesting, because it means the subconscious is at work in drama, and this is indeed to be expected.

All of this has been improvised, it doesn’t originate in a script, and yet it seems to hold such meaning, such significance. These discoveries have been made through acting. The actors reproduce the English accents of class with ease, the upper and lower classes, and the performers create the characters. However, a couple of actors who had been advertised as part of the production, weren’t present.

In summary, it was pleasant to experience a Downton Abbey in theatre form. Why not see where they will take you?

 

When: 30th March – 23rd April 2017 | 7:00pm | No performance Wednesdays

Where: The Meeting Room | Trades Hall | MELBOURNE

Tickets: $22 – $42

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 13+ | Wheelchair accessible

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-completely-improvised-musical#

 

Bachelor of Arts Film and Theatre, Deakin University, Rusden, 1994. Master of Arts Writing and Literature, Deakin University, 2013. Graduate Certificate, Tesol, 2013. Studying Graduate Diploma, Counselling, and Phd preparation, Swinburne University.Published poet, Southerly, national Australian journal.Books written by D.S, Danielle Shelley Carr include Blood for St Valentine, Raiders of the Headland and other stories, Blom-A Woman's Journey, and Ellipse, a collection of her poetry, also translated into Swedish and becoming available in Stockholm Public Library.Completed thesis, Psychological Reflections on Post-Modernist Gothic Literature available at Deakin University library.Danielle has worked as an English as second language teacher at Deakin University.

Profile: View Danielle's profile here

Email: danielle.carr@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Impromptunes

Review by Stuart Black

As we were introduced by our host, Emmet Nichols, we met a charismatic line-up of professionals who knew what they were about to undertake. Except of course they didn’t! As Nichols proudly announced, nobody, not even this brazen crew, would know what story they were about to come up with.

This is the premise for many an improvisation show but unlike others which are broken into three-minute (or so) morsels, Impromptunes promises the whole meal. This is bold theatre, as once the story is rolling –  there is no going back. No mercy killing of a scene – no safety net!

Fortunately, we were in safe hands as talented pianist Jamie Burgess fed off the audience and created the mood on stage. Nichols called for inspiration from the audience, and the name of the play was shouted back: thus “Thrush, the musical” was born. About bird-watching, of course. (What else would it be with a name like that?)

From the first song – a medley from each actor to introduce the theme, it was evident that this crew is a well-oiled machine, spitting a little grease. The full force of musical theatre training was offered us with nothing held back, even as many of them had nothing in mind more than three seconds in advance.

The performers supported each others’ offers and threw down challenges with the result of high drama, character ambition, status shifts, betrayal, and more than a touch of innuendo. The passion in the voices and the seamless nature of the scenes helped us to forget that they made it up on the spot and not even notice if there were any holes along the road, much like going along for a bumpy ride on plush velvet cushions into territory unfamiliar even to the drivers.

Impromptunes The Completely Improvised Musical is a highly entertaining show, all the more special that it was a world created in that hour that will never be seen again. Go and see what they conjure up for you!

 

When: 30th March – 23rd April 2017 | 7:00pm | No performance Wednesdays

Where: The Meeting Room | Trades Hall | MELBOURNE

Tickets: $22 – $42

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 13+ | Wheelchair accessible

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-completely-improvised-musical#

 

Profile: View Stuart's profile here

Email: stuart.black@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Cult of Comedy UK

Review by Sarah Haliem

I didn’t quite know what to expect out of the Cult of Comedy that was showcased as part of Melbourne International comedy Festival. All I had to go on was the little overview on the MICF website that provides a summary on what the event is about. Essentially, The Cult has always been a mixed and varied bill of performers across all genres of comedy.

That and all in a space of 1 hour, the show acts as a warm welcome to MICF 2017, encouraging the audience that there is much to see out there. Hosted and run by comedian Sameena Zehra,who plays her role well – paving the way for each comedian who is due to perform their act. Comedians who had the honour to present on my night, included Laura Davis and Lisa Skye, both of whom had stories to tell in their own humorous styles – stories that many can relate to in everyday life, that change how we perceive the everyday life as mundane into something we can all laugh about.

It was also pleasing to see from Skye, who is very ‘out there’ in her appearance, through doing this show, we are contributing to her charity. It is also through her act that she helps to break societal standards on how a person ‘should’ look and, in a fun and light-hearted way.

The comedians are animated and full of energy. They all have their quirky statements to make: statements that are unconventional such as a ‘rapist being better than a feminist?’ The acts all challenge the audience, as well as being entertaining, in providing a different angle on life; questioning what is normal.

With the night closing with a guitarist who generously played more than what was expected of him, the main message to take from the show is to not take life too seriously – be yourself and laugh it off!

 

When: 29th March – 9th April 2017 | 7:30pm

Where: The Upstairs Lounge | Little Sista | MELBOURNE

Tickets: $20.30 – $28.30

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 18+ | No wheelchair access

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-cult-of-comedy-presents#

 

Profile: View Sarah's profile here

Email: sarah.haliem@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Kirsty Webeck

Review by Harmony Riveros

In a small room on the top floor of the Imperial Hotel, Kirsty Webeck returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, delighting a nearly sold out audience with her larger than life personality and hilarious self-criticism.

The theme of the show, appropriately titled, Good One examines what it really means to be a good person. Using examples from her not-so-innocent childhood antics growing up in Canberra, Webeck kicks off the show by looking back at the moments when she was not her best. The audience erupts with laughter at the comedian’s anecdote about the time she pushed her sister to the ground, resulting in stitches (on her sister’s part) and how she refused to call for help until her sister promised to say she had fallen of her own accord.

Webeck continues on, with the disclaimer that the rest of her show will consist of her “trying to convince everyone that she isn’t Satan.” After warming up the crowd with colorful childhood memories, Webeck goes on to describe her time traveling the world, beginning with a drastic move to Taiwan – a country where she knew no one, and not a word of the language. The hit story came from a time when she attempted to explain she was a vegetarian, and somehow ended up saying she wanted to eat poo in Taiwanese! Webeck’s show is unique as most of her persona comes from her tales of being a “not so handy lesbian” and how she is perceived by people in different ways, with amusing tales about often being identified as a man.

Webeck deftly jokes about not being offended by this and never correcting people, and tells a hilarious story of a sweet elderly woman on her street who baked cookies for her and gifted them “for a growing boy.” Overall, Webeck’s performance is a mix of cheeky anecdotes and some banter with the audience. I, personally don’t think that many of the jokes relate much to the theme of being a good person, but the show will keep you joyfully entertained!

 

 

When: 29th March – 9th April 2017 | 9:45pm

Where: The Imperial Hotel | MELBOURNE

Tickets: $20 – $25

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Wheelchair accessible | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/good-one-1#

 

Profile: View Harmony's profile here

Email: harmony.riveros@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 12.44.23 pm

Image courtesy of Blake Everett

Find out why Blake is the ‘King of Nothing’ but an absolute jester of a comedian…

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start comedy?

Blake Everett (BE): I started around Grade 3- with a friend- we were both big fans of the The Umbilical Brothers. We had an act called the Bionicle Guys which was a tribute to The Umbilical Brothers. We’d just get up in school talent competitions.

In Year 8 I did Class Clowns- which is a part of the Comedy Festival. That was my first stand up gig to an audience that wasn’t my school- and it was horrible. It was really bad. I wasn’t funny. I put that video on YouTube- I don’t know why. Someone commented- “the funniest thing about this is your shirt”. It was a Scooby Doo shirt. It was a funny shirt. So I took the video down. Then I did Class Clowns again in 2012, and I got to The National Finals- my fourth gig. That was my humble beginning, and my peak also. It’s been a downwards spiral since (laughs).

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

BE: I don’t. I wake up every morning and think ‘why did I get into this when I could just work at Coles with my mum’…. I enjoy entertaining people. Even when I was at school- that’s what I enjoyed doing- making my friends laugh, and then taking it to a stage- there’s more people to make happy.

TAT: What are your days like- do you have a job?

BE: Not at all, I’m very unemployed. But that’s by choice. I finished Year 12 in 2015 and decided that I didn’t want to go to UNI I just wanted to focus on comedy. That’s my passion, that’s what I really wanted to do, so I’ve devoted all my time. Also acting- I make children’s pantomimes with Make Believe Theatre.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

BE: Just observe every day life. I’ll observe something and think ‘that’s what makes it funny- but what makes it Blake funny?’

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians, famous and Melbourne based?

BE: Internationally-Bo Burnham, James Acaster- he’s doing three shows in the Festival, and Ross Noble. Locally- big fan of Stuart Daulman, Rose Callaghan, Jacqueline Mifsud, Sam Taunton and Luke Kidgell. I could go on for hours, there’s too many…

TAT: Describe your comedy style…

BE: Funny. My comedy style is unique- it’s a blend of stand-up, musical comedy and sketch. So my shows are like a variety hour- but 50 minutes.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” discuss…

BE: No. You see that a lot- there was an article in The Herald Sun recently saying comedians were more likely to be depressed. I think it comes down to the individual person. Yeah sure- there are some damaged people in comedy but dentist suicide rates are 100% higher than any other profession. Tabloids love to connect the idea of funny people being sad. It’s not true- I’m the happiest guy out.

TAT: Do you have a favourite moment on stage?

BE: I’ve had a lot of good gigs. There aren’t many gig that stand out as being bad. One of the best gig I did was during the comedy festival last year. At The Windy Mile in Diamond Creek- Luke Kidgell runs a room there. It was just packed- possibly a couple of hundred people- mostly university students which is my target audience. It is one of the best gigs I’ve done.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

BE: Yeah absolutely- I love audience interaction. With my shows, especially last year,  I just had too much material- which is the biggest brag for a comedian, but I didn’t have time for audience interaction or improv. My show was going 10-15 minutes over every night so when I did Fringe I said it was a 90 minute show so I had more time. There’ll be a bit in this show.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

BE: It’s me. Absolutely. Some of the things I say might not be 100% me, but I’m myself. I’m a friendly persona on and off stage.

TAT: Tell us about your show…

BE: I tried to create a show that was more moral based, so the idea is it doesn’t matter if you are the King of Nothing- as long as you are doing what you love. Which I am with comedy. That’s where it started, and since then it’s just got real loose. It’s lots of nonsense and funny bits that don’t necessarily connect but I guess that’s what I do. It’ll make since when you see the show. The moral is about 30 seconds of the show.

TAT: Why should people come and see your show?

I’m the future of comedy. If you don’t come and see my show- I’ll give up, and who’s to blame? People who didn’t see my show. In 20 years when the big names of today are are thinking ‘I’m going to start retiring, or doing more ABC Radio stuff’ you’ll be like ‘I wish there was a really great comedian by the name of Blake Everett around, it’s a shame I didn’t see his show 20 years ago and he gave up. So that’s why you should see my show, and also- it’s very good.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

BE: My bed. As a comedian, it’s the best tool I’ve got in my arsenal. Every moment I’m not on stage I’m in bed. Right now- just a bit of limbo. Love my bed, can do everything from there.

TAT: If you were to be a superhero, what would be your name and power?

BE: It kind of is my name in the comedy scene- ‘The amazing heckler comeback guy’ and my power is- I’m just real good at coming back at hecklers.

TAT: Is that really what people call you?

BE: No, not at all. I call myself that, but it hasn’t caught on yet.

TAT: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

BE: Numbers. Got to love that addition.

 

 

You can make sure the future of comedy keeps doing comedy by seeing his show:

When: 10th-22nd April (except 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th)

Where: Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Pl

Tickets: $25

Information: Venue is not wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/king-of-nothing\

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

ME AT HABITAT HQ

Image courtesy of Matt Young

Here is my interview with Melbourne’s most optimistic comedian.

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start doing stand-up?

Matt Young (MY): In 2014. RAW Comedy in Tasmania- I came runner up in the State Final. I was gigging down in Tassie for a while, I moved over here in the start of 2015. I’ve been performing in earnest since 2016, when I dropped out of UNI and started doing comedy full-time instead.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

MY: I’m a real optimistic kind of guy, I love making people happy and I like laughter… and I love words- so I combine all those things. I like performing- I feel very comfortable. I feel more comfortable in front of a  big group of people rather than in just a small group. I like being able to talk to everyone at once.

TAT: Do you have a performing background?

MY: I did lots of drama and stuff at high school. My first play was Alice in Wonderland in primary school. I played the March Hare. I wanted to be the Mad Hatter- but couldn’t hack it, so I had to be the March Hare instead. Since then I think I’ve being trying to fill that void.

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

MY: I work as a teachers aid at a primary school full-time during the day, then at nights I do comedy. Kids are funny so I get a lot of material from there.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

MY: Sitting down and writing it- you have to force it sometimes. My friends will help out if we are having a conversation they’ll be like ‘Matt, that’s a bit’. It’s mostly a matter of having a little idea then writing about it as much as possible, until something comes out of it.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

MY: John Mulaney, Hannibel Buress, Wil Anderson, Scott Dooley, Bo Burnham. In terms of Melbourne based: Timothy Clark and Peter Jones- they’re hilarious. Karl Gertsakis, I don’t know if anyone really knows him- he’s a good friend of mine. He always wanted to try stand-up and he’s been getting up at our open mic the past few weeks. He’s really absurd and silly- you don’t see a whole lot of that around. Also Ian McCarthy and Sean Morgan.

TAT: How would you describe your style?

MY: Dry, dark but optimistic. I like telling stories… it (my style) changes from gig to gig.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss

MY: Maybe. If we are talking about myself then absolutely. Comedians may be damaged in the sense that they have a chip on their shoulder- they have something to prove. I don’t think you need to be fully broken to do comedy- you’ve got to be really on top of things. It does help to have a damaged way of looking at the world.

TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?

MY: When you come up with a bit on stage. Like I have a bit about the idea that everything under the ocean is a pickle. That came up really organically after a series of gigs.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction? 

MY: I love it. I feel more comfortable on a stage being able to talk to everyone. I love asking questions. I love finding a way to generate audience interaction from a bit. 50% of comedy is the audience, if they’re not on side then nothing is going to land, so you’ve got to be able to get them on side and get them involved. I love audience interaction- it makes you feel connected.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

MY: It’s me. Some of it seams like different versions of me but it’s always me.

TAT: Tell us about your show?

MY: It’s called I quit. I had the idea for the show at the end of last year because I quit a bunch of stuff. I dropped out of two UNI’s, and then there was a job early last year that I walked out of. When I started writing stuff for the show I realised a lot of the stuff was about me quitting things. I thought- there’s a theme here- so I called it ‘I quit’. I don’t know how much of the show will actually be about the quitting, because as it’s developed I’ve almost quit on that idea.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

MY: Because it will be unique. It will be weird- you’ll have a story to tell when you walk away from it.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

MY: I have a little porcelain mouse, and an American silver dollar that I use to make decisions.

TAT: Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

MY: The room I run with Hamish Paterson- Guerilla Comedy. It’s at the Resistance Bar and Cafe right next to Glenferrie Station in Hawthorn. It’s been running for almost a year now. I would like my show to be anything like a night at The Resistance. It’s always just really fun and laid back.

 

 

You can see ‘I quit’ as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

When: 12th-21st of April

Where: The Unknown Union @ 1000 £ Bend, 361 Lt Lonsdale St

Tickets: $4 – $13.35

Information: Venue has no wheelchair access

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/i-quit

https://www.facebook.com/GuerillaComedy/

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 11.15.33 am

Image courtesy of Geoff Setty and Danny Stinson 

The pair definitely have comedy chemistry, which they are putting to good use in a theatrical comedy show called Comic Conned. Here is my interview…

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start comedy, and how was your first gig? 

Danny Stinson (DS): I think about six years ago, my first open mic was a music open mic, it was at The Great Britain Hotel. The first one went really well- the first one killed it. My jokes were terrible though.

Geoff Setty (GS): I started in Canberra about eight years ago. I started as a lot of people do with RAW Comedy. I won.

TAT: Why do you like comedy? 

DS: I’ve always loved comedy, I grew up watching a lot of British sitcoms: Goodies and Are You Being Served?, Monty Python’s flying circus.

GS: For me it was a different path, I heard Steven Wright when I was a child. and my thought was ‘if I can write jokes nearly as good as that guy -I’m there.’

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job? 

DS: I’m a phyciatric nurse. So during the day I work in the community, I drive around and see people at a Centre in Broadmeadows.

GS: And I’m one of his patients (laughs). No I work in government, doing communications.

DS: Sounds very mysterious- like a spy. Taping phones…

TAT: What’s your comedy style? 

DS: Before this (show) it was all story based, and I still do a lot of story telling nights around Melbourne. But for this years show- it’s theatrical based, so it’s like nothing I’ve ever done.

GS: And it’s been challenging and fun. We met almost a year ago and had a discussion about doing something completely different, and getting ourselves out of our comfort zone. We were either going to do a zombie show or a comic book show and we decided on the comic book show. It’s written itself.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians? 

GS: I really like Danny Stinson.

DS: I really like Geoff Setty. We do like each others stuff that’s why we are working together. Melbourne has so many good comedians, I’d be afraid to name people in case I left someone out.

GS: I think this year people should see the weirder shows, the podcasts shows, the theatrical shows.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” discuss…

DS: Well if they weren’t when they started… it’s a tough gig. You can be out every night in a bar away from your friends and family. Travelling can take it’s toll.

GS: I think comedians who only live comedy are damaged because there’s so much more.

TAT: What’s been a memorable moment on stage? 

DS: A gig one night that most people in Melbourne know about, where a guy called King Bread came to an open mic. He produced what must have been a five kilo fish head on stage and stabbed it with a knife. I was the one that followed him and let me tell you- it was a hard act to follow. I was on stage doing my five minutes whilst this guy was packing up knives in front of me and tossing a giant fish head into the street- it was terrifying.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction? 

GS: Yes, there’s time for us in Comic Conned to depart from the script and have a lot of fun with the audience.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character? 

GS: It’s always us.

DS: Geoff used to do a character called Fredrick Jones. He was a cleaner that would wander onto stage.

TAT: Okay, tell us about the show… 

DS: It’ about a retired superhero and retired supervillian. I was going to say they don’t particularly like each other- but they do, they need each other.

GS: There’s a great Batman comic that ends with the Joker saying to Batman- ‘without me your life is meaningless’ and that’s what we are trying to create.

TAT: Why should people come and see it

DS: Because it’s different.

GS: It’s a funny show.

TAT: Out of the context of the show, if you were to have a superpower what would it be?

DS: Mindreading.

GS: Mine would be flying so I wouldn’t have traffic hassles.

 

 

You can see Comic Conned as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival…

When: 11th-22nd of April

Where: Basement Cafe, Shop 43/350 La Trobe St

Tickets: $15.30-$20.30

Information: Venue is not wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/comicconned

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

MICF 2017 - Jewish-ish Cover Photo(3)

Image courtesy of Michael Shafar

The Archive Room at Town Hall is a space you’d expect no less than a top quality show- and Jewish-ish certainly delivers on that.

A rising star in Melbourne comedy brings you 50 minutes of stand out stand-up material, using his Jewish roots as fuel for jokes that set the room on fire with laughter. It was a full house on Thursday night.

A lot of the humour is drawn from Michael’s experience being Jewish, but you do not need to be Jewish to enjoy this show. Michael is a talented comedy writer- every punch line is utterly clever. This is intelligent humour with energised, polished delivery- and a warm performance quality. Michael tells the audience they are ‘nice’ several times during the show- as he appears humble about receiving such big laughter. This contributes to his appeal as a likeable, down-to-earth performer.

If you are a fan of great comedy, but not a fan of comedians who use a lot of ‘dirty jokes’ or offensive material, then this is the show for you. If you are Jewish, you will love the relatability.

Early in the show Michael explains that he gave up a career in law to pursue comedy, if you see the show you’ll understand why this was the right choice.

 

 

You can see Jewish-ish as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival…

When: April 3rd- April 23rd (except Wednesdays)

Where: Trades Hall (Cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts)

Tickets: $20- $25

Information: The venue is wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/jewish-ish

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Jacob and Jack

Best Before Breakfast is a duo show featuring the sketch and stand-up comedy stylings of Jacob Sacher and Jack McGorlick. These are two young performers who can think on their feet and just have fun with a show. You’ll never be quite sure what kind of joke will come next, but that makes it exciting and engaging.

You better not bring breakfast into this show (they take ‘no breakfast’ very seriously) but do bring your willingness to engage with the performers. Jacob and Jack bounce off each other well, and also literally bounce around the stage at times to create a high energy performance space. They are likeable characters with an openness to exploring anything that could be made funny.

The Loop Project and Space Bar has a relaxed audience space, with super comfy chairs and an intimate distance from the stage. There is a screen to allow for projections, which was used minimally but for a hilarious breakdown of everything wrong with the movie ‘Stewart Little.’

This is fun, lighthearted comedy in a great performance venue.

 

 

For two more shows only! You can see ‘Best Before Breakfast’…

When: 4th-8th of April

Where: Loop Project Space & Bar (19-23 Meyers Place, Melbourne)

Tickets: $12-$16

Information: Venue is wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/just-silly-shit

 

 

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Andrew Iles 

Customer Assassin is the debut solo show of Melbourne based comedian, actor and ‘Customer Assassin’- Andrew Iles.

Based on Andrew’s experiences of working in retail plus some impersonations and life observations, the show is very relatable and and entertaining. This is fast paced, high energy stand-up, with every joke landing before a swift move on to the next story. 

Andrew’s skills as an actor make for hilarious and accurate character/voice impersonations. He does: Arnold Schwarzenegger staring in ‘Miki the Movie’ and Matthew McConaughey making any product sound sexy. These theatrical elements compliment and extend from the energetic delivery of well structured and punchy stand-up jokes.

There are some honest truths behind the jokes, mostly from the pain of working in something like customer service that is not anyone’s real dream. The beauty of this concept for a comedy show is that it is relatable and accessible for a wide audience, as almost everyone has experienced this at some point in their lives.

The Mechanics Institute was a great choice of venue for this show, with great acoustics, sight lines, and red curtain backdrop for the theatre space.

If you are looking for high entertainment value for your money, look no further than this show- for three more days only!

 

You can see Customer Assassin:

When: April 5- April 8

Where: Metanoia Theatre at The Mechanics Institute (270 Sydney Road, Brunswick)

Tickets: $10.30-$20.30

Information: Venue is wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.facebook.com/events/1810121922538649/

 

IMG_3512

Image courtesy of Nadine Sparks

Read to find out why you should see Nadine’s show ‘Teacher’…

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you start comedy?

Nadine Sparks (NS): Five years ago

TAT: Where was your first gig and how did it go?

NS: I did a stand-up course. I developed a tight five then performed at The Exford. That place is still close to my heart. That gig went really well.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

NS: I love expressing myself, I love talking, and I love making people laugh.

TAT: What are your days like?

NS: I’m a full-time high school drama teacher.

TAT: How do you come up with your material? 

NS: Mostly true stuff, I write a lot but I also love improv. I really love having that space, but as a stand-up comedian you really need to be able to do both- have a tight five as well.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

NS: I love Jen Kirkman- an American comedian, Damien Power, Anne Edmonds, Xavier Michelides. I really love the pajama men, there one of my favourite acts to see at Festivals. I like Amy Schumer, and used to love Joan Rivers.

TAT: How would you describe your comedy style?

NS: Very animated, I like to play a couple of characters, and use physicality. I do character comedy- I’ve done a couple of shows where I play lots of characters.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” discuss…

NS: I would say I am yeah- I’m quite sensitive. I sometimes wish I was someone who could have met someone, had children and moved to the suburbs. But that’s not me at all. I’m hungry for so much. I really like to be out there and doing stuff all the time. I think comedians are damaged but they also have a lot to share. I admire anyone that has the guts to put themselves out there in any art form.

TAT: What’s been a favourite moment on stage?

NS: I really love my own hour, I just love smashing it in front of a big audience, when the whole room is buzzing.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

NS: Yes. Only because I’m really inquisitive and I really want to know people

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

NS: Both. There’s a character I draw to but she’s all me. She’s the most extended version of me.

TAT: Where do you perform?

NS: I perform about 7-8 times a week. I run a room at The Flying Duck in Prahan, and do a lot of work at Speakeasy HQ.

TAT: Okay, tell us about your show- ‘Teacher’

NS: I’m really excited about it, it’s all about teaching and some fun stories that I want to share. It’s a feel good show for teachers as well, I want them to leave feeling good about themselves.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

NS: I think it’s a really relatable show. Everyone goes to school but you never really know what the teachers perspective is. I think it’s an interesting concept- how in charge I am of these kids and so much of their life. The stuff I’ve shown of this show so far people have loved. I’m a really friendly performer.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

NS: A pen

 

You can see ‘Teacher’…

When: 10th-13th of April & 18th-22nd April

Where: Tasma Terrace

Tickets: $20- $25

Information: Venue has no wheelchair access

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/teacher

 

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Sex Nation image(1)

Image courtesy of Sex Nation

Sex Nation is a burst of clever and interesting sketches from Brisbane based comedy groups- The Sexy Detectives and Bang Nation. The combination of the two groups: The Sexy Detectives (Michael Griffin and David Massingham) and Bang Nation (Taylor Edwards and Chris Martin), makes for a delightful blend of comedy styles.

Not all the jokes are ‘rooted’ in sex talk, although there is one strong visual involving a key weight you won’t forget in a hurry. There is consistent laughter throughout the show- reoccurring jokes and unexpected material. The show is fast paced and energising.

A favourite sketch of mine would have to be the skit about ‘cultured Melbourne’ featuring a Melbourne troll and a journey to find ‘The Butterfly Club’ (a cabaret bar in the Melbourne CBD).

The show has a great flow, with sketches appearing at just the right moments in contrast to those before and after it. There’s a lot of ‘play on words’ material- such as mixing up ‘net worth’ and actual ‘nets’- simple ideas made hilarious by the strong character performances.

Number 12 is a great venue, with a darkly lit area for relaxing into as you walk in. Upstairs has a small theatre stage with a comfortable seating arrangement with great sight lines.

 

 

You can see Sex Nation…

When: 7th, 8th, 9th of April

Where: Number 12, 12 Bourke Street

Tickets: $10.30- $15.30

Information: Upstairs performance space is not wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/sex-nation

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image by Alan Roy

Review by Sarah Young

It Shoulda Been You, directed by James Worner, has the whole audience in stitches! Performed in a beautiful theatre, rich in theatrical history, the Australian premiere is performed remarkably professionally for a non-professional society.

Underneath all the light-heartedness and laughter however, are some insightful references to what it is like to be overweight in today’s society, the acceptance of homosexuality and a pure representation of the imperfections and craziness that occur within everyday families.

This Broadway show, amongst its wild, hilarious and radical plot, portrays characters who are down to earth, genuine and largely relatable to everyone in the audience. With a storyline that is based around a marriage between a Jewish bride, a Catholic groom, an over-bearing pair of mothers, and some unexpected guests – what could possibly go wrong?

The singing and acting is great however, one of the last scenes brings some very unexpected surprises that take the storyline to a whole new level! No spoilers, though – go and discover the craziness for yourself!

It Shoulda Been You, is a show I will honestly never forget. It’s powerful, talented and extremely comical…check it out – you won’t regret it!

 

When: 31st March  – 8th of April 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: The Independent Theatre, North SYDNEY.

Tickets: $40-$45

Info: Duration: Approx 2 hours | no interval

 

Profile: View Sarah's profile here

Email: sarah.young@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Gamze Kirik

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start doing stand-up?

Gamze Kirik (GK): About 3 years ago. I finished my post-grad in economics and hated it. Once I graduated I Googled “open mics Melbourne” messaged a few people and got a spot and haven’t stopped since

TAT: Where was it and how did it go?

GK: A small bar in Richmond. It was just before the Comedy Festival and the venue has a special “pre-comedy festival night” and was packed out. The advice I got from watching an interview with comedians was “your first time will go badly but it’s ok”, when I did my set, it went surprising very well.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

GK: It’s a creative outlet. A lot of comedy is discovering who you are as a person and trying to express that humorously. I used to be very shy and don’t necessarily have a dominant personality, so it’s really nice to be able to get a platform to express myself as a person and an artist.

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

GK: I work from 9pm-5:30pm Monday to Friday and have another job on the weekends. I usually exercise at least twice a week, a lot of my days are work -exercise – get dressed in the toilets of the gym – eat in the car on the way to my gig – go home late. Or work go home very briefly and then go to a gig.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

GK: It’s usually personal experiences, something I did or something my family did. But mostly I think ‘wouldn’t it be funny if…’ I like to think of myself on stage and how I will go about saying the jokes and what will I emphasise. The general nuances of telling a story.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

GK: Celia Pacquola, Joise Long and Mike Birbiglia

TAT: How would you describe your style?

GK: I generally wouldn’t. But if I had to describe it I would say; sometimes dry, sometimes cheeky, but almost always happy and optimistic.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss

GK: Potentially. There is something weird about people trying to constantly get immediate validation from strangers. But also, aren’t we all a little damaged by our experiences? Comedians are the only ones exploiting their personal damages for laughs.

TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?

GK: This one night a very drunk man was being very obtuse. He kept interrupting and being rude. During my set, I turned out to be have surprisingly witty comebacks to hits unwarranted outbursts. Witty enough for him to eventually stop talking for the rest of the show.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

GK: Generally, I don’t do a lot of audience interaction. But if it’s going well it can be an informative and fun experience.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

GK: I feel as though it is me. Like a part of me. Humans are very 3D with complexities and nuances. I think when I’m on stage you see a side of me but not the whole me.

TAT: Where do you perform normally?

GK: Most places in Melbourne and occasionally beyond. I have performed in Adelaide and the Gold Coast, as well as around Victoria including, but not limited to Mornington, Ballarat, Warrnambool and Geelong.

TAT: Okay, tell us about the show!

GK: I’m presenting a showcase of inter-state and international comedians!

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

GK: It will be a super diverse night with some of the best comedians

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

GK: I hate to be one of “those people” but love my smart phone. It’s got the internet, maps, social media and emails. It is so good to me I almost don’t need a computer.

 

You can see ‘Across Australia and MORE!’…

When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 10:30pm, from 6th – 22nd April

Where: Speakeasy HQ 522 Flinders Street, Melbourne

Tickets: $14.70

Information: Venue is wheelchair accessible

Links:

https://www.trybooking.com/ogxy

https://www.instagram.com/gamze.kirik/

https://twitter.com/gamzedoesstuff

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Gavin Sempel 

A self confessed ‘bogan’ from Western Sydney now studying Law.  let’s hear about Gavin’s choice to make a show about Centerlink…

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start doing stand-up?

Gavin Sempel (GS): I first started stand-up by doing the school of hard knock knocks comedy course which I actually won free admission to. And then at the end of the course we did a graduation performance.

TAT: Where was it and how did it go?

GS: It was held at the Limerick Arms in St Kilda. For someone who only just started doing comedy, I was pretty happy with how it went. Got a decent amount of laughs and applause and was lucky enough to have Chris Franklin and Ben Horowitz as mentors.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

GS: I’ve always been the class clown so just the thought and act of making people laugh is what I enjoy. I love comedy because it gives us a better way to look at things and everybody loves a good laugh

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

GS: I’m actually a full-time Law Student at Deakin University, which is nearly a standard for most comedians. But whenever I’m at uni I work at my local Hungry Jacks in Longwarry. So living the real dream.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

GS: Most of my comedy I think of on the spot when I’m in public. Like I’ll see something very humorous and then I’ll try and turn it into material. The rest of my material is generally about me. So it’s pretty much just true stories about growing up or my family or self-depreciation for being underweight.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

GS: My favourite comedians growing up and still to this day are Jimmy Carr stage and I idolised them as a teen. When it comes to local comedy my favourites are Luka Muller, Blake Everett, Zack Dyer and Nick Capper

TAT: How would you describe your style?

GS: As someone who looks like an innocent 12 year old, I try to avoid doing innocent comedy. My style has been labelled ‘twisted’ by a few. But I tend to try and go near the line with my comedy and I’m definitely not afraid to maybe step over it.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss

GS: Bit rough, I don’t really consider us to be damaged in any sense.

TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?

GS: It’s actually a tie between, my RAW heat this year which was after about 6 months of doing comedy and it went amazing and got an awesome amount of laughter. But then my other favourite was when I MC’d a comedy night back in my local town with comedians, Aaron Gocs and Evan Hocking. I’ve never received that much love and laughter from an audience before and everything worked well, took a few selfies and had people come up and congratulate me after the show. Felt like the real deal.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

GS: Of course, I feel that’s where you can just get more laughter. It helps with your set material and can also engage the audience more towards your jokes.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

GS: I’ve been told that since I started doing comedy my stage character has now become my normal character in the way I act and talk. Whenever I’m at work or home I’m always accidentally trying new material or making people laugh and its good fun.

TAT: Where do you perform normally?

GS: I generally perform anywhere in Melbourne and continue to try and convince others to let me do a spot at their venues. But I also do a lot of local shows back at home with gigs at clubs or the Laughing Vault in Warragul.

TAT: Let’s talk about the show, what’s it about? 

GS: My Show, “Still Waiting in Centrelink” is basically a show about growing up in western Sydney and growing up as a Bogan but then also jokes about being a student and false dreams etc.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

GS: I feel they should come just to support the new and upcoming talent of the comedy scene.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

GS: My body, in a non-dirty way. I think when people take a look at me on stage and then it can help picture the jokes and stories better and adds to the laughter.

 

You can see Gavin’s show…

When: 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd of April

Where: Station 59, 59 Church St, Richmond

Tickets: Free

Information: Venue is wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/gavin-sempel-still-waiting-in-centrelink-tickets-32455597566?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image Courtesy Cam Knight
Review by Greta Chesterman

Veteran comedian, Cam Knight reflects on the year that was 2016 in his MICF show Momentous. Knight’s performance starts even as the audience walks through the door – sitting just left of the stage casually strumming an amplified acoustic guitar, singing Eddie Vedder’s ‘Hard Sun.’

As the true show begins, Knight opens with global warming – lamentic the fact that our planet is beyond repair. In a complete non-sequitor, the next obvious topic is to ask audience members about their regrettable tattoo choices, whilst reminiscing on his own. Knight turned forty last year and is supposed to be growing up, but the self-proclaimed ‘manchild’ is still scared of the dark! He talks about being a vegetarian for ten months, at the time his friend suggested he try eating free range eggs instead of caged, “Free range! I live in a two bedroom apartment with my wife and two kids, I’m not even Free range!”

A memorable part of the performance is when Knight tells a drunken story of how he and his wife realised he may have had a drinking problem. While doing a show in Bankstown,“the sea of hi-vis began to get a bit rowdy, I went full Begbie from trainspotting, I threw the glass in the air.” Glimpses of raw anger and neurosis brew in the back of his mind, but I personally think Knight is holding back the hard stuff.

Knight is obviously smart, culturally aware and concerned for the planet, yet he doesn’t touch the hot topics of race, white privilege, consumerism, or the messed up western world. Nevertheless, Knight is affable and entertaining, his facial expression and impressions of audience members are hilarious, and I look forward to seeing more from him in the future.

 

When: 30th March – 23rd April 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: The Silk Room | The Chinese Museum | MELBOURNE

Tickets: $25 – $27:50

Info: Duration 55 mins | Suitable 16+

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/cam-knight-momentous

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Image Courtesy of Ben McCarthy

Find out why Ben titled his show Nevermind

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start stand-up comedy?

Ben McCarthy (BM): I first tried it about four years ago, but it wasn’t until two years ago I became more consistent.

TAT: Where was your first gig and how did it go?

BM: First gig was my mates Dad’s pub, I was working there. My job for the night was to sit with the open mic sign up sheet. I told a joke to the MC backstage and he dared me to give it a try. I went you know what- I’ll just give it a go. There was a guy in the audience- he ran a comedy room and said I could come down if I was interested.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

BM: It’s fun. It’s the best thing you can do to make someone laugh. There’s no better feeling.

TAT: What is an average day for you like?

BM: I work in civil construction doing inspections.

TAT: How do come up with your material? 

BM: Just naturally. I feel like I’ve got the ability to make a joke about anything. No matter what the situation. I’ll see something and just think ‘how can I do something with this?’ I can’t sit down and write jokes.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians local or famous? 

BM: Anthony Jeselnik, and I really like the work of Gabriel Iglesias. They would be my two absolute favourites.  There’s alot of Melbourne talent I wouldn’t know where to start.

TAT: How would you describe your comedy style? 

BM: Laid back. I’ve done some sets where I’ve just done dark humour, but mainly just laid back.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people.” Discuss…

BM: Well that can either be a good or bad thing I suppose. Some people need something to happen to them to make comedy, for some people it’s their way of dealing with things.

TAT: What’s been a favourite moment on stage?

BM: I did a small lounge gig to about 40 people. At the end of my show I had a standing ovation.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction? 

BM: Depends if I initiate it or not. Sometimes hecklers can be interesting, because  it makes you see how good you are on your feet. Especially if what they say is really funny and you’ve got to throw one back.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character? 

BM: I feel like it’s the real me. Who I always wanted to be.

TAT: Where do you normally perform? 

BM: A lot of the comedy clubs, a lot of universities. I’m MC at Swinburne University.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

BM: My bed. That’s the best place.

TAT: Okay, tell us about your show…

BM: I got the title from a long running joke with a friend of mine. I’d go to tell her what my show was and she’d get distracted, so I just say ‘oh nevermind then.’ Then she asked me one time and I said ‘it’s called Nevermind.‘ The show will be a lot of storytelling. Humour based on anything- when I’ve travelled, pop culture- relatable humour.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

BM: I need the money (laughs). No honestly, if you want to have a laid back time for 45 minutes- an hour, come and enjoy the show. Forget about everything and have some laughs. If you want to forget about something- come and see my show.

 

You can see Nevermind…

When: 29th March- 8th April (except 2nd, 3rd and 4th)

Where: Speakeasy HQ (522 Flinders St)

Tickets: $20

Information: Venue has wheelchair access

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/ben-mccarthy-nevermind

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Once in Royal David's City
Black Swan State Theatre Company, 
Adam Booth, Jason Klarwein

Review by Laura Money

I’m going to be honest – this play confuses me! On the one hand it’s a clever swipe at the pretentious nature of theatre, in particular absurdist theatre. On the other, it’s a bit pretentious and over-acted in a way that breaks the fourth wall a little too abruptly. Michael Gow’s wonderful script is clever, simple, and charming. At the heart of the piece is a young man’s struggle to remain authentic, enjoy life, and be a good son.

Brecht-obsessed Will Drummond (Jason Klarwein) is the happy-go-lucky protagonist. His affable and friendly nature, combined with a glass-half-full attitude shines through and one feels instant affection for him. A story about young Will getting lost at the beach, and his self-teasing when going through a ‘German stage’ create a relatable and memorable character who is lovable enough to be forgiven of any moments of pretentiousness. Klarwein is subtle and understated in his performance, which only serves to highlight how deeply his character feels pain.  Penny Everingham makes her Black Swan Theatre Company debut as the delightful Jeannie, Will’s iron-willed mother. Her performance is effortless and so real – it feels like you’re catching up with a bunch of old friends.

Once In Royal David’s City is a tangible piece of theatre that pays homage to absurdist and surrealist theatre in an unprecedented way. The Brechtian elements are there, however there is a lack of overt, gritty, doom and gloom that many young theatre writers seem to feel makes a show important. Who said someone going through trauma has to take it badly? Klarwein headlines a fantastic ensemble cast that take you through the heartache of loss, love, identity, politics, and absurdist theatre, with a few Christmas carols and laugh-out-loud surreal moments thrown in!

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Andrew Iles

Most of us have experienced the nightmare that is working in retail. Here Andrew explains why he decided to make a show about it…

The Australia Times: When did you first start doing stand-up?

Andrew Iles: About two and a half years ago. I have a theatre background and I was in drama school for three years… I’ve always been a writer as well. I’d written four plays – comedies obviously, and I’d wanted to do comedy since I was a kid and  just never had the guts to do it. I was emailing all these people to get a read through of my plays and was just hitting brick wall after brick wall. I realised I could turn some of the jokes into stand-up and just got up and did it.

TAT: Where was the first gig and how did it go?

AI: It was at Station 59- Daisy Berry (Melbourne comedian) put me up to it. I was silly enough to invite a few friends. It went so well- it was actually a packed house. It must have been a few peoples first open mics.  It was one of those penny dropping moments where I was like ‘this is what I’m meant to do.’

TAT: Why do you like comedy? 

AI: The same reason I started acting as a child- to make people laugh. I was always the class clown at school, and even with drama classes as a kid, I was always just wanting to make people laugh- even if it was a serious play.

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

AI: I work casual retail jobs, a bit of bar work, cineamas, yeah I still do customer service. I also do Trivia hosting in the country, and MCing a lot of cabaret- which I love.

TAT: How do you come up with your materal?

AI: It’s usually when I’m doing something mundane. Something will make me chuckle. Retail customer service, and experiences doing that. Stuff that makes me laugh, although as I’ve been getting a bit older my humour has gotten darker and more morbid. What I do on stage and my delivery- is almost like a delightful cynicism.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

AI: Famous comedians I loved growing up were Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy. As I got older my style of humour changed. My favourite comedian now is Dave Chappelle- even though our humour is completely different. Melbourne comics I love are- Harley Breen, Stuart Daulman, Nick Capper and Jonathan Schuster.

TAT: How would you describe your style?

AI: I’ve had a few people write it for me once they’ve seen me. The thing that keeps popping up is- high energy. I do impersonations but I’m not an ‘impersonator’. Physical, is another word that keeps popping up. Definitely theatrical.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” discuss… 

AI: I think they are incredibly self aware people.

TAT: What’s been your favourite moment on stage?

AI: Just the laughter I’m addicted to. When you do a new bit and you are really not sure about it, then it gets a massive laugh. That’s when you are like ‘that’s the drug right there, that’s the addiction.’

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

AI: I do now, I never used to- I was petrified, that’s why I was scared to do comedy. Because I’ve MC’d so much cabaret now- I feel like that’s training. Now I welcome it.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

AI: Definitely me- a heightened version of me. I’m a pretty energetic guy, but when it’s on stage it’s harnessed.

TAT: Where do you perform?

AI: All over- anywhere and everywhere. I MC at the one room monthly. There are new rooms that have popped up that I feel I need to do.

TAT: Tell us about your show & how did you come up with the idea? 

AI: I was writing a lot of new material at one point and I realised it had a lot to do with retail and customer service because that’s what I was doing full-time. It was annoying me working retail and not doing what I wanted to do. There was a lot of humour in that, and I always wanted to do a themed show- to peak peoples interest and relate to people who share the same pain as you I do, or the same humour.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

AI: It’s something different-very theatrical, not me standing in a spotlight with a microphone.

TAT: What is your favourite object?

AI: Is beer an object? (laughs)

 

You can see Customer Assassin:

When: April 5- April 8

Where: Metanoia Theatre at The Mechanics Institute (270 Sydney Road, Brunswick)

Tickets: $10.30-$20.30

Information: Venue is wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.facebook.com/events/1810121922538649/

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

MICF 2017 - Jewish-ish Cover Photo

Image courtesy of Michael Shafar

Find out the meaning behind Michael’s first solo show ‘Jewish-ish’…

The Australia Times: So Michael, when did you first start doing stand-up?

Michael Shafar: I did my first open mic in early 2014.

TAT: Where was it, and how did it go?

MS: It was at a bar in Richmond with about four punters and eight other comics waiting for their turn. I remember not doing too badly. I got a few laughs, but I’m pretty sure those were just pity laughs because everyone knew it was my first time!

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

MS: I really like its simplicity. It’s just a person and a microphone (and sometimes not even a microphone depending on the ‘production value’ of the gig). If it’s good, it’s incredible.

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

MS: I write jokes for The Project on Channel 10, so in an average day I’ll wake up early and do some writing for my own stand-up before heading to the show.

I usually finish work in the early evening, so I’ll then head out and do a couple of open mics or shows after work. I usually get home pretty late and have dinner around 11pm because I don’t like eating before gigs. And I pretty much repeat that five days a week.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

MS: Most of it comes from my own experiences growing up in a Jewish family and living in the Jewish community. I also tend to get a lot of ideas just from having discussions with friends. If something is funny amongst my mates, I try to work out if I can work out a way to convey that idea to an audience on stage.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

MS: I actually really enjoy watching the other comics on the circuit here in Melbourne. There are so many great comics that I gig with pretty much every night of the week and it’s amazing to watch how other people work and develop their jokes over a period of time. Go check out guys like Sam Taunton, Alex Ward and Kirsty Webeck who have all got killer solo shows this year.

TAT: How would you describe your style?

MS: A lot of my jokes come from reacting to strange things that people say to me. I think a lot of my material is me just being very confused.

I also put a lot of focus on how I write the joke. I listen back to every gig to find out which parts were funny and which parts weren’t. I then just cut the unfunny parts, or try to find a way to make them funny, so that the joke is short and sharp.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss

MS: I think that’s a classic stereotype afforded to comedians and probably any performer seeking the validation of strangers. I don’t think it’s necessarily true. Many of the comics I hang out with are normal people who just happen to be really funny.

TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?

MS: Making the RAW Comedy grand final was definitely my most memorable moment. Performing in front of 1500 is the biggest buzz I’ve ever had. It was even more memorable because straight afterwards I went to do a spot in a yoga studio in front of 15 people, which is a great example of how high the highs are in comedy and then how low the lows are!

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

MS: I’m not that good at crowd work, so I don’t do too much interaction with the crowd. Every now and again you have people heckle, but everyone hates a heckler so it’s pretty easy to shut that down.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

MS: It’s definitely me on stage, but probably just a slightly exaggerated version of myself. I try to be as conversational and loose on stage as I am when I’m just chatting to my friends. When I first started out I was trying to hard to ‘perform’ for the audience, and it just didn’t feel real and the audience picked up on that.

TAT: Where do you perform normally?

MS: I perform all over Melbourne, pretty much every night of the week and usually multiple times a night.

There are plenty of great comedy venues around town. Check out Spleen on a Monday, Catfish on a Tuesday and Crab Lab on a Wednesday.

TAT: Alright, so tell us about your show- Jewish-ish

MS: The show is about growing up culturally Jewish, but not religiously Jewish and the expectations that come from that environment. In particular, the show touches on my transition from pursuing a career in law to pursuing a career in comedy and how that, to some extent, ‘defied’ the expectations that my family and community had of me.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

MS: This is my first solo show, so it’s basically my best jokes from my first couple of years in comedy tied together to form a narrative about my own personal journey. I’ve packed with a lot of jokes and you’ll probably hear me express opinions from a perspective that you might not have heard before.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

MS: Great question. Food. All food. Particularly schnitzel. Schnitzel is my favourite object.

 

You can see Jewish-Ish as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival…

When: April 3rd- April 23rd (except Wednesdays)

Where: Trades Hall (Cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts)

Tickets: $20- $25

Information: The venue is wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/jewish-ish

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Alex White

Interview with Sydney based comedian Alex White, who is performing in a showcase of Sydney’s comic talent at Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF).

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start doing stand-up?

Alex White (AW): I started in April 2014. I had moved to Sydney and watched a show and there were some people on that were good, but others that weren’t that amazing, and it gave me the urge to have a crack.

TAT: Where was it and how did it go?

AW: It was at a place called Comedy on the Edge in Chippendale. I bombed beyond belief but so did everyone so I didn’t feel that bad.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

AW: Standup is so much fun because it’s a creative outlet with the fastest feedback loop possible. You can write a joke and perform it 30 mins later and it’s judged there and then. You can riff lines on stage that you just use from that point on. Very few other artforms are like that. Plus it’s so frustratingly unscientific. People do it for 10-15 years and still don’t have it completely figured out. It’s such a unique learning curve.

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

AW: I work in IT, it’s a job I used to really enjoy but comedy just kills the part of your brain that puts up with routine and the mundane so now I hate it. I used to like working in an office because it was laid back but now I just want to make facebook memes all day. A few weeks ago I scheduled myself into a meeting room and hid in there to make a meme about a comedy room that I run. I felt really bad but the meme got some heat so it was probably worth it.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

AW: Most of my favorite bits just sort of come to me during the day unprompted and I’ll note them down and then work on them later. I’ve tried to sit and actually come up with ideas but it rarely works. Every now and then I’ll go through my ideas list, and I hope this list never fall into the hands of my enemies because it’s mostly bottom tier horrible.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

AW: Norm Macdonald is the best because he is still at the top of his game. Patrice Oneal went out on top as well. They are definitely my two favorites. I used to be a huge David Cross and Seinfeld fan but they both haven’t really fired for me in a while.

TAT: How would you describe your style

AW: Pure observational comedy. In Sydney we call them obsos. I don’t do many yarns on stage. If people wanted to hear a story they’d go to a storytelling night. Get to the obsos!

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss

AW: Comedy attracts smart people and then slowly damages them. They are smart enough to know that they would be much more successful in a regular career but they love it too much to leave. Also comedy attracts complete nutcases as well, which is the best thing about comedy. There is a guy called Punny Tourettes who was in the Sydney scene for a little bit and everyone still talks about him. He was just something else. You don’t get that in an office job. “Hey remember that guy who used to work in payroll for a few weeks in 2015? Punny Tourettes?”. I’ll never quit comedy for this exact reason.

TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?

AW: Very early on I did a spot at Cafe Lounge in Sydney and did fairly well, nothing amazing but didn’t embarrass myself. Tom Ballard was the MC which was really cool, but then after my set Wil Anderson did a drop in spot and crushed. It was pretty cool to be brought on and then followed by two huge acts like that.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

AW: Definitely, as long as I’m instigating it. If someone is just being chatty I’ll only talk to them to try and shut them up. Once they have I’m happy just doing my material. If I’m stinking up the joint I’ll try to do some crowd work to pull myself out of a hole which sometimes can work. I saw John Conway’s fringe show in Sydney where he just did essentially an hour of crowd work with maybe 8 minutes of jokes and it was amazing how effortless he made the whole thing seem.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

AW: It’s definitely not a character. Maybe an exaggerated version of me. If I truly believe in the point I’m making in a joke I feel it does better. I rarely wear my face paint on stage anymore too so I think it’s getting closer to the real me.

TAT: Where do you perform normally?

AW: Sydney has a good scene now. There are five sign up on the night rooms, plus you can get 1-2 booked gigs on top of that if you can be bothered to hustle for them. I run a booked room on Fridays called Powerbomb which I do once a month as well.

TAT: Let’s talk about the show, and the other comedians in it. When did you form as a group?

AW: We had all done various forms of split bills for the past two years before deciding we wanted to do Adelaide and Melbourne, so the idea was to combine forces to make the whole thing easier to manage.

TAT: Are you all friends?

AW: We had 8 of us in an airbnb with 4 beds and 2 couches in Adelaide. If you do a gig, drink all night then share a double bed with a guy, you form a special bond.

TAT: Tell us about your show?

AW: It’s a straight stand up show featuring 5 of Sydney’s best up and coming comics. We have a roster of 7 acts who will be rotating in and out to keep the show fresh. It’s a small, fun room, and based on how it went in Adelaide we’ll all be having a few beers and making it a really loose fun show. There is nothing worse than a rigid, boring standup showcase and we know if we have fun the audience will too, so that’s our aim.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

AW: It’s a great little showcase of different acts you won’t get to see regularly in Melbourne. Despite us all being friends and doing comedy together all our styles are very different so it’s a tasty little smorgasboard of standup. Ticket prices are cheap and it’s on at 7pm so it’s the perfect little warmup gig to go catch before seeing another show.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

AW: My USB containing a video of Charlie Mccann’s 2015 Raw set.

TAT: Is there anything else you would like to add?

AW: To any punters out there, come to our show. To any comics out there, just keep getting up.

 

You can catch Alex, and the showcase of Sydney comics…

When: 12th-23rd April (except the 18th), 7pm

Where: The Bull and Bear Tavern, 347 Flinders Lane

Tickets: $7.80 – $15.30

Other information: Venue is wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-ice-cold-sydney-comedy-show-case-low-carb

https://www.facebook.com/powerbombcomedy

 

 

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Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Birds Basement

Birds Basement is a premier jazz club and restaurant, accessible from the Melbourne CBD- just a hop across from Flagstaff Station.

Conveniently located on ‘Singers Lane’, the venue hosts live music six nights a week, featuring critically acclaimed jazz performers. Every Monday, Birds is home to some of Melbourne and Australia’s finest comedians, on a three act bill. Unlike other comedy nights where you get one headline act, at Birds you essentially get three headliners- all remarkably different, but equally hilarious comedians.

On the bill Monday, was MC Bob Franklin, Danny McGinlay, and Ethel Chop (Andrea Powell).  Bob Franklin- Australia’s Most Under-Rated Comedian-certainly lives up to that name. He wrings out jokes- getting rid of what’s unnecessary- to deliver simple, and utterly clever punch lines. A surprise poet as well, Bob is a master of the comedy craft. Danny McGinlay has a bountiful energy, and knows how to play to an audience. Ethel Chop (played by character comedian Andrea Powell), you honestly just have to see. Ethel shows the dark side of the elderly, and I’ve never seen a funnier portrayal.

Looking up at the magnificent stage, sitting at fine dining tables at Birds Basement, gives you the feeling of being on a cruise ship. The jazz background music, high class table service, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Monday then sailing away from the troubles of the day, with high class comedy entertainment and service to match.

 

When: Every Monday from 8:00pm-10:00pm

Where: Birds Basement, 11 Singers Ln, Melbourne VIC

Tickets: From $20

Other Information: Discounted parking nearby, see website for details

Links:

http://birdsbasement.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/birdsbasement/

Instagram: BirdsBasement

Twitter: @BirdsBasement

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Undercover Festival Cops Promo

Image courtesy of Taylor Edwards and Chris Martin

The Brisbane sketch duo are bringing their show Undercover Festival Cops to MICF. Here’s what the pair had to say about the show, comedy in general, and why dumplings are great.

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start doing stand-up?

Chris Martin (CM): My first stand up gig was Raw Comedy 2015. I did my 5 minute set in 3 minutes and got very few laughs. One lady loved me though, but I think she was drunk.

Taylor Edwards (TE): My first stand up gig was Class Clowns years ago. It was a weird mix of political humour and Sylvester Stallone making a sandwich. Now Chris is making me do the Stallone bit because he has never seen it…

We both started sketch comedy in 2014 at our monthly experimental comedy show Get It Inya that we produce with our comedy company Big Fork Theatre. Don’t worry we are very good sketch comedians!

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

CM: Comedy allows us to explore certain situations that you can’t in normal life. We love to make people laugh. Our favourite thing to do is take a fledgling idea and without fear just give it a crack in front of a live audience. Taking a risk and it paying off is the greatest feeling ever.

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

TE: We both work day jobs – I’m in public policy and Chris is a cardiac scientist. Most of our nights though we’re either out performing, running improv workshops or working on shows. We never sleep, our bodies hate us and our mums are worried!

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

TE: Basically if our brain makes us laugh we write it down and work on it. We try not to abandon ideas too quickly – you gotta believe in yourself and the idea! When it comes to our sketch comedy, we write and perform a whole new sketch show every month, so we have no choice but to regularly create new material. Having that pressure is great because it forces weird ideas out of our brains that we might not think of usually, and we’ve got a lot of material now to use and develop further.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

Both: We love Sam Simmons, Anne Edmonds, Rhys Nicholson, Tessa Waters, Sam Campbell, Neal Portenza, Claudia O’Doherty, David O’Doherty, Tom Gleeson, Nick Sun, Nick Cody, Aunty Donna, Damien Power, Dan Rath, Celia Pacquola, Laura Davis.

TAT: How would you describe your style?

TE: Some people have described us as puppies on speed. We like performing big, lovable, and high energy characters and have them explore anything from mainstream topics to really absurd ideas.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss

TE: I think comedians are more honest than everyday people. People love to watch someone talk about life as they see it and share their lowest lows and weirdest most awkward times, probably in part because they don’t feel like they can say out loud the things that scare them or piss them off. But then again, it is a weird thing really to say weird or personal things to strangers and get a rush from their immediate approval of laughter. Maybe that’s unhealthy, who knows!

TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?

CM: We do a sketch that involves two audience members pretending to be farmers that have to fight it out over a pineapple. The last time we performed the sketch the two volunteers were very enthusiastic and went on their own tangents, it got so loose that we both just started laughing throughout he sketch.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

CM: We love it! We bust out audience interaction sketches whenever we get a chance, and fair warning there is definitely some of it in our show, but we do it from a good hearted place. We want to make them feel like rock stars who can’t fail. We’re always the idiots. It’s always so much fun to see someone get up and get super into the insanity on stage and their fellow audience members go nuts watching them.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

TE: Being sketch comedians we play a lot of characters but really most of them are just heightened versions of ourselves at different stages of mania, and with funny voices.

TAT: Where do you perform normally?

TE: Chris is all over the Brisbane stand up scene so you can find him in one of the local comedy rooms around the city. We both perform improv and sketch with Big Fork Theatre who have a couple of stages around town. The Brisbane scene is really pumping at the moment with really talented people and good rooms, totally worth a look.

TAT: Tell us about your show?

CM: Our show is called Undercover Festival Cops: when Melbourne’s biggest drug dealer is Australia’s favourite comedian, two cops take on the comedy festival by going undercover as comedians – but they’ll have to get funny pretty damn quick. We’re rehearsing it now and it’s shaping up to be really wild and super energetic. Hopefully Melbourne will be ready for it!

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

TE: We can honestly say it won’t be like any other show in the festival. If you like your comedy to be unexpected, stupid and big, or you want to try something that’s not like a normal stand up night then give us a go.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

CM: Dumplings because they are edible and shaped different ways.

TAT: Is there anything else you would like to add?

TE: We are so excited to come back to Melbourne, we love this city during comedy festival time. Come make our dreams come true!

 

You can catch  Undercover Festival Cops-

When: Monday 10th – Thursday 13th, Tuesday 18th – Saturday 22nd April, 9:30pm

Where: Tasma Terrace at 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne

Tickets: $15-18

Links: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=247316

FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/1842637782649469/

https://www.facebook.com/BangNationComedy/

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Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Sex Nation image

Image courtesy of the The Sexy Detectives 

Sex Nation is made up of two of Brisbane’s favourite sketch comedy troupes. Michael Griffin & David Massingham- The Sexy Detectives, have teamed up with Taylor Edwards and Chris Martin from BangNation for this show. Sexy Detective Michael Griffin answered my questions…

The Australia Times (TAT)When did you first start doing sketch comedy?

Michael Griffin (MG): The Sexy Detectives formed about ten years ago, out of a group of improvisors and university friends.

TAT: Where was your first show and how did it go?

MG: Our first show was in a derelict shoe store in Fortitude Valley in a festival called Straight Outta Brisbane, a phrase which as always felt like a mantra for Brisbane artists and their inevitable move down south. I don’t think it was good but it was definitely a show.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

MG: Comedy is the most honest way to communicate, and it’s a good personality test. People who don’t enjoy laughing at themselves and others are weird and I don’t trust them.

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

MG: I’m a video editor, so my average day involves scowling at the computer for much of the day. Comedy and editing go together nicely – they’re all about timing.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

MG: I do standup as well as improv and sketch, and it’s interesting which jokes land best in each format. Standup usually comes out of some incredibly witty perspective you have in conversation to a friend (and furiously type into your phone immediately afterwards), whereas sketch is about demonstrating the stupidity of a situation to make the point backwards.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

MG: My favourite sketch comedians are Shaun Micallef, The D-Generation, the Kates, Chris Morris, Graham Linehan, and the people that film viral sensations of their children getting hurt.

TAT: How would you describe your style?

MG: The Sexy Detectives are a more finely scripted, more British-style sketch comedy. Our mates BangNation are silly and absurdist. We’re more Rowan Atkinson, they’re more a puppy caught in a mirrormaze.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss

MG: The great thing about group comedy like sketch and improv is its like team sports, everyone working together and helping each other. Like a comedy cult! Whereas standups are like tennis players or boxers, always fighting and grunting. Regardless of the genre, normal well-balanced people don’t make it their business to be dicks on stage so randoms will laugh at them.

TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?

MG: Most memorable definitely, favourite not so much, was about ten years ago I dislocated my foot jumping off stage halfway through an improv show. Foot was pointing in a 90 degree angle and the little gap named “The Michael Trap” was born. I was carted off to hospital. The show continued, my parents watching horrified. They kept watching for the whole thing, mind.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

MG: Audience interaction is great! We don’t do a huge amount of it but when we do, we love people like Boy With Tape On His Face and Steen Raskopoulos, who know that it’s all about making the audience members look and feel like superstars.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

MG: For good or bad, doing sketch comedy allows you to not be yourself – you are playing characters quite literally. It’s both liberating and can be a crutch. But hopefully you find some truth through the character. Or some such shit.

TAT: Where do you perform normally?

MG: Here in Brisbane we perform a bunch at places like the amazing Brisbane Powerhouse, we have weekly shows at bars around town, and do sketch every month with BangNation and friends at Get It Inya, Brisbane’s monthly new sketch show party.

TAT: Tell us about your show?

MG: Sex Nation is an hour of greatest hits and new jokes from Brisbane’s two favourite sketch groups. The Sexy Detectives, the more clever and British ones, take turns with BangNation, the more silly and weird ones. It’s a lot of energy and a big fast-paced hour of laughs.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

MG: I think it’s really important that people come along to Sex Nation. Purely from a time/finance point of view. Interstate comedians gives you a category to tick off on your ‘cultural growth’ card, the double bill in an hour allows you a tick on your ‘people I saw at the festival card,’ and finally every moment leads you closer to death. There’s no Sex Nation in the afterlife, let me tell you.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

MG: My favourite object is my telephone. I dropped it and it got a hairline crack on it. I’m getting better, but it was a stronger emotional reaction than many deaths in the family. Is this what we do now or do I have an emotional issue?

TAT: Is there anything else you would like to add?

MG: Sex Nation is gonna be such a party of a show. Chris Martin and Taylor Edwards are getting recognised as two of Brisbane’s best young comics, and David Massingham is Australia’s best unknown lanky funny person. And me? I’m just along for the ride!

 

You can tick off your ‘cultural growth’ card and see Sex Nation

When: April 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th

Where: Number 12, 12 Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD

Tickets: $12-$15

Links: https://www.trybooking.com/NXYC

 

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Jeff Busby

Review by Julie Duxbury

This delightful play shows just how much those who are determined to do anything can achieve. Most of the players in this play have physical disabilities and they show that they are just as capable of playing a role as any of us are.

Lady Eats Apple is a work that contemplates the changes in spiritual evolution and the restrictions society can place on relationships. In this challenging play, a new god and old god discuss what is new and what is about to become ‘extinct.’ The new god gives objects new names, while the old god withers and dies through lack of worshippers.

There follows an interlude where first hand, near death experiences are discussed and many people have provided their stories to the playwrights, allowing their innermost thoughts and beliefs to be included in a play that is more spiritual than anything around. The recounting of experiences is played in a completely dark theatre with no sound or view from outside. The audience is isolated with their thoughts as they listen to these moving spiritual experiences.

The play then continues but we are confronted by the attitude of an able-bodied and minded person who reflects modern society’s outlook on intellectual and physical handicaps. This portion is performed off-stage in the circle above the stage and whilst it is heart-wrenching, the audience is left trying to understand how this fits in with the earlier portion of the play. This part is an eye-opener to see how strongly the able-bodied person reacts and responds to their charges and the audience iss left thinking that perhaps a better method of communication could have been used.

At the end of the play, the actors return to the stage where the old god still lies collapsed, however, he has transformed into a patient with seizures and the players attempt to liaise with the ambulance personnel in bringing him back to life. To see such players act as a team to revive someone is an interesting view on the fact that even after arguments people will come together and help one another in an emergency situation.

At the end of the performance, it is still unclear as to whether they save the old god, but the fact that they all came together to at least try is a reflection on humanity as a whole and its belief that everyone should receive help where necessary.

 

Lady Eats Apple played in Perth as part of Perth International Arts Festival 2017

Profile: View Julie's profile here

Email: julie.duxbury@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Shaun Ferraloro

Review by Kieran Eaton

How do you describe Tomas Ford? Perth’s King of alternative performance art is a multi-talented superstar of cabaret.  Wearing business clothes and unpretentious spectacles he appears a bit like a cool version of WA labour leader, Mark McGowan. There are many highlights watching Ford in action but what shines mostly is his groovy, powerful singing! Ford combines this with stylish dancing that is perfect for the theme.

This show is very action packed and combines many other emotional explorations, in the experience.  Ford’s show is an artful piece, in having black and white movie images adding to his tale as a spy. This is a perfect tool for his immersive theatrical act. Ford’s manic energy is infectious in getting all on board with this parody of the spy genre. This independent artist is not afraid to get the audience members to do unconventional things like drink water from a spirits bottle and pass a toy gun around, without him grabbing it.  Ford’s unpredictable nature all part of his charm, even making a technical hiccup a laugh out loud moment.  He is such a warm host for this night of frivolity that at the end he gives us all a hug.

Tomas Ford’s CHASE is about death, love, break-ups, coping, and dealing with a job that tests your morality. If wonder what James Bond would be, if Australian than this show will give you a laugh about it and spin you out at the same time.

 

Tomas Ford’s Chase played in Perth’s FRINGEWORLD 2017

Keep your eye out for more Tomas: http://www.tomasford.com/the-final-chase.html

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Image courtesy of Luke Leonard

The Australia Times (TAT): Happy Valentine’s day Luke.

Luke Leonard: This is my ideal Valentine’s day- talking about comedy.

TAT: When did you first start doing stand-up?

LL: Coming on four years now, like most people I just did RAW. Went and did my little one liners. Before that I spent a long time playing in bands, I was always the one talking garbage in between songs.

TAT: How did RAW go?

LL: Good, I remember my then two year old child kept shouting ‘DAD’ and had to be removed.

TAT: Let’s go back to the band, what instrument did you play?

LL: I played bass and sung in some exceptionally unsuccessful bands in the city.  My biggest musical claim to fame would be being too drunk to be successful for an audition for Faker, who had short lived success.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

LL: I can’t think of a better way to spend your time then laughing your ass off. Whether it’s with podcasts or whatever, I try and spend as much time doubled over laughing as possible. Even when I’m on stage, I often end up in hysterics myself. There’s very little money in comedy so you know it’s a philosophically sound choice.

TAT: Do you have a day job?

LL: I manage a hair salon, and I do trivia.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

LL: My festival show is very different to the rest of my material, it’s narrative driven. It’s a story that’s completely autobiographical. For the most part the comedy was secondary to wanting to tell the story. Then the comedy comes from the story. It wasn’t like I had a bunch of reliable jokes that I decided to use.

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

LL: I really like absurdist comics, one of my favourite Australian comics is Neal Portenza, I can see him multiple times doing the same show and it’s just such a an absurdly, joyous, ridiculous scenario. I caught Lessons with Louis this year at the Festival, I saw him doing the RAW National Final years ago and really enjoyed it. I saw the show this year and I was just blown away. Both of those guys have a sweetness and a ridiculousness that I don’t have, I think I find that refreshing.

Absolute idols for what I do- are people like Adrienne Truscott who did Asking For It years ago, and she still does that globally. That’s the show where she performs devoid of pants and the whole thing is about rape jokes. It’s mind-blowing, brave, ridiculously gutsy and hysterically funny with such a light touch on a heavy subject.

Basically I want to see blood on the stage, I want to see someone putting their heart out of stage.

TAT: How would you describe your style?

LL: I try not to play safe which makes for some interesting reactions. I try and make whatever I do emotionally honest.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people”

LL: I don’t think you have to be, but I’m yet to meet one that isn’t (laughs). No-one wants to get on stage and tell a bunch of jokes and share their inner most thoughts. That’s not a reasonable, self- preserving thing to do, you expose yourself to a lot of harsh criticism. I think it’s something people do out of compulsion.

TAT: What’s been your favourite moment on stage?

LL: There’s a been a few- at one show, I asked the audience if anyone had a shit tattoo, and an exceedingly drunk woman just did a big ‘woo’ and then proceeded to get on to stage without being asked and started taking her pants off to show everyone. She was very drunk and had trouble getting them off and I stood back, because I’m a fan of chaos and a naturally curious person so I thought ‘let’s see where this goes.’ Eventually the venue manger came and pulled her off stage.

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

LL: Yeah I’m okay with that stuff, I’ve never had any real anxiety about that. I did a lot of vaudeville shows- for about a year I’d do two to three a week. The audiences for those shows are in from the suburbs, or in from out of town and their there for a big night out. It’s the kind of show where they encourage that (audience interaction) in every act, so the audience were very loopy, and I find that fun. Nine times out of ten you’re going to be funnier than the audience, because you’ve prepped yourself- your switched on and their drunk.

TAT: Tell us about your show?

LL: It’s a true story about growing up (myself and my brother) and it’s about how we turn boys into men by teaching them violence essentially. Everything to do with being a man is about violence in some way. There’s phrases like ‘take it on the chin’, ‘harden up’ which is about knocking sensitivity and consideration out. It’s a show about how that can go wrong. A really raw autobiography.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

LL: I’ve really poured myself into this, probably the best bit of writing I’ve ever done. It’s a show that’s on a prevalent theme- men’s violence.

TAT: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

LL: Yeah- what’ s with airline food? (laughs)

 

You can see Luke’s show:

When: 31st March, 1st-3rd April, and 22nd-23rd April

Where: Imperial Hotel (Cnr Bourke & Spring Sts)

Tickets: $10.30-$15.30

Special Information: Venue is wheelchair accessible

Links: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/my-brother-s-keeper

 

 

 

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Mark Dawson

Review by Kieran Eaton

John Robertson is back in his home town and better than ever. Robertson knows he has come a long way he does a show that highlight his spectacular crowd work. This comedian has recently been living in the UK honing his craft immensely. His high energy is mesmerising but keeps the audience attention with his amazingly strong presence.

Robertson’s extensive experience in hosting comedy nights makes this night about nothing intensely gripping. The crowd must deal with his ADHD nature in a charming way to bring laughter consistently. Robertson literally grabs audience members drinks and skulls about five, with four from one unsuspecting late arrival. This unpredictability is all about this manic comic showcasing his craft. His natural warmth brings the crowd all together on this journey.

He states the reason for his show lacking a theme was that when he did themed show in Edinburgh, some critics thought that making light of his friend’s suicide is too insensitive. This just fires Robertson up to just talk off-the-cuff, though he does end with a story that highlights his quirkiness. There are occasional chirps about his background but as there is so much crowd interaction you sometimes forget where he is going. Robertson easily makes fun of his looks that are bit like Dr Who mixed with Iggy Pop.  He gracefully moves around the audience like a tiger looking for its prey – where stupidity is his ammunition. This is achieved kindly, so Robertson is an act you should see if you love your comedy unpredictable.

John Robertson – Arena Spectacular was part of FRINGEWORLD 2017

Image courtesy Barry Morgan

Review by Kieran Eaton

Barry Morgan is Out of This World is ironically down to earth. Barry Morgan is that Aussie character that you would recognise in a family barbeque. The relatable nature of Morgan is the key to his success, as he feels like a mate or a family member.  The difference is that Morgan has mountains of charisma that brings the most out of an audience. The relaxed Mandurah audience went with his charm so easily, he barely had to lift a finger!

Seeing Morgan’s massive trademark organ on display, you know this guy is larger than life! He oozes unbelievable talent with the organ he can perform without looking, while encouraging some playful volunteers to add a physical gag to his show. Morgan pushes these volunteers to their limits by even embarrassing a young lad with application of lipstick. The biggest talent of this Adelaide showman is his crowd work.

The reason this show is called Barry Morgan is Out of This World is to highlight his love for space-based music. The theme is very loose, kind of like Morgan’s personality but that does not matter because of his natural comedic talent.  It very hard to put this act into a box and it appears that is how Morgan wants it. This joyful performance will get you laughing with glee whether you know this Safari Suit wearer or not. He will make you want to shout him a beer or his favourite Pimms with becks.

 

Barry Morgan Is Out of This World played at FRINGEWORLD 2017 in February 2017

ADELAIDE FRINGE:

When: 4th – 14th March 2017 (7pm)

Where: Room 4 at Tuxedo Cat | Cnr Franklin & King William St | ADELAIDE

Link: https://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/barry-morgan-is-spaced-out

 

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL:

When: 11th – 23rd April 2017 (7pm)

Where: Beckett Theatre | Malthouse Theatre | MELBOURNE

Link: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/barry-morgan-is-out-of-this-world#

 

Image credit: Toni Wilkinson

Review by Julie Duxbury

A O Lang Pho is the second show out of Vietnam, loosely translating to “Village and City,” this show highlights the transition that Vietnam is experiencing in its change from groups of villages to major cities.

Using traditional farming implements, this show celebrates Vietnam’s cultural heritage of rice farmers, duck herders and fishing folk before transitioning the audience into Vietnam’s cosmopolitan urban cities.

From tranquil gardens of geese and ducks to the hustle and bustle of street life in a city, A O Lang Pho explores the cultural differences through dance and acrobats and is a spectacular introduction to the changes such a culture meets head on in its progress toward modern living.

The ensemble display brilliant acrobatics and dancing along with humour and downright gritty truisms. In a symbolic high rise apartment building, life continues in a frenetic fashion that is caught by the actions of the troupe as they re-enact the modern urban life that is becoming more and more common throughout Vietnam and other Asian countries.

The audience fills the theatre with resounding applause at the end of the event and the players come out to entrance us twice more with further dance and acrobatic manoeuvres.

This display is able to convey the differences between the Vietnamese village way of life and the modern, urban city way of life in a light-hearted, yet nostalgic manner. Throughout the performance Vietnamese music and song are foremost with the familiar, monastic rhythms a grand accompaniment to the village scenes whilst ultra rock music blares out from the very same instruments as the familiar, tranquil notes.

The pageantry of A O Lang Pho is in perfect harmony to the story behind the programme and suits the style of Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam in a more subdued manner than Cirque du Soleil performances.

A O Lang Pho was part of Perth International Arts Festival from 16th – 25th February 2017

Profile: View Julie's profile here

Email: julie.duxbury@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Natalia Cheban

Review by Ali MacGregor

Opus No. 7 is theatre like you’ve never seen it before. I went into the show with high expectations, but nothing could have prepared me for the spectacular performance I was about to witness.

Structurally, the show consists of two distinct and very different acts, ‘Genealogy’ and ‘Shostakovich’, separated by an intermission, which combine to form the whole experience that is Opus No. 7. Together, the two acts explore some of the darkest times in 20th century European history, particularly the Jewish Holocaust and the oppressive regime of the former Soviet Union. Without relying heavily on narrative like some theatre, Opus No. 7 instead functions as a performance piece, a work of art, that strives to express the profound tragedy, suffering and heartache of the time.

‘Genealogy’ is a devastatingly poignant exploration of memory, loss, and grief. Hundreds of old children’s shoes tumble out from the walls, followed by pairs of glasses, as one of the actors slowly walks a pair of beautiful, bright red children’s slippers across the stage. X-ray images held by the actors transform into photographs and moving pictures projected onto the back wall, representing all those who were lost. The actors pick up pieces of newspaper, reading aloud names and anecdotes, and piecing together the tragedy that surrounds them. It is a stunning piece of theatre, which utilises visual metaphors and symbolism to explore tragedy.

The second half of Opus No. 7, entitled ‘Shostakovich’, builds on the sense of loss and mourning explored in the first half, but instead focuses on the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his relationship with the Soviet Union.

A enormous puppet, which functions as a symbol representing Mother Russia, becomes one of the central characters of the second act. Expertly maneuvered by at least six actors at a time, she begins as a nurturing figure to a young Shostakovich, but soon dons an SS cap and turns into a murderous, controlling dictator who crushes his artistic creativity and freedom.

Opus No. 7 is a theatrical experience quite unlike any other. Image, sound, music and objects work together on an epic scale to produce a dynamic and visceral work that deals with the complex themes of genocide, censorship, oppression and loss. It is a visually spectacular performance and an extremely effective piece of art that continues to play upon my mind and memory.

Opus No.7 played during Perth International Arts Festival from 21st – 26th February 2017

Ali MacGregor is a recent graduate of Curtin University in Western Australia, having completed a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Literary & Cultural Studies, and Screen Arts. She has worked as a copyeditor for the non-for-profit magazine Colosoul, and has just completed an internship with the publishing company Margaret River Press.

Profile: View Ali's profile here

Email: ali.macgregor@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Richard Katz in The Encounter Credit: Toni Wilkinson

Review by Brandon Taylor

“This voice should sound in your right ear. If the voice is sounding in your left ear, please turn your headphones around.” The soothing voice lilts, over and over, into every ear packed into His Majesty’s Theatre. The first taste of The Encounter, it seems, is a hearing test. Administered through Sennheiser headsets – one per seat – as humble as they prove remarkably apt at enveloping the wearer in worlds he or she did not choose, nor expect, to explore.

The only item of note onstage is a mannequin head atop a tripod. This, it turns out, is a binaural microphone – that is, a head-shaped mic that transmits sound to each and every headset with an accuracy high enough to fool any listener’s brain into thinking that the head’s experiences are its own.

It is with this tool that solo performer Richard Katz hauls his audience back and forth between fiction and reality, past and present, theatre and Amazon rainforest. Masterfully directed by Simon McBurney and played with spine-tingling fervor by Katz, The Encounter takes its witnesses on a journey first taken by wayward National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre. A routine wilderness shoot in the Amazon turns into a tribal abduction and series of near-death experiences that the audience will not only hear, but nearly see, taste and touch.

The experience is very unlike a play in that it hinges on sound more than sight. There’s one man on stage, and he uses not much more than a stick and several water bottles to tell his story. But so unprecedented is the audio production, so excellent the voice acting, and so ingenious the use of set, that this performance is projected into the imagination with an immediacy far surpassing that of a distant stage. A water bottle sloshing next to the mannequin head becomes the Amazon River. A tapestry of taps and hoots is looped to become the sounds of the rainforest. Katz’s breath in your ear becomes the last gasp of a dying tribesman.

It is difficult to communicate just how effective this production is. The audience jumps in shock, sighs with relief, and huddles against each other from the onslaught of the wilderness. They chuckle at the sound of a child running about their feet. They emerge out the other side challenged with the deep seated struggles between self-concept and reality, freedom and security, nature and man. The play would be well-recommended to any audience, save those unready to explore a new frontier of theatre.

The Encounter played at His Majesty’s Theatre as part of Perth International Arts Festival 16th – 25th February 2017

Profile: View Brandon's profile here

Email: brandon.taylor@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Toni Wilkinson

Review by Alex Watson

Written and directed by Lola Arias, The Year I Was Born is a startling insight into the lives of those born in Chile during the reign of Augusto Pinochet.

The production crew of Fundacion Teatro a Mil has done an admirable job of coordinating sound, lighting and props as the nine actors retell their parent’s stories. Entering the Heath Ledger Theatre, I wondered how they would present the subtitles, as I don’t speak Spanish, and if an hour and 50 minutes was too long without an interval, but I needn’t have worried. A projector screen towards the back of the stage allowed for subtitles and also served as a great storytelling medium. Using historical documents, photographs and recorded footage, the screen provided an engaging backdrop to the characters narration.

The use of props was sparing but significant, each object whether it be the bullhorn, bike, or matches was used with specific a purpose; to engross the audience into the political and social climate of Chile under Pinochet’s rule. Some of the stories were heartbreaking in their tragedy, others got laughs from the audience, but all actors on stage had experienced some kind of loss from the political upheaval. The harmony in which the actors worked left not a moment of boredom as each of their stories were interwoven with others until you were left with a rich tapestry of Chilean lives. The overall experience was educational as well as emotional, with so much history told by those who had been directly affected by it. I left the theatre with a newfound appreciation for docu-drama productions and will be closely watching for any future works by Lola Arias.

The Year I Was Born played at the State Theatre Centre of WA during the Perth International Arts Festival 15th – 18th February 2017

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Image courtesy of Joana Simmons 

Joana is a comedy, cardio, cabaret queen, as fitness instructor ‘Joy’ in Confessions of an Aerobics Instructor. Join Joy for 45 minutes of gym stories and truths, as she does aerobic exercise! This is high energy physical comedy.

The show is very cleverly written and acted with the intensity of a hard-core gym session. The character is loveable and entertaining from start to finish, you won’t be able to look away as she commands the stage.

You will see a grape eating skipping rope session, and a musical comedy number performed on a gym ball. There are elements of clown and circus to this show that add to it’s entertainment value and accessibility for a wide audience. Cabaret lovers definitely shouldn’t miss this aerobic cabaret.

It takes talent to combine brilliant one liners, puns, musical comedy, cabaret, clown, and high energy exercises in a show with a strong  structure. Commendation must also be given to co-director/co-writer Elizabeth Dawson-Smith, who has clearly worked Joana hard to make it a tight, aesthetically dynamic production.

If going to the gym were as entertaining as this show, I’d get a membership.

You can see Joana’s show-

Where: Speakeasy HQ (522 Flinders Street, Melbourne)

When: Friday 10th & Friday 17th March, 7:30pm

Tickets: $25+ (premium deals available, see Speakeasy HQ website)

Information: Great deals on parking via the Speakeasy HQ website

Links: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=251940

 

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Image courtesy of Stewart Walker- (second from the right)

The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start doing stand-up?

Stewart Walker (SW): It was during the comedy festival 5 years ago, thanks to a stunt on Adam Hill’s talk show Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight. In late Feb 2012 I was in the studio audience for Adam’s show and about a month beforehand they get you to do an audience survey. I mentioned that I had a bucket list wish to do a show at the comedy festival and that led to Adam calling my bluff on national TV!

I thought I was just going to watch his show being recorded but little did I know I was going to become part of the show. They booked a room at the Town Hall and even had a mobile billboard driving around town with a 3 metre tall picture of my face on it! You can check it out on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbjDMFWWuqw

I then had 6 weeks to put together a 30 minute show. I wrote 8 new songs, chucked out a couple because they were rubbish and then did the remaining 6 plus a few I’d written previously.

TAT: Where was it and how did it go?

SW: It was in the Regent Room at the Melbourne Town Hall. On the night I had Dave O’Neil doing warmup and there was a live cross back to Adam in the studio. The audience had a great time and so did I, so I kept on doing comedy gigs and here I am 5 years later.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

SW: As a performer I get a real buzz from creating something that amuses me and then sharing it with other people and seeing if they like it too.

As a punter I like comedy because it makes me laugh and I love laughing!

TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?

SW: Yeah I still have a day job. I’m a user experience specialist at a software company – my job is to make our software easier to use. So an average day for me is fitting in writing and performing around my day job. Sometimes I work on lyrics in my head in the shower or while shaving, then make some calls while I’m at lunch and do a gig in the evening. Last year I did a warm up gig before the comedy festival at work too.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

SW: Inspiration can come from anywhere, whether it’s seeing the funny side of something that happens to you or taking the mickey out of celebrities or politicians. Recently I was listening to Gold 104 while driving and the song Centerfold was on. I had this flash of insight about the song being old-fashioned because these days people watch porn online, and that gave me an idea for making some jokes around how some classic hits might be different if they were written today. That resulted in a medley where I do technology-based updates to several famous songs including Hotel California (Air BNB California) and Big Yellow Taxi (Shiny Black Uber).

TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?

SW: Being a musical comedian I’m a big fan of The Scared Weird Little Guys. I was lucky enough to have Rusty from the Scaredies as the headliner in my comedy festival show last year. And of course amazing musical comedians like Weird Al, Eddie Perfect, Tripod and Tim Minchin are up there too.

With non-musical comedy my favourite would have to be Frank Woodley. Apart from his great standup I love his physical comedy and clowning – 2 things I have absolutely no talent for! Frank is a comedy genius and also did some great musical comedy with Colin Lane back in their Lano and Woodley days.

On the local scene my favourite is Geelong comedian Jake Budge. He’s a future superstar I reckon. Recently we were on the same bill at the Comics Lounge and in Jake’s 5 minutes he had more applause at his jokes than the several big-name pro comedians had combined that night.

TAT: How would you describe your style?

SW: The warped love child of Paul Kelly and The Scared Weird Little Guys! I do a mix of originals and parodies, and my parodies are mostly of classic hit type songs. In 2015 I did a solo comedy festival show that was all parodies of Beatles songs.

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss

SW: I don’t know that we’re more damaged than anyone else. You might think this is a copout answer but everyone is damaged in some way and that damage affects different people differently. Trust me, there are plenty of damaged people working in IT!

TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?

SW: I do a parody of Cold Chisel’s Khe Sanh called Bo Ganh, based around a bogan from Frankston. The climax of the song is a lyric that says ‘it’s crap living in Frankston, but at least it aint Geelong’. I’ve done that song in Frankston and in Geelong too, and in both places it got huge laughs and I lived to tell the tale!

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

SW: Maybe it’s because I do musical comedy and I’m making too much noise but I’ve had very little heckling. Sometimes I’ll get the audience to sing along or join in other ways. In my Beatles parody show I get all the audience joining in with some air drumming when I do my Come Together parody, Melbourne Weather.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

SW: It’s definitely me. I don’t have enough acting chops to pull off doing a character!

TAT: Where do you perform normally?

SW: Most of my gigs are at various comedy nights around Melbourne and country Victoria. But I did some gigs in Shanghai and Hong Kong last year too, which was pretty cool.

TAT: Tell us about your show?

SW: I’m producing and performing in a show called the All Star Musical Comedy Showcase with Greg Champion & Friends. The show is on for one night only on Saturday 1 April with 90 minute performances at 7pm and 9pm. It’s a musical comedy variety show where the headliner is Greg Champion from the Coodabeen Champions radio show on 774 Melbourne, and then there’s Rohan Windle and me plus a feature act. The feature acts are cabaret star Claire Healy in the 7pm show and multi-award winner Geraldine Quinn in the 9pm show.

The show is on at the Australian Institute of Music at 120 King St Melbourne.

TAT: Why should people come and see it?

SW: People should come and see the show if they love musical comedy and variety. It’s not just blokes playing guitar and singing. We have other instruments and some amazing female musical comedy talent thanks to Claire and Geraldine.

TAT: What’s your favourite object?

SW: In China last year I bought a collapsible travel guitar that I use when doing gigs where I need to fly. It packs down into a carry on bag so I don’t need to risk a guitar in the cargo hold. And it sounds amazingly good. Love it!

TAT: Is there anything else you would like to add?

SW: Tickets are available from https://www.trybooking.com/NWMQ

 

You can catch All Star Musical Comedy Showcase with Greg Champion & Friends

When: Saturday 1st April

Where: Australian Institute of Music at 120 King St Melbourne.

Tickets: $25.30- $30.30

Special Information: Wheelchair accessible, suitable for ages 13 +

Links: FB, Stew Walker – Comedian

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stewwalker

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdtZFv0EXLaeoLnVZuQqUZw

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

 

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Image courtesy of Perri Cassie. 

Here is my interview with Perri Cassie (known as “Melbourne’s most fashionable comedian”- quote from other comedians)

The Australia Times (TATT):  When did you start doing stand-up comedy?

Perri Cassie (PC): My first ever gig was at a RAW gig, my friend dared me to do it – I’d always been a writer, they said if you do it (RAW), I’ll do it too. I did, it went pretty well, so I just kept doing it. That was three years ago.

TAT: Why do you like comedy?

PC: Because I’m a narcissist maybe? (laughs) no, I like being the focal point of attention. I’ve always liked writing jokes. It’s great to express to a wider audience, not just people who are on my Facebook. It’s good for self-confidence. It’s nice to be able to write something and have it draw a positive reaction from people.

TAT: You do love your Facebook posts…

PC: Yeah, it’s a great way get material out, because I don’t have enough time to do as many gigs as I want to do, so I put the feelers out there. I use Facebook like a twitter account I guess, I’ve got more people on my Facebook than Twitter. I had a lot of people come to my show last year based on the fact that they had read those statuses.

TAT: What’s your day routine like?

PC: I’ve got a retail job at JB-HIFI. I sell cameras, which is okay. I used to do photography a lot, I used to freelance. It’s a good, flexible job around comedy.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

PC: A lot of it is based on true events. It’s based on my life, so it’s pretty autobiographical – a lot of things that I hear people say. I like to write a lot about myself and things that happen to me – it’s a good coping mechanism, so if something bad happens to me it’s easier to turn it into a joke- it’s very cathartic.

TAT: Who are your favourite Melbourne based or famous comedians?

PC: Hannibal Buress, Sam Morril, Tom Segura. My favourite Melbourne comics are Jack Druce, Peter Jones and Timothy Clark.

TAT: How would you describe your comedic style?

PC: Quite dry, it’s hard to say, I’ve never really thought about what my own style is so much. I always find it hard to comment on. I just try to be myself, so maybe it’s a little bit awkward. Someone did a comedy blog at a gig I was at and they wrote that I was very understated… which I think is a compliment?

TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” discuss…

PC: (Laughs) I would probably agree with that, I don’t want to comment on anyone else, but between the first time I did RAW and the next year – I had done 10 gigs. I was in a happy relationship – I didn’t really have time for comedy. I had a bit of a bad break-up and then I started to focus on comedy quite hard – my whole style changed. I actually posted a status this morning about how my life is quite stable at the moment everything is going quite well – it’s making it very hard for me to write anything.

TAT: Do you have a favourite moment on stage?

PC: I’ve never had hecklers before. There’s been a few. I had my biggest gig to date at The Comic’s Lounge; I played to about 350 people, which was insane. I did a set that I had done three days earlier, where I timed it and it went for 4 and a half minutes, and I did it at Comics Lounge and it went for 7 and a half minutes because the laughter carried it out for another two minutes. One of the other highlights would be the final show of my Comedy Festival run last year, the last show was oversold, it was a really good vibe, we closed the show with a great skit, and I felt like an actual comedian for the first time. Yeah, that was defintely one of my favourite moments,

TAT: Do you like audience interaction?

PC: No, If I do crowd work it’s just for show, maybe that’s just a nerves thing.

TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?

PC: It’s me on stage. Social media wise it’s more of a character. On stage it’s a more confident version of myself. From what I’ve been told I seem quite confident on stage.

TAT: Tell me about the show…

PC: It’s a collection of my best jokes, but it will have a flow to it – it won’t just be random assortments.  The way I feel that about how I write jokes is – I feel that I tune out a lot in life, I spend a lot of time on my phone, a lot of time on the internet thinking about a lot of things. So a lot of my jokes come from the things that I hear out of the corner of my ear or see from the corner of my eye – that kind of thing, so I called it Channel Perri because it’s about me finding things through the static.

TAT: Why should people come and see the show?

PC: Um. Well, I’m a very funny comedian, I do have quite a lot of sharp jokes, I’ve improved quite a large amount – I had a great festival run last year and I was very proud of it. I feel that my trajectory has built quite a lot and I’ll be able to do better than I did last year. I have worked very very hard on it.

Channel Perri is on at The Unknown Union, 1000 Pound Bend

Date: 12th to 23rd of April

Time: 9:00pm

Location: The Unknown Union, 1000 pound bend, 361 Little Lonsdale Street

Tickets: $10.30-%15.30

Information: No wheelchair access

Links:

 https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/channel-perri

Instagram/Twitter – @channelperri

 

Profile: View Jessica's profile here

Email: jessica.horwell@theaustraliatimes.com.au

4790_PerthFringeBanner_EFUL_WEB

Review by Kieran Eaton

La Petite Merde is sketch comedy at its best. Comedic actor, Brianna Williams enters the stage wearing a beret, hilariously sending up her ‘artistic’ side! Williams builds a great rapport with her capacity crowd, there are musical moments that highlight her talents, and she embraces her inner dag to explore a variety of characters.

This show has a weird energy due to the immersive nature of the performance. Williams always endeavours to keep the crowd on her side with material that some may see as contentious. Her strong voice is mostly there, though sometimes effort is needed to not miss punchlines, due to not using a microphone. Williams embraces the crowd with cheekiness, getting some member to embarrass themselves on stage, while treating her as a goddess. She explores her childhood disappointment in not becoming a police officer because of her lack of height, giving a funny take on the hypothetical situation of her being one. Williams talks about her experiences as a teacher and then explores the politics of it, creating a character of a theatre-loving teacher, bossing other teachers around in her thespian style  (just conveniently not her.) To add to the level of difficulty she uses crowd suggestions in an improvisation comedy segment.

La Petite Merde is an exploration of this comedian’s personality that reveals her honest insecurities. If you want to see something different from straight monologue stand-up, this show will deliver this and so much more.

 

La Petite Merde played at FRINGEWORLD 2017 from 14th – 17th February 2017.

Image courtesy May & Alia do Things

Review by Laura Money

Art of Bedfighting is a whimsical and indie show that explores the intricacies of being alone and how we can fight within ourselves if left alone too long. Alia Vryens comes home to an empty house, takes off her cardigan, shoes, and bra, and gets comfortable for a night in. Alone. Set to the original music of Colin Craig on piano, Vryens dances with her empty clothes on a clothes hanger and you instantly fall in love with her.

This show is a little bit jubilant and a little bit sad, it’s sweet and whimsical, and low and melancholic. Vryens not only creates wonderful performance art pieces, she sings original songs. Her voice is clear, yet wispy at the same time. She is the perfect vehicle for Craig’s indie compositions. The happy ups are sweet – growing a flower from reluctant soil, drinking large amounts of wine, and building a fort out of bedclothes that covers the whole audience. Yet, the downs are tear-enducing – setting the table for two, only to remember the palpable aloneness she feels, trying to be mature and failing to do the basic of adult duties – make a cup of tea. Her frustrations are real – she has trouble administering self-love in a beautiful moment that will make you LOL.

Art of Bedfighting is about depression, break-ups, coping, self acceptance, and love. If you ever struggle to adult, this is the show that will give you all the feels.

When: 14th – 19th February 2017 | 10:00pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $25

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/art_of_bedfighting/17bd9d98-9d55-4e4b-978f-bc887758ec38/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Tom Dickins

Review by Laura Money

‘You Oughtta Know’ how good this show is! Isn’t it ‘Ironic’ that this show is even on? This FRINGEWORLD 2017 ‘All I Really Want’ you to know is that this show is ‘Perfect.’ Jagged Little Singalong is the most fun I’ve had all FRINGEWORLD 2017! Seriously, get yourself down to the Noodle Palace and sing your heart out!

Jagged Little Singalong celebrates the 22nd anniversary of Alanis Morisette’s iconic album (I can’t believe it’s been that long either!) by conducting a whole audience singalong. Seriously, if you’re not joining in, are you even a fan? Even if you’re not (yeah right) the band are amazing and talented enough to provide an entertaining night, anyway.

I have incredibly fond memories of begging my Mum for the cd – at the time the ‘explicit language’ sticker almost derailed 10-year old me, and blasting it in my room. The band do what is promised – play from start to finish. As soon as ‘All I Really Want’ begins, I am instantly transported back to my listening chair (yes I had a listening chair, jealous?!) and the words come flooding back. The rest of the band bound onto the stage for ‘You Oughta Know’ and the room fills with everyone’s voices joined in a wonderful tribute to the Queen of angst herself.

It’s been well over 15 years since I’ve listened to some of these songs, like ‘Perfect’ yet the words come back naturally, and I realise the impact this album had not just on me, but all the people belting it out around me. Every song is covered, even the obscure ones like ‘Mary Jane’ and ‘Not the Doctor’ are sung with passion from almost everyone. The band really make it fun. There is an absolute reverence for this seminal album, but also a playfulness that takes the piss just a little! From getting bored during the longest track ‘Head Over Feet’ to examining exactly why ‘Ironic’ actually isn’t, these guys get the balance right.

I actually never thought I’d have as much fun as I did but blasting out Jagged Little Pill with some great friends and making new friends on the way, but Jagged Little Singalong is the most fun I have had in ages!

 

When: 11th – 19th February 2017 | 9:10pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $30

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/jagged_little_singalong/6070e02e-09e2-427b-8da0-fe94152afab6/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Photos by Anthony Tran

Review by Laura Money

MENAGERIE, Perth’s premier indie-pop choir present songs from their favourite movies in a beautiful and joyus evening that celebrates the weird and the wonderful. Of course, being an indie choir, the focus is on the indie film – with only cult mainstream works being represented. Menagerie formed in 2013 as a group of music loving, left-of-centre, life-embracing individuals under the watchful eye of Zookeeper Kate Page. They have put on quirky performances of everyone from the Pixies to Bright Eyes, started Flash Mobs around Perth and enjoyed sell-out FRINGEWORLD shows.

Opening with several characters from the iconic Kill Bill movies, the choir launch into a haunting version of ‘Bang Bang (my baby shot me down)’ – it’s a beautiful rendition, making full use of the indie-vibe of the choir. This is not your high-school choir! Decked out in various costumes from the films that will be represented, Menagerie presents the show in four acts. MC Tristan Fidler takes on the mantle of narrator, in a comfy seat, as he breaks down why each song choice is made by this original-sounding choir.

‘Big Time Sensuality’ from Tank Girl is a surprising highlight of the ‘first act’ with a bit of funny acting occuring beforehand. It’s the type of song you wouldn’t expect to be arranged for a choir – but therein lies Menagerie’s strength, taking the non-conventional and turning them into the even more non-conventional! A haunting rendition of ‘Strings that Tie to You’ from the soundtrack to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind rounds up the first act. There are some wonderful, off-beat moments of wonderful off-beat cinema celebrated here, from singing Icelandic perfectly in ‘Staralfur’ from The Life Aquatic, to asking ‘Where is My Mind’ with the characters from Fight Club, this concert has something for everyone.

Let’s be honest – Menagerie are super-cool. They’re a collection of the kind of people who didn’t fit in at high-school but who you want to be now. Ending on a wonderfully upbeat rendition of ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ from The Breakfast Club, all wearing sunglasses that put us all in the shade – Menagerie cement themselves in the fabric of Perth’s uber-cool arts scene.

 

When: 16th – 19th February 2017 | 9:00pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $21

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/menagerie_sings_cinema/de853f61-efea-4d21-bfcd-59bf394db5e0/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Comedian portrait by John Cairns

Review by Kieran Eaton

Cat FM is a fictional radio station created by comedic performers Chris Turner and Alice Winn, who both love cats so much that they want a radio show for cats, made by cats.  This original show sounds like an amazing idea for any cat lover (like myself) to make into a show, yet it does have its challenges.

Like most shows centred on one theme, it can be limiting humour-wise. There is then an over reliance on feline based puns, which is not perfect (or purfect even!) If you embrace the silliness, it is quite clever in its references to present day political issues (basically it’s all Russia’s fault.)  Turner and Winn have amazing comedic chemistry that almost feels like they could read each other’s minds.  They even channel their offstage romance beautifully in the show, displaying a sweet kiss at the end.

Before starting the show, the two give cat stickers out to the audience. This little touch adds to the warmth in the crowd.  Both Turner and Winn wear cat ears on their heads but no other cat costume is displayed in this whimsical performance.  On this night, Turner states that the warm up act has not shown up so he’ll do it as an Australian cat because the warm up act is from Australia. This very short set warms the crowd well enough for the show to begin and this happened with enthusiasm, when he introduces Winn to the stage. They then sit on a radio station setup, to get the mad sketch show to begin.

Full of surreal sketches that take you on a journey, Cat FM is out there fun for to all!

 

When: 14th – 19th February 2017 | 8:30pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $25

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/cat_fm/f818a83d-24e6-46e9-9518-2f08abda306c/

Image courtesy Diana Nguyen

Review by Laura Money

Diana Nguyen is NAKED, metaphorically speaking, of course. In her solo stand-up show, Victorian comedian, Nguyen strips herself bare and exposes all of her soul to her audience. It’s clever and bold comedy that comes from what she knows. Nguyen starts by relaying a story about when she was on the tv show Q&A. Yep, the ABC political show. She questions why she was even considered as a candidate in the first place, but we find out it is because of her incredible work with refugees. It’s a bold way to start the show – it can come across as arrogant to brag about being on tv because you’re special, but Nguyen expresses her awkwardness at being asked questions she doesn’t know how to answer and becomes all of us in that moment. Chugging beer and widening her eyes she’s still not sure how she got away with it!

So, this is Nguyen: a twenty-something, ukulele playing, single, Vietnamese (ish), mother disappointer, and occasional Uber driver. She is so proud of her Uber rating of 4.95 but doesn’t want to brag. It’s these funny moments that make her so likeable. Nguyen is proud of the quirky little things others don’t care about and eschews the mainstream with a passion. Her mother always wanted her to be a doctor – sorry Mum, stand-up comedy called! Nguyen is a natural comic, but her fish-out-of-water stories are where she shines. From always being typecast as a prostitute in tv and movies, to fudging her way through Vietnamese commentary during a footy match, Nguyen has a knack for the awkward.

It is Nguyen’s hilarious impression of her crazy Vietnamese mother that brings the house down! They say that comedy is funniest when you stick to what you know, and Nguyen sure knows how to portray her mother – I almost felt like she had joined the stage. Stripping herself back and becoming vulnerable, this heartfelt comedian has nothing to hide as she is beautifully funny – a truly lovely human being.

 

When: 16th – 19th February 2017 | 8:10pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – 26

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/naked/a82c227f-6fa0-4d02-9d1e-aee7b941363a/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Dead Man

Review by Laura Money

Surreal and whimsically wonderful, British comedian Joey Page opens his show by pretending to ski on homemade cardboard skis, wearing his sister’s track-suit and listening to Joy Division. Because it is written in the guide. Page is a maverick – he opens with a surreal piece that is funny but completely unrelated to the show. In the tradition of Noel Fielding, Page’s hand-made cardboard skis aren’t even equal in length, a fact he is happy to relate as he explains the reason he opens his show in such a way.

Page strips off into a hipster suit and declares that he often can’t tell the difference between hipsters and the French. This leads to a hilarious segment entitled ‘Hipster or French’ in which the audience must guess which category Page’s texta drawings fall into. This is a fun show – it has a rough and ready feel to it with the posters, cardboard walkie-talkies, discount shop props, and paint-style projection images. It’s not dissimilar to living in a university student share-house – everything is unapologetically crude yet well made, considering the materials.

It’s his quirky charm that washes over the silliness with a quick wit and obvious intelligence. It is smart comedy – from his puppetry of ‘arrogant Kanye West’ to the ‘can game’ Page never misses a beat. It’s his re-enactments that really crack me up – a three way conversation involving two police officers and a lady where Page develops a lean to distinguish himself from the other policeman, and using different cardboard walkie-talkies to indicate different characters instead of just changing voices. These little extras take his comedy from grinning to laugh-out-loud.

Page is the cheeky master of the alternative – he involves his audience (including one lucky crowd-member being treated to a foam party), and his reluctant girlfriend and this enhances everything he does. Joey Page is definitely one to keep your eye out for – a genuine master of his craft.

 

When: 7th – 19th February 2017 | 7:30pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/joey_page_jowie/b0f9d453-7d10-48f5-8358-da9245fa2b56/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy: Andrew Stanley

Review by Laura Money

It is very difficult to describe an Andrew Stanley gig. Firstly, I’d like to point out that this is my first time seeing the popular comedian – I am probably in the minority. So what is it that keeps drawing people back? Stanley is like no other – he doesn’t really do any prepared material, rather relies on his uncanny ability to draw out the weird parts of his audience’s lives.

Like most comedy acts in a festival, Stanley has a support act. Christopher Macarthur Boyd (isn’t that one of the most Scottish names you’ve ever heard?) opens describing himself as a starter. He acknowledges that we came for steak (Stanley) and are offered toast first (Macarthur Boyd.) His brand of hipster comedy is great and I think that many people will gladly order toast off the menu next time.

Stanley laughs backstage at the antics of Macarthur Boyd and then bounds onto the stage. He introduces himself to the crowd, and then introduces the crowd to each other. It’s like a huge party where everyone is getting to know each other. Stanley works out who else is from Ireland, who is from Australia and then a little further. He finds out about people’s relationships, jobs, desires, and everything in between! Every answer is fodder for Stanley, as he concocts hilarious backstories for each of the people he singles out.

It all culminates with a couple being put to the test onstage – how well do they really know each other? At the end of the show, Macarthur Boyd returns with the highlights of the evening – in flip book form! Like I said, Stanley’s material is non-existent, but his quick-wittedness and charm make for a naturally hilarious comedian. Go more than once – it is never the same!

 

When: 14th – 19th February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: The Black Flamingo | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Recommended 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/classic_stanley/f5ea161b-bbee-441b-a7cf-1d87d3346d3c/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy: Strut & Fret Production House

Review by Laura Money

You’ve never known love like this before – VELVET transports Perth to the groovy 70s and the iconic locales of disco – Studio 54, The Savoy etc. The West Australian Speigeltent becomes a portal to Funky-Town as you experience the glitz, the glamour, the sequins, and the disco balls of that magically sparkly era – complete with an authentic 70s star.

It’s a silent tale, there is no dialogue – the soundtrack is provided by the Gods and Goddesses of the 70s: Chic, The BeeGees, Donna Summers, and of course Marcia Hines. Tom Oliver plays the stiff and repressed, suited young man who finds himself drawn to the world of disco, led by percussion master Joe Accaria. Around him are circus performers galore – acrobat Mirko Kockenberger gives us the first taste of circus with a charming-yet-death-defying balancing act on stacked suitcases. Dressed as a bell-hop, he exudes cheeky charm and elicits more than one gasp from the crowd. There’s classic, graceful aerial work from the amazing Emma Goh, and Stephen Williams is every bit the bad boy in his leather jacket. Craig Reid steals the show with his rendition of a daggy hula-hoop routine that becomes spectacular. His tongue-in-cheek exercise outfit (alluding to the early days of the 80s) creates a roguish persona that follows him throughout the show.

Hines and Oliver are the main singers, with backing vocals by the wonderfully talented Kayla Attad and Rachelle Mansour. The young Oliver cannot escape the inexorable pull of disco, and under mentor figure Hines, they blaze a trail of glitz and glamour. Hines is treated with an absolute reverence by her fellow cast-members. She stays still for most of her performances, a fragile being with a voice that is so clear and flawless that her lack of movement can be forgiven. When the crowd cheer her just for stepping on stage, she gives a faint smile of bemused acknowledgement and then it’s all business! Hines has a look of unadulterated pride when she hears the younger performers sing, and you know that she is a true teacher and mentor to this crew.

There are some weird moments that seem to send up the era a little, but mostly VELVET embraces the camp, queer and cool features that define the disco era of the 70s. So, ‘Turn the Beat Around’ and let it start ‘Raining Men’, because all ‘You’ need is to show up and start groovin’!

 

When: 20th January – 19th February 2017 | 4:30pm & 7:00pm

Where: The West Australian Speigeltent | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $36 – $86

Info: Duration 80 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/velvet/fefcdc87-f6ce-4787-8978-00369f03f94f/

 

Aimee is a graduate from the University of the Sunshine Coast, she has a Bachelor of Communication with double major in Communication Studies and Creative Writing.

Profile: View Aimee's profile here

Email: aimee.rothemund@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy: Flash in the Can

Review by Kieran Eaton

In Perth, the Causeway is a man-made bridge over the Swan River.  In this show, English comedian, Daniel Nils Roberts talks about another causeway – one that is natural and sometimes submerged in water.  This is from Nils Roberts’ obscure tale of the Battle of Maldon (apparently, number 77 on the Channel 4 top 100 list of British battles!)

When the audience sits down they see Nils Roberts munching on a packet of Dorito corn chips, wearing a Sombrero and a fake moustache. Before the show even starts he is offering some to members in the front row! Nils Roberts promptly hangs the sombrero up when the show starts, allowing the absurdity to assure us that there were no racist undertones. This comedian quickly chooses an audience member to assist him later in his tale, in a very quirky manner.

Once Nils Roberts gets started, we get to understand his reasoning for the show by relating the battle to a period in his childhood.  This was interesting concept but I felt it did not get explored enough. It often felt like different comedic ideas were shoe-horned in, with explanations rushed. The punchlines were often a bit unclear, leaving the audience thinking this young man is very clever, but a bit dry.

The show ends explaining the symbolism of this tale and it all makes sense, yet it feels like bit of a gloating end. Daniel Nils Roberts: The Causeway is for those wanting to go on a surreal yet educational experience.

 

When: 14th – 19th February 2017 | 6:50pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/daniel_nils_roberts_the_causeway/1aac1cce-7f73-42a1-8f25-7a8c33638502/

Image courtesy Strindberg Stages

Review by Laura Money

A wave of anticipation fills the Speigeltent as glitter-clad Cougar Morrison frantically runs through the crowd with packets of biscuits and crackers. Morrison explains that they’re not for us – we’ll know what do with them when the time comes. It’s a strange start, but when Disgrace Kelly walks on, head held high and ‘auditions’ for an opera in a flawless mezzo-soprano voice, the snacks are forgotten and people are watching her mouth intently – she’s so smooth it sounds like a recording that is being lip synced to. When asked to show her range, Kelly launches into the same aria but in French – well, just by singing about French food! After being rejected for the part for being too *gasp* old, Kelly returns to the comforting arms of Morrison.

It’s at this point we all throw our snacks at her – you know, to cheer her up?!

Morrison and Kelly are phenomenal individual acts, but teamed up they are a force to be reckoned with. Yes, the show seems to be a tag-team of songs but they are amazing songs. All of your favourites are there – Judy Garland, Bette Midler, Beyonce, even Edith Piaf. Highlights include Kelly’s brilliant rendition of Midler’s ‘Fat As I Am’ and Morrison performing ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’ by Piaf with increasingly tights lips as the botox kicks in! When these two get together, magic happens – their exercise scene is inspired, they party like no other couple and promote body positivity, all while gyrating and glamming it the hell up!

When: 15th – 19th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: Salon Perdu Speigeltent | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/disgraceful_cougars/d5182f27-df78-4d3d-ab77-33ec4c74fce9/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Matt Storer

Review by Kieran Eaton

Know much about that epic Sci-Fi movie series that seems to never end, Star Wars? Of course, you’d have to have been living under a rock for the past forty years to not know it – but do you really know it? I mean REALLY, like in a hard-core, cosplay, geeky, convention kind of way? If so, this might get your nerd juices flowing – it’s a quiz show just about Star Wars!

Walking up the Lazy Susans’s Comedy Den stairwell to see Storm Troopers and Darth Vader greet you, it can be a bit of a shock to the system.  They usher you to your seat, where one side you are part of the dark side (The Empire) and the other the light (The Rebellion) of the force. There appears to be a mixed crowd where some have gone due to forcing from a Star Wars nerd friend or partner. However, when Matt Storer walks on stage as Princess Leia (complete with two bun hair-do) the crowd relax: it is comedy after all. Storer explains this but there is also a disclaimer – he will not pander too much to the novices!

Next, Storer brings his two comedian contestants (rotating each show). This night is the savvy Luke Bolland versus the overly enthusiastic/competitive Cameron McLaren.  Storer introduces the rules and gives relief to the geeks in the audience that if the contestants can’t get an answer right, they can jump in.  Then the exciting competition begins, with the audience quite fittingly knowing more than the contestants. The show ends with the dark side and light side being balanced, leaving a crowd happy to see a fair show, with lots of space-themed laughs. So, who will win? Are you on the dark side or the light side?

 

When: 15th – 19th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den | The Brisbane Hotel | North Side | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/matt_storers_star_wars_megashow/5c382dd3-6efd-4fb1-85c4-23d57b9244a5/

Image credit: Stephen Lead

Review by Laura Money

Well, I’m not sure what I expected with a title like this, but it was probably some kind of Game of Thrones parody or video game homage. It’s half-right, I suppose. LadyNerd 2: Game of Nerds is an interactive Dungeons and Dragons-ish, Choose Your Own Adventure, combined with comedy, education and cabaret. How does this work? Well, it starts out fairly standard: Keira Daley (the LadyNerdist of them all) sings a song that introduces us to what she’s all about. Accompanied by pianist, Mark Chamberlain, the song extols the virtues of using correct grammar, identifying tv and comic book characters, and playing video games.

The show is devilishly clever: Daley and Chamberlain play cyborg robots who are guiding the audience on a mission to find artifacts from an Earth experiencing the fallout from a Nuclear Explosion. Each artifact was significant to several of the original LadyNerds – the brilliant women who helped change the world. This show is as much an homage to these inspirational women as it is a game. Much like Carmen Santiago, you learn about the historical figures that don’t usually get the recognition they deserve. From mathematicians to pioneering journalists, all of the women represented were brilliant minds. Of course, who you meet is entirely up to you…the show is different every night, as Daley really does follow the audience’s suggestions.

This highlights just how nuanced the show is. Daley and Chamberlain not only create songs and cabaret acts as the famous women, but also can’t get lost in the narrative, as it is new each night. Each woman who is ‘reactivated’ has a song dedicated to them – Daley sings it in the style of the era they are from, and it’s rather inspiring stuff. Punchy and entertaining, this show will have you singing along, keep you on the edge of your seat, and give you a sense of achievement (almost as if you were really playing a video game) – go more than once, because you won’t be satisfied until you see all of the possibilities.

 

When: 16th – 19th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: The Shambles | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $26 – $29.50

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/ladynerd_2_game_of_nerds/bd0fd728-caad-4f1c-8d91-b47b80eddc3b/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Kevin Ruehle

Review by Amanda Lancaster

The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde – classic Gothic literary tale penned by Robert Louis Stevenson. Few have equaled, much less, enhanced the classic text in their interpretations and even less have fully comprehended or surmised the true multifaceted realities that lie beneath its nightmarish aesthetic. A tale well known to so very many… yet a tale known well to only a few. This is so very much more than good versus evil, or man versus monster –
David Davies is one of these rare individuals that percieves the pure, intrinsic nature of the piece.

HYDE – the final statement of Dr Jekyll is a beautifully written and performed interpretation. This show is all the things the nightmarish narrative should be. The venue’s long narrow space, high ceilings and deep colouring is almost akin to the Victorian feel of the tale, and compliments it nicely. Antique-style chairs in short pews make the audience seem as if they are the terrified huddled masses of Victorian London, again lending to the show’s atmosphere before we even begin. Add in the shadowy silhouettes that emerge as the lights go down and Dr Jekyll has the audience exactly where he wants them.

Minimalist in staging and aesthetics, Davies is a consummate professional, creating a variety of vividly conjured scenes and characters aplenty with merely a subtle nuance, or seamless shift in vocal tone.  Ready to hand symbols of the portrayed Victorian era are used sparingly, yet you find yourself focusing on each small gesture or motion intently.  Adept at his craft the one man show is seamless and flows naturally for the audience to follow along.

Shrewd in his selection of thematic elements, Davies emphasises the profound psychological implications that come with base human nature and tendencies.  Clever in its execution, you find the linguistics applicable to a myriad of behavioral discourses and the impulses that spur them, after all Jekyll’s potion wasn’t just about the separation of good and evil – it was justification for wanting to live free of repercussion and repression.  Davies completely embodies this whole emotional incomprehensible divided countenance. He’s an absolute delight to listen to as the mesmerising madman deep in the throws of his compulsions.

Compulsion and obsession are the catalysts to Jekyll’s downfall. So intent on his wonderings into whether or not the conflicting characteristic of man could be separated , he never stopped to wonder if he should separate them. Obviously this will be a performance that resonates the strongest with those who are more familiar with the text, however as a stand alone introduction to Gothic literature and a deliciously good thrill, this show won’t disappoint.

 

When: 13th – 19th February 2017 | 6:30pm & 5:00pm

Where: Four5Nine Bar | North Side | PERTH

Tickets: $26

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/hyde__the_final_statement_of_dr_jekyll/be9e2c11-880d-4d1c-8f53-a1021d28e195/

 

Image courtesy: Racing Minds

Review by Amanda Lancaster

Hey there kids! Are you often tired of the dull dreary day-to-day routines? Is your world filled with scolding. scowling, and sighing? Do you find it almost impossible to keep your persnickety parents entertained? Don’t you just wish you could find something fun and exciting for mum and dad to enjoy this weekend? Well then boys and girls, look no further, because FRINGEWORLD 2017 has the solution to all you troubles.

No rules, no rehearsal, no repetition! Just chaos, Kiddo Kaos that is.

The quick-witted quintent, Racing Minds have put the fate of the show in the hands and minds of its hungry untamed under-agers. Unique in its approach and execution, I would describe the whole experience as immersive theatre to the max, a total ‘create your own adventure’ if you will. Every performance is a completely spontaneous, improvised at lightening fast speed and totally on the spot unscripted adventure. Relying solely on the quality and quantity of imagination and creativity  its audience provides, the troupe begins to create scenarios, characters, and even music and songs non-stop for almost and hour.

To describe the show in detail would be to the detriment of its overall kaotic charm, but I will tell you that to expect: the hyper-energetic,  madcap mayhem is a total understatement and that the show will end up being a total surprise to both audience and actors alike. The kids are well and truly in the position of authority and the show can be whatever they want it to be. So just give in to the inevitable knowledge that you have no hope of controlling the untameable laughter and excitement.

Fantastic fun for all ages, parents to be accompanied by a responsible child at all times!

 

When: 11th – 19th February 2017 | 4:30pm

Where: The Lunar Big Top | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $11 – $21

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Recommended 5+ | Children’s Theatre

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/aaaand_now_for__kiddo_kaos/7bf0d4b0-93fe-481f-8587-532d67bb814a/

Image courtesy: Hollant St Productions

Review by Amanda Lancaster

Charlie Franklin has a dream – it’s a pretty big dream too. Well I guess it would have to be wouldn’t it, given that it’s the dream Charlie has had for his whole life! Ambitious in his aims, Charlie’s deepest desire is to fashion a self-written and self-produced musical drama of epic proportions. One that features all ups and downs of  Broadway, a smash hit success, accolades and applause await.

Fame, success, stardom – Charlie can see it all now: his name in lights and his likeness plastered across billboards ten storeys high. Opening night show is nearly upon us , the curtains will rise, places, everyone, places! Wait …where exactly is everybody? Performers, music makers … DISASTER – this dream is quickly becoming nightmare! Charlie’s imaginings are seeming more and more like realities as one or two hillarious hiccups rapidly become a mayhem of madness.

The show must go on … but how? Charlie’s larger than life show biz spectacular now seems to be shrinking into nothingness, so it’s up to him and a handful of his tenacious troupe to make sure this grandiose production happens. Improvisational, impromptu, spontaneous collaborations of melody and adventure blend cleverly with an array of wild characters and an almost nomadic feeling narrative. An Extraordinary Tale is exactly that – extraordinary. It’s unique, memorable, and exceeds the normal expectations associated with children’s theatre.

So how do you make a larger than life musical extravaganza without the masses of cast members, sets and props housed in a gigantic venue, or even a lengthy enough duration in which to accomplish any of the aforementioned feats? You  present it to the right audience of course.

Small children, the young at heart and those who just don’t want to grow up yet will find this energetic, madcap,  myriad of laughter and tunes to be exactly what a larger than life show should be – a non-stop hour of fun for all ages!

 

When: 11th – 19th February 2017 | 3:00pm

Where: De Parel Speigeltent | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 45 minutes | Suitable all ages | WA Artist | Children’s Theatre

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/an_extraordinary_tale/f4672379-a6a7-48b0-ab94-0ab40537fb39/

Image courtesy: House of Valerie Joan

Review by Laura Money

Who are the Women of Soul? Three soul goddesses writing and performing their original hits around Australia, that’s who! Chelsea Wilson, Randa Khamis and Stella Angelico are absolute trailblazers in the industry – women producing and writing their own music. Women of Soul sees original music from all three of these soulful songstresses and also the big hits from the women you know and love – Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Diana Ross.

Wilson opens the show with a powerful start – her songs, mostly about a break up from the album ‘I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me’ (which is brilliant, by the way) are all full of soul and Wilson gives all of herself over to the music. Her powerful voice fills every corner of the tent, soaring over the cabaret seats out into the orchard beyond. Wilson has a clear love of her craft and speaks in awe of her fellow women of soul. Her songs are just angry enough to have an edge, but her pain has been channeled into a very controlled and confident medium. Wilson is one to watch, for sure.

Next up is the legendary Perth girl, Randa Khamis. This pocket rocket has the moves! She bursts onto the stage in a swishy, sexy, gold-tassled dress and heels and just slays. That voice is so powerful and doesn’t waver on the high notes – in fact, they are her forte. Khamis has so much energy and passion for soul and her music is textbook soul/funk – she draws inspiration from the greats like Tina Turner and doesn’t miss a beat, even keeping up with her (much younger) Go-Go Dancers.

Finally, it’s Stella Angelico with her angst-riddled, haunting style. Angelico is a powerhouse. Every note is smoky and rich, her passion pulses through her body as she stamps out the rhythm in her heels. Angelico’s voice breaks with emotion as she sings angry and sad music from her past, and jubilantly soars as she covers more recent material. There is so much depth to this wonderful young lady, and I’m sure she is destined for great things. Her voice is so big, it eclipses all others.

Not only is Women of Soul an important show for young women to see, it’s also a great night out for all!

 

When: 16th – 18th February 2017 | 11:00pm

Where: De Parel Speigeltent | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $31

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/women_of_soul/3b613415-a677-429e-89ac-aca5aec2dede/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image Credit: Lisa McTiernan

Review by Kieran Eaton

Amy Hetherington is Terminally Positive is show about happiness. It is understandable that comedians want their audience to be happy but often we hear about the old story of the sad clown. This is not the case for Darwin comic – Amy Hetherington, as she is a glass half full kind of girl. She even mentions the light side of hecklers, in her currently five years as a stand-up comedian. Her definite strength in comedy is her crowd work, where all her audience volunteers work diligently for her act – in being so relaxed they are funny themselves! Hetherington interacts with some like they are family (well, some were!) Her laid-back honesty is a breath of fresh air in a world of narcissistic entertainers.

When you first see a bunch of balloons floating on her stage, you automatically absorb her feeling of lightness. Hetherington opens by pretending to be a self-help guru and this audience happily accepts that she is joking and the show is just about her optimism. This natural presenter has a sunny disposition that you can tell just by looking at her. However, she does break this down by spreading the love – in having a part where she gets a couple to give answers to a series of questions and see if they match.  Hetherington controls the outcome by having answers by use of the same bunch of picture cards. This was successfully achieved and was a highlight of this kind-hearted show.

Amy Hetherington is Terminally Positive is night out for those who want their fun less cynical.

 

When: 14th – 18th February 2017 | 6:40pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/amy_hetherington_is_terminally_positive/ec2f5241-0797-4167-a015-df2b3309a06a/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image Credit: Mr Trilby Photographics

Review by Laura Money

Welcome to Gloria’s G-Spot, an interactive, music-based comedy game show hosted by the wonderful Queen of everything 80s, Gloria herself. Sporting her signature red dress, powerful shoulder pads, 80s make-up and bright green socks, Gloria gets you going in ways you never dreamed possible. When I say audience interaction, I’m really not kidding – so don’t go to the G-Spot if you’re just going to get cold feet, which are never welcome between the sheets! You will be rewarded handsomely for your interaction – the games are fun, tongue in cheek, and a little raunchy!

Gloria is a wonderful character – her sweet English charm is wonderfully accommodating. She greets you with a song “Gloria” of course, and declares her love for everything 80s and sexy – two words that usually don’t go together for some reason. Surveying the audience with her electric blue eye-shadowed eyes, Gloria explains that the G-Spot is a game show like no other. She brings on several famous icons of the 80s and 90s, starting with the amazing Vanilla Slice! This guy is hilarious, he interacts with the crowd and sends up the tackiness of the 90s. A quick costume change and a round of pass the parcel later (everything gets passed around in the G-Spot!) and we’re given a lesson on what we can and can’t touch (by MC Crapper) and a few fun games are played.

Gloria has a lot of guests in her G-Spot! Fabio drops in to launch his clothing line (this is the most apt and hilarious character of the night for the strong-jawed actor), Britney Smears teaches us her signature move, and a litany of ‘G-grade’ celebs help us all achieve bliss in the G-Spot. Of course, keeping us all excited is Gloria – this is a wonderful character, cultivated perfectly. Her enthusiasm and passion for fun and self-awareness is refershing, but mostly it’s her inclusive attitude and non-threatening audience interaction that warms you to the wonderful woman – even when we are all getting physical together!

Gloria’s G-Spot is cheeky, mocking fun. There are prizes (just for finding it!) and fun games with an adult twist. So, come inside the G-Spot – you’ll never want to leave!

 

When: 20th January – 18th February 2017 | Friday & Saturday nights | 11:30pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $24

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Definitely 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/glorias_gspot/65476540-c00b-44d9-93de-db890aab0f63/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Nathaniel Mason

Review by Laura Money

Are you a night owl? Can’t get enough of FRINGEWORLD 2017 after all of the shows you’ve seen? Not ready for your Fringe-Binge to end? Then you need Late ‘n’ Loose: Amelia Ryan’s Fringe Tease! It’s a classic Variety Night complete with fun-loving, talented host, and the finest picks from around the festival. If you like things late and very loose, you won’t be disappointed.

Ryan is a great host, she gets everyone clapping and singing along and makes sure the audience knows just how loose the night is going to get. Leave your inhibitions at the front door, because Ryan gets you drinking and joining in with the best of them. Several FRINGEWORLD 2017 stars make their appearance at Late ‘n’ Loose so keep your eye out for the line-up – or don’t if you want a surprise! Reuben Kay, Jonny Woo, Shirley Gnome, Matt Tarrant, The Desperettes, Tessa Waters, Joey Page and others all put on a sample of their respective shows.

The night I attended, Reuben Kay slayed with his devilishly delightful Rocky Horror Show vibe and then joined in Ryan’s game. This is what keeps the whole evening going – Ryan playing ‘Never Have I Ever’ with members of the audience. Ryan has a knack for picking the most repressed looking person, who ends up the most badass of all! An audience sing-a-long gets the crowd revved up for Tessa Waters’ unique style of mime-comedy with a heavy focus on audience participation. By the time Shirley Gnome gets up, we are all ready to scream c**t at the top of our lungs!

Late ‘n’ Loose: Amelia Ryan’s Fringe Tease keeps it real – you’ll be up for anything after this show!

 

When: 3rd January – 18th February 2017 | Friday & Saturday nights | 11:30pm

Where: The Gold Digger | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $23 – $26

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Definitely 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/late_n_loose_amelia_ryans_fringe_tease/131ebc3d-e313-4bdb-bdac-1ce436c7f254/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Kevin Ruehle

David Davies presents HYDE – the final statement of Dr Jekyll at Four5Nine for the Perth Fringe Festival 2017.

Fresh from an exciting tour of Germany and the U.K:

HYDE – the final statement of Dr Jekyll

From the novella Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Adapted and Performed by David Davies

“In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil”.

From the famous novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” comes a gripping drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Hyde – the final statement of Dr Jekyll describes the events that led to the struggle between the good Dr Jekyll and his evil alter ego – Mr Hyde.  The year is 1886 and Dr Jekyll has discovered a formula that separates the good self from the evil self. The problem is that the evil Mr Hyde wants to take over the body of Jekyll forever so that he can indulge his monstrous pleasures. Take the one hour journey with Dr Jekyll as he describes the events that led to his discovery as well as his struggle to keep control of Mr Hyde. Will you be a witness to his final statement? Or will Mr Hyde prove too strong and take over forever?

Hyde – the final statement of Dr Jekyll has gripped audiences in Germany and the UK and now premieres in Perth, W.A for the Perth Fringe Festival 2017.

David Davies studied at NIDA and has since performed in Australia, the U.K and Germany. He was an ensemble member of Bell Shakespeare from 2001 – 2006.He is based in London and has worked for The British Shakespeare Company, Guildford Shakespeare and was the Company Manager and leading actor for GB Theatre from 2010 – 2013.The last two years, however, have seen him touring Germany constantly as well as teaching English at the University of Applied Sciences in Koblenz. He has performed for several leading Perth companies including Deckchair, Perth Theatre Company and The Hole in the Wall for whom he was Hamlet in 1997. He was Oberon and Mercutio in the original Shakespeare in Kings Park summer seasons and recently played Benedick for ShakespeareWA, 2012.

As a writer this is David’s first play. He has penned The Karismatic Effekt and Stagefright which has also played in major cities around Germany.

He is delighted to be returning the Perth where his parents live and where he has so many great memories performing in the past. It is with great excitement that he presents HYDE – the final statement of Dr Jekyll.

 

Reviews:

“…At the outset he is controlled. After the consumption of his concoction, he is noticeably and involuntarily more and more Hyde, the guise of violent temperedness and diabolicalness.

Mr. Davies version of Stevenson’s tale lends the story great depth with extensive thoughts made about human nature.

The play is easy to follow thanks to Mr. Davies’ vivid acting.”

The Rhein Zeitung – 2015

“The quality of both writing and acting makes this an entertaining and thought provoking hour of theatre. The proximity of actor and audience in this compact space made it especially spine tingling in places with audible gasps and reflexive shudders at some points.”

Peter Woodwood, Sterts Studio, 2016

 

“Its an unsettling piece because Stevensonʼs core feature that we harbour within us all another darker side is an uncomfortable truth which too often we refuse to recognize. This performance forced us to do so because David Davies was always recognizably Jekyll and with his fine Shakespearean voice and technique made a realistic presentation of an almost ordinary man who took too far the notion of knowing thyself.”

Patrick Phillips, Kentwell Hall, September 2015

 

When: 13th – 19th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: Four5Nine Bar | North Side | PERTH

Tickets: $26

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/hyde__the_final_statement_of_dr_jekyll/be9e2c11-880d-4d1c-8f53-a1021d28e195/

 

Image courtesy Brianna Williams

After a sold out and critically acclaimed Melbourne Comedy Festival season, emerging star Brianna Williams returns with her trademark blend of sketch, improv and audience participation as she searches for the most unattainable state of all: happiness.

Happiness: we spend our lives hunting for it, but why exactly is that little sh*t so damn hard to come by? This is the question that comedian and improviser Brianna Williams hopes to answer in her second solo sketch show – Le Petite Merde. Literally: the little shit.

With almost a decade of performance experience under her belt – from improv comedy to stand-up to musical theatre – Williams has delighted thousands of people in Sydney, Melbourne, New York and even Rottnest Island. She was named as one of Broadsheet’s Best Newcomers during the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and can be seen in a number of comedy web-series, such as Insert Coin and The Write Stuff (ABC2). She also infuriates many during the cricket as the “Demand a Commander” lady.

From “The Sexy Dowager” to “The Nicest Cop in Murdertown”, at Perth Fringeworld 2017 Williams is opening the cabinet of her confidences, the armoire of her anxieties and the crumbling chateau of her chutzpah, as she tries to work out who truly is Le Petite Merde: the entire world? Or her?

Bright, engaging, bordering on painfully sincere… [Williams] brims with enthusiasm and fizzes with energy. – The West Australian

When: 14th – 17th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den | The Brisbane Hotel | North Side | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/la_petite_merde/ce00e869-236e-490b-9467-02deed0892dd/

 

Image courtesy Only The Human

Review by Kieran Eaton

Seeing what seemed to be about twenty improvisation performers introduced on a big screen gave me reasons for concern. Like many things in life, less is more and especially with comedy! However, you can strike gold with the numbers game – this night felt more like they were mining for comedic gemstones.  It was, therefore an epic showcase of varying skills and a mixture of games, some more memorable than others. There are not many famous theatre sports troupes in the world and this may be because making improvised humour look easy is actually quite a hard feat.

The hosts for this night were the head honchos of this comedy group – Alexander Circosta and Sonny Yang. Their introduction was very casual and this led to the crowd feeling quite shy to participate. To cover a decent amount of improv, the show goes for an hour and a half – with a half time break of approximately ten minutes.  This night it felt like the half time break was needed because the team improved tenfold after it.

The main highlight of this show was seeing special guests and seasoned improvisers Esther Longhurst, Chris Bedding and Tom Skelton nail musical scene-based comedy. All they required from the audience was a name of the town that the small group will turn into drama. Once they got going the audience atmosphere lifted and wild happenings ensued.  There was an unpredictable ending to this sketch – a masterful end to an interesting smorgasbord of comedy. OTH: LIVE are a friendly bunch so it’s a good night for some unpredictable fun!

 

When: 25th January – 15th February 2017 | 7:30pm

Where: GELO at Piazza Hut | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $24

Info: Duration 90 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/oth_live/e5b0ae17-faf0-45f1-a589-711155846ae4/

Image credit: Daniel Grant

Review by Kieran Eaton

How do you review a show about a reviewer? This clever show embraces FRINGEWORLD 2017 so it’s not hard for somebody like me (who has basically lived in the festival precinct for the past month) to love the show!

Listening to comedian Sonny Yang critique a whole bunch of shows from the start of the festival guide, made me feel I was going into my head space – with Yang taking over it!  With this dead-pan comic sitting on a massive arm chair, it was a bit like therapy. Luckily, I was in safe hands – for Yang is a master at keeping things funny. He has improvisational skills that can handle mixed audience reactions, gaining extra laughs for his monotone.

The night is set up by Yan stating his use of an AUSLAN interpreter, yet later I realised this performer was just part of the satirical nature of the show. Yang, wearing a business shirt, tie and spectacles has the appearance of an accountant but this adds to the surprises as his use of language is biting and punchy.  However, Yang knows he is somebody who would get beaten up in a fight and he plays this up – in a hilarious scene with his AUSLAN interpreter. This could sound confusing if you take him too seriously, as Yang is the king of parody. This comedic theatre critic covered a huge variety of shows and nobody was safe.

This imaginative show is a festival highlight for those who like their comedy with a bit of cheek.

 

When: 16th – 18th February 2017 | 9:20pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $8 – $13

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/infinite_jest_presents_sonny_yang_vs_fringe/852b4dd4-4595-4f2e-a6a6-ddb29b35a677/

Image courtesy Infinite Jest Comedy

Review by Kieran Eaton

Going to a TAFE classroom to watch a comedy show, why would you not have a smug face? I guess that is the irony that Perth comedian, Jez Watts is all about. This self-aware comic knows his limitations as a festival act, and plays to his strengths.

Watts takes us back to his Australian Army days – understanding that this revelation will surprise us, as he spends the first part of the show describing his love for recreational drugs.  Watts is all about living life to the full and that is why it is hard to categorise who he is. One thing is clear and that is that Watts loves comedy. His love for up-and-coming comedians on the Perth scene sees him giving the opportunity to open for Smug Face each night.

Opening this night is a young man by the name of Nic Monisse. This stylish man jokes about father issues and warms the crowd enough for them to be ready for Watts’ mad running into the audience so manically that he loses his breath! He is quick to make fun of this and settles into his routine, after a quick sip of water, of course! Even when Watts is ready, there is a manic energy about him – looking to feed off the crowd. This keenness to work with the audience adds to his charm.

With the varied life that Watts has lived, it’s hard to know what to expect from him but this clever comedian understands this and will help you on the journey.

 

When: 14th – 18th February 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $11 – $16

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/jez_watts_smug_face/e739f1f8-eef6-4754-8f37-f608b62d79d7/

Image credit: Lachlan Woods

Review by Kieran Eaton

Gillian Cosgriff is keen to admit it early – she is a procrastinator. Cosgriff sits behind her keyboard and warms the crowd with her honesty. This show has a lofty ambition – create eight songs in eight weeks but Cosgriff likes to challenge herself. She is very close to turning thirty and she worries about not achieving enough. Her kindness and gratitude radiates through the room even as she admits she has a favourite audience member. The audience embrace her frank admission as she uses her and her friends to volunteer information for her song finale.

With a white board and black texta she gets the names of all the volunteers and laughter erupts when she hears the name Bronson, as it was the character from her favourite TV show – Round the Twist! Cosgriff allows for extra comedic material when she asks the volunteers to describe her favourite audience member. Cosgriff maximises laughter from the responses in a way that is respectful to her friend. This musical comedian has been part of FRINGEWORLD, four years ago – where she met this favourite audience member who she now calls a friend. As a touring Melbourne comic, she tells of her surprise of when on her first festival in Perth this audience member brought thirty of her friends! Cosgriff rides the wave of serendipity in making beautiful music out of this weird situation.

Cosgriff is a wonderfully talented musician that keeps us smiling throughout. However, many of these new songs created as part of her artistic journey lack the punchy humour that the audience are looking for. She is still an amazing producer of a festival show that is well deserved of the big stage.

 

When: 7th – 19th February 2017 | 8:50pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $29

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/gillian_cosgriff_8_songs_in_8_weeks/b39bba6a-79aa-4506-bb4d-832541a32130/

Image courtesy: Shannon Toyne

Review by Kieran Eaton

Show creator and performer, Brett Blake has the bogan look with his mullet and unpretentious clothing but there is more to this young comedian than meets the eye. There is a willingness to explore his emotions and in style that still connects with the tough-guy bogan image – admitting his strong feeling of hate for a broad range of social issues like racism but conversely also theatre dancing. Blake’s strong voice demands attention from all and this works for his large spread-out crowd. Blake’s everyman persona breaks down any defensiveness in the crowd by nicknaming a member of the audience (who he thinks is the most bogan) “Twisties!” This is just because the beanie wearing, middle-aged man is wearing a shirt with a Twisties packet drawing. (The ultimate bogan snack!)

Early on, Blake establishes that he just likes to tell it like it is – with his larrikin nature he guesses a relationship dynamic in the crowd. This cheekiness warms everyone, Blake also has an ability to turn situations on to himself. Growing up in the Perth Eastern suburb of Forrestfield, he has plenty of experience of the bogan culture.   Blake now lives in Melbourne and quickly let us know his observations.This show is about getting out of your comfort zone, and Blake achieves this in spades – especially with his story about going to Bali for a meditation retreat! His low attention span makes him a duck out of water in this life experiment of his.

A Bogan Abroad is hilarious situational comedy and this Aussie battler opens his heart and shares in all of the awkward situations he’s been in – so you don’t have to experience them yourselves!

 

When: 7th – 19th February 2017 | 7:30pm

Where: The Universal Bar & The Hellenic Club | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/a_bogan_abroad/d9ce5f9a-6a72-48c8-bdfe-d4e590cf10fa/

Image courtesy: Australian Performing Arts Network

Review by Laura Money

How To Co-Host A Murder is another one of those cleverly-placed FRINGEWORLD 2017 shows. The Ellington Jazz Club is not new to the festival, in fact they have a full programme of works and shows on during Fringe, yet none of those shows are quite as fitting as this one. The club is transported back in time to 1929 – New Years Eve, in fact, and the cabaret-style seats and seemingly smoke-filled room has a real speakeasy vibe that really helps add to the mood. Before the show, Madeline Shaw flits in and about the crowd in her role as ‘cigarette girl’ Audrey Wood – a role that later sees her take to the stage, but for now it’s all about the audience interaction. Shaw nails the accent and the look, her face is perfect for the vintage hair and make-up.

Opening with young, cocky and camp host, Freddie (Hamish Briggs) singing ‘Wilkommen’ from Cabaret, the scene is set, complete with five red-sequen-clad dancers and back up singers. These ladies are funny and ham it up, with the cliche ‘sexy’ moves of the early 20th century. None of the women have overly powerful voices, however, and are frequently overpowered by the rather prominent Briggs, who dominates the stage. Things get confusing when, of course, star singer Millie Halliday is murdered – but who did it? An unorthodox police raid sees everyone a suspect, and a singer it turns out. Everything from Gypsy, Annie, Anything Goes and in particular, Chicago is shoehorned into the show, sometimes at the expense of a believable plot-line.

The show has the feeling of a high school production where the students pick songs from their favourite musicals and put them into a show. It’s a pretty good quality, but lacks the cohesion of a truly well-written and slick production. How To Co-Host A Murder is a little bit of fun for a night out, especially if you like show-tunes and audience participation!

 

When: 13th – 19th February 2017 | 5:00pm & 8:00pm

Where: The Ellington Jazz Club | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $31

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/how_to_cohost_a_murder/75956af1-0f75-4bcf-b7f9-af287f6bfb3b/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy: Tamar Broadbent

Review by Laura Money

Let’s just start by pointing out that there is nothing ugly about Tamar Broadbent! The 5’3 bundle of energy exudes beauty and warmth as her genuine and heartfelt songs put the lofty popstars to shame with their down-to-earth quality. Broadbent is the ultimate ‘everywoman’ – she sings and jokes about the dirty laundry Taylor Swift would never dream of airing! Bouncing onto the stage like a ray of sunshine, Broadbent beguiles you with her sweet persona – then rips your face off with a (highly relatable) ditty about doing the ‘Train Ride of Shame’ after a night out.

It’s an interesting way to start a show and sets up Broadbent’s premise well – she tells it like it is, warts and all. Broadbent is cheerful and optimistic, yet slays with her sharp observational wit. Her post-break-up move to the trendy part of town provides much of the fodder for her songs, from Hipster wankers quaffing artisan bread while tightening their top-knots, to Googling all the STDs after a late-night hook up, just in case! It’s these ‘ugly’ moments that Broadbent strives to bring to light. She sends up dating apps and just how hard it is to delete Facebook, but it’s a song about the hot girl at the gym that brings the house down. We’ve all been there, sweating ourselves a puddle when a gorgeous girl who appears to be sans glands walks past looking perfect. Broadbent’s frustration is all of ours!

There are some wonderfully touching moments – Broadbent is an exceptionally giving comedian – as she sings about her beautiful little sister, and reveals just how much the break-up with her ex really hurt her. It is this rawness and reality that she puts into her material. The best art comes from the heart, and Broadbent has a heart big enough for all of us.

 

When: 14th – 18th February 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $23.50

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/tamar_broadbent_get_ugly/e3b2d87f-f65d-4121-8a69-9d259d7dd893/

Aimee is a graduate from the University of the Sunshine Coast, she has a Bachelor of Communication with double major in Communication Studies and Creative Writing.

Profile: View Aimee's profile here

Email: aimee.rothemund@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy: Jackrabbit theatre

Review by Laura Money

Do you love your dreams so much, you keep hitting snooze for ‘just another five minutes?’ Struggle to get out of bed because it’s the best place to be? Meet Alex (Andreas Lohmeyer) a dreamer, in the true sense of the word. Alex heads a company called Lucidity that helps people achieve lucid dreams – it puts them firmly in control over their dreams. Alex states that dreams are nothing more that warnings for humans – thousands of years of evolution that serve as teachable moments – the nightmares children have, chased by monsters and such, prepare them for the dangers of the real world, they will know how to react if they’ve spent all night running and hiding. So, what do you have to do tomorrow? Can you control your training?

Alex has become a little too obsessed with the lucid dreams he has every night….and sometimes all day. He spends all day abusing his own self-help methods to inhabit a dream world where his ex-wife, Em (Shaynee Brayshaw) hasn’t stopped loving him and wants to fight zombies, go jet skiing and make love. Dream-Em is fun and over the top, a brilliant piece of acting from Brayshaw. Everything about her is hyper-real, so that when we meet the ‘real’ Em, we are shocked to find her slightly aggressive and wary. Alex’s relationship with his business sees him walking on rather thin ice – stuck sleeping his life away, forcing his younger sister, Billy (Alex Malone) to care for him and potentially put her own dreams on hold. Lohmeyer is fantastic as the tortured Alex, vulnerable and frail in his dream world, useless and distracted in the real world. Upon meeting Ash (Charlotte Devenport) it seems that reality is going well enough for Alex to cease his retreat into dreamland. Unfortunately for Alex, dreams are harder to escape than it appears.

This is a cleverly written play – Michael Abercromby has done it again, after the success of Dirty People. With themes of addiction beautifully rendered – mass empty coffee cups littering the stage, repetition of daily routine, bed sheets and covers being stripped bare – and the blurring of reality and dreams becoming so confusing that both appear to fall apart around Alex. Lucidity asks the big question: what is reality and why does it not do to dwell on dreams?

 

When: 14th – 18th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/lucidity/634fde3d-820b-4363-aca8-4fcd6c41366c/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: James Penlidis

Review by Kieran Eaton

A young Australian – blind-folded, in swimwear is not a common sight. With whimsical charm, Laura Davis makes this work in this exploration of intimacy.

Insight into your own voice is needed to make this work and she achieves this masterfully. Davis divulges intimate stories of her recent life when she realised she was suffering from Depression. She jokes that her medication his changing her humour but she still displays a keen eye to observe the dark side of life. Her ideas spring out of an evolving jokester who is still figuring out her identity. There is enough spunk in this twenty-something to think that she wants to keep building upon her craft to be an act that stands out. Based on the audience reception it appears she is well on her way.

Davis starts off slowly by climbing down a ladder and this shows her symbolisation of vulnerability. She then admits she could bump into you so she creates ground rules for the audience but they’re not the most serious: one is not to crunch chips while she is performing! When Davis opens with an observational gag about maple syrup having small handles it’s easy to wonder where is she going? With the warm vibe from the audience she guides us through her reasoning for the show, going back to a time when she had a boyfriend and things were happier but a break up led her to seeing the world differently. Davis ends with a Q & A and has a couple audience members introduce themselves because she wants you to know her strength in character – and her ultimate goal is to be more comfortable around people.

Marco? Polo! sets Davis, blindfold and all, on the track to her achieving her goals!

 

When: 14th – 18th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $23 – $28

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/marco_polo/a44ee3c0-0970-40d7-85b6-c410c97b1972/

Image courtesy: Phil Kay

Review by Kieran Eaton

Phil Kay is a comedian like no other. When this Scotsman shares his presence – you can’t help laugh. Kay freakishly makes humour out of anything – which adds to this rambling bohemian’s unpredictability.

Kay controls the audience the way he wants with his individualised style. This manic man is very giving and provides a surreal mix of banter, guitar strumming and bizarre story telling. There is so much humour in this hour it’s hard to breathe. This original comedy genius is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book – where scripted stuff is done in a chaotic way determined by the audience interaction. You know each of his shows are different but that is what makes him so phenomenal!

First, he tells it like it is – admitting that he is fresh from a smoke and drink – such a cool man. Seriously, this guy is off the chart exploring the audience, getting to know the audience, and wanting to make fun of any late comers. Kay’s funny comes from a sense of free-spirit curiosity where craziness seems to gravitate towards him and he brings these stories to life with his whimsical charm allowing him to get away with cheekiness. His stories range from as recent as a few days ago, to many years ago, and somehow it works!  The stories tend to revolve around his love of the bicycle and Kay is as brave with his bike riding as he is with his humour.

Phil Kay in Tweed is free forming journey of a comedian and is utterly unforgettable!

 

When: 13th – 18th February 2017 | 6:45pm

Where: City of Perth Library | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $18 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/phil_kay_in_tweed/4c225a43-ae2a-41c7-8226-326a44ac159b/

Image Credit: Camilla Adams

Review by Kieran Eaton

Becky Brunning – Beaming is a show where UK comedian, Brunning, charms Perth’s FRINGEWORLD 2017 audience with her whimsical humour.  Becky Brunning may appear a bit geeky but she deep down wants to be cool!

This easygoing Brit is very relatable in that she is honest about her inner dialogue. Her voices give her weird experiences and neuroses but she turns the strangeness of this into part of the everyday. Listening to her feels like learning about the psychology of the ego in a quirky way.  It appears in Brunning’s world there is no right or wrong and this builds upon her likeable nature. Her amusing tales are intriguing and build up a theme of wanting to be cool. This show is a journey into believing in one’s self.

When Brunning first comes on to the stage she admits to feeling the heat of this Australian weather and is candid that she thinks the people of this city of Perth are very attractive. Brunning has a big smile and she uses this well in disarming the audience of any preconceptions of her.  Her gangly physical presence creates extra love for her as a  slightly weird comedian who admits to feeling more attractive when she hangs out with attractive people.  Her honesty is beautiful in breaking down how we sometimes construct a reality that does not make sense.  Brunning’s casual vocalisation of thought patterns is classic comedy.

Becky Brunning – Beaming is a show that will make you laugh and leave you also, beaming!

 

When: 10th – 18th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: Burt Memorial Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $23

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link:   https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/becky_brunning__beaming/e3c3bda3-2124-4259-89a1-0d672352a54e/

Image courtesy: Dave Callan

Review by Kieran Eaton

When music fills the air, comedian Dave Callan springs to life. This Gen Xer knows how to have fun! Callan is responsible for bringing a bunch of female dancers on stage with him to parody songs he both loves and loves to hate. Callan is a big kid at heart and his big hairy body adds to the comical nature of this dance based show!

Seeing the area filled with little props there is an unknown expectation in the crowd but Callan keeps them focused with his larger than life personality. Callan bonds with the audience with his clever choice of pop music – breaking down how songs are hard to understand both vocal and visually! Built upon this base is his own interpretation of songs creating a strong understanding of Callan’s wacky world.

The audience bonds with this Melbourne-based comic over his love of music. He cheekily interacts with his dance assistants creating lots of sense of fun throughout. Callan performs with style, using minimal costume changes to perfect effect. How this bearded man moves his body is the highlight – in physical humour at its purest. The contradicting effectiveness with his cumbersome body brings huge moments of laughter. Sometimes it is hard to believe how he can mimic these professional dancers.  Their chemistry works perfectly in this manic show. There are big movements that are hard to keep up with but luckily for Callan’s self-confessed low fitness there are little video clip breaks that are thoughtfully made.

A Little Less Conversation 3 still has the third time luck of an Irishman for it is an excellent show.

 

When: 7th – 18th February 2017 | 8:30pm

Where: The Gold Digger | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $17 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/dave_callan_a_little_less_conversation_3/08d869d7-d02b-4184-837b-2c107f5e3949/

Image by: 2shoots Productions

Review by Kieran Eaton

Australian Rules Football has come a long way but quintessentially embraces overt masculinity. When you see little, kind-faced Jon Bennett on stage you feel this is an odd juxtaposition, though when we think about childhood dreams, they can be odd.  Bennett explores childhood dreams in this show for FRINGEWORLD 2017 in this existentialist tale of self-discovery.

The show opens with footage of footy pep talks because Bennett sees the audience like a team, where we all must work together to get the best outcome.Bennett bonds with the audience through small crowd-interactions. This clever storyteller carefully shapes the interactions to get into his own mindset. Bennett weaves well-chosen images of his past and present love of animals to create a strong theme.

This audience embraces Bennett’s tale telling. He grabs your attention with his visual descriptions of situations like getting covered in different bodily fluids.  When Bennett describes his childhood love of poetry you gain understanding of his unique creativity. He also describes his love of footy going into detail about football in country South Australia – where playing the game was the most exciting weekend pastime. This story stretches out to insightful information about a team mate called BJ who saw him as his best friend, even though he did not concur the same bond. However, as Bennett gets older he does appreciate his former fellow teammate more.

This friendly show is hard not to love, so see Bennett in his storytelling show about dreams that sometimes can be different to what you once thought.

 

When: 7th – 18th February 2017 | 8:40pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $15 – $19.50

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/jon_bennett_aussie_rules_footy_playing_with_men/0268caf1-be90-4e25-9753-e2e6e926e114/

Image courtesy: Lemon Party Bonsai

Review by Kieran Eaton

Two men in ape suits stand to attention in an attempt to stun the audience – I guess anything is possible these days. This young duo manage to elicit a sense of wonder in the audience at least – wondering what it is they are trying to achieve. It’s childish comedy that fuses techno music with comedic acting to create a very loose plot line – opening us up to the madness.

The show starts with the young men dancing in their ape suits. It comes across as a hugely self-indulgent display with no strong theme, just an unrealistic story about how an ape becomes a famous electro musician.  The absurdist theme is not absurd enough (certainly not as Brecht-like as they think) and so it just comes across as stupid. Their playful nature does get the audience going, though, in this curious journey of self-discovery.  It’s as if the audience is hypnotised by their silliness.

The Ballad of Electro Ape feels like a male bonding ritual. These two performers have a good chemistry as they mess with each other like old friends. There is plenty of playfulness as they dress as a mum ape and sing 90s and 2000s pop culture songs in a daggy manner. They try to elicit crowd participation with mixed success. Attempts are made at being provocative by implying that the lead singer of Blur only created the band Gorillaz from the singer copying a song sample of the ape. It is hard to find a highlight in this shambolic performance but their occasional ad-libbing made the show feel more natural.

If you want to see a daggy muck-about show go check out The Ballad of Electro Ape.

 

When: 3rd – 18th February 2017 | 10:40pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $9 – $11

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_ballad_of_electro_ape/8cc34cae-0dfe-41cf-b95c-59577f6a49d4/

Image courtesy: Bubble Laboratory

Review by Laura Money

Bubbles fill the air in this mesmerising show for adults only! Who says kids should have all the fun? Well, not Kurt Murray and Iulia Benze, the couple responsible for bringing the joy and wonder of bubbles to the sexy cabaret scene of FRINGEWORLD 2017. This fusion of childhood delight and adult entertainment is delightfully sinful – prepare to be soaked wet afterwards, bubbles have to burst after all!

The show opens with a first date – something you’re not used to seeing at a show with bubble blowing as its central theme. In a silent-film style homage to Lady and the Tramp, the couple bond over blowing bubbles – well, it’s actually Murray impressing the young Benze with his bubble skills. This is only the first moment of sexism that is unfortunately woven throughout the whole show. Murray’s particular talent is creating smoke-filled bubbles – they float above Benze with hypnotic beauty, yet it is his biggest trick, so might have been better placed near the end.

Murray and Benze bond over bubbles – they share their first kiss, their first love-making session (don’t worry, it’s censored!) and then a scorned Benze proceeds to elicit revenge by performing a strip-tease. Murray exposes his tights – that’s about it. All of the nudity/risque feats involve Benze’s body being used as everything from a prop (Murray literally uses her spread legs to create bubbles) to being provocatively doused in bubble mixture, to having a bubble ‘pearl necklace’ placed on her chest. In a backwards ‘bored housewife’ sketch, Benze finally leaves Murray to his own devices – he literally wears her clothes and tucks his genitalia between his legs in what I can only assume is meant to symbolise his strange love for Benze.

With these obviously backwards themes, it is hard to love this show. The bubble feats are spectacular – Murray is clearly the master of the art, and Benze gives a wonderfully symbolic dance complete with veil and, of course bubbles. They are a great duo and work very well together, and it’s a great idea, but they would be better sticking to their forte – kids shows.

 

When: 10th – 15th February 2017 | 10:00pm

Where: Black Flamingo | Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Definitely 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/bubble_show_for_adults_only/a963bb35-3789-4c1e-be24-520a3db000ae/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Photo credit: Shaun Ferraloro

Tomás Ford Is The Worlds’ Worst Spy!

Award winning Perth cabaret crooner Tomás Ford will present his one-man musical spy thriller Tomás Ford’s CHASE! as part of this years’ FRINGEWORLD 2017.

Telling the noir-ish story of a terrible assassin traveling the world on an epic manhunt, who slowly realises that he just might be the one being hunted. The show premiereD at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre as part of the Hubbub program (of which Ford is the Creative Director) before transferring to Noodle Palace and Freo Royale.

Already an audience and critical hit in Edinburgh, Melbourne, Prague and Subiaco in its’ original incarnation, the show has been thoroughly redeveloped as part of an artist-in-residence program at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. Featuring a completely new script, arrangements and video projections and directed by Levon J Polinelli (best known for the irreverent Blue Room hit Werewolf Priest!), Tomás says this version of the show is now “tighter, more edge-of-your-seat and full of even more of my stupidity”.

The show is also rolling out as a web series and album on Facebook and YouTube, with the first episode online in time for the start of Fringe World. Keep your eyes out!

 

When: 1st – 19th February 2017 | Times vary

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $23

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/toms_fords_chase/f57a2ffb-b8ac-4b50-b2e5-6b307033d299/

Image courtesy: two hairy sex gods

Review by Laura Money

An Irishman, a Scotsman and an audience walk into a room – it’s not a joke but it sure is funny! Celtic Comedy Legends is right, this duo’s split show is nothing short of genius. The luck of the Irish sure was with Aidan Killian when he met and subsequently teamed up with the hyperactive Scotsman, Phil Kay. Both of them present individual material but they compliment each other wonderfully in this truly legendary mix. Now, traditionally I gloss over shows with a title like Celtic Comedy Legends – to me it’s like saying ‘we’re not good enough to have our own shows, or have any prepared material, let’s give a festival show a crack’ but I am willing to admit just how wrong I am on this one! Not only are both individuals hilarious (although I think I’m right about the lack of prepared material!) they both have phenomenal stand-alone shows also featured in FRINGEWORLD 2017.

First cab off the ranks is Killian, the Irishman. This guy’s mind is so twisted and surreal, you’ll see nobody like him anywhere else. Seriously, Killian’s off the leash, so to speak, as his other show – Follow The Money – is so heavily themed that Killian is given the freedom to make as many dick jokes as he likes! He opens with a nob gag like no other that really gives you an insight into how this frenzied man’s brain works. It’s like he is describing his thoughts and the audience is his therapist. I’ve never known anyone to think of their early years quite as far back as when they were just a wee sperm! After a touching, yet roguish story involving the early stages of a relationship, Killian ends on his piece-de-resistance: a rant from his other show about conspiracy theories. Well, it’s not so much a rant as the ravings of a bulging-eyed, yet highly believable, Illuminati-hating conspiracy theorist. Not only does he tie it all together perfectly, Killian deftly weaves in a strong knowledge of how the world works – and who it is run by – in a brilliantly hilarious climax.

Next is Phil Kay. How do I describe Kay’s style of comedy? Afha esFiaef Guisa fo – that was just random letters typed into the keyboard, something akin to how Kay’s brain seems to work! It’s impossible to call his comedy ‘material’ as Kay is just naturally funny. He expresses every thought he has, including frequent bike rides and how they differ in Perth vs Scotland, how much he loves row three (the first two rows of an audience just try too hard!) and of course, his education in shoplifting and where it got him, today. In a moment of pure genius, he points out the obvious – that he doesn’t need a helmet because that’s kind of what the skull is designed for (duh!) Kay is like a restless monkey – leaping and darting from thought to thought, grabbing props from his surroundings (a mop, the sign indicating ‘coarse language’ in the show – a claim he more than covers, and even the Perth Town Hall tourist brochure.) He is so manic that when he reveals that there is more in his bottle than just cola, the audience accepts this readily!

They say that there is a fine line between madness and genius, and Kay is definitely teetering on the tight-rope. Killian and Kay are both such strong acts, but the combination is like using two condoms – highly effective, slightly uncomfortable, but bound to give you an evening you won’t forget in a hurry!

 

When: 13th – 19th February 2017 | 8:15pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/celtic_comedy_legends/0017e2be-b011-46c4-b7fa-2b4c1264b379/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image cresit: Roz D'Raine

Review by Kieran Eaton

Poles Apart Theatre Company features thespians with an intellectual/physical disability – from the Mandurah region performing a satirical exploration of alienation.  It is a unique tale based on Greek mythology and a modern-day story of abandonment that creates a heart-warming show all about love.

This small group of performers display a beautiful passion for storytelling in brings a tear to the eye. Each display their own personalities throughout and this adds to this special show. The show starts with these actors staring at the crowd asking, “Am I good, bad, or ugly?” It gets you thinking deeply about how modern society wants us to think coldly about humanity and this is where we need people who may be different to raise our compassion. This night has a respectful feel to it bringing the best of these sweet-souled individuals. There is plenty of gratitude spread throughout their acting, creating a warmth to this performance.

In this theatre piece, props are kept to a minimum. However, there is important use news footage of the story of the baby that got abandoned in Thailand because she had Down Syndrome. This fusion of old and new highlights the universality of human emotions, like love and hate.  This close bunch are cheeky about their relationships with each other, playfully teasing throughout. They are all vitally inspirational and this is show is a pleasure to watch.

 

When: 31st January & 5th February 2017

Where: HUBBUB @ MANPAC | Mandurah | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $18

Info: Duration 40 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_good_the_bad_and_the_ugly/1ce2fef4-4aa3-4cff-9d22-9315a92d21a2/

Image: PO PO MO CO

Review by Kieran Eaton

This group of LGBTQI-friendly performers are mostly from Melbourne and they are happy to pull their backgrounds apart.  They are all unique and I guess that is what makes them Post-Post Modern yet who cares, as this energetic bunch open your mind to a whole different world of thinking.

This is the imaginings of a group of Gen Y Art students who still have their innocence and fearlessness. All genders are fairly represented, in a show where gender fluidity is front and centre. All the acts wear costumes that are louder than their subversive opinions. The Andy Warhol-esque counter culture style of influencing opinions is biting, yet welcoming. This team of individuals are all very special in the way they can bring the absurd out of the mainstream construct.  PO PO MO CO has created a variety night where the most conventional act is a drag queen hosting a show joking about giving his father a hand job!

PO PO MO CO is the essence of FRINGEWORLD 2017 in that social norms are smashed in an artistic way that just leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside. It hard to pin-point the highlight in this successful night but when Claire Sullivan gets up individually to do a hat routine on number 1 dads it emphasises the talents of these comedians. They are all cleverly cheeky in this mixed-up show of hilarity, who should be embraced at all opportunities – as they will influence even the straightest mind.

 

When: 7th – 12th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/po_po_mo_co/5cb2d36c-81b1-4f25-8fd1-7aca29c411b8/

Image courtesy Stupid Old Studios

Review by Kieran Eaton

Matt Stewart is an understated Victorian with originally funny ideas that can only be expressed in his monotone manner. This is what sets him apart from other young comics doing this festival and he embraces it fully.  This low energy act may make you feel like you are in a hostage situation but time flies, as you are busy laughing!

Stewart has had many professions but luckily, he is concentrating on comedy. His thought-provoking mind tends to get him into trouble and his tight one line surreal observations make the stage his home. With his big beard and spectacles, he clearly stands out, even though he portrays himself as not wanting to. Stewart grew up in the country, explaining his dry sense of humour.  It is remarkable how he can get laughter from just the way he pauses. He even turns his lack of expression into comedy fodder highlighting his comedic braininess. There is no story-line to Matt Stewart – Pretty Dry, though you do get to know his character well.

For example, you get to learn about Stewart’s Vegetarianism from an early love of animals. This is tough for him as a country teen, being considered freakish. His comfort in his own skin allows him to describe his moral dilemma for being addicted to horse racing. His ability to see the funny side of ironic things is what makes this future star so clever. Matt Stewart – Pretty Dry is dead pan comedy at its best.

 

When: 20th – 28th January 2017 | 6:50pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $25

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/matt_stewart__pretty_dry/f431ea10-8a09-4e02-abac-a89fd2258973/

Image credit: Shaun Ferraloro

Review by Kieran Eaton

When you see the words ‘dad’ and ‘comedy’, it can be worrisome – but have no fear as Perth Headliner, Luke Bolland does a solo show with his usual funniness. This funny-man fires gags consistently throughout this father-based themed show. Bolland is a friendly guy who lets his comedy material do the talking.  This child at heart father describes his honest opinion of being a dad and this frank opinion allows for the biggest laughs.

Bolland crafts jokes with ease, getting laughs from various angles and is still aware of the varied audience to handle the different responses. You get idea that Bolland has always enjoyed being a bit of a goofball but this gives him an existential crisis when he was about to have his first child because his father – who he looked up to was not like this. This guide to fatherhood thus feels at the same time a personal growth story.  This father of two realises there are lots of people out there who are just all talk and the most important thing is love. From his performance where even though he describes his frustration with his little ones, he still comes out with his emotion to want these children to have a happy childhood.

However, life is an emotional roller-coaster and Bolland explores this with earnest detail. He knows that sometimes they just scrape by and that is ok – as he survived living in Gosnells. Now this Gen Xer lives in Beckenham he feels slightly safer and a bit more adult, yet his two girls keep him in touch with his inner child. Daddy for Beginners with Luke Bolland is a feel-good show about keeping it real – it’s a joy to watch.

 

When: 7th – 15th February 2017 | 8:10pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Recommended 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/daddying_for_beginners_with_luke_bolland/e4e1d108-f3b7-4e9d-8d62-ed733b8a9440/

Image courtesy Paperhaus

Review by Kieran Eaton

With a Jazz band at the back of the stage, you know that this show will have some class. To see burlesque girls, flirting off stage with the audience creates an immersive feeling to the start the night where it seems the show will be quite mature. These women rev up the crowd to some unknown anticipation. Once this acting troupe start their dialogue it becomes clear that it is set in the WW2 era where women started feeling more empowered but still treated second class to men.

The strength of this show is the music. The singing is spot on, especially by the lead singer played by Sinead O’Hara – whose classy voice keeps the show at a professional level. The plot line and humour is silly in nature, creating some awkwardness. However, the concept is interesting enough to keep the audience following along. There are many plot twists that go with this performance. Realism is kept by the consistent application of American and German accents. This is highlighted by when a German Nazi is actually revealed to be an American Spy.

The performance is cast well, in having all actors in roles well suited to their look. The humour is often sexual in nature, exploring the fluidity of gender and sexuality. This works well for the burlesque themed theatrical performance – as burlesque has that steeping tradition. Though it is not as raunchy compared to a traditional burlesque as this is set in war time the ending is a bit sad but ends with a funny final line that has the crowd leaving amused. It is a twisted show to see for a fun late night.

 

When: 7th – 18th February 2017 | 10:10pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_ruby_red_fatales/e88394ee-04f6-40a7-9793-a6bd840c0bb4/

Image credit: Sean Young Photography

Review by Laura Money

Straight from Echo Island, in north-east Arnhem Land, this Indigenous dance troupe Djuki Mala (meaning ‘chooky mob’ in their traditional Yolngu language) are down in Perth to entertain you in the most unique dance show you’ll ever see. These young men dance with such spirit and exuberance, their energy is infectious as the whole audience claps and cheers along – almost bringing the tent down around them!

The group is the brainchild of the late Big Frank, a Yolngu man with a passion for dance and a dream to keep young people out of trouble. He formed the Djuki Mala crew with young boys he could mentor and changed their lives forever. The boys enter the speigeltent in traditional dress – feathers, ochre body-paint and all – and slowly perform a traditional dance. This is such a privilege for Perth city-slickers – a reverent hush descends and we witness something truly remarkable. A video interview of Big Frank’s wife and the boys’ own stories punctuate the spaces between acts. She reminisces that when Big Frank got sick he was cared for by a Greek woman. The boys were so grateful to her, they dedicated a dance to this remarkable lady.

This is where the boys pull not only the rug out from under you, but the entire foundations! What follows is a high-energy rendition of ‘Zorba the Greek’ – a routine they have filmed that became an instant hit. Their fusion of traditional Yolngu moves and contemporary popular culture dances is so unique and the balance is always right. From a hilarious take on Bollywood, to ‘Singing in the Rain’, these boys are cheeky and clever and you can’t help but grin along with them. The highlight of the show is a tribute to the musical styles and influences that have helped shape the boys’ dance education. From Michael Jackson to the Temptations, every kid gets a moment to shine as they cover everything from the famous black bands of the 60s and 70s, (with a truly hilarious lip sync to The Supremes) and the era of Hip-Hop and the clear influence it has had on these remarkable kids.

Djuki Mala is an absolute must-see this FRINGEWORLD 2017. Do not miss out on the larrikin spirit of these truly inspirational boys.

 

When: 27th January – 14th February | 6:30pm & 10:00pm

Where: Salon Perdu Speigeltent | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $45

Info: Duration 65 minutes | Suitable all ages

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/djuki_mala/8c860ea7-4a56-4f58-8d40-cf08056353fd/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy TEOC

Review by Laura Money

Element of Consequence is a circus show like no other. Fun and whimsical, these acrobatic women will dazzle you with a minimalist aesthetic and distinct lack of props. It is here where the show’s charm lies. Each young woman wears a leotard and denim shorts, hair and make-up adorned with calisthenics-precision. The soundtrack is indie and calm, with a cute Scandi sound, however this adds to the entrancing vibe of the show and seemingly causes the audience to forget to applaud – they are witnessing amazing feats but are so mesmerised, they appear to forget.

The women contort and entangle themselves into complex configurations and then throw in a curve ball, so to speak: another element that will have consequences in the already death-defying circus. From a glass full of water, to ropes pushing and pulling them off balance, to playfully pushing one another, these women push all of their limits. There is classic circus at play here – skipping, balancing, hula hooping (although doing it whilst dressing yourself is highly talented), silks, and of course contortion.

This is a snappy and fun show, the women are at their clear best when they all help each other. The strength of the two forming the base of multiple human pyramids is nothing short of miraculous, and the acrobatic skill of the ones doing the balancing is unsurpassed. If you think you know circus, think again, as these ladies show you just how one Element of Consequence can change an entire show. Witness the butterfly effect for yourselves in this joyful performance.

 

When: 3rd – 13th February 2017 | 8:30pm

Where: Black Flamingo | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $26 – $30

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable all ages

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/element_of_consequence/3278b0d0-6161-4f08-9505-47b59165a4f1/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Baby Got Back

Review by Laura Money

Baby Got Back is back and it’s even sASSier than ever! See what I did there? These wonderful ladies are back at FRINGEWORLD 2017 to bring you the best bottom-related comedy you’ll ever see. The crew consist of a troupe of female performers dedicated to the weird, wonderful and beautiful buttocks. It’s sexy, fun, and fiercely feminist – the ultimate combination!

The host is a-maz-ing! She brings on each act with such class and grace but is genuinely funny, to boot(y). She does everything from show off her magic tricks (you’ll be surprised what she pulls out of her (ass)hat!) to an art class, to an attempt at clowning that will blow you away – quite literally – you’ll never get the balloon trick out of your mind, believe me! What is lovely about this show is how strongly each lady owns her body. She is in control the whole time, and the event has a warmth to it, the audience has a real sense of camaraderie.

Each act features either physical comedy or striptease/burlesque – with a focus on the wonderfully diverse yet wonderfully beautiful butt. There is a peacock burlesque that is so classy it wouldn’t be out of place in a Marilyn Monroe film, a doughnut-scoffing, mouth-stuffing act, lip syncing to a classic tune, and a mesmerising classic striptease that also alludes to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Highlights and absolute stand-outs of the night, however are the opening act featuring the ladies in giant monster-head masks, adorned with the labels ‘slut’, ‘whore’ , and ‘dyke.’ It’s clever and unashamedly feminist, and utterly brilliant. Next is a hilarious puppetry involving butts (think chinhead from the World’s Greatest Shave ads but with bums) that send up white CIS feminism. It’s a remarkably funny and slightly barbed sketch that leaves no white feminist unscathed!

Of special note, however is the naked skipping section – obviously all of the jiggling is exciting in itself, but behind the spectacle is the sheer talent these women possess. You’ve never seen such skillful skipping while in the buff, and I defy you to find it elsewhere! Baby Got Back is zany, clever, and incredibly sexy. It’s a great night out!

 

When: 9th – 14th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: The Lunar Big Top | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $26 – $31

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Recommended 18+ | Nudity

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/baby_got_back/5d1c5678-edbc-4184-83bd-37ac2509da1e/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Nadia Collins

Review by Laura Money

Gregorian chant fills the air, a lone figure clad in a white dress and blue cloak complete with halo sits praying onstage, as people file in, she quickly jumps up to greet them in a most unique way. Firing spitballs at everyone doesn’t put them offside, rather creates a moment of anticipation as each new audience member becomes the unwitting punchline of a running gag. Nadia Collins is the Virgin Mary herself. Her eyes twinkle roguishly as she looks on in bemusement at the show opening she has created.

Collins is the queen of mime, from offering rice cakes and wine, to a whole picnic, Mary is the perfect host. All of this is completed in relative silence – Collins is a natural clown, her facial expressions enough for the audience to understand what they are required to do. A phone call from God (the ringtone ‘What if God Were One of Us?’ is a moment of pure genius) sets up the story but be warned – this is not the story we all know and love! Collins acts out Mary’s baby-making efforts in a sketch that will etch itself onto your mind. Her miming and buffoonery in this particular scene are a stand-out, from her hand and arm getting sore, to checking her watch, to performing Chinese burns, and completing a Rubix cube Collins speaks to all women out there (and probably quite a few men) and there are knowing laughs when her invisible partner falls asleep and snores loudly next to her.

Of course, this baby is no ordinary one – it’s Jesus…or is it? After what I can only assume is a journey into the uterus – complete with miner’s headlamp – Collins creates the sperm of the devil, which takes over from the halo-clad holy sperm. Afterwards Collins’ Mary is pregnant and happy about being single, having escaped a rather awkward one-night-stand. It’s Collins physical exuberance that makes the show. She puts her body on the line and her face is as rubbery and versatile as a mask, hilariously acting out goofy happiness, uncertainty, and even fear and pain with aplomb.

In a twist on the original tale, Virgin Bloody Mary elicits more than enough belly laughs as Collins excels in physical comedy.

 

When: 8th – 12th February 2017 | 6:30pm/8:30pm

Where: Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den | The Brisbane Hotel | North Side | PERTH

Tickets: $11 – $16

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/virgin_bloody_mary/4905a248-e38a-4f39-a16c-e481be0c6b8a/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Photos by Jacinta Oaten

Review by Laura Money

Jennifer Byrne and Vicky Falconer-Pritchard are my all-time favourite FRINGEWORLD 2017 duo! These ladies know how to put on a great show. Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar is pure genius – surreal, hilarious and, above all, clever. It’s pure silliness executed with precision. Greeting everyone with offers of popcorn and love are  the Yeti proprietor and his/her (?) waitress. The yeti costume is a thing marvellous to behold, comprising several mop heads, it’s the most absorbent costume in all of FRINGEWORLD 2017!

Byrne’s yeti is sweet and kind – her redneck accent’s dulcet tones lull the audience into a false sense of security, while Falconer-Pritchard is a little more confronting. A costume change and the show begins in earnest. Accompanied by Frankie, our host sings a hilarious ditty to open the show. This is what the duo do well – they are the ultimate double act! A litany of surreal and bizarre characters follow in what can only be described as The Mighty Boosh meets French and Saunders meets that weird recurring dream that you just can’t shake.

As the bar prepares for The Psychadelic Nuns to headline, our host reveals she was kicked out and Frankie reveals a disturbing lust for the remaining members of the band. There’s a magical floating head that tells awful jokes, a multi-armed silent cleaner, an angler fish that escapes the frying pan, and of course the welcoming yeti. Belly laughs abound during the yeti’s story, a highlight of the show. Byrne is the master of audience interaction and there is plenty of it to go around.

Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar is full of wonderfully weird and kooky characters, but it’s a Bar you’ll definitely be welcomed at. This duo are phenomenal and their quirky brand of comedy is so funny, you’ll be laughing for days!

 

When: 8th – 12th February 2017 | 9:45pm

Where: Circus Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $26 – $33

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/yetis_demon_dive_bar/7e7d00dc-eca3-4a18-a8cc-b2716dc54ad0/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy of Intothemask Theatre

Review by Laura Money

Intothemask Theatre presents a charmingly sweet tale that pays homage to the spaghetti westerns of yesteryear. Young Eli is adamant that he tells one last story to his Dad before bed. Well, it turns out Eli has a wonderfully active and humorous imagination! Intothemask use the hallowed theatre genre Comedia del Arte  – a form of theatre that utilises hand-crafted leather masks to indicate different characters. As the story progresses, the highly talented troupe take on several roles to create a rich tapestry of townsfolk and players within Eli’s world.

This is good old-fashioned comedy! Each player characterises a hyper-version of western stereotypes – from the fastest gunman in the west, John Blane, to the corrupt mayor, to the dopey drunk deputy sheriff and the dumb bandits. It is the character of Eli that shines, well acted as the effervescent young reluctant hero.

Yellow Belly is funny and cute, yet contains a sad twinge that colours the second half. It is a metaphor for nostalgia, a desire to hold back change, and how to grow up. It’s a beautiful story that will leave more than one eye glittering!

When: 8th – 12th February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: The Hellenic Club | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $26

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable all ages | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/yellow_belly/9ec7273a-c425-4049-a5c5-69369b48469d/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy The Comedy Emporium

Review by Laura Money

Rosie Sitorus and Kellee Aberg are Fat Girls In Bike Shorts and they are not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. Performing to a capacity crowd, they hilariously navigate the problems all women on the larger end of the scales face – from chafing to fat shaming, from gym issues to loving cake, this duo are larger than life and it’s marvellous!

Opening with a laugh-out-loud song all about chafing that extols the virtues of the most prized possession and secret weapon of all big women – the humble $8 Kmart bike shorts. Women in the audience nod and murmur their collusion as it is explained that Kmart is the only way to go – Target is too expensive. They demonstrate several methods to relieve said chafing, but let’s be honest here, nothing beats the bike shorts. Sitorus and Aberg are the perfect pairing, they banter with each other in a friendly manner, there is obviously a lot of love between them.

The piece takes a turn as the duo attempt to get fit, running up and down the stairs to retrieve a packet of potato chips, and then realising why they don’t exercise much. It’s society that has the problem, not these women and there are some funny yet heartbreaking sketches involving doctors and diets, and comments so rude that stronger women would be reduced to tears at the mention of them, fat shaming is not ok! Sitorus and Aberg celebrate all that is beautiful and good about big women – actually all women, they are not body shamers themselves. At the end of the show is a razzle-dazzle proclamation to be and remain strong, independent, sexy Fat Girls In (glittery gold) Bike Shorts! Ladies, you are magnificent!

 

When: 3rd – 12th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $18 – $21

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/fat_girls_in_bike_shorts/7a7df7b1-da76-45c2-9710-bab613085ed8/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit:  Jason Matz

Review by Amanda Lancaster

So how exactly do I explain this show: Naked Girls Reading? The title kinda tells you everything and nothing all at once really. Provocative in title, yet as simple and straight-forward as you can get, this show is quite literally naked women reading.

Greeted by popular and well known hostess  Ms Ruby Slippers, who some of you may have had the pleasure of seeing host the show Expose: Volume II. We are given a small introduction to the wold of Naked Girls Reading.
Once a small idea started by an American husband and wife duo, the show is now a global phenomenon with reading chapters world-wide. Each night has a different thematic basis, and varying array of content, yet the performative aspects remain the same. Out come a bevy of beauties selected from across a variety of different adult entertainment industries who then, inevitably disrobe and arrange themselves on the large couch in front of the audience.

Once the initial titillating aspect of being permitted – in fact encouraged –  to look upon gorgeous  ladies in their all-together passes, we then get down to the real reason we’re all there. The reading of course! Each lady takes turns throughout the performance reading aloud sections of literature coinciding with the evening’s themes that they themselves have found important, interesting, empowering, and indeed even humorous.

Believe it or not, as the evening progresses it becomes easy to find yourself more than a little engrossed in the words and spoken performances of the talented group, so much so that you at times you often forget that this is all being orally woven together by some of the most fantastic examples of the female form you’re ever likely to encounter again.

After years of popular sell out shows and an ever growing world-wide fan base, it’s obvious that the perfect way to  bring people’s interest back to the joys of literature is by having naked girls read  it. A definite recipe for success, come an experience the utmost in intellectual stimulation performed by the utmost in feminine aesthetics.

 

When: 6th – 12th February 2017 | 10:30pm

Where: The Shambles | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/naked_girls_reading/9a9bbfc4-d7cd-41c2-8f61-720fc80fa433/

Image credit: Hanneke Wetzer

Review by Amanda Lancaster

Those of you who adore the late great David Bowie might be forgiven for experiencing trepidation concerning the caberet show STARMAN but rest-assured this is definitely a performance unto its own. A show inspired not just by the musical stylings of Bowie but also by the legend’s well-known penchant for constantly and ever-changing facets of his own persona.

Meet the Starman, a Bowie-esque alien, outfitted in the glitzy glam rock trappings of the 70s. The whole Starman show is a fantastic concept, neither tribute show nor biography, Sven Ratzke has created his very own character and even supporting characters to titillate and delight his audience. Presented by a truly gifted performing artist who seems to take utter delight in not just his subject matter and influences but who also definitely holds his own talent wise.

Ratzke is a truly all round phenomenal voice and stage  presence. Eccentric, imaginative, quirky creative and witty the only thing you will be disappointed by is how quickly the show is over. Sven Ratzke will truly capture audiences with STARMAN. A surreal show all about creating the person you want to be an living the life you create for yourself.

Release your inner Bowie and embrace Starman,  Sven Ratzke, you wont regret it.

 

When: 6th – 12th February 2017 | 7:45pm

Where: De Parel Speigeltent | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $30.50 – $36

Info: Duration 65 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/starman/32707bce-a3fc-4ab6-90fc-ef24537527b5/

Image courtesy of Bogan Shakespeare Productions

Review by Kieran Eaton

Sometimes the best comedy comes from two diverging ideas mixing – think the classic ‘odd couple’ schtick – being a Shakespeare-loving bogan sure covers it nicely!

When you enter the upstairs venue of GELO at Piazza Hut to see a big pot centre stageyou might start to wonder what angle this show will take on their contrasting theme. As a theatre performance, you get a feeling there should be some good knowledge of the Shakespearean play. With such a small stage, it’s clear this is a low-scale production, so the pressure is on the actors to carry the show.

The action kicks off with some silly dialogue between witches and then a storyteller sets the tone, the plot line starts off unclear. There is some overly forceful acting, making it off putting at times. Enter Macca (Joe Mooney) who portrays a downtrodden bogan perfectly. Wearing a flannel checker shirt to emphasise the realism, Macca loves his cricket and dreams of one day being president of his club.  Bogan culture is embraced with use of cheap alcohol and  nick names based on their surnames. There is even petty jealousy between the WAGs of the Ellenbrook Cricket Club.

The humour is cheeky and cliché  with most digs at being a bogan, yet it has a lovable charm and is overall embracing of Australiana.  What builds it is the politics of a local sporting club that develops into a dark twist.  Let’s just say it ends justly, creating this embracing audience to leave on a happy note.

 

When: 8th – 12 February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: GELO at Piazza Hut | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/bogan_shakespeare_presents_macbeth/d94526db-80a9-4d43-bfa9-b3ec9896ffec/

Image courtesy PO PO MO CO
Queer comedy collective set to wreak havoc with slick, saucy show!
PO PO MO CO – an orgy of outrageous and rambunctious queer performers are set to unleash their hair raising, pube curling comedy on audiences at the Perth FRINGEWORLD 2017. The brainchild of Kimberley Twiner, PO PO MO CO (aka Post Post Modern Comedy) have earned a sassy comedic reputation in Melbourne across 2016.

Months of work has seen radical and raging shows pumped out monthly since the Midsumma Festival in January 2016.

PO PO MO CO are now resident comedy ensemble at award winning queer venue – The Hare Hole at Hares & Hyenas in Fitzroy. PO PO MO CO have been drawing crowds, selling out shows and running fundraisers allied with all things queer.

Twiner, said; “These are shit hot, unapologetic performers who I’ve spied around the comedy traps of Melbourne. Performers who can bring it; wicked senses of humour and ruthless in creating NEW comedy.” Taking physical comedy and theatrics to new extremes the group proudly revel in the high-risk night that

leaves an audience thirsty for more. Twiner confesses:

 “We are shamelessly theatrical,

this really is polished stupidity.”

 

Audiences must expect the full gamut – drag, contemporary clown, neo burlesque, performance art, sketch comedy, character guises, cult vaudeville, seething parody, and political satire. Not to mention butt cheeks, camel toes, nip slips and running mascara from tears of laughter!

This group of talented queer performers share credits across Theatre, Film, Circus, Comedy and Design. The core ensemble members have found their training in such places as the prestigious Ecole Philippe Gaulier, John Bolton Theatre School, and Victorian College of the Arts. The group is comprised of Amaya Vecellio, Anna Lehmann Thomson, Claire Sullivan, David Maney, Kimberley Twiner and Thomas Quirk.

 

When: 7th – 12th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/po_po_mo_co/5cb2d36c-81b1-4f25-8fd1-7aca29c411b8/

Image courtesy Peter Combe

Review by Laura Money

Well Perth, Peter Combe is back with your yearly dose of nostalgia! For one night only, Combe entertained a bunch of Gen Y adults in a tent in the middle of Northbridge. You don’t get closer to your childhood than an all-tent sing-a-long! It is a strange sight – all these grown men and women singing along to Juicy Juicy Greengrass with gusto, extolling the virtues of Spaghetti Bolognese and asking Dad if he left his bag in Baghdad.

I cannot overstate how important Peter Combe’s music is to a whole generation of 30 somethings but believe me, the whole room was filled with such warmth and love for the iconic singer, it literally brought people together. Combe’s unique brand of children’s entertainment truly stands the test of time, as he even threw in a new track off of his latest album to trial – apparently we all passed the audition. As a children’s entertainer it’s hard to see past the silly lyrics and basic tunes, but Combe is more than a kid’s entertainer – he is a true musician. As an adult, I can appreciate just how good the music is – the band is exceptional, yet it’s easy to be great when the material is so rocking.

Of course, Combe was accompanied by The Clicketty Cane Band – the most awesome name ever, by the way! They are true musicians, with an immense amount of talent between them – three are Perth locals so keep your ear to the ground. Combe also brought over his good friend and offsider, pianist Phil. Their banter was hilarious and his complimentary vocals harmonised well with Combe’s, especially in a charming rendition of Here Comes the Sun.

There is an attitude that children’s music is boring, but listening with 30-year-old ears, I realised that there really was no-one like Combe around in the 90s. His songs really were and still are amazing to listen to. It has been well over 20 years since I heard most of these songs, yet I found myself grinning from ear to ear singing Jack and the Beanstalk, The Silly Postman and Newspaper Mama. There were some wonderfully touching moments as Combe sang a song dedicated to his son, and Spangle Road from his operetta Frederick WhatsHisName & his TwoLegged Six String Guitar, a song I was surprised to hear was a popular choice for bridal waltz these days. 

This highlights just how much of an impact Combe has been in Australia, not just for children. It is a testament to him to see so many people so heavily influenced by his virtues – be they from a strong environmental theme, a reverence for the planet earth and the solar system, or just favourite foods like toffee apples or peanut butter. All I know is that many millenials got their musical education from listening to Combe’s version of Chopsticks rather than playing it themselves, and we are eternally grateful.

 

When: 11th February | 9:30pm

Where: De Parel Speigeltent | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $33

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/peter_combe_and_the_clicketty_cane_band/dcde2f6c-877d-44ad-9c87-566b232e0342/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Stuart Lightbody

Review by Laura Money

Stuart Lightbody lies – and he’s not afraid to admit it. In fact, he’s proud of it. I would argue that he doesn’t so much lie as create illusions and use sleight of hand to be a little deceitful. Would you consider magic tricks lying? If so, Lightbody can lie to me all day long! He is such a friendly and open man, the whole audience feel at ease and cosy all close together watching Lightbody’s magic tricks.

Opening with a fast-paced poem, Lightbody starts the show with his three wishes – three coins that represent a wish he holds dear. Each one jumps from hand to hand, to pocket, to teacup all without any of us seeing how! Lightbody is wickedly funny – he laughs along with the mesmerised crowd and reassures you that it’s all just a trick, magic isn’t real. To be honest, after watching his many card tricks, most of them not even involving him touching the cards at all, I am not convinced that there is any explanation except magic!

Card tricks are Lightbody’s forte and he has some wonderfully charming tricks to perform. Even when getting people up on stage to scrutinise his work, there is no way we can see how he does it. After an amazing feat of mesmerism and prediction occurs, the audience are open to anything. Lightbody is fun and friendly, his tone remains conversational, though becomes reverent when he talks about his favourite magician. Lightbody ends on a trick that is nothing short of miraculous. If you think you’ve seen the old ‘is this your card’ trick before, think again because Lightbody takes that formula and sets it on fire.

Every trick will leave you scratching your head, I’ve never seen so many people having to lift their chins up from the floor in one room. So let Stuart Lighbody lie to you, it just might be the best lie you’re ever told.

 

When: 10th – 15th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: The Shambles | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $13 – $20

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/stuart_lightbodys_little_lies/ab2ce125-cd35-4d6c-9782-63d8a36dbce0/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Simon Pynt

Review by Elli Gemmo

He Gets That Way in very different ways, He Gets That Way when Anneliese first sees him standing on the right but leaning to the left, He Gets That Way when Christiane feels his big butcher knife on her cheek, overcome by the nature of the beast. When He Gets That Way is an experimental play with some key ingredients: manners, absurdity, great music performance, and a mouthful of wittiness.

Anneliese is a lady from the high society of a not well-defined period of history who spends her days daydreaming and writing in her diary. Christiane is her freshly hired maid, who will completely upset Anneliese’s daily routine with her entertaining yet servile attitude. Both characters are fierce and ambitious in different ways, where Anneliese is always updated with the latest gossip and aims to have that “spark of life”, Christiane comes from a less rich background with a mysterious story that she will keep hiding from Anneliese and the public.

The diary that Anneliese writes in becomes a medium of communication with her maid and with the outside world. Christiane also will get a diary where she can write. As she is no tree indeed. The diary becomes a metaphor. Anneliese is undoubtedly absorbed by Christiane’s story, she tries to recreate it on her own diary, missing some key components. She is so absorbed that she kind of fades away.

When He Gets That Way is unmistakably penetrating yet whimsical. This play has great music with outstanding vocal performances by both actresses. This duo will take you to another world, leaving the public with a sense of unfinished and wanting to see more of this intelligent and well-arranged comedy mannerism.

 

When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: The Flaming Locomotive | AGWA | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/when_he_gets_that_way/2054ce55-6401-4a4a-a5b8-ebd3d2937017/

Profile: View Elli's profile here

Email: elli.gemmo@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy: Men of the West

Review by Brandon Taylor

The Men are back, and in full form.

Who are they? A black-clothed, hat-wearing male choir group composed of those from all walks of life. What do they do?  Gather to produce songful musings on just what it is to be a man. What have they done? Provided equal parts laughter and enlightenment to audiences across Australia, quite regularly (as is the manly way) and to great acclaim (which is the manly hope) over the past decade.

How have they done it? With the striking contrast of Gregorian harmony and slapstick comedy. Think of the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail – the one where the monks proceed through town, chanting and bashing their heads with thick stone tablets after each phrase. So do The Men of the West, in dutiful homage to their own manliness, sing – hitting themselves over the head with the absurdities of manhood after each arresting strain.

The quality of singing and acting is quite adept – these guys sound good! The laughs come rolling out from a fully-engaged audience, and the use of power tools is entirely appropriate. There is much else that can be said, but the most functional thing to say at this point is that the show is well-worth watching.

A final note: This group, now known as the Men of the West, performed its previous feats under a different name – The Spooky Men of the West. Due to extenuatingly manly circumstances, they have been reborn, complete with boots and facial hair.

 

When: 6th – 12th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: Circus Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $6 – $19

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable all ages | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_men_an_unexpected_journey/41f90fd6-6209-4fdb-a249-29b100d9901b/

Profile: View Brandon's profile here

Email: brandon.taylor@theaustraliatimes.com.au

IMG_4283

Review by Amanda Lancaster

“AT THE END OF THIS I WILL DIE……..”

Wait, what? You cant go starting a show like that, can you? Well, Stuart Bowden does. It is with just that tiny little phrase that Bowden has the audience instantly hooked and desperately waiting to know what happens.

The peformance is created in what I can only describe as a do-it-yourself kind of fashion. With only some milk crates, Bowden fashions props and set pieces ccontinuously  throughout the peromance. He also adds in some simple aesthetic illustrations to compliment his spoken word style of storytelling.

The audience watches on amused as Bowden drags, stacks, and clambers into and over his cate creations, with such zeal that at one point you want to remind the poor man about occupational heath and saftey!

Bowden also creates an entire soundtrack to the performanc right in front of us. Assembled in iterative passes and layered though a loop pedal before bing left to simply run in the back ground as he continues on with the tale. This not only gives a beauifully sweet feel to the atmosphere of Bowden’s work but also echoes some of the narration’s frequntly humorous moments from earlier in the show.

For  FRINGEWORLD 2017, Bowden is performing a series of 5 shows as a chonologicl retrospective of his works, each showcasing his incredible storytelling abilities and theatrical style. His ability to weave not only a beautful tale but also to take the reactions of the audience into the monologues is inimitable.

Retrospective work this may be, but such talents make the overall piece seem fresh an suprising, even at times it seems to our star.

I saw the first of Bowden’s works – the world holds everyone apart, apart from us and if this is the standard of the other works produced by Stuart Bowden, you all need to go out and get tickets right now as this man’s work will without a doubt only get better and better.

 

When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 9:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: From $23

Info: Duration 70 minutes | suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/stuart_bowden_a_series_of_portraits/b0133bfd-36e3-40c4-afdd-6417209a1f94/

 

Imag credit: Tom Cramond

Review by Laura Money

FRINGEWORLD 2017 is bigger and better than any of its previous years, so it stands to reason that the venues are getting more creative. Heading into the dimly lit dive pub, Joe’s Juice Joint eyes blinking to adjust, one finds a lone table with two chairs in the middle of an arena-style seating arrangement. This is an immersive experience as you are up close and personal to the action in an obscure but clever setting. Charlie Faulkner, writer and performer, and Michael Abercromby, director have created a unique piece of theatre that wouldn’t be unwelcome in the big festivals and theatre spaces around the world.

The action kicks off with Lucy (Charlotte Devenport) entering the bar and seating herself at the table. Looking thoroughly bored, scrolling through her smartphone, she is fiercely independent, ignoring all who come near. Enter James (Falkner) who does all he can to get the young woman’s attention. This does appear to be steeped in the masculine entitlement that any woman ignoring a man should automatically drop everything and pay attention to him. When Lucy refuses to pander to his attentions, James spits on the floor. With poise and charm, Lucy spits back – upping the ante. It becomes clear that these two are actually supposed to be meeting. The tension is darkly comedic, the observational humour clever and on-point, and Lucy’s frosty delivery is awe-inspiring. Devenport is a joy to watch. The scene changes and heads down a much darker path than anticipated, although it is set in a dive bar, so probably should have seen it coming! As the action concludes in a rather unexpected manner, the set is cleared and a new pair of actors enter.

What follows is a peek into the adjoining room to where the main action just took place. The bottle-episode quality of this is whip-smart. Tina (the effervescently hilarious Zoe Jensen) and Rex (Sam Devenport) are on a date in the next room, unaware of the action that is taking place. Jensen is hilarious as the ditzy but loveable Tina, and Devenport shows great restraint as the angry ‘meninist’ figure who is ashamed at his right wing values being breached. Another scene change and the action progresses to what happened at the bar. Samuel Delich is absolutely spot-on in his rendition of Fred the barman (and later Ted, his brother.) His affable charm and funny little quirks reveal a good bloke who is caught up in the ugliness of the other characters’ actions.

Faulkner and Abercromby have pulled off something wonderful here. Faulkner just gets people – each character has a distinct set of quirks and motivations that are so real they could be anyone walking down the street. Each vignette is a glimpse into the multifaceted layers of the evening. Tensions rise, and loyalties are shifted so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up. Dark humour keeps this show from being mired in the ugliness of humanity, yet it also highlights how beautiful people can be ugly at times.

 

When: 8th – 12th February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Joe’s Juice Joint | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $26

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/dirty_people/61f5cc23-2269-4a81-be78-cec6b87d737c/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image by: Thomas LaHood

The FRINGEWORLD 2017 guide says that Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong is ‘real, live anger performed on stage by an authentic, anti-social Barbarian’ and that is exactly what you get! Onstage sits a piano, a chair and a warning sign: ‘This show contains – Swearing, Drinking, Violent Outbursts of Anger.’ From backstage there is shouting and two voices engage in a heated argument. The Barbarian is thrust unceremoniously into the spotlight. She is as mad as a cut snake and proceeds to spit wine all over herself and a few unlucky audience members.

Jo Randerson has cultivated a great character – face full of garish makeup, punk-style clothing complete with mismatched boots and hole-riddled fishnet stockings, alcohol bottle not so discretely hidden in a brown paper bag. She is a proud Barbarian, and is looking for a spark of recognition – a sign that there is life in the crowd. After opening with a huge swear-session and drinking, Randerson goes to the warning chart and ticks off a few boxes. Throughout the show she adds to the criteria with a laconic and calmly challenging manner.

Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong is full of anger and rage, yet exudes a spirit that channels that anger into something worth fighting for: love. Randerson is an accomplished pianist and delights in picking the aggressive note persistent in a Chopin piece. She reads Robert Frost and explains what the work means to her and her family. The show takes an unexpected turn as we see how fiercely Barbarians fight, live and love. Whatever you think this show is going to be – you’re wrong. It is beautiful and touching and reminds us all that where there is a spark, there is a fire that can never be extinguished.

 

When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/banging_cymbal_clanging_gong/a5b83ec2-860d-4e3e-8716-4c390427e4fd/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy of Sylvia Sippl

Sylvia Sippl has an arts degree and is desperate to use it! You and me both, kid. In fact, I’m sure most people in FRINGEWORLD 2017 have arts degrees. Sippl is lucky that she is able to use her skills to teach, a fact she delights in telling us for a good 10 minutes of the show. I’m confused as to what this show is – judging by the first part, it’s a woman who needs to tell us how valued she is and how stupid everyone around her is. Cue funny and ignorant things her students have said. Students who are so young they probably haven’t had the chance to have completed extensive research on world affairs. Making fun of dumb things kids say is shooting fish in a barrel – and Sippl shoots away.

Now it may seem that I am being unfair here, however Sippl adopts a harsh tone and haughty attitude towards her audience – I feel as though I am in school again. Moving onto art theory and Sippl competently shows us the different elements of art. Throwing in a few amusing quips and facts help, but her schtick continues to be funny things her students said about each topic or how she dumbs it down for them, being the lowest common denominator. All that this does is assume that the audience is in this category, too, although with a title like that she has probably attracted art lovers and colleagues more than actual punters trying to learn about art.

The real highlight of the show is when Sippl takes us through the different genres of art in a mini art history lesson. It is clever and well-researched, although heavily reliant on mainstream Western white dudes, but at least Sippl acknowledges this. Her obvious passion for art that challenges, that pushes people to the limits creatively shines through as she speaks about performance art and Cindy Sherman with exuberance. The show tries to do too much, it would be great to focus on the art history section which is an absolute stand out. An Absolute Idiot’s Guide to Art is a quirky little show that has the right idea but lacks the warmth and sincerity it would have in another presenter’s hands.

 

When: 9th – 11th February 2017 | 6:45pm

Where: City of Perth Library | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $17 – $21

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/an_absolute_idiots_guide_to_art/af7234a6-9ad8-4190-b2f4-2237d9234586/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy Kai Humphries

Review by Kieran Eaton

It’s always an awesome experience when a performer just nails it – this Geordie comedian gets it so right from the very beginning, it’s an amazing experience. Kai Humphries has no relation to the comic Ross Noble but has an energy akin to his more famous counterpart. Humphries is amazing and deserves more recognition.

Humphries creates the art of humour so naturally it is golden. He mocks his small home-town in a way that does not come across as arrogant and this will get all the patrons spreading the word of this youngish man. Humphries has intelligence but his down to earth nature makes you feel like you are just having a laugh with a mate. There are so many moments of laughter in every sentence,you’ll need time to catch your breath!

What Humphries writes about comes from his heart. He still interacts with the crowd in a kind, playful way that keeps all onside. This funny-man’s connection with the mundane brings massive laughs from a fairly conservative crowd. Humphries slowly explains why is show is called, Kai Humphries: How to Be Happy but this does not matter as he has made us all very happy already! There is reassurance that the audience is in a safe space and the audience trusts him throughout. I highly recommend Humphries, as a festival highlight.

 

When: 21st January – 19th February 2017 | Times vary

Where: The Brass Monkey Hotel | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $15 – $17.50

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/kai_humphries_how_to_be_happy/02a5fbf8-e6b9-4952-8d61-c6552cb8a27e/

 

Image courtesy of Charlotte Otton

Review by Kieran Eaton

A youth production team making a parody of community television – ironic? I’d say a surprising attempt at awkward humour, in this immersive play – where the audience is the audience of a cheesy game show, hosted by an insecure but smug young TAFE student.  This student is ignorantly unaware of his lack of popularity, a relatable character in this day in age of validation junkies.

Come on Down has a strong independent feel and this adds to the suspension of disbelief in what is them and what is their art. With a television screen showing purposely shoddy camera work, there is some strong substance behind this piece. Though what assists this show in keeping interest is the character development of the three contestants – a Survivor contestant wannabe, a girl with social anxiety, and a nerdish cult fanatic who are all very odd.  The show pushes the boundaries of realism to create extra humour but this is, at times, to the detriment of the plot line.

When the three contestants get on stage the craziness begins and these young actors stay true to their weird characters throughout. The host’s smarmy smile is constant throughout to grab laughs, even when his jokes fall flat. The games they play are like lame rip-offs from game shows of past and present. This goes with the low budget theme where the contestants, only one at a time can sit on a milk crate!

So, Come on Down and see this show if you want to watch something a bit silly, for this production team has it in spades.

 

When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 6:40pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19

Info: Duration 45 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/come_on_down/6567e471-0e41-45f0-bbf6-854751ed7525/

 

Image courtesy of Chris Turner

Review by Kieran Eaton

OK, what differentiates one self-proclaimed white, straight, middle class male comedian from all the others? Well, this UK comic, Chris Turner can easily make fun of his predicament in a way that is clever and ironic.

Turner is the master of self-depreciation. He intelligently sets the audience expectations low enough to surprise them with massive punchlines. Turner’s demeanour is bit boy-next-door and this works charmingly to bring the intimate audience on board. This young rising star mixes up his material in way that, to the untrained eye, may seem unprofessional but feels like it is just describing Turner’s life – a bit all over the place.

Chris Turner: The Crushing Proximity of Giants main theme is Turner’s recent move to base himself in LA. As he admits, USA has a massively different culture to his English upbringing.  It seems like Turner subconsciously dreams of being that stereotypical cocky American with his embracing of Rap music and ease at characterising the type of comics there. Though maybe just like the show title, it is just stuff that sound amusing and why not?! Included, is improvised rapping that just adds to highlight Turner’s talent.

This up-and-coming comedian should be a big deal in the future, so it’s a good show to see just so you can say that you saw him just before he was famous. However, this mild-mannered Englishman might say to not force yourself to go if it’s not your cup of tea.

 

When: 31st January – 18th February 2017 | 7:00pm/8:45pm

Where: GELO at Elephant and Wheelbarrow and Rosie O’Grady’s | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/chris_turner_the_crushing_proximity_of_giants/7bfa23ac-fd34-4f0d-8473-5be454a2499b/

 

Image credit: Shaun Ferraloro

Review by Kieran Eaton

Everybody knows hypnotism, yet there are only a few famous hypnotists. I guess it is because it is hard to make it natural and still Perth based hypnotist, Matt Hale achieves this in his slick show.

Hale is a good speaker – getting more than enough people assisting him, in this journey. There is a background given of how hypnotism works, giving the audience a realistic expectation. Some people may think it’s easy to be put in a trance but some minds are not ready and relaxed enough to be in this state. It is a very interesting process and you learn a lot about all the parameters.  Hale brings intense excitement to the room in getting a huge variety of volunteers on stage. They are a mixed bunch so the expectation is huge from the audience that their family and friends will be doing some weird stuff!

Once Hale has his volunteers on stage, he tests their ability to fall quickly into a hypnotic state. To gain maximum effect, any weak participant he instructs off the stage and they casually do this. Eventually, when he gets the optimal group on stage, the silliness begins to rock on. Hale is quick to assess who would be the most amusing and works well in highlighting each of the volunteers’ personalities.

Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale: Serving Suggestions gives insight into the world of hypnotism with amusement and professionalism that leaves your hands sore from clapping so much!

 

When: 20th January – 19th February 2017 | Times Vary

Where: Noodle Palace | Sunset Veranda | HUBBUB @ MANPAC | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $31

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable all ages | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/comedy_hypnotist_matt_hale_serving_suggestions/013dd49c-6299-4740-9bc9-79c86836e054/

 

Image courtesy Pierre Ulrich

Review by Laura Money

Ok, this is going to be a challenge! How to convey to you the awesomeness of a mentalist show without giving anything away or being accused of being hypnotised/manipulated into giving a great review?  Well, I don’t think I have been hypnotised but I have had my mind blown!

Pierre Ulric is a master at his craft. He combines showmanship with immense talent and cheeky little nods to magicians of the past. With so many other shows of this nature vying for ticket sales, how does Ulric distinguish himself from the rest? Well, he is clever – the show starts at the end! I know what you’re thinking, how does that work? Ulric is so funny he claims that we have all gotten to know him over the course of the past 55 minutes and it’s believable because of the nature of these mentalist shows.

What follows are brilliant tricks, from mind reading what is written on cards in sealed envelopes, to card tricks, and even spoon bending. Ulric is clever and funny with a charming and soothing voice. He tells you some pretty interesting facts about the deck of cards and how it came about and keeps up a running gag about a seemingly bottomless vase of water. It’s these funny little asides and time-manipulation that make the show. From reassuring us that ‘it doesn’t always work’ (although I suspect it does!) to shrewdly picking the ‘right’ people from the crowd, Ulric is the master of manipulation, but he’s just so charming, you don’t mind!

 

When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: Ace’s Cabaret @ Downstairs at the Maj | His Majesty’s Theatre | PERTH

Tickets: $36 – $40

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Recommended 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/mysteries_at_the_maj/2dae4f85-9e99-4d82-a308-72ae9c27ba91/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Daniel James

Review by Laura Money

Have you ever seen a piece of theatre so palpably brilliant that you can’t get it out of our head days later? If you haven’t, go and see Alone Outside and get back to me. This play is so genuine and touching, it will hit you with all the feels. Blending nostalgia, storytelling and phenomenal acting, Alone Outside breaks down the barriers we shield ourselves with, brings us home, and grounds us in the comfort that we really aren’t alone, despite feeling it so acutely at times.

Jo Morris is a woman from a country town who got away. She escaped to the city, to a more glamorous life. Well, now she’s going home. Morris is amazing in this work. I have seen her in several plays and she’s always good, but there’s something about this role that just clicks. Morris is laid back, casual, and funny, yet underneath is an anxiety that seems to be bubbling just under the surface. The set is simple – it consists of two backless chairs. That’s it. But that’s all it takes – Morris moves them into different configurations to create the environment required at each point of the story. This adds weight to the play as a powerful piece of writing – it hearkens back to listening to people’s stories around a campfire – all they have is themselves and their evocative language to manifest a scene before your eyes.

It all starts with the car journey home – well, home is a problematic term here as we see later that Morris is reluctant to commit to home being the country town she left. It’s genuinely hilarious – upon returning and heading straight to the pub, she bumps into people she knew from school. Morris’s delivery is flawless here, she narrates and takes on the characters, eyes widening at the revelation that these school friends lives differ greatly from hers. Despite being funny, Liz Newell‘s script gets close to the bone when Morris visits Martha – her elderly grandmother surrogate, and Aiden her best friend growing up. There are wonderfully tender and gut-wrenching moments as Morris faces her true fears and finally acknowledges her deepest feelings.

I cannot emphasise enough how well-written this play is. Every word is thought out, it ranges from hilarious to hurtful, catty to calming, and everything in between. With a script like this, there is the potential for it to sound read, however Jo Morris delivers every word straight from the heart. Alone Outside is storytelling at its best.

 

When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/alone_outside/79f9ca9c-65a3-4c74-a9b9-67c5799d5ce8/

 

 

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Tooth & Nail present Parlour Games as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015
Photo Credit: ©Richard Davenport 2015, Richard@rwdavenport.co.uk, 07545642134

Review by Laura Money

Tooth + Nail are back with a charmingly beautiful piece of performance art that takes you back to those rainy days of innocence, when all you wanted to do was play pirates or adventures. It’s a wonderful piece of nostalgia that tugs on the heartstrings as plays a joyous ditty with a twinge of loss woven into it.

Starting in an innocuous manner, a man returns home after World WII (it is not made clear how long he has been back) and sits heavily in his well-worn armchair. As he reminisces and is obviously overcome with emotion looking over old trinkets and photographs, the ghosts of his past spring out from behind the furniture, larking about and urging him to play.

The action moves to a nursery in a bygone era – the mid-Edwardian glamour of silent movies and war-adventures – and three children are playing rather boisterously. Interrupted by their little brother, the children quieten down before delving into a long-form play adventure of their own. Each child is charming and likeable, from the adventurous and passionate Oliver (Francois Lecomte) to the eldest Edward (Adam Gordon) who plays the villain of the piece, to the youngest, Theodore (Preben Rongve) who is adorable in his sincerity, and hilariously bossy Constance (Harriet Feeny.) Actors, take note – these guys have acting as children down to an art. They are believable and adorable without sounding like adults play-acting or mimicking children.

Inspired by silent films and the Gothic adventure tales of the high seas, the children play out the courtship of Lady Isabella and the jealous Count who locks her away, requiring her lover to find and rescue her from his litany of evil henchmen. (Well, ok henchman singular.) Using hand-held torches and furniture and sheets, the foursome create wonderful shadow-play, and full environments with just their imaginations and a few props like narrations on cards evocative of silent films. Running throughout the children’s play-acting are small vignettes of post-war soldiers trying to cope with their lives. They serve as a stark reminder that adventure is not all it’s cracked up to be, and that you might not always be in control of your story.

Everything about this piece is charming. The way the actors create hallways, windows, ships, and desert with nothing more than each other and basic props is reminiscent of those lazy days creating blanket forts and having adventures. Feeny shines as the precocious ‘author’ of the tale as she doesn’t hesitate to tell her siblings they’re doing it wrong! If you loved to play make-believe when you were young, Parlour Games is absolutely the show for you. Come on down and recapture the magic of youth.

 

When: 31st January – 11th February 2017 | 7:30pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/parlour_games/1635d53f-e405-4ad5-9c01-d47cb4798be3/

 

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image courtesy of Architects of Sound

Review by Kieran Eaton

Electro music has many pretensions and this trio, The Architects of Sound parody this to the max, where it almost feels believable. These musicians can sing with the assistance of their electronic beats and synthesising, however, chaos ensues for a typically pretentious band has its egos – and they are all competing. It blows your mind how they all keep a straight face with all their silliness! Their names being Valencia Low-Fi, Amaro Mayfair, and Sutro add to the flavour of this wild show.

This night does feel like you are going to a real electronic art band, with their perfectly suited costumes and posturing. There is an immense amount of social awkwardness in these characters’ lack of awareness. There is so much truth in their voices it feels like they have personally experienced this scene. Their chemistry is uncanny in working with brilliant musical timing, combined with wacky dance moves. Added to the visuals are typical-style film clips that enhance the repetitive lyrics to their sexual innuendo.

This adventurously crafted show has everything, from sexual tension to dummy spits. Those unfamiliar with the scene, may find the performance too alternative and obscure for their liking, yet their oddness is quite charming. The Architects of Sound: Arena Spectacular has plenty of feeling that is apparent in the little things like facial expressions. This band opens their heart and messed up brains to the life of the party world of Electro pop, so go see if you like your FRINGEWORLD 2017 a bit different.

 

When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_architects_of_sound_arena_spectacular/784df834-ea96-4b26-b40a-5dd3e011a9d6/

 

Image courtesy of Andrew Roper

Review by Kieran Eaton

Andrew Roper has brought back his geeky knowledge of superheros to highlight the power of Wonder Woman in influencing feminism. Included are also some other comic characters of feminist influence. Roper mentions the importance of this show when his previous show had complaints about no material on this female icon, and that his wife said you must do a show about her!

It is not that Roper didn’t think she was important – it just that she is so important it required a whole show to explain in detail her history. Wonder Woman has an amazing number of subliminal messages (that I, for one, did not realise) that Roper demonstrates in a slide show presentation. If you don’t have a geeky love of comics that is ok with Roper – as he has created something that in reflects the development of feminism from about 1930 to now.

Roper knows how to bring humour to this serious topic in a clever and sincere style. This comedic performer gently goes with the flow with a shy audience to get maximum enthusiasm. With little lighting on Roper, this comic book enthusiast draws attention away from himself and focuses on the details on the screen. This past world is brought to life with passion that keeps the audience fascinated by how one character could have so much political power. Andrew Roper – Superhero Secret Origins is a socially aware talk with information so intelligently brought to life it could have almost been part of a university course.

 

When: 6th – 11th February 2017 | 9:45pm

Where: City of Perth Library | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $11 – $21

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/andrew_roper__superhero_secret_origins/b569dbbb-6798-483e-b48c-5abc20300416/

 

Image courtesy of Wakenshaw and Duncan

Review by Kieran Eaton

Trygve Wakenshaw & Barnie Duncan are two solo performers coming together in a gathering of absurdity. This show explores the mundane nature of work, transcending space and time. Work – the place where things can become so repetitive you can be unaware what you are saying. These physical comedians from New Zealand have made a show that is funny for just being funny.

Trygave Wakenshaw & Barnie Duncan: Different Party is a fly on the wall experience – if the fly was on LSD. There is minimal dialogue, with communication through actions. Wakenshaw & Duncan create a surreal world that is comedy at its purest. The charm is how this high-energy duo work together in bringing this madness to life, keeping the audience constantly entertained by having so many small things happen with great detail. In addition, the duo’s marked size difference add to the comic value.

Both performers have creativity seeping from their brains. Their acts of frivolity flow into so many thoughtful pieces, very much needed to open one’s artistic side to understand some of the symbolism. Wakenshaw and Duncan both play part of an office sales team that take themselves too seriously and this is executed to a tee, bringing forth memories of when we have had to deal with this type of whit- collar goons.

Trygave Wakenshaw & Barrie Duncan: Different Party is a party you should attend more than once.

 

When: 6th – 11th February 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: Burt Memorial Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/trygve_wakenshaw_and_barnie_duncan_different_party/fb7d17ad-d6d1-403c-b635-723f40d866bf/

 

Image credit: Amelia Dowd

Review by Kieran Eaton

Adelaide-based mentalist, Matt Tarrant is experienced at his craft but knows that bringing his magic to Perth is a calculated risk – and he is up for the challenge! His plan is for the audience to just to enjoy the pleasures of mind-manipulation the old-fashion way of spinning us out. Tarrant really make these tricks work!

This is not as easy as it sounds – most of these illusions have been done by other acclaimed illusionists and so in the information age it is easier us to know the secrets. Tarrant does not care if people know the secrets because he prides himself to control the whole of the audiences’ minds so they don’t see any sleight of hand.  Tarrant has so much gumption that he places a projection screen of live camera footage of his hands in action for different card tricks.

Everybody is spellbound by the genius of his work and he strategically builds up to trickier and trickier mentalist illusions. Tarrant keeps the audience engaged with his strong delivery of humility mixed with showmanship. The show is reliant on large amounts of crowd participation and even the hesitant members of the audience get involved, by using random selection methods of picking volunteers, all with a hint of personality.

Matt Tarrant – Honestly Dishonest is show that will blow your mind and excite you, even the skeptics will be in awe in how so many risks are taken, yet everything hits the mark.

 

When: 20th January – 19th February 2017 | 6:40pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $23 – $31

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/matt_tarrant__honestly_dishonest/5ea97f11-0167-4142-b777-82bcf92bbd5f/

 

Image credit: Dan Zeplin

Review by Laura Money

David Eriksson is a performer like no other. His unique blend of Scandinavian charm and dextrous circus ability create a one-of-a-kind show that will leave you reeling! Eriksson is usually known as the ping-pong man. He has cultivated a skillset that sees him perform amazing feats with ping-pong balls – namely juggling them from his mouth, and using his tongue to projectile them onto targets. Pink On The Inside takes all of the Eriksson classics and turns them up a notch, adding new and exciting feats.

The show is bizarre – there are buckets and random items strewn around the stage, the backstage curtain appears to be made of toilet paper, and there is an ominous tarp covering the front of the stage. Eriksson bursts onto the stage to a Heavy Metal track, bald head and eyeliner accompanying his scandi-metal look. His style is erratic as he moves from microphone to items to juggle, from balancing acts to eating apples. The first major trick involves spikes and apples – hence the tarp – and sees the audience squirm a little in anticipation.

Eriksson then reveals his soft side. At the heart of this show, behind the clever tricks and amazingly daring circus acts, is a vulnerable man with a love and passion for the arts. The finale is balletic and stunning in its simplicity, yet intensely complex to execute. And that sums up Eriksson himself – an elegant and sophisticated performer who makes the complex look simple.

 

When: 27th January – 9th February 2017 | 10:00pm

Where: Black Flamingo | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/pink_on_the_inside__david_eriksson/c17c43b9-7271-4705-8ba9-cb9709ba4400/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Racing Minds

Review by Laura Money

I feel as though this review should be improvised, but that would just be unfair to the people who have created a wonderful show. The boys from Racing Minds are back and they are ready to treat you to an evening of fun and madcap adventures – what adventures? Well, I can’t tell you – not because it will give anything away, but because they put on a different show each time. This is long-form improv at its finest.

Each show starts out the same – 5 performers parody the Downtown Abbey style aristocratic family, sitting around the fireside and talking about old adventure stories. The youngest asks the eldest for a story, but the elderly man cannot remember some of the details – cue audience suggestions! The players get suggestions from the willing crowd to form the basis of their story. It’s clear from the beginning that these minds are razor-sharp.

The plot-line feels natural, almost rehearsed it’s that slick – slight whispers amongst the cast members offstage notwithstanding. Through quick-wit and a sophisticated understanding of filmic conventions, the troupe are able to successfully create a parody of epic proportions. The evening I saw had everything – a love story, a hidden secret, lovers spurned, and a surprising amount of feminism. These guys are so smart, I feel that sometimes they are too fast for the audience. It’s obvious that they know their stuff and are quick to playfully admonish each other if a joke is too specialised.

Aaaand Now For Something Completely Improvised sees an ensemble that is at the top of their game, knowledgeable, funny, and so comfortable and instinctive with each other that it’s like watching a group of siblings take the piss out of each other for an hour. It’s a well-crafted, genuinely hilarious show.

 

When: 1st – 7th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: De Parel Speigeltent | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $11 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | All ages

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/aaaand_now_for_something_completely_improvised/eb162c40-7821-48c9-b094-86aacbba9f17/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image by 3 Fates Media

Review by Laura Money

Louisa Fitzhardinge is in love…with the English language! Well, actually, she’s in love with language in general, including French, German, and AUSLAN. In her cabaret show, Fitzhardinge extols the virtues of loving grammar. She takes you on a musical journey through her pet hates – namely people who write ‘potatos,’ misuse the word literally, and don’t know where to place a comma (Oxford or otherwise.)

This is a slick show. From the very beginning, Fitzhardinge bounds onto the stage in a red dress and the most awesome tights ever (they are covered in punctuation!) and waxes lyrical about grammar with great enthusiasm. After explaining all of her grammatical pet hates – misuse of quotation marks, in particular, Fitzhardinge gets to the heart of the show – she is looking for love.

Unfortunately, her grammatical standards are pretty high. The perfect man would have to be able to use a double entendre, split her infinitives, and maybe even whisper sweet puns into her ear. Fitzhardinge’s show is, on the whole, rather positive. It could have been a negative rant about how people mangle the language she loves so much, instead it’s a celebration of all of the things that make her excited about it.

At the heart of Comma Sutra is an absolute affection for all things wordy. From ‘little bookworm’ to ‘grammar nerd,’ Fitzhardinge shows you that language has the potential to grow and change a person, and should be revered. Language really is beautiful.

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 9:00pm

Where: Ace’s Cabaret | Downstairs @ The Maj | PERTH

Tickets: $36 – $40

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/comma_sutra/72774024-54e0-416a-8faf-381d7184b95a/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Offending Shadows

Review by Amanda Lancaster

For those unfamiliar with the concept, the Escape Room Treasure Hunt is an award-winning interactive experience that has just exploded in popularity all over the globe. Not so much a show or a viewing opportunity the Escape Room idea is an immersive theatre experience – intimate, site specific, and interactive, it’s an imaginative, enigmatic hour and a half  thrill ride where the audience participation isn’t just welcomed, it’s 100% mandatory!

Custom-made  environments and painstakingly curated puzzles and activities are beautifully matched in style to the thematic story-line for each escape challenge. Orchestrated and presented by the Offending Shadows Group it’s obvious that every effort and care has been taken to create an astounding interactive enterprise that will please just about any audience.

The story, in this case, is that you are  a time-travelling lawman and your time portal has been tragically destroyed. In a stroke of luck you have found the emergency portal safe house.   However, the safeguards of the emergency haven are created so as to restrict only true time travellers from utilising it. So now against the rapidly counting down clock you and  7 others must solve all the necessary enigmas shrouding your last and only hope to get home and time is running out my friends.

Throughout the room are hidden objects,  puzzles, and multi level games of numbers or words. All of which must be solved withing the 60 minute time frame. Everyone in my team, except for myself and one other individual, had previously experienced the escape room challenge before. Being someone who hadn’t however meant the excitement and nerves of the mystery narrative still held for me if not totally for those who were old hands at how this format unfolds.  The seemingly large gap in experiences however didn’t even seem to matter as we were all too busy and elated at finding and piecing things together throughout.

The exciting moment of truth as the clock ran down to its final few minutes had us all scrambling like mad things, with a truly dramatic mere seconds left on the clock we solved the final safeguard and were able to gain access to the highly coveted doorway. The finale and the “down to the wire” excitement plus our successful completion of the adventure had everyone cheering like children, something not too often seen nowadays and had everyone talking all the way to the pleasure garden exit if you can believe it.

A definite highlight for all those who love a bit of interactive fun with their festivals, and a must experience for the uninitiated escapees.

 

When: 20th January – 11th February 2017 | Times vary

Where: The Escape Room | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $35 – $40

Info: Duration 90 minutes | Recommended 15+ | Audience participation

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/escape_room_treasure_hunt__escape_the_past/95d4d2aa-1f85-4b60-b7a1-24d2519733f4/

 

Image credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

Review by Kieran Eaton

What do you get when you combine one-person improvisation with the Noir detective genre? You get Butt Kapinski, which is as deliciously weird as its title. It is a night of moody lighting, creepy sound effects and surprises all round. This adult-content story delves deep into the dark side of the criminal underworld, in an unpredictable, comical way. It is a show that will keep you glued to your chair but be prepared to get up and be involved!

The show is about Butt Kapinski: A small, creepy man, with a light always above him and a massive lisp. With the character’s strong Jewish New York accent be prepared for occasional misunderstandings. However, this character is played by a talented actor in Deanna Fleysher who stays in character throughout, no matter how the crowd reacts. Fleysher’s off-the-cuff interactions with the crowd are a massive highlight of the show.

The seating is in a circular arrangement to allow Fleysher to move around with ease and everybody be close to the action. Kapinski’s dialogue has many pauses to create a strong feel of real time action. You can barely see Kapinski’s head, based on the massive trench coat and light contraption that Fleysher uses to grab audience attention.  The show has a high reliance on crowd participation but that that is what adds to the fun of seeing the US- based performer rise to the occasion.

Butt Kapinski is a night of crazy surprises that will have you in stitches!

 

When: 31st January – 11th February 2017 | 8:30pm/7:45pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | HUBBUB @ MANPAC | PERTH

Tickets: $23 – $31

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/butt_kapinski/8344ddb9-08dd-413e-a7b0-09da3c3d47bb/

 

Image: Delby

Review by Kieran Eaton

Nonna This is what you get when a stand-up comedian talks about what he knows well – his family of Italian heritage and especially his Nonna (Grandmother for those who are unaware of the Italian terminology.) This show is by a local young act, Delby, who has a very cheeky, knock-about nature. The stand-up show is straight-forward in nature, with a support act and some improvised music – creating a very easy going night.

Of course, this comedian is not one-dimensional, so he jokes also about being a High School teacher and some opinionated material. This means there is something for all, though we mostly relate to having family members that we don’t understand. Delby is not scared to make fun of himself and this adds to the material of the show. What’s especially amusing is his ignorance of his grandparent’s native tongue, creating some cracking tales of miscommunication.

Each night Delby has some rising stars of the Perth stand-up scene open the night for him, with their own version of hilarity. This night David Tuffley was in the spotlight with his obscure, clever one-liners that garner a mixed response.  The star of the show enters with gusto – this confident act settles quickly when laughs occur from the get-go.  This young performer brings a very personable nature to the stage, creating smiles throughout.

Nonna This is a show to see if you want to laugh about cultural difference and growing up in the Perth suburbs.

 

When: 23rd January – 15th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: Cheeky Sparrow | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $20.50

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/nonna_this/f3d73abc-ad90-49f2-b2f7-9b20781de0f8/

 

Image credit: Phillipa Clark

Review by Amanda Lancaster

For those of you late night fringe goers and after-darkers out there looking for that particular performance to fit  just right in your adult time slot -this is the one for you. Highly anticipated after their first sell out FRINGEWORLD debut in 2015, Sugar Blue Burlesque are finally back at FRINGEWORLD 2017 and ready to serve up seconds of the fetish and fantasy feast that had you all wanting more last time.

Expose: Volume II  is the much awaited encore to the original adults-only cabaret show. This time selected for your personal viewing pleasure is a variety of international and local award-winning acts in a series of intoxicating performances that can only be described as FRINGEWORLD foreplay. The very hot rating and accompanying content warnings, while being definitely well earned, cannot prepare you for the type of acts and reactions you’re about to experience.

Those unfamiliar with the art forms of burlesque, cabaret, and even the provocative variety-style shows this company are well known for will soon realise why they are one of the most popular people’s choices again and again.
It is impossible to convey with mere words the sheer phenomenal talent and mastery the cast demonstrate throughout the hour. Strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, taboo topics, vocal mastery, circus, and burlesque performances one after the other in an increasingly more intense tempo.

For those of you uninitiated wide-eyed newcomers to the  wonderful world of  the sexy spectacle, Expose: Volume II exemplifies a fabulous variety of some of the best of the best you’re likely to see anywhere. And for you other seasoned show goers, the guys know exactly how you like it. Of particular note for myself  during the night’s  performance is without a doubt the Perth duo from Circus Kinetica and their tantalising bath-time tease.

And of course what would a night of naughtiness be without your cheeky chaperone? Racy, rambunctious, and raring to go is hostess –  Stay Slippers. As sparkly as the name suggests, wielding her speedy wit like a whip it might perhaps be more fitting to label her  ‘Ringmistress’  and audience tamer. Charming the opening night sell-out audience and smoothing over the small delays between setting up acts our leading lady keeps up the crowd’s momentum to a buzzing level. Her playful interactions with those fortunate enough to snare spots in the front row,  her adroit smoothing of opening-night technical difficulties, as well as fielding the surprise “interruptions” from audience and acts alike are flawless.

If you’re easily offended this may not be the show for  you, then again maybe it is! Get ready for an encore of exotic, erotic, and epic proportions because if opening night is anything to go by, the biggest challenge to the prospective audience may be that of managing to snag tickets against such high demand!

 

When: 4th – 9th February 2017 | 10:00pm

Where: Salon Perdu Speigeltent | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $28 – $31

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/expos_volume_ii/06d1e10a-9e39-4430-addd-5f4c0473d388/

Image: Nick Coppin

Review by Kieran Eaton

Let the battle begin! Four Superheroes duke it out for the ultimate title! Well, not really it is four comedians debating funnily about which Superhero do they think is the greatest. This concept is created by compare of the night, Nik Coppin, an English comedian who loves his comics but if you say you prefer DC to Marvel he will berate you to oblivion.

When you enter the tent that this show is in, you see four microphones and think this is going to be an interesting battle. Often comedians are not on stage together and so you can imagine when they are, madness explodes in front of you! However, Coppin is an experienced MC so if he knows how to control an audience, he’ll know how to moderate four comedians.

Coppin opens with enthusiasm and questions the audience to find out if there are any comic geeks in the crowd. This night there appears to be just one with hardcore knowledge but Coppin reassures us that this is not important, as everybody knows the basics of Superheroes. Just think how many movies have been made about them, recently. Once Coppin describes the format of the show, one at a time a comedian comes on representing a Superhero of their choice. Now some of these chosen come across as a bit silly but this is the charm of the show. The compare intermittently asks the audience general comic book questions and finally the show ends with a Q&A, where the audience uses the information gathered to decide on a winner.

Battle of the Superheroes – The Great Debate is a fun show for comic geeks and non-geeks alike – so watch for some wild entertainment.

 

Where: 4th – 9th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: The Shambles | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/battle_of_the_superheroes__the_great_debate/a6ac4a79-066a-4bd5-ba34-3d7629da972f/

 

Image credit: Esther Longhurst

Review by Kieran Eaton

Well, what do you get when you combine Jane Austen-style acting with improvisation suggestions from the crowd?  You get a loveable show by improv actors, Esther Longhurst and Jessica Messenger. This duo work with a special chemistry that feels quite like a twin connection – with their natural understanding of what each other wants to do.

When the audience looks at the Restoration-era clothing on this duo there is anticipation that they’re in for something different. This show is starkly different from what Perth audiences expect from improv-comedy and this is what gives its charm. It does not matter if you have not read any Austen literature because these two comedic actors are just naturally funny.

Sense and Spontaneity starts with Longhurst and Messenger bantering with the audience, asking who’s read Jane Austen novels and giving us an insight into the inspiration for their show. Then they ask the audience if anybody is here with a best friend. This night the best answer comes from a couple that have been together for about twenty years so they became the volunteers for information that would be incorporated in the show. All this information is cleverly threaded into their dramatic piece, parodying this bygone era to a beautiful ending.

Sense and Spontaneity is a thoughtful concept with quick-humoured lines that makes it an impressive hour of entertainment. See this show if you want to reconnect your love of Austen or want an education on this style.

 

When: 20th January – 11th February 2017 | 6:00pm/7:45pm

Where: The Shambles | and Funtavia Outer Metro

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable all ages | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/sense_and_spontaneity/e60e5f01-dc34-458c-9875-b26e1d3c8592/

 

 

Image credit: Jimmy Wing

Review by Kieran Eaton

Aidan Killian: Follow the Money‘s title has a sarcastic tone to it as does this Anarchic Socialist, who sees the evil that money has created. Aidan Killian is a very charming, yet insanely intense Irishman, with passion that we all wish we had in our lives. By no means is this guy a stereo-typical Irish character, as he brings humour to the serious side of life.

Killian is a passionate man due to his free-spirited nature, who sees the importance of living in the now. It is a Zen-like experience watching because Killian can make you laugh – even if you disagree with his viewpoint, his intense patience and persistence gets us all on board. His strength lies in being unique – Killian is no cliche comedian, and that is where critics can get him wrong.

Aidan Killian: Follow the Money builds up to a crescendo. This is smart – for he does not want to come across as preachy. Killian is subversive with his material, creeping laughs and arguments at the same time. His speech is thoughtful, where each word gives you pause to reconsider your view point with his occasional manic characterisation of his thought patterns.

This show should be exposed to as many people as possible, as this comedian knows how to maximise funny with high amounts of sincerity. Killian comes from a place of love which is a rare commodity in this cynical world of bitter, money driven, lowest common denominator politics.

 

When: 3rd – 9th February 2017 | 10:00pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/aidan_killian_follow_the_money/70747f77-79d0-4672-b15b-0ab8da9a6db7/

 

Image: Greg Fleet

Review by Kieran Eaton

If you want to see a comedian comfortable with his craft, you need to see this show! Greg Fleet is very much a one-of-a-kind comedian that is impossible to put into a box. In Greg Fleet – We are Idiots, Fleet jokes about being an idiot in general terms but it’s his personal anecdotes that shine through – his own moments of idiocy that keep it real.

When you look at Greg Fleet you can tell that he has had a varied life and he is happy to admit this. Fleet talks frankly about his current love life, which is giving him a chance to base himself in Cottesloe (but don’t go stalking him!) Those who are new to his comedy may be surprised about this openness but this is just who he is, one moment he tells you where he lives and how happy he is, the next he is discussing divisive subjects like drug addiction.

Fleet greets his audience unconventionally at the front entrance, rather than the stage.  He tells stories at his own pace, the punchlines are timed perfectly. This comedy veteran is very casual in transitioning between bits of humour, allowing for different types of laughter and people leave the show knowing they have seen a master in action.

Greg Fleet – We are Idiots is a solid hour of Fleet’s special kind of story-telling. This gripping show confronts you with a comedian who embraces his soul and rips it apart in front of you. Do yourself a favour and go see this legend in action.

 

When: 31st January – 11th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: Freo Royale @ Federal Hotel | Fremantle | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | 18+ venue

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/greg_fleet__we_are_idiots/4ee312ed-5889-4744-84d8-89e16f4f5ff6/

 

Photo credit: Matthew Carnaby

Review by Kieran Eaton

Comedian, Ben Darsow is a likeable guy so this show is like a conversation with the audience – though this can be challenging. Ben Darsow – Off the Cuff, threads material based on banter responses and this is a challenging tightrope to walk on.

When the audience look at Darsow, they see a young man but he reassures them that he has been doing stand-up comedy for about fifteen years. This is rewarded by good moments of laughter throughout.

When US comedian Kirk Smith introduces Darsow you get the idea that this affable man has travelled to many places around the world so he is a good mind to tap into. Darsow gives a brief background into who he is – making fun of his Finance Degree and being a stand-up comic.  He tries to find out if anybody in the crowd has a job that does not match their qualification with not much luck. With his calm demeanour handling every bit of awkwardness with mild self-depreciation, yet no change to his tone, he ploughs on. He has a tone of an average Aussie that you’d have a beer with. Darsow is more intelligent than he portrays himself on the night but he even admits to having very odd off-night.

Ben Darsow – Off the Cuff gives insight to the best side of Darsow – in his conversation skills in a show that can go many ways, so if you want an unpredictable journey, go see this guy.

 

When: 24th January – 12th February 2017 | Times vary

Where: Elephant and Wheelbarrow | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $25

Info: Duration 50 minutes | 18+ venue

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/ben_darsow_off_the_cuff/5bf6ec11-0e76-4cd0-8a2a-9fa076a445ce/

 

Image: Durant

Review by Brandon Taylor

Folk rock, well-acted storytelling, and a history rooted in the London and Perth pub rock scenes circa 1970, Mahagonny – Behind Innocent Eyes combines these odd ingredients to create a musical somehow more entertaining than it is unique.

The winding tale of Mahagonny – an imaginary slum town – is told through a series of musical numbers following a beggar, a whore, a tyrant, and the tyrant’s son as they alternately fall in love with and backstab each other. The format is that of a 5 piece band backing the four actors in a ‘set’ that tells the story. The feel is that of watching a group of medieval bards bring an old legend to life.

Drama, comedy, romance, and political satire are all extraordinarily well delivered on both the musical and theatrical fronts, but there’s something beyond that. There is a certain tightness – a sense of history – between the artists onstage. It takes the performance to another level, to a place you feel lucky to watch the players go.

If you know the story of the story, this special feeling is no surprise. Behind Innocent Eyes was written by Tony Durant and Dave Warner (of Perth band Fuchsia and Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs) as a concept album back in the 70s. Yes, it’s been incubating for 40 years. It is Durant’s bandmate and lifelong friend Dick Haynes that plays the explosive tyrant, and it is Durant’s son Louis Durant that plays bass in the band. According to Louis, the rest of the group are “friends of the family” that have been “rehearsing the musical for 8 months.”

For Tony Durant and those who get to see the musical, the long wait – and long practice sessions – have been worth it. Behind Innocent Eyes stands up to its original inspiration (a libretto by German composer Bertolt Brecht) and the years since its conception by Durant.

The Band: Tony Durant and Bill Beare on guitar, Louis Durant on bass, Sarah Duhig on violin, and Emma Vanderwel on cello.

The Actors: Dick Haynes, Michael McStay, Maree Cole, and Sam Devenport. Tony Durant also plays a role as narrator.

When: 1st – 5th February 2017 | 9:00pm

Where: Hellenic Club of WA | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 65 mins | World Premiere  | Suitable 15+

Links: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/mahagonny__behind_innocent_eyes/b378f104-830a-44cd-8d7c-087506a200e1/

http://www.fuchsiamusic.com/

Profile: View Brandon's profile here

Email: brandon.taylor@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Erica J. Harris

Review by Laura Money

Exposing Edith is a wonderful homage to the ‘Little Sparrow’ herself, performed with the utmost care by Michaela Burger and Greg Wain (guitar.) Such a show could so easily be a jukebox evening of Piaf’s greatest hits but in the skillful hands of Burger and Wain, it becomes an ode to the most powerful yet fragile singer ever to grace the stage.

Dressed in a coat and hat, Burger bursts through the audience with feisty spirit, half shouting, half singing as the young Piaf trying to make money singing on a street corner. Even in these early years, struggling, Piaf had dignity. Burger embodies this spirit perfectly, her face contorts into contempt and frustration as she sings ‘just one more time.’ It’s a strange opener for a show that associates itself with the grace and glamour that surrounded the eclipsing star. Burger uses this story as a way to explain what Piaf was all about. The hardships she endured and why she was filled with such passion.

In a semi-biographical show, Burger uses the songs to fit the chronology of Piaf’s life. She also explains how she came to love Piaf and it is obvious how highly she regards the pint-sized singer. Burger not only sings and acts as Piaf, but she embodies her totally. Channeling Piaf’s stubbornness, her fierce ability to love, her joy in music, and her fighting, underdog spirit, Burger becomes Piaf – her every inflection is Piaf’s, and her every note soars in the way the Little Sparrow’s did. Piaf is back, in Burger’s flawless performance.

Showcasing some of Piaf’s finest songs, some well-known and others not so well-known, every piece is perfectly placed for maximum emotional impact. Burger and Wain are true craftsmen, and have created a beautifully heartfelt tale, complete with the best soundtrack. It’s not all La Vie en Rose and Non, Je ne Regrette Rien, however these two pieces play a significant role, forming some of the most beautiful moments ever staged.

Go and see Exposing Edith – you’ll certainly have no regrets.

 

When: 6th – 11th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: Burt Memorial Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $30

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable all ages | Licensed venue

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/exposing_edith/1111d439-8420-42c7-99ce-99a8ac69903f/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Patrick Hercamp

Review by Laura Money

Well, folks, it’s in the title and Patrick Hercamp delivers exactly what is promised – Shakespeare’s Hamlet condensed into just half an hour, with every gruesome death, betrayal, and crazy outburst still just as articulated as ever. Hercamp is an affable performer – his enthusiasm and passion for his craft shines through as he warmly greets the crowd.

The audience file into the tent, not knowing that they are to get an experience very much like that of the Globe Theatre’s Groundings – encouraged to call out hilarious phrases such as ‘oh death’ and ‘oh poison.’ Hercamp reassures everyone that it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand (or dare I say, don’t like) Shakespeare, or have never read or seen Hamlet because it’s pretty much The Lion King and who hasn’t seen that?

Hercamp breaks down the barrier between Shakespeare elitists and regular plebs. He takes the emotion and vibe of the play and uses layman’s terms to retell the story. Picking a proxy Hamlet from the audience, Hercamp whips himself into a frenzy to explain what is happening to Hamlet every step of the way. His speech is manic, he acts the fool perfectly, yet allows for a still moment when he gets to the famous ‘to be, or not to be’ section.

Half Hour Hamlet takes what is one of the most well-known and important Shakespearean works and trims the fat, so to speak on the story. What is left is the essence of the tale, shame, anger, pain, heartache, joy and all. Hercamp performs with such reverence and passion for the script that even when he’s acting tongue-in-cheek and exposing some of the silliness of Shakespeare, it is obviously from a place of love.

 

When: 6th -13th February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Black Flamingo | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $11 – $17

Info: Duration 30 minutes | Suitable all ages

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/half_hour_hamlet/b8262658-c36d-4d89-98f1-6388d3c4e22a/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Simon Schluter

Review by Amanda Lancaster

FRINGEWORLD 2017 is one of those huge events that is already filled with a wide array of wonderful, whacky, and unique show options for people to choose from. As a reviewer, it’s my job and responsibility to do my best to illuminate and explain some of these performances in a bid to help narrow down the overwhelming amount of choices fringe-goers are faced with. In a show that defies all normal modes of definition, I truly cannot find the words to explain Peter and Bambi Heaven, The Magic Inside!

Think David Copperfield meets the eighties, meets the Icecapades and Eurovision all rolled into one non-stop, unrelenting, in-your-face hour. The real life couple and long time  performing duo have truly created a take on the classic archetypes of stage magician and  glamorous assistant which defies straight-forward depiction. Bouncing between modes at a rapid-fire pace, the audience is treated to some of the most refreshing and humourous spectacles they’re ever likely to see.

Cartoonish, slapstick, exaggerated glitz and glamour all woven together with a constant barrage of magical mishaps, might be the basis that holds the shows energy together as a staple. However, over the course of the hour we do get to see the charismatic duo roam more broadly around the axis of emotion and humour  when it becomes obvious that the perfect on-stage sweethearts pairing is as fake and tightly wound as their cheesy Hollywood grins.

I honestly have no idea how else to describe this show other than if it is as with magic – seeing truly is believing then  Peter and Bambi Heaven, The Magic Inside will have you watching in disbelief. Trust me when I say, that you need to see this show!

 

When: 31st January – 6th February 2017 | 8:15pm

Where: Circus Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $29

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/peter_and_bambi_heaven_the_magic_inside/9100f54c-7c65-4fd0-8c40-aa1f05540011/

 

 

Image credit: Adam Fawcett

Review by Laura Money

Perth writer/director Katy Warner returns home with her brilliant piece, A Prudent Man. In a bid to understand the meaning behind the rhetoric of the right, conservative views are stripped back to reveal the conviction that One Nation, Liberal, Tory and Republican voters have in their leader’s words. If those views are part of a person’s core values, how can they claim to be compassionate, kind, and indeed, prudent.

Lyall Brooks is the prudent man – a well-dressed, clean-cut man with a suit and a dazzling smile – he is the conservative’s ‘everyman’ spouting words and rhetoric familiar to most Australian voters. He sits, comfortably in a chair and talks to the audience in a jovial manner, eyes sparkling with a sense of fun. The Man is retelling a story, recounting events that happened to him, beginning with his morning jog. It’s witty at first. His eyes dance under the bright lights, amused as the audience pick up on some of the familiarities of his words. (Wearing a green and gold tracksuit for a morning constitutional, being proud of his two girls – his princesses, claiming everyone deserves a fair go.)

Warner’s script is whip-smart. She weaves the non-content worthy speeches of many right-wing politicians with their extreme views on refugees, women, jobs, class, and everything in-between. Running through the play is a sinister thread that highlights the lack of empathy the Man appears to have for others. His defensive tone when describing the pyramid and that ‘someone has to collect the rubbish’ is almost pleading, Brooks implores the audience to understand his point of view.

In a play that’s motivation is to seek answers, there is a surprising lack of conclusion. I feel as though I am even more confused and outraged by the views of the right than ever. Warner’s play creates a lack of transparency from only the words of the real politicians – we all know how murky the waters are around them. At the end of the day, it’s about jobs, it’s about growth, and it’s about giving everyone a fair go – but only if you’re A Prudent Man.

 

When: 1st – 6th February 2017 | 7:30pm

Where: The Shambles | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/a_prudent_man/9331e459-7214-44d5-ab6a-bdbaf5f36f08/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Srtut and Fret Productions

Review by Laura Money

What do you get when you take the rich, fruity tones of the delightful Le Gateau Chocolat and collide it with the madcap, high-strung glam comedy of drag icon Jonny Woo, then mix in all the showtunes of the West End and Broadway in a small tent in the middle of Perth? A Night At The Musicals of course! And what a night of musical-inspired antics ensue. This is a love story to all of the songs from the crazy world of musicals and how there is never an inappropriate moment to burst into song.

The combination of Chocolat and Woo is divine – they are the ultimate double act, bantering off each other with quick quips and whip-like timing, yet there is, at the heart, a deep affection running through. Not sure what A Night At The Musicals entails? Well, apart from being in the title, the darling duo pull no punches in proclaiming the show ‘puts the miserable in Les Miserables,’ yet I couldn’t disagree more. They claim that they will massacre every song you know and love!

Opening with the unmistakable depth and thrill of Le Gateau Chocolat singing Sarah Brightman’s part in The Phantom of the Opera, Chocolat’s voice rolls over the audience in wonderfully rich waves, it feels decadent to listen! Enter Jonny Woo, in an alarmingly funny costume – a take on the real phantom – whose camp tones are perfect for the predatory and, let’s be honest, creepy phantom figure. A bit of banter occurs and the two demonstrate how their different drag acts work well perfectly when combined – Woo is concerned about the cheapness of his outfit, Chocolat wardrobe-shames him in his couture gown. This combo are hilarious together and their banter is nothing but charming and laugh-out-loud funny.

Chocolat and Woo cover many wonderful duets (most with either changes to words or arrangements that show off their immensely unique sounds) and also showcase their individual acts. From Woo’s hilariously rubbery face during his famous Les Miserables sketch to audience participation at its finest in his rendition of Cabaret‘s ‘Mein Heir’ he brings the house down. Chocolat remains wonderful to watch, belting it out in ‘I Dreamed A Dream,’ though not in a bid to win an Oscar a la Anne Hathaway, to truly letting it go with a fairy-light filled rendition of the famous song from Frozen, complete with Woo firing glitter bombs at the audience in what he calls ‘the gayest show ever.’

Well, it might just be the greatest show ever! For anyone who loves musicals and has a wicked sense of humour, A Night At The Musicals is the perfect show for you. Be prepared to let loose and also, warm up those vocal cords because audience participation is not only a requirement, you’ll want to sing along to all your favourite tunes.

 

When: 31st January – 6th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: De Parel Speigeltent | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $29 – $35

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/a_night_at_the_musicals/9bfa535b-2e79-4d20-80ef-2cbcd89d59e1/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Paul Culliver

Review by Kieran Eaton

Due to popular demand, Paul Culliver is back to revive – Paul Culliver – The Honeypot with new perspectives. Just think how much has changed in the world in a space of just one year! (Especially a year like 2016!) This makes the show quite reflective with a mix of new material threading into the old stuff.

Culliver has left-of-centre views and makes a huge amount of humour, trying to check  his white, male, straight, middle class privilege. Culliver is neurotically analytical about fighting injustices that he may not understand, with Stewart Lee like deconstruction his humour improves with increased detail.

This youngish comedian opens the night by being a bit apologetic about using some material that may seem old. He should not be sorry as his material still has a fresh take on the world. It is amusing to reflect that this time last year we were far more hopeful about the world situation, especially when your personal situation has not improved after winning a comedy award (Best Comedy FRINGEWORLD 2016.) Culliver is deft at the art of self-depreciation and is subtle in placing digs at society. His style is very conversational allowing for laughs no matter what kind of crowd is there. When he ends, you come away feeling like there is hope with youth of today.

Paul Culliver – The Honeypot is still a clever show, one year on, so see Culliver to brighten your night.

 

When: 1st – 5th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $24 – $33

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/paul_culliver__the_honeypot/cfbb570f-0a6c-4cf8-85c5-b9b6f27190ba/

 

Image credit: Kat Wild

Review by Amanda Lancaster

At the top of her game, living the glitzy and glamorous lifestyle of a highly sought after performer,  meet in-demand showgirl, Lola Cherry Cola. Cherry red, fizzy, sparkles galore, and over-the-top exaggerated everything this is one lady who knows exactly how an entrance should be made. Cue the lights, cue the music and prepare for the unforgettable jaw-dropping act that follows as Lola uses her superbly sassy mouth to explore one of the ultimate taboos.

Experience up close and personal the true discomfort and humiliating realities behind the dreaded  pap smear and the often omitted fear and fatality that is cervical cancer. Lola’s is a story that may land uncomfortably close to home for some women, or indeed  even their partners, family or friends but her tongue-in-cheek approach  and delivery  of the performance, woven together with such open willingness to share with us  her own personal tale take any of the  unintended sting out of the subject.

Laying herself bare to the audience in more ways than one,  Lola’s narrative journey illuminates more than can be perceived by the eyes alone, it beautifully and genuinely strips back the shrouding silence surrounding the topic of cervical cancer and how important it is. Be it to ease the trepidation many may feel at engaging with a conversation – or indeed monologue – involving the word ‘cervix’, or as a coping device or anchor to hold onto against the uncertainties that lurk within one’s own flesh, Lola’s story is permeated by humour, and interspersed with various interludes of  dance and multi medias, however not in a manner that downplays the gravity of the situation or her message.

Definitely a one-of-a-kind show that has, for want of a more apt term, a speculum thematically thrust into it. Now just relax this will only feel uncomfortable for a minute and then its over.

 

When: 31st January – 5th February 2017 | 9:20pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/lolas_showgirl_smear_campaign/b066a953-3b91-440d-b8bc-47bb18835dc4/

 

Image: Terry North

Review by Kieran Eaton

Often when we think of comedians- we don’t usually think of fathers, do we? The good news is there are comedic fathers out there and I am not just talking about the ones who do dad jokes. Who’s your Daddy? is a stellar line up of some of FRINGEWORLD 2017’s best fathers and stand-up comedians!

This show is created by veteran comedian, Terry North who an ex-Pat Brit and has some memorable times with his children. The show has been going on for many years now and the strong reputation built has allowed it to get stronger every time. North, the compare for these night brings on a rotating line up of about four comics, all with unique takes on parenthood.

When North strolls on casually, you know the night will be easy going. His friendly vibe warms up the crowd with jokes about how his children find him embarrassing. When the first act of this night Lindsey Webb opens by interacting with the crowd with strong self-awareness, you know the funnies are going to roll and they do.  Mickey D follows with a larrikin take on family life. We then see Tahir Bilgic surprise us with his experiences as a teacher. The night is ended with Greg Fleet confronting us with a reminder that even though little ones honesty can be cute, it can also be scary! There is so much laughter through the show it makes us smile about the challenges of bringing children into the world.

Who’s your Daddy? is a great show for all, especially those daddies out there!

 

When: 20th January – 5th February 2017 | 6:15pm

Where: The Game Sports Bar | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/whos_your_daddy_the_funny_side_of_parenthood/4f815109-94dd-4038-a9f8-073b09dd6105/

 

Image: May Jasper

Review by Amanda Lancaster

Meet Stephanie. Stephanie works in a call centre,  her friends call her Steph. Steph has a story, it’s not a very good story. It may well be that the story isn’t very nice but it is in fact a very, very good story – at least a story that needs o be told.

Over a period of twelve years beginning in the mid-90s, at least eighteen women working at the ABC studios in Toowong, western Brisbane, were diagnosed with breast cancer. The million-to-one odds of such a grouping occurring naturally led to the building being declared unsafe – and subsequently demolished – nearly eleven years ago. The time prior to the demolition serves as the dark inspiration for the equally dark-humoured one woman show.

The character of Stephanie is played with such beautiful authenticity it breaks your heart watching her story unfold. Socially awkward, quiet and unobtrusive to. Start her sweet hesitant nervousness captivates you almost instantly. Beautifully curated  flow to the entire piece’s delivery and tempo , not to mention the clever choice of a minimalistic stage setting make for an audience’s unwavering focus thoroughout.

Accounts of the real-life employees’ shock at losing their workplace and friends inspire Stephanie’s nuances, which we can see in the extent to which her work and social groups  seem  to overlap. Her work and friends are her whole universe,  particularly her attentions for the office cleaner, Jen her crush. Imagine the indescribable terror of that being taken away, agonisingly slowly as everyone begins falling prey to an indeterminable, inexplicable cancerous monster.

It’s hard not to empathise and relate to our story teller, and the more we do so the more that little feeling of unease that starts in the pit of your stomach soon becomes a looming gripping  dread. The mystery behind why so many became so sick so quickly in the same place forms the dark catalyst behind the nevertheless surprisingly sweet narrative.

No it’s not a very good story, but it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and poignantly told tragedies you are ever likely to experience.

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/not_a_very_good_story/37087382-090c-4c62-8ee5-4cf7cfecaebd/

 

Image: unTrue

Review by Kieran Eaton

These days murder mysteries are all the rage –  exciting all but sometimes they take themselves too seriously. unTrue Detective definitely does not, in this comedic theatre performance that goes back to the old Noir-style to ultimate cheesy effect.

This show has three performers but feels like more, as they jump easily between a gang of characters, allowing laughter to ensue. This performance sometimes comes across as shambolic but this suits the twisting of the genre to a comedy. All three actors each meet their character requirements as we suspend our disbelief in this farcical tale. There is a sense of fun in all the characters faces that creates a feeling of cheekiness.

Untrue Detective starts in the detective office, where the lead character McNabb is wanting to solve a murder.  He has a chief that does not believe in him and this makes McNabb desperate, looking everywhere for clue. However, this detective is a bit clueless in making sense of solving this murderous crime. These performers are quick-witted in turning any line stuff up to a laughing moment with this strong team chemistry. The story does feel a bit drawn out, most likely because the punchlines are not tight enough. Still, there are gags from start to end and the typical ending of the ‘Red Herring’ being found out.

If you want to see a FRINGEWORLD 2017 show with local actors, doing their thing comfortably together, go enter the world of Noir in unTrue Detective.

 

When: 31st January – 5th February 2017 | 6:40pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/untrue_detective/7a5b6dbf-bf4a-4228-a3b0-c91e65b61077/

 

Image credit: Paul Grabovac

Review by Elli Gemmo

The Book of Life is a mix of fantasy, dark humour and contemporary culture. An interesting crossover between a play and a musical, this experimental show tells the story of a suicidal girl, Lily, who ends up in a mythological/Dantesque limbo where, led by a guide, Charon, she will embark on a journey of self- discovery by facing her grandmother who has an obsession for tea, her uncle Nero who happens to be a T-Rex, and her cousin Pikaia who is the first invertebrate. All of these challenges have a final objective –  to convince God that humanity is still worth saving and to be cared for.

There is a live band playing on the stage that helps the narration of the story with cleverly designed lyrics and a style that is  a mix between gothic and country. The character of God is played by the band’s main guitarist and singer whose energy keeps the show on a high tide and the plot stitched together. At the end, the illusion of theatre is broken and the public is left with the revelation of the whole (non-) sense of the story and to put their lives open to a discussion following the show perspective.

The narration itself is full of imagination, chaos and nonsense. Yet there is an overall sense that something is missing to make the play run smoothly. Truth said, it is also very difficult to put together philosophy, music and dark comedy with a storyline that is intentionally utterly confusing.

The overall result is an oxymoronic light dark comedy, with brilliant music and an interesting view of life.

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: Summer Nights @ State Theatre Centre WA | PERTH

Tickets: $24 – $29

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_book_of_life/cfba530e-7deb-4d47-88df-1f57af3422fd/

Profile: View Elli's profile here

Email: elli.gemmo@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: James Palm

Review by Kieran Eaton

Jurassic Palm sounds like a holiday with dinosaurs but it’s more about people and the craziness that is the human condition. We explore the mind of creator and star performer, James Palm, who creates a scene-based show with the assistance of some talented comedic actors.

Palm’s world is a bit surreal but we embrace it because it stays consistent throughout. His nature is welcoming, with a smile that hints “I bet you don’t know what’s coming next!” This prepares you for a show where the unknown is embraced and is unpredictable to the end. Palm makes fun of making a festival show by not taking himself too seriously and this works perfectly in keeping the audience relaxed.

When Palm comes on with an Akubra hat on and a Mambo shirt, you know that show is going to have lots of irony. He starts off having to deal with an American lawyer about the similarities of his show to the movie, Jurassic Park. He exclaims that the title is just based on a nick name given to him by his ex-girlfriend. This begins the amazing journey into to Palm’s head, as he tries to explain his mind madness. The light at the end of the tunnel is that the lawyer is vulnerable too and this is exploited to create a well thought-out ending. This story is created with naturally improvised moments handled delightfully.

Jurassic Palm is a wonderful Perth act that should be encouraged to continue with its growing spark of funny.

 

When: 2nd – 5th February 2017 | 7:30pm

Where: The Game Sports Bar | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $19

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/jurassic_palm/0b44636a-b65b-4cf7-bb49-9e227cb6ecfe/

 

Image: Becky Lou

Review by Kieran Eaton

Seen and Heard opens your eyes and ears to host and show creator, Becky Lou’s favourite variety acts. They are all people close to Lou’s heart – performers of burlesque and cabaret who don’t often get the chance to open up and tell their stories.

Becky Lou has a burlesque background so is very comfortable being exposed onstage.  She embraces her daggy nature, really allows the audience to connect with her on an equal level. Lou is your every-lady and this allows it to be less confronting in the age where we expect to be perfect. This cheeky seductress knows she has a naughty side but her main agenda is love.

Seen and Heard starts with Lou doing her Burlesque thing,  with humour and quirkiness. This sets up her opening monologue – an embarrassing story that she is very candid about. Then she brings on her acts with an immense amount of warmth, creating a very supportive space for them to bare all. Every night has different acts and all will surprise you with their frivolity. This night there are two burlesques and two dancers of unique styling. All four guest acts entertain with huge stage presence and cheek, creating laughs out loud throughout.  When the night ends, you felt like giving them all a hug!

Come on down if you want to be mesmerised by Lou’s good-natured show.

 

When: 31st January – 5th February 2017 | 9:00pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/seen_and_heard/c66c91aa-a25a-4dac-b223-b4a7faf4651a/

 

Photo credit: Louis Longpr

Review by Kieran Eaton

Zeppelin Was a Cover Band is informative but is not very theatrical. There is a simple setup, one middle aged man giving a lecture with the aid of the occasional music. This one-man show gives a passionate Led Zeppelin fan, an opportunity to describe the history of the band with insight into what made them a cover band.

Many people would be skeptical on why this hard rock band should be considered a mere cover band. This is because when we think of cover bands, we usually think of semi-professional pub bands. This band was way beyond that assumption because their unique sound transcended lyrical similarities to artists of bygone eras. By contrasting these unique eras, you understand how creative Zeppelin was.

Stéfan Cédilot starts by sitting down and talking intensely about the influences of Led Zeppelin and what the artists were like before the formation of the band. In turn, he explains how the name of the band came about and how they wanted to be the heaviest rock band in the world. Cedilot then goes through their albums and in chronological order songs are deconstructed to demonstrate their multiple influences. These influences were so influential that Led Zeppelin were basing their music on covered songs. It is explained with so much detail and passion, all the storyteller’s information is never doubted.

If you love Led Zeppelin you will really connect with Cedilot, especially when you hear some classic songs that you can rock on to.

 

When: 1st – 5th February 2017 | 10:30pm

Where: The Shambles | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $26

Info: Duration 75 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/zeppelin_was_a_cover_band/3de6ccea-12d4-49cf-9e38-2bad7f4dba18/

Image: JoJo Bellini

Review by Laura Money

JoJo Bellini is coming atcha! She is ready to entertain you with shock and debauchery and wash it all down with some classic tunes. Crash-Bang Cabaret is a show like no other. Bellini bursts onto the stage in a golden dress of Bond-girl proportions and is literally there to entertain you.

This is classic cabaret – the tables are situated near the stage and Bellini weaves herself in and out of them with poise. The topic is a little debauched, she speaks of strap-ons, dildos and anything kinky, and uses her brilliant writing talents to turn these thoughts into songs.

The venue is a bit too spacious and plain to be a true cabaret and while Bellini is a wonderful talent, she doesn’t quite make up for the rough-and-ready nature of the evening. I am about to contradict myself here, though, as she handles a wardrobe malfunction hilariously! Perhaps I mean that Bellini is not loud enough to fill the gaps in a large venue.

Venue aside, Bellini exudes wit, grace and charm. Her show becomes rather heartfelt as she strips away all of her showmanship to reveal a woman rendered stronger and tougher after a horrific car accident. An interpretive dance piece brings this accident to the fore in a beautiful and haunting scene.

If you love getting down and dirty, intimate, and a little turned on, this is definitely the show for you!

 

When: 1st – 4th February 2017 | 7:30pm

Where: HUBBUB at MANPAC | Mandurah | PERTH

Tickets: $22 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/jojo_bellini_crashbang_cabaret/d025fd4d-912f-4228-91b1-3d980a397861/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Tanya Voltchanslkaya

Review by Amanda Lancaster

Once upon a time there was a charming and talented performance artist named Clare Testoni who bravely took to the stage of the Blue Room Theatre to twist and turn what was once a collection of Scandinavian folk tales into the magical performance West of the Moon.

Based on  an old traditional Nordic version of the story Beauty and the Beast, West of the Moon is, if you will, a modern take  on the narrative. Cleverly interspersed with elements of adventure and magic from other fairy tales, the show takes on a beautifully relatable  and nostalgic undertone that those of all ages will enjoy.

The basic premise that holds the narrative together throughout the performance is that of a  mother  weaving  a bedtime story  for her daughter who is, charmingly, named Boots. In what can only be described as a fairytale come to life prepare to delve head first into a spectacular world of fantasy.

Starring our charming heroine armed with only her over sized sword and her warriors spirit the audience willingly   follows along into the exciting realm of make believe and magic. Without giving too much of the show’s spellbinding examples of artistry away, expect  physical theatre interspersed with meticulously crafted props and some of the best shadow puppetry I’ve seen, all overlaid with an originally crafted score that could have come straight out of out of a storybook.

A coming of age journey about the  perils that await us all as we grow up and the moral choices that we each face to truly make us into who we are meant to be told with phenomenal stage skill and various performance mediums . The show is seamless. It’s original and charming, enchanting, and definitely will not leave you wanting. . . except maybe for an encore!

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 10+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/west_of_the_moon/4cedde26-16c5-4c00-a056-f552051ffe25/

Image credit: Ryan Svirac Photography

Review by Amanda Lancaster

Meet  Badger  and  Kit,  the  charismatic  real  life  siblings  whose  biggest  point  in  common  just so  happens to be  an  impressive  array  of  failed  relationships.  Terminally  single,  despite  both   good  and  bad  experiences  in their  love  lives,  these  two  have  decided   it’s  time  team  up  and   to  make  the  best  of  it. Pull  it  together  and put  it  together!  A  love  song  that  is,  and  the  best  one  ever at that.

But  what  is  it  that  makes  something  the  best?  How  do  you  create  it?  And  how  on  earth  will   they  ever manage  to  complete  the  best  song  ever  if  they  can’t  even  agree  on  what  love  is  or   should  be? Watch  as  the pair  make  their  way  through  a  live  exploration  of   just  exactly  what  they  each   think    it  takes  to    make  the best  love  song  and  of  course  the  ensuing  and  appropriate  sibling  rivalry   that  comes  with  agreeing  on anything – complete,  of  course with  singing,  bickering, and  squabbling.

Blending  beautifully  composed  lyricism  and  a  folk  melody  styling,  the  pair  use  the   duration  of    the performance  to  each  write  their  own  individual  love  song.  Exploring  the  themes  of  relationships  and individual    growth    in  the  realm  of    love  and  what  exactly  it  is   that  makes  us  the  best  most  loveable versions  of  ourselves? A  charming  and  humorous  performance  that  reminds  us  all  of  those  truly  fleeting  and often   ephemeral  elements  that  come  with  loving    and  being  loved  and  just  how  much  these   eclectic mixture of  things  can    shape  something.

The  desire,  the    inspiration,  the  want  and    need  ,  to  create  and   to  feel  something  and  to   bravely  offer  that something  out  into  the  overwhelming  possibility  of  nothingness. Love  in  song  and  love  in  relationships  have more  in  common  than  we  may  first  realise. Badger  and  Kit  may  very  well  write  the  best  love  song  ever  for all  we  know,  but  that’s  not   really  what  this  is  really  all  about  now  is  it?

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 8:15pm

Where: The Flaming Locomotive | State Theatre Centre WA | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $21

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/badger_and_kit_write_the_best_love_song_ever/2227b9c1-e81a-4ddd-9457-5f8850dc09a7/

 

Image: James McHale

Review by Kieran Eaton

What do you get when a former lawyer, now ABC newsreader does a FRINGEWORLD 2017 show? You get a talk show host who conducts interviews and brings on an entertainer halfway through the show. It’s like fusing ABC and SBS together on a Friday night.

Real Talk with James McHale starts with this politically-minded humourist, James McHale walking the stage and getting puffed out pretty quickly – it’s safe to say, he’s pretty unfit! (I guess his vocational background explains his lack of exercise.) McHale does a bit of slide-show humour to open the night before his interviews and entertainment. This warms the crowd up, however, he does not expect his guests to be quite as amusing as him.

Each night is different and not all the guests are taking part in FRINGEWORLD 2017. For example, this night his first guest is a man who been a judge to many politically charged cases. McHale explores the ethical conundrums in dealing with the justice system, outlining that things are not always black and white. McHale does use some suggested questions given by the crowd, written earlier before the show. He ends the show by giving an award (a portrait of the night) to the member of the crowd he deems to given the best question. (Take that Tony Jones!)

Real Talk with James McHale is like a mix between the Graham Norton show and an ABC radio interview but the mix tends to dilute the strength of the humour and the seriousness. However, if you want to see a light relaxing show, why not check it out?

 

When: 20th January – 11th February | Friday and Saturdays | 9:50pm

Where: Gelo at Piazza Hut | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Recommended 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/real_talk_with_james_mchale/e623975a-daa0-426e-be74-5d2e5f266a3c/

 

 

 

Image by: Very Serious

Review by Laura Money

What do you get when you take the big disasters of an era and combine them with the everyday disasters like running out of lip gloss? Some Kind of Disaster explores the intersection of these types of events on young people – taken from actual testimonies from the Riptide youth theatre company. It is an exploration of the theatrical and the trivial and how we are meant to react to events of either magnitude.

The ideas explored range from the indignity of being replaced by a baby sibling, worrying about the safety of one’s father during a terrible bushfire to the whimsical – getting lost for 10 minutes on a popular bush trail. It’s a bold project, perhaps a little too overreaching for so young a troupe. The young actors are passionate and confident, and will be ones to look out for in a few years’ time. As a reviewer, I always find youth art difficult to cover – on one hand I feel that they are good enough for their parents and grandparents, yet shouldn’t go beyond that until they are much older. On the other hand, I say it’s important to fan the flame of youth in the arts, as so many of them can be so terribly discouraged.

Reviewing this in the wider context of FRINGEWORLD 2017, Some Kind of Disaster is almost there – it’s written at a level of high-school drama, acted by impassioned youths with big eyes and loud voices who feel that by swearing it makes the piece somehow more significant. In the context of youth theatre, however these kids are doing great things. They are clearly still learning their craft, but are so invested that their sincerity shines through. There is a sense of camaraderie that seems to get lost as we get older, and an optimistism that bubbles over into the audience.

It’s important to support young people in the arts, and Some Kind of Disaster is the perfect work for contemplating life from a different perspective. Watch this space, because these kids are going places.

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 6:45pm

Where: The Flaming Locomotive | State Theatre Centre WA | PERTH

Tickets: $21

Info: Duration 55 minutes | WA Artist | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/some_kind_of_disaster/f1c7fd50-7863-42d2-ab34-8fa468804e21/

 

 

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Joe Sellman-Leava

Review by Laura Money

First impressions of the stripped back stage, lone male figure dramatically reciting Shakespeare’s most misogynistic and violent lines in a heartfelt and impassioned soliloquy, are that this is going to be one of *those* shows. You know, the pretentious thespian parading life and death around as if he is the most poignant speaker in the room – the ‘Shakespeare voice’ that echoes through to the cheap seats at the back: a load of darkness that frankly makes you want to go out and have a stiff drink. Love Thy Monster is anything but that! After the uncomfortable soliloquy follows Joe Sellman-Leava acting as all of the characters in the audition process. He jumps between himself and all of the players to recount a particular time of his life.

This is such a unique work – on the surface it is a one-man show about a rough period of the actor’s life. He is successful in his audition, and in developing a role as a violent man, realises that the research into domestic violence especially starts tormenting him. Sellman-Leava has a happy sensibility, and his exuberance shines through as he reenacts the chance and romantic meeting of his girlfriend, which coincided with his budding development of the play. We see him trying to get his head into each zone as he must go from violent anger to tender love and affection.

Running throughout the play like a thin thread are testimonies from interviews with acclaimed actor Patrick Stewart, who witnessed the terrible domestic violence meted out by his father to his mother in his youth, and also Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, a man known for his incredible proclivity to violence and horrendous attitude towards women. Sellman-Leava is a flawless actor, at first when one hears Stewart’s voice coming from his mouth, it is jarring and even more disconcerting with Tyson, however Sellman-Leava gets every nuance and inflection right.

The premise is heartbreakingly simple, weaving the complexities of violence through what is, in essence a love story. Sellman-Leava finds himself incredibly confused as he struggles to get angry during the play when he is meant to, and struggles to remain calm with his girlfriend, when he is also meant to. With Stewart and Tyson’s words buzzing in his head and the pressure to be something he is not, Sellman-Leava entices you to see the world in a way that may be a little uncomfortable, but in the end we must all face our inner monster.

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+ | Themes of domestic violence

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/love_thy_monster/3e1f49df-39a1-4236-830f-9fac526b04d1/

 

 

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Ayesha Hussian

Review by Laura Money

What do you get when you combine award-winning host Bernadette Byrne with a huge line-up of debaucherously delicious cabaret, burlesque and comedy from the festival? The Little Death Club of course. Hilariously and aptly named, this show will get you through the night with it’s after-party vibe. It’s a variety night like no other, guaranteed to make you feel just a little turned on!

Byrne opens the show in true cabaret style – she saunters through the audience, sultry voice filling the tent like a smoky haze. Her Eastern Bloc-vibe takes you straight back to the cabarets of early 20th century Berlin. Byrne sings of many sexual experiences, including her time with a geek, and banters with the audience like no other. It’s a testament to how good she is when she convinces an audience member to help her with her costume and he does it without hesitation.

Each night is different and features short acts from around the festival. The Little Death Club is part of the Dead Man label and all the performers throughout are part of that label. What you’ll get is the best of the best, including drag, burlesque and everything in between. The theme of the whole show, however is sexy. Byrne brings everything together in a teasingly sexy manner that will get you going all night long!

 

When: 20th January – 18th February 2017 | 11:15pm Friday and Saturdays only

Where: Circus Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $23 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Definitely 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_little_death_club/f81129bd-8a2e-4561-9098-fe6522eb2e69/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Las Comms

Review by Laura Money

Adelaide songstress Deborah Brennan has a case of Joni Mitchell which she brings to the intimate space of Ace’s Cabaret, Downstairs at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth. After sell-out seasons in Adelaide, Brennan shares her love for the iconic Canadian singer/songwriter in a touching tribute complete with soft lighting, smooth backing music and impeccably delightful vocals.

Accompanied by fellow Adelaide musicians, guitarist Liam Garcia and percussionist Chris Neale, Brennan brings all of Mitchell’s most beautiful and meaningful songs to life, including Chelsea Morning, A Free Man in Paris, California and my personal favourite, Both Sides Now. Brennan is softly spoken and attempts to colour each song choice with a small personal anecdote as to why the work is important to her. She falls a little short in this venture, and some of the links are tenuous at best. The strongest moment lies in the most intimate story of them all, Brennan’s loss and how the iconic Big Yellow Taxi takes on a new meaning in her grieving mind.

Brennan has an infectious charm that carries the show through. She is so sweet and soft, the cabaret crowd hangs on her every word. Make no mistake, Brennan is a beautiful singer, her voice weaves intimately around the tables and chairs, soaring at times to the very ceiling as though trying to burst through to the street upstairs. Mitchell’s sound was so unique and rather hard to replicate, and I feel that in the moments that Brennan attempts to channel her muse she blurs her voice a little too much. It is when she sings freely and with her own voice that Mitchell’s simplicity and emotion really shines through.

A Case of You: The Music of Joni Mitchell is a gem of a show, beautiful and hauntingly simple, just like Mitchell herself. Brennan takes Mitchell’s music and spends an hour giving the gift of Mitchell to an open and welcoming audience.

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: Ace’s Cabaret | Downstairs @ The Maj | PERTH

Tickets: $31 – $40

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable all ages

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/a_case_of_you_the_music_of_joni_mitchell/fdbe410f-db2e-465f-8335-4201888fd58c/

 

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Burns and Quartermain

Review and interview by Kieran Eaton

*Listen to our interview with this double act below. *

Brendon Burns and Craig Quartermaine (both original Perthies) have two unique backgrounds that they want to bring together. Brendon Burns and Craig Quartermaine: Race Off gives these two stand-up comedians the opportunity to riff off each other about a subject they both feel is important: race.

Both comics worry about how Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians don’t understand each other. They also feel that race has become a political hot potato that rather than instead of coming together, it appears to be all about ‘good will gestures.’  Burns, coming from a Non-Indigenous background has been living in the UK for about 20 years has always gotten angry at people feeling racially superior because we are all human and all need to be accountable equally. Quartmaine, the junior in terms of age and comedy experience wants to be a positive influence for the Indigenous community but not in a tokenistic manner. This unique pair, cleverly discuss what it means to be Australian and the future for racial harmony in a country Burns would describe as doing a lot of ‘naval gazing.’

Burns opens with a monologue that breaks any tension that may be in the crowd with solid-gold humour. He knows that some people in the audience don’t want to challenge their perception of Australia and this is reinforced when he brings on Quartermaine with joy to see him destroy the crowd with incisive material that can’t be disputed. This duo’s exceptionally punchy ideas will blow your mind.

Brendon Burn and Craig Quartermaine: Race Off is a once in a life time show that if you miss you may not forgive yourself. It’s thoughtful and funny, the ultimate combination.

 

When: 1st – 5th February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Gelo at Piazza Hut | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – 26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | WA Artist | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/brendon_burns_and_craig_quartermaine_race_off/b70c7948-512e-441b-a695-77c109295b69/

 

**Interview with Brendon Burns and Craig Quartermaine**

**LANGUAGE WARNING**

Interview with Brendon Burns and Craig Quartermaine

 

Image: Stamptown

Review by Kieran Eaton

Zach and Viggo: Thunderflop crashes and bangs just like thunder – it’s loud and may scare you! Don’t let it terrify you, though, these two entertainers do comedy in a mesmerising way – admitting that their brand of comedy is hard to describe. That’s what makes it special.

Zach Zucker is American and is an intensely amazing showman, while Viggo Venn is Norwegian and brings randomness to a whole new level. They bounce off each other with ease and it is hard to keep up with them at times! Both display an amazing amount of high energy that makes this absurdist show work to the max. When they use their bodies, it is stylish and seamless, and both parties are equally comfortable wearing lycra and using larger than life props that slightly satirise every kind of possible act that is in FRINGEWORLD 2017.

Thunderflop opens with some good old-fashioned audience participation. The duo get certain members of the crowd to become fictional characters that will be used throughout the show. The strange interactive scenes that follow bounce with high-octane energy, and any awkwardness just adds to the hilarity – every step of the journey is captivating. It appears each show gets a different outcome, depending on what the participants do. Both performers read the crowd so naturally that it almost seems like it is staged! This night it ends on a wedding, yet this crazy duo made it seem like it could have just been an idea on the fly.

Zach and Viggo: Thunderflop will take you to a dream-like world where perceptions and reality are smashed, leaving you in stitches.

 

When: 20th January – 4th February 2017 | 10:10pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $17 – $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/zach_and_viggo_thunderflop/ee891b94-3a30-4327-bcd1-bba55359b9ee/

Image credit: Joe Hulbert

Review by Laura Money

A beautifully rendered piece of physical theatre, Hummingbird tells a fierce love story and the lengths people will go to for their deepest desires. Set in a bygone post-war era, two lonely hearts find each other, and fall in love via correspondence, all set to a soundtrack of glamorous music and advertisements.

Items of clothing, letters, sparse furniture and suitcases are scattered about the stage – reanimated by the performers to create an ethereal and emotional unfolding of a beautiful, yet terrible story. Tooth + Nail Theatre Company bring the true story of Edith Cole, a mortuary worker and Ralph Conti, a conman of modest success to light. From their first tenuous meeting, to the budding love that emerges as two people are thrust together in intense circumstances.

The two lovers discover the horrors of betrayal from each other and the world, yet ride it out together. Characters weave in and out of each others’ arms in a pure expression of every emotion, and the intensity of fear that grips them. A third dancer takes on the role of inquisitor and authoritarian, yet acts as a guide through the story – a silent narrator, the physical manifestation of the moral compass of society.

The expressions of the actor’s faces and silken movements are captivating. The tension that runs throughout, aided by a recording of interrogation tapes and jaunty Americana advertising, is juxtaposed with the perfect fluidity of the dance. Tooth + Nail have created a truly beautiful, haunting story that blurs the line between right and wrong, and will question your empathy.

 

When: 30th January – 4th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: Burt Memorial Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $23 – $26

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/hummingbird/54c304ca-9801-46ee-b624-b00e959841e3/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne

Review by Kieran Eaton

Gordon Southern is British and happy to make fun of it. There are lots of hard things to swallow throughout history (mostly from 2016!) that we need to make fun of to get through the tough times.

Gordon Southern – That’s a Fun Fact is very novel in that it gives facts from only one year – 1989 that this comedian feels define this part of history.  Southern recounts that he previously did a show about the history of human civilisation and ending at 1989 because after the fall of the Berlin Wall a famous journalist said it is now the end of history. This thoughtful performer disagrees with this statement and gives his reasons why. Southern uses a musical sound effect to highlight throughout this historical journey when it is a fun fact and this keeps the night light and amusing. He knows with a crowd of a varying ages that some facts will have more relevance but outlines early that we can add input about different historical moments ourselves.

Southern starts off by acknowledging his environment being in a church and makes some solid jokes about it. This comic introduces himself well, explaining his background and the show’s premise smoothly. Sometimes Southern interacts with the crowd (mostly by reading reactions,) getting to know why some react the way they do and then making material about it, on the spot with quickness and energy.

Gordon Southern – That’s a Fun Fact is a uniquely conceptual show that is interesting and guaranteed to make you laugh…you never know, you just might learn something, too.

 

When: 27th January – 4th February 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: Burt Memorial Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $26

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 15 +

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/gordon_southern__thats_a_fun_fact/274824e9-d5b0-4cb8-874b-afe18454d40b/

 

Image Sarah Jones

Review by Kieran Eaton

Sarah Jones is an accomplished ventriloquist and she knows it – as she is good at making fun of her profession, especially with her puppets. Creepy Dummy specialises in the slightly irksome but just by looking at Jones’s sweetly innocent face you know she goes out of her way to scare you!

As Jones admits, this art form is not the easiest because some letters you can’t say without moving your lips. This preamble gives the audience realistic expectations but also breaks the fourth wall – the entertainment being so distracting it overrides the mechanics of ventriloquism. This leads her to taking a little while to warm the audience up but the more she interacts with the crowd the more they get into it.  Jones’ strength is her imagination rather than her joke writing – yet a few puns and old style gags round out the night.

Creepy Dummy creates dialogue for many objects, ranging from tennis balls to the standard doll head. The creepy thing about the doll head is that it is just a doll head. This idea cleverly delivers a head that wants a body and when Jones assists this head the funniness creeps to a new level. Jones gets the crowd involved, including getting a shy young man (myself – I know yours truly on stage!) to assist a puppet do a magic trick. This trick is well thought out and leads to many funny moments.

This show will keep you entertained throughout so go see Jones if you want to be be amused by a life-giver to a Creepy Dummy!

 

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 9:20pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $23

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Venue is 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/creepy_dummy/2d646ec5-b7b5-42ac-a6f9-4d78e9e1a222/

 

Image: Cameron McClaren

Review by Kieran Eaton

Cameron McLaren is an interesting fellow, full of dichotomies – he wears sportswear yet is unfit, and talks about drugs yet has a daggy nature.  6056 is about living in the self-confessed bogan hub of Midland and he appears to break that cultural stereotype.

However, not being a stereotype is an advantage in comedy because it means you can be liked by a greater range of people. McLaren uses his likeability to full effect in exciting the crowd and connecting with anybody from Midland.  Midland, like Armadale are very cliché suburbs so it is very easy for this local performer to have a crowd that gets the references. What makes it interesting is that he went to a neighbouring suburb’s high school, in Swan View. From his description, it seems that University aspirations were not a high priority at this school. This could have been a more focused point because I felt during his performance that I wanted to connect more with this bubbly character.

Each of McLaren’s shows, he gets an up and coming comedian to open for him. On the night of this review it’s Umar Azad, a young man of Australian Pakistani upbringing. He has excellent stage presence for a comedian new to the craft. When Azad brings McLaren on, the youngish lad comes to the stage with typical Aussie casualness and is quick to do self-depreciating humour, making the mostly Australian crowd not feel like he is an up-start.  This rising local comedian’s laid back nature almost makes it feel like he is just performing to a bunch of mates.

6056 is show where the highlights are more from the two performers’ stage craft than their material. This is McLaren’s first solo show, so exciting times ahead for future festivals.

 

When: 24th January – 2nd February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Elephant and Wheelbarrow | Northbridge | and MANPAC at Mandurah | PERTH

Tickets: $17 – $21

Info: Duration 60 minutes | WA Artist | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/6056/3523a8a5-7f6d-4dc8-bcc8-85f69573d0e6/

 

Image: Cut-throat Cabaret

Review by Amanda Lancaster

So you want to explore the cutthroat world of Cabaret do you?

Well step right up, come a little closer, that’s right…,.now…. don’t be afraid….

Actually maybe be just a little afraid, this is deadly entertainment after all.

Right folks here are the things you need to know:

Deadly Entertainment is a group that came to life coming up on nearly a decade ago now in our own little old Perth, however the last couple of years has truly seen the groups popularity grow to quite a frenetic pace. With two FRINGEWORLD shows under their belts already and both them and the people back again this year for more I have no doubt we will be seeing lots and lots  more of this outfits peculiar brand of entertainment. The creative force and drive behind  this  cabaret consortium is that of one mister Deadly Serious (I  kid you not)  and his inimitable, multi-faceted co-conspirator Ms Ivana B Serious.(I also kid you not!)

Taking their thematic style from old school vaudevillian variety gigs combined with a never ending array of up and coming and seasoned performers from ,across the modern day entertainment spectrum , the audience truly gets a  sample of almost everything you can think of.

Their promise? That you’ll never see the same show twice, a promise I can tell you from experience that these guys definitely make good on. Each night of the fringe season sees a different line-up of varied acts and performers. With a fabulously eclectic mixture of off kilter and on form artists collected for your viewing pleasure, you’ll be hard-pressed to not find something in this nonstop variety our that tickles you.

So, if you’re overwhelmed trying to choose from all of the fabulous fringe options or simply have no idea what you should pick and can’t make up your mind, this is the one for you. The perfect introduction to all things daring and delicious for both the seasoned show goer and the newcomer, Cut-throat Cabaret is perfect  for whetting one’s whistle

The concept behind this deadly caper? Why to entertain you of course….whether you like it or not.

 

When: 27th January – 2nd February 2017 | 8:30pm

Where: Black Flamingo | Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $28 – $30

Info: Duration 60 minutes | WA Artist | 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/cutthroat_cabaret/c3579ed5-39bf-4352-a431-473700f80bc8/

Image: David Simard

Review by Amanda Lancaster

Is there anyone who didn’t want to at some point in their lives just, run away and join the circus? Remember the excitement and nervous energy as you looked around at what could only be described as magic? The powerful sway it held over the senses and imagination, bringing to life that small flicker of silliness and laughter in us all?

Does it make you feel whimsical? Childlike with wonderment?  Remember what the circus was like?

You do?

Good, now forget everything you thought you knew about the ringside folks because this is definitely one big top show, the likes of which you have never encountered before.

Enter a troupe of illustrious beards and the humans attached to them. Scantily clad specimens demonstrating the highest quality in physical machismo, and that’s just the start.

Ceaseless, incredible acts are performed one after the other at a dizzying pace as the audience watches on with bated breath; each incredible feat becomes more daring than the last. Consummate professionals and traditionally trained in the ways of the original fairground style circuses of  times gone by, the Alfonse troupe take all the best,  most  timeless elements of the craft    and reanimate it for a new hard to impress generation of modern audiences.

Performed against a backdrop of huge projection screens featuring  a hypnotic assortment of flickering randomness, the whole performance is woven together with an underlying soundtrack of what can only describe as being electro-folk pop music – prepare for total sensory overload.

Roller-skating, contortion, physical demonstrations of strength and agility, acrobatics, clowning and so very much more are interspersed cleverly with various  other entertainment mediums to create an eclectic and charming overall absurdity .

Cheeky, jocular risqué and unconventional The Cirque Alfonse’s are unquestionably the venerated hit of the Fringe circus acts. So come one, come all and vicariously live out your fantasies with this latest bizarre revue, all while remaining safely in your seats.

 

When: 20th January – 3rd February 2017 | 6:30pm & 10:00pm

Where: Salon Perdu Speigeltent | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $41 – $50.50

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/barbu/d291e7b5-8daa-4fe4-8d81-4f795d520f4c/

 

Image credit: Simon Pynt

Review by Amanda Lancaster

This is a real love story, about the reality of love. Boy meets girl…..well…… idealist romantic male meets nonconformist feminine interest of affection. As most do, both boy and girl, fall, into the ensuing terribly, messy, confusing, wonderfully heart wrenching abyss that is love.

So what happens when two people who feel they complete each other have wildly different ideals on what exactly being someone’s other half entails?   Where do you go when the stereotypical guidelines followed by most is a path you were never taught to follow? Can any chosen pair no matter how seemingly well suited honestly progress in a modern society where the obvious joyous climactic moment in any coupling isn’t the obvious choice? Marriage!

 Welcome to the realistic demonstration of what happens when the bubble truly bursts. Talented  theatrical all-rounder Mark Storen  plays our rose-tinted glasses male lead with his story book views of love, attempting to steadfastly steer the relationship towards the next beautiful step, because  ‘it’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Georgia King gives a sharply clever performance of a woman who poignantly believes that saying yes is little more than her giving in to the historical archetypes she has witnessed throughout not only her years but the worlds. The starring duo give life to the narrative, letting it unfold before the audience’s rapt gaze.  From the first ideas of love that grow sadly but steadily into the often denied yet incurable resentment of two people trying to understand how to let go of what they thought they wanted and needed most.

It is hard not to fall in love with the painful romance and utterly beautiful melancholy of the entire piece but it is the pure accurate dissection and dissemination of the terms and words so easily and often thrown about in modern love that have me hooked. Musical metaphors wind in an out of the piece as the relationship unfolds and falters in front of the audience, portraying the often unspoken words felt in this type of real life scenario.

A total autopsy of the institution that is marriage, where the true base when contemplating vows in the vein of love, marriage and forever are totally laid bare. This is a must see for all lovers of the light found in the dark and for the tragic in romance.

When: 24th -28th January 2017 | 4:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $23 – $26

Info: Duration 55 minutes | WA Artist | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_one_by_jeffrey_jay_fowler/0ed9d40b-437b-4a43-b93a-08794173e733/

Image: Josh Glanc

Review by Kieran Eaton

Just by looking at the title you may think this show sounds odd and it is in a side clenching hilarious way! Performer and show creator, Josh Glanc is some special talent who just being looking at him know he is bit of a character.

99 Schnitzels (Veal Ain’t One) is superb character comedy because it feels surreal and absurd!  Paradoxically, the characters he portrays gives intense realism it sometimes feels like the crowd is unsure how he is messing with our heads. Glanc switches between characters with so much ease it is insane. His consistency is truly professional, beyond his status currently as an entertainer. There is so much craziness you just accept as normal.

When you first see Glanc, he is pretending to vacuum around our chairs and some audience members look at amazement and cluelessness in wondering if this is part of the show. This character is a bit of a side character to the main entertainer. Weird words come out his mouth but they sense and elicit laughs due to his flawless delivery. Glanc uses an audience member for part of his show and gets maximum laughter from this hesitant assistant. The show ends with the cleaner character, making this absurdist journey end in a circular manner.

99 Schnitzels (Veal Ain’t One) is one of those shows that don’t come often, in where the performers treads the fine line between reality and tripping with your head, perfectly.

 

When: 21st January – 5th February 2017 | 9:20pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/99_schnitzels_veal_aint_one/d004caed-98fb-4145-9728-a909848c5615/

 

Image: Rory Lowe

Review by Kieran Eaton

Seeing a young white man with dreadlocks it’s easy to imagine this comedian, Rory Lowe will blend in well to this Fremantle venue and he does! Wearing a smart shirt, he jokes that his shirt will allow him to be taken seriously.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Australia is storytelling at its best. This young comedian commands the stage, with a carefree nature. Lowe came to Australia from the UK, about five years ago, and has recently completed a University degree here in Perth. As you may have guessed this free spirit has an adventurous side and does not mind taking a risk, whether it is experimenting with drugs or hitchhiking to Broome for a comedy gig! Lowe’s calm demeanour gives us faith that we will be taking a safe journey.

Lowe opens by describing himself and his background. He loves Perth, saying it is much safer and muses why, when compared to the UK. The night consistently gets laughter from all sections of the room. He also explains his life philosophies showing wisdom beyond his age but when he keeps meeting up with some quite scary lift givers, it gives him a moment of pause. It is a wild journey that questions any desire to drive out into the outback. As a typical comedian, Lowe sees the bright side of the journey as an opportunity to tell an amazingly funny and gripping story.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Australia is an independent show and has a performer that would be happy to have a beer and chill with, with a chance that he may be thinking could I turn this into something funny.

 

When: 22nd – 29th January 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: Freo Royal | Federal Hotel | Fremantle | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_hitchhikers_guide_to_australia/65177dfb-9983-4f0c-9e08-573992fe9da7/

 

Image credit: Sophie Ansell Photography

Review by Kieran Eaton

Walking into the show and straight away seeing a woman dressed as a blue sperm commands all your attention, to this confident but neurotic comedian. Her bright blue jumpsuit is as bright as her personality.

There is lots of weirdness in this show but Helen Duff is aware and prepares the audience for this. Helen Duff – Come With Me, is a psychological journey into getting – or in her case – not getting an orgasm. This idea appears hard to believe as Duff shows confidence in her sexuality and is easy to look at, even dressed as a sperm. However, when she starts talking manically and a bit naively about her sexual experiences you start to understand her dilemma. There is still a relaxed vibe, as Duff delivers this material with loads of fun. Just looking at her face makes you smile, at the way she creates facial expressions in an insane manner.

From the start of the show, Duff gets crowd involvement initiated and with some hesitation – still getting rewarded with her friendliness. This spun-out crowd warms to her quickly, allowing her to get all involved in a final scene with her. As sex is a tabooed subject some crowd members are less helpful to her but she still gets a laugh from all. She bounces around the stage and Duff’s enthusiasm is infectious, the show is carefully built to a grand crescendo.

Duff is an act you want to see again and again – she is a truly comedic performer.

 

When: 27th January – 2nd February 2017 | 10:00pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – 23

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Adult content | Recommended 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/helen_duff_come_with_me/bb9ca645-0244-4444-88e1-62cd069d414a/

 

Image credit: Tom Greble

Review by Kieran Eaton

NINTENDO LIVE! is one of a kind, as you don’t often see console geeks who are also accomplished jazz musicians. Amazingly these approximately 30-something  bros, called Smashbros have a unique angle – trying something different at wedding parties.

As you may have guessed, playing Nintendo music at weddings was not a success – yet playing in FRINGEWORLD 2017 works perfectly! These young-at-heart men have bundles of charisma, plus energy and mountains of that indeed. You’d think for a late-night show, they’d be subdued but they bring it to the mellow crowd this sense of fun that even if you never played Nintendo games you’d still love them. These three geeky musos bond over their childhood adventures of being the best at Mario Kart, etc.

When one of the band members tells us that we can play Mario Kart (there is a TV with consoles to the side of their stage) during their set, you know this will be a one of a kind experience. These performers are very easy going as perform to people standing, drinking, and playing a console game! Everyone gets surprised with their multitude of talent in making Nintendo music with a mixture of Jazz style and electronic based instruments, that they alternate with style. The night has an organic feel in that they sometimes turn around to watch the game players and say we will challenge the winners.

NINTENDO LIVE! is a show that embraces music of different eras in a unifying manner. Keep your eye out for these young artists who will soon develop a cult following.

 

When: 22nd January 2017

Where: The Ellington Jazz Club | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $23.50 – $31

Info: Duration 60 minutes | WA Artist | 18+ venue

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/nintendo_live/eb83e515-1601-4b00-b8f3-c239add11b4f/

Image credit: Martina Lang Photography

Review by Laura Money

Helen Duff returns to Perth in a show about…nothing. Duff hasn’t got a plan and that’s ok – each show is different. She proclaims at the beginning that there will be loose threads and proceeds to give the audience ideas to come back to later. She claims to have difficulty finishing sentences without becoming distracted by other thoughts. This is an exercise in free writing, improvisation and true jesting, hilariously presented in an electric blue jumpsuit!

It’s not as on-the-fly as it sounds, don’t get me wrong, Duff admits that there is no planned structure to the show, but she is such a great performer that the audience hang on every word. Duff creates ‘spaces’ onstage for her thoughts – one space for the voice of truth, one for the exhibitionist, one for the purely visceral – in a physical manifestation of her brain-space. She paces manically between these spaces, often interrupting herself, before moving to the next point.

This is pure artistry. A show like this could very easily put the audience offside, yet Duff’s gentle inclusivity and friendly, mild audience interaction encourage a whole room conversation. It’s obvious that she’s in control, it just feels like hanging out with that one goofy mate who always keeps you entertained. Duff takes the thoughts and feelings we all have and brings them to the fore. She cuts open her head and spills her brain out for all to see – and we happily help her scoop in all back in again.

 

When: 27th January – 2nd February 2017 | 8pm

4th February 2017                             | 9:00pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

HUBBUB at MANPAC | Mandurah

Tickets: $19 – $23

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/helen_duff_when_the_going_gets_duff/0306cf4a-2c71-4dc8-97af-4cc26ec21b12/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Photo credit: Luke Cadden

Review by Laura Money

Rowena Hutson is a one-woman whirlwind! She opens her show with a fast-paced re-enactment of all of the Die Hard movies, costumes, wigs, blood and all. This pace sets up the whole show – what follows is an affectionate homage to the action movies (and stars) that shaped the 80s and 90s, and in doing so, shaped the life of little Ro, making her the woman she is today.

I must admit, I expected this show to be about badass women – characters who rocked the socks off  their leading men and kicked butt in killer heels. It’s not but that doesn’t matter. It’s about how the best action heroes are men (there’s just no way of getting around it) because they don’t have to answer to anyone. Their worth is not defined by others and they sure as hell don’t care about other people.

Hutson takes you on a dance complete with cue cards (al a Bob Dylan) and demonstrates some of the cool things she’s learned from a misspent youth of action-movie marathons. She proves that little girls are just as influenced by leading men as little boys. Then she turns it around – her next dance shows how these heroes treat women in their respective movies. Watching Indiana Jones demand kisses from a woman, or Bill and Ted rescue smart women without getting their names formed the nucleus of feminist thoughts that Hutson would have today.

This show is clever. It’s funny and a bit tragic. Hutson uses her deep affection for the genre but frames it in the context of her childhood and her self-worth. One thing is clear, though, Hutson is a strong female character.

 

When: 27th – 31st January 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: Perth Town Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/rowena_hutson_strong_female_character/01df16ab-4715-4489-a295-08bb055c3058/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Michael Wheatley

Review by Brandon Taylor

When a seasoned musician and veteran of the burlesque scene such as Michael Wheatley (who has been part of Sydney’s music and cabaret arenas since the early 90’s) takes the stage, you know that you’re in for an entertaining night.

“The carpet’s clean… we’ll have to do something about that,” said Wheatley as he slid behind the piano dominating the Ellington’s stage. Almost immediately, he launched into a tender ballad. Smooth to start, the lyrics turned greasy as Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (drums) and Stefano Cosentino (bass) joined him to complete the mixture of soul/funk, cabaret and comedy that is the Dirty Carpet Disco Band.

Kitty and Consetino were first-timers to the group (usually manned by Josh Wermut on bass and Ben Isackson on drums), but they slotted right into Wheatley’s montage of crooning tunes and slapstick interludes.

Custom made for cabaret, the vibe set up burlesque dancers Kelly Ann Doll and Betty Bombshell perfectly. Sometimes they played Wheatley’s angry ex-lovers, sometimes they played sultry seductresses yet to be sampled, but each of their appearances rocked the stage (and the front row tables) with a flesh-tinted fury only the finest and most confident of performers can deliver.

The music was catchy, if a bit trite. Wheatley’s stage presence was grand, if a bit rummy. And the burlesque dancers rounded off what would be the ideal performance to get rowdy about while downing some of the good stuff.

When: 25th, 28th Jan,  10th, 11th Feb

Where: The Ellington Jazz Club, 191 Beaufort St | PERTH

Tickets: $15 – $20

Info: Duration 100 mins | Cabaret | Burlesque

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/michael_wheatley_and_the_dirty_carpet_disco_band/4cd1835c-b3f3-4c7e-bb4b-8f47a2278a20/

 

 

 

 

 

Profile: View Brandon's profile here

Email: brandon.taylor@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Joshua Ladgrove

Review by Kieran Eaton

Wow, this character is so unique it is beyond words. The show could be called, “beyond words” as the laughter comes more from the character’s personality than his material.

Neal Portenza is still intelligent because creator Joshua Ladgrove has a bright mind and with the use of the Portenza character arrogance can be displayed in a humorous way. This intense show, has an Andy Kaufman feel to it – sometimes it seems the humour comes more from shocking the audience. This one of a kind beret-wearer brings awkwardness to a whole new level, his rosy-cheeked showmanship highlighting his own awkwardness. This creates scenes where the punchlines can be obscure.

Neal Portenza Neal Portenza Neal Portenza Tracy is very ironic. Early on Portenza gives the crowd choices on what type of material they want but it is done in a mocking manner that treads the fine line of genius meta-humour and just creating a night of more social tension that he tries to climb out. This night it is the latter and I start feeling sorry for some of the audience members that they must deal with his forceful nature. Luckily, Portenza displays an excellent wit that always brings audience members back to his world. I have a strong feeling each show brings different outcomes to how he brings on his anti-humour material.

This show is not for everyone but if you like your comedy on the wild side you will love him. Open your heart and minds to the craziness of Portenza!

 

When: 20th January – 5th February 2017 | 7:40pm and 6:00pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | and MANPAC, Mandurah | PERTH

Tickets: $19 -$23

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/neal_portenza_neal_portenza_neal_portenza_tracey/2acdfa84-695c-4446-98ff-b3a153ee2260/

5136_Uta_banner_EFUL_WEB

Review by Laura Money

Have you dreamt of going to glitzy Hollywood after parties? Do you fantasise about drinking champagne between the sheets of a celebrity’s hotel room bed? Do you love people and really getting to know them? If you answered yes (or even no) to these questions, Uta Uber Kool Ja is the show for you!

Uta and her assistant George invite you to the hottest after party in town. Join them in their specially built hotel room in the middle of the Pleasure Garden for a night of champers and frivolity. George greets you outside the hotel room and is so kind and accommodating, you know you’re going to be looked after. Upon entering the hotel room, it’s time to party with Uta – a glam rock tragedy in bright clothes and Emma Thompson hairstyle, it’s clear that Uta is past her music career prime. We all help fuel her delusion, in a bid to cheer the world. The audience interaction is there, this is immersive theatre after all, but no-one is pressured to do anything they don’t want to. It’s a very encouraging space and would be the perfect introduction to immersive shows for someone a little reluctant.

Uta is hilarious as the older singer who has seen better days and done better drugs, and George keeps the flow going with his biting wit and quick quips. This show is slick and smart but behind the glamour and poking fun, lies a real warmth and love for fellow man. This show has true heart and you will leave with a feeling of hope and love for all of the crazy cats who inhabit it.

When: 20th January – 5th February 2017 | 7 & 9pm

Where: The Aloft Hotel Room | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: From $36

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/uta_uber_kool_ja/8d63248c-9123-45ea-8d5a-1bee85be804a/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

5115_Xavier_Michelides_2012_Mark_Gambino-0072_EFUL_BIO

Xavier Michelides returns to Perth in this delightfully bizarre exploration of his thoughts – the literal real-time creation of a Festival show. Michelides is personable and kind, his jokes volley off the crowd brilliantly – connecting the crowd through all things Generation Y. The guy literally opens by explaining the phrase ‘crack a boner’ yet his humour is only crass when it is clever.

Michelides is the king of call-backs, he weaves his material and stories expertly together through quick little asides and well-crafted jokes. Highlights include a very unique safari adventure, what it is like living next door to a fire station, and what it’s like to have a name popular amongst frequently lost children.

At the base of this show is a comedian who is sure of his craft. His 90s influences and career moves combine to create a clever set, consisting of observational humour with a unique twist. Michelides exposes his though process and has a laugh at himself more than others, it is this affable charm that gets you in a good mood. Lettuce Do This is a solid forty five minutes of good comedy by a comedian in his element.

 

When: 27th – 31st January 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: Burt Memorial Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Suitable 15 +

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/xavier_michelides__lettuce_do_this/f7d3a1af-6c76-41c4-a1ad-c72ff9c74f45/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: Betty Grumble

First of all, there is no-one in the world like Betty Grumble. This phenomenal performer is everything – funny, clever, gorgeous, grotesque, intimate, obscene, intense, delightful, and above all else, the ultimate feminist. Sex Clown Saves The World is more than just a title – Grumble is saddened by the way we treat this world, the way the patriarchy has f**d us all over and she’s going to shout about it!

Piles of rubbish fill the stage, discarded newspaper, plastic, and junk are strewn around carelessly. Among the rubbish and detritus of society, lies a pair of women’s legs, unceremoniously stuffed into a filthy rubbish bin. This is Betty. She emerges from the bin with a big wig and smile, grotesque clown-like makeup in a parody of the ridiculous standards of beauty put upon women in society. Grumble moves like no other – every song or dance is a heightened send-up of the genre – a striptease sees every part of her exposed (guts and all), an exercise class becomes about running from sexual harassment and slut-shaming, and a love-ballad to Mother Earth really gets the ‘Ecosexual’ treatment.

This is a very important show to see. It covers a range of issues, yet at the heart is Eco-feminism and a deep desire to change the world – one vagina at a time! Be warned, though this show is not for the faint-hearted. There is no touching, unless it’s consensual, yet it’s a show designed to put you on edge – Grumble wants you to feel discomfort as it is a discomfort we should all feel about the state of the world.

 

When: 28th January – 3rd February 2017 | 9:45pm

Where: Circus Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $19 – $25

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Sexually explicit content | Nudity | 18+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/betty_grumble_sex_clown_saves_the_world/a516a12e-a077-4f08-b323-42a9bbf76f2f/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image: A lad insane

Review by Laura Money

The Last Waltz is a charmingly beautiful play about how two people can bond over the one thing that is universal – love. It isn’t a love story, however, the two people in question are just two men from different walks of life who get talking and realise they have more in common than they first thought.

Krishnan Singh is a taxi driver on a normal night out, working the graveyard shift, listening to music when he picks up a rather unexpected fare. It all seems so normal at first, this loud man with his bag of bottles and tools clanking around at his feel, chatting away in a thick Aussie drawl. They chat and really get to know each other, Krishnan reveals his love for karaoke and this evokes stories about a wedding the young man attended in his youth.

The young man gets out and when he returns, everything changes. What follows is a fast-paced drive through Perth, as the bond between these two people of such different backgrounds is strained and then strengthened. Connecting on a level that many wouldn’t, The Last Waltz uses clever language to bind these two in a deep friendship and understanding. Tender, heartfelt, and well performed, The Last Waltz is a beautiful play about connection.

 

When: 26th January – 12th February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Hellenic Club WA | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $16

Info: Duration 35 minutes | WA Artist | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/the_last_waltz/e1167191-2a5b-42db-adc0-d0325fc0df64/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Photo credit: Andrew Bell

Review by Laura Money

What do you get when you put a group of improv comedians onstage and force them to perform for 24 hours? A whole lot of fun and craziness that will split your sides all night long! There are points when the audience is yawning more than laughing, but that’s not personal. (I hope!) 24 Hour HOO-HAA returns to FRINGEWORLD 2017 in an epic battle of imagination and quick-wittedness. Abandoning the traditional format of pitting two teams against each other, the team at the Hoo-Haa join forces to create 24 hour-long blocks of improvisational comedy gold.

Each hour features a different line-up of players, including a few guest appearances, and a different theme or game format. Starting at 9:00pm, the teams cover everything from singing games to guessing games, themes of love to long-form scene based games. The two hours I managed to cover (I know it was only 2 hours, what a piker!) between 1am and 3am saw rapidly changing scenes with the power given to the audience and a brilliant take on a Film Noir mystery.

Look, at 3am it gets a bit silly – the performers are still sparkling with energy, although the piano accompanist looks ready to sleep on the middle C key. Players hype up on energy drinks or go home for a nap – ready to face their shift later in the day. There is a kind of buzz that fills the atmosphere of an all-night party. Everyone is hyper – the bar is fully stocked with sugary beverages and lollies – and ready to giggle as if they were 10 years old and sleeping over a friend’s house. The folks at The Big Hoo-Haa sure are brave, loveable, foolish and fun – plus for every hour you stay, you get $1 back – so stay and receive a full discount, if you’re up for it!

 

When: 28th – 29th January 2017 | 9:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Gelo at Piazza Hut | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $25

Info: Duration 1440 minutes (that’s 24 hours!) | Probably best for 18+ | WA Artist

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/24_hour_hoohaa/b46095dc-8a41-4978-9aa5-bc6a67c85b4c/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Fraser Cameron

Review by Laura Money

An empty stage awaits. I mean actually empty, not even scaffolding or cool lighting effects – just the staggered seating of the audience and a painted black floor. Comedian Trygve Wakenshaw cautiously enters the stage – no props in hand, just him in a suit. He takes a tentative step towards the audience. He lets out a cheep! All at once, Wakenshaw transforms into a chicken crossing the road – thus begins NAUTILUS. Literally opening with a twist on the age-old classic, ‘why did the chicken cross the road’ gag epitomises what Wakenshaw is all about. It’s pure silliness, wrapped up in physical comedy.

Once the crowd figures out what Wakenshaw is up to, the atmosphere relaxes and people really start to laugh. It’s impossible not to laugh out loud, Wakenshaw’s antics elicit a deep delight. His sketches are razor-sharp yet goofy at the same time – clever and on point, yet ridiculous and nonsensical. Wakenshaw bends and twists like a human pretzel, stretching out his gangly frame to create a whole raft characters and scenarios.

From a series of animals being exploited only to get their revenge, to a realistic take on the Rapunzel tale, from a wild-west saloon duel, to Jesus Christ unable to dive into a swimming pool, every sketch is captivating and wholly immersive. Highlights of the show include a brilliant mime of a stand-up comedy act, complete with set-list scrawled onto the hand and audience interaction, a pole dance like no other – let’s just say he strips bare the art of stripping – and my personal favourite, a surreal experience involving a dinosaur getting ready for bed.

Every facet of this show has been honed to perfection. Wakenshaw moves his body in ways I didn’t know the human body could move! He is fluid and playful, and entirely capable of creating a whole world with only his body. NAUTILUS is an endearing and belly-laugh inducing rollercoaster of scenarios punctuated by an immensely talented, 21st century clown.

When: 27th January – 4th February 2017 | 75 minutes

Where: Summer Nights at the State Theatre Centre WA | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $29

Info: Duration 75 minutes | Suitable all ages, recommended 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/trygve_wakenshaw_nautilus/2dce0757-f628-44d6-a617-7ed0c2f1fc3c/

 

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: John Marshall

Review by Laura Money

*Language warning*

Tired after a long day at work? Upset by being overlooked by your colleagues day-in and day-out? Want a partner in life but find it hard to make a connection with anyone? Then you need to login to the online world of Dr Felicity Rickshaw’s Celebrity Sex Party and read some incredibly out-there erotic fan fiction!

Rickshaw greets you with one of her signature sexy stories, involving “Harry-fucking-styles” and eventually all of the lads from One Direction and it’s a bold choice of opener! Think: the dirtiest, seediest, most perverse sex movie ever made and you can guess the twist. Peppered throughout the grossness and silly erotic fan-fiction terminology and prose is Dr Rickshaw’s “Sex Thesaurus” – a group of fabulously glittery singers who help her find the right sexy euphemisms to get the story going.

Once the first story is over, the show reveals that Dr Rickshaw is really just a young woman who is unsure about the world. Whilst her alter-ego Dr Rickshaw is out getting slammed by everyone at sexy Hollywood parties, Amy sits at home with her cat and is all but anonymous at work. Amy retreats into the world of eroticism and fantasy to escape the doldrums and anxieties that make up her real life.

Shy, awkward, and put-upon Amy commands the stage as Dr Rickshaw, hilariously acting out the wildest fantasies to coincide with her real-life hiccoughs. After being invited to a Matrix night, Rickshaw is in deep…space, where she must placate alien genitalia – one member at a time. After facing the criticism of her sister, Dr Rickshaw befriends Madonna in a weird love-story. She navigates the world of celebrity sex with ease and poise, yet fumbles when it comes to a first kiss.

Dr Felicity Rickshaw’s Celebrity Sex Party is high-octane, non-stop laughter complete with the heady mix of self-awareness and pathos. It pulls at the heartstrings as well as your belt! From a chance encounter with Mr Darcy himself, to getting advice on being a badass in general from the Queen of everything, Meryl Streep this show has something for everyone – and it’s all accompanied by a rocking soundtrack and a Russian pianist. Come and see it, well maybe not in that order!

 

When: 20th January – 1st February 2017 | 9:45pm

Where: The Flaming Locomotive | State Theatre Centre WA | PERTH

Tickets: $26

Info: Duration 55 minutes | Definitely 18+ | Sexual content

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/dr_felicity_rickshaws_celebrity_sex_party/9d47abf8-ab8f-4100-b5bf-adc62f7c758f/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Kirk Marsh

Review by Laura Money

Are you in the mood for dancing and romancing? Need a crash course in calypso music? Well, Juan Vesuvius in  Calypso Nights has you covered! Cheeky, clever and funny this is one of the best nights out you’ll ever have. Juan is a suave and sexy performer, he greets the crowd with a hilarious opening number and doesn’t let the language barrier get in the way. Calypso Nights is good, old-fashioned comedy. The gags are silly but clever, they prove that sometimes what you say isn’t as funny as how you move – funny is universal, after all.

Juan prances about the stage with confidence. He is in his element, teaching the audience about the beautiful musical form – Calypso. His passion shines through as he demonstrates what Calypso is, and what it isn’t (apparently it isn’t a German language record!) Mixing music and any record the op-shops had, presumably, Juan stands proudly at his turn-table, gyrating and grooving along to the music.

His command of the stage is perfect – Juan winks roguishly at the audience, teaches us how to play the maracas, uses the audience to hold up his props and even gets one lucky guy involved! He schools you in the various musical styles that he loves, and acts out the funniest rendition of Wuthering Heights you’ll ever see.

Juan Vesuvius in Calypso Nights is pure and utter silliness. The jokes are almost vaudevillian, the music is grooving and I defy anyone to not dance and shake all night long afterwards!

 

When: 23rd – 30th January 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Black Flamingo | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $16 – $23

Info: Duration 65 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/juan_vesuvius_in_calypso_nights/52315676-a3d7-4ada-8382-dd76b6a8c54b/

 

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image credit: Scott Chalmers

Review by Laura Money

EastEnd Cabaret returns to Perth for FRINGEWORLD 2017 in their not-to-be-missed musical comedy entertainment showcase: Sexual Tension. This show is electric with energy, laughter, and of course sexual tension! Join Bernadette and Victy as they take you on a journey of exploration and bring the unspoken tension of the world right into your laps.

This show is smart and hilarious, from the get-go Bernadette is determined to make a grand entrance – and believe me, you won’t have seen anything like it in another show. Put-upon Victy (Victor/Victoria) accompanies the host with a plethora of musical instruments, keeping her watchful eye on Bernadette in a case of hero-worship gone mad. Victy hilariously throws slurs at any audience member Bernadette seems taken by, even taking it to the extreme at one point – it is clear that only Victy will appreciate Bernadette for who she really is.

The songs are tight and funny, covering all forms of sexual tension from amazing sex with a yoga guru, to jealousy on the perfect date, and even how to have a quiet night in – Bernie and Victy-style. (It’s mostly just getting wasted and watching an Ice-Road Truckers marathon.) This is where the funny happens – all of Victy’s little asides, Bernadette’s clear discomfort yet flattery whenever Victy gives her that look, their obvious friendship and camaraderie make for a truly hilarious show.

EastEnd Cabaret: Sexual Tension will relieve you of the tension that has been building all fringe – the highlight of the show is sage advice administered in the form of a duet – how to relieve yourself of sexual tension, in dangerously public locations. Go and see it, if only to finally release the tension!

 

When: 20th – 30th January 2017 | 8:15pm

Where: Circus Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $26 – $33

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/eastend_cabaret_sexual_tension/a0492bf6-1f33-4afd-a3c8-4dc3d64bbd8d/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Image Credit: EClaire photography

Review by Laura Money

Are you in the mood for a musical but don’t want to sit down for four hours of characters lamenting their losses in a historical era you can’t remember? Well Hand in Hand have you covered with Nick Choo’s award-winning musicals.

Each piece is 10 minutes long, and is a musical in its entirety. Choo introduces the show and the players, cheekily joking that he can’t sing, but they can. Choo’s intro is a bit clumsy and stilted and might need polishing for future shows. The first piece tells of children lost, from the panic of a child wandering off at the shops to the wider problem of child trafficking and hostile family relationships. The idea is good, but the lyrics are a bit lacklustre, considering the topic.

Next is a charming little work involving two star-crossed Jack-in-the-Boxes. The composition is charming and playful with an undercurrent of tragedy. Both performers are perfect – they keep it light but evoke emotion with their soft delivery – neglected toys in an iPhone world.

Third is a unique piece using the voice of a sat-nav to navigate the ups and downs of a relationship. This is good but a little over-sung for such a small space. It’s a nice little piece but not groundbreaking. The final piece sees the singers as unborn children waiting to enter the world. It’s fun, energetic and optimistic and takes full advantage of the remarkable harmonies the singers can achieve.

 

Four in Fifty is ambitious and unique, however the lyrics are a tad incongruous to the song at times and the singers are a bit too loud, although this could just be the venue. Lose the American accents and you have four unique Austro-Malaysian mini musicals.

 

When: 24th – 28th January 2017, 6pm and 7:30pm

Where: The Laneway Lounge, PERTH

Tickets: From $16

Info: Duration 60 mins, suitable all ages

Link: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/four_in_fifty_a_mini_musical_marathon/e5516545-36ef-4eec-b4ff-7d254cd669ba/

Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!

Profile: View Laura's profile here

Email: laura.money@theaustraliatimes.com.au