Mar 19

FRINGE THEATRE – That Daring Australian Girl – Holden Street Theatres – 4.5K

scaled_That_Daring_Australian_Girl_imageAlexander Ewers

Muriel matters. The story of Adelaide’s own born and bred feminist, suffragette and social warrior, Muriel Matters, is one which should never be consigned to history. With a message undimmed by time and more topical than ever, “That Daring Australian Girl” proves both compelling theatre and a powerfully moving ode to the life and achievements of a woman who can only be described as remarkable.

Courtesy of director/performer/producer Joanne Hartstone, “That Daring Australian Girl” is an autobiographical study in the life of Muriel Matters, a name that ought to be more widely recognized and celebrated especially in this her hometown. Charting her meteoric rise from talented elocutionist and stage performer, to demagogue at the heart of the battle for female suffrage in London, Hartstone takes us on a journey through 12 gripping chapters in this woman’s life. The stages of Melbourne’s theatres, the galleries of the Houses of Parliament, London, the torture chambers of suffragette imprisonment – all come alive under the magic of Joanne’s touch. This is by no means though, simply a factual chronology. It is Matters reincarnated. This is Hartstone’s real achievement. That Daring Australian Girl is an intensely personal journey of self-discovery and self-actualisation, in which the audience cannot help but become emotionally invested, and against which injustices past and present are thrown into stark relief.

For 70 minutes, Joanne Hartstone holds sway, delivering a heart-on-sleeve performance encompassing orated recitations, quotes relived verbatim, and even a couple touching vocal numbers. Testament to the work and dedication of this burgeoning and increasingly acclaimed theatre practitioner, the detail and historicity of both plot and personal insights are extraordinary, contributing to the sense of authenticity. But it is the emphasis on revealing the intimacies of Matters’ hopes and fears that truly elevates this beyond the quotidian. This sensitive portrayal paints not just an idealist’s picture of firebrand heroism, but captures the human dimension, that reality of emotions and doubts and griefs that define the element of humanity behind true greatness. Yes, Muriel the heroine, Muriel the warrior, but speaking volumes more, Muriel the woman!!

That Daring Australian Girl is a show that spotlights just how far we have come as a society, but also how much further is yet to go. In an era defined by the #MeToo movement and increased attention on gender inequity, the tale of this pioneer of female emancipation is a timely reminder of both the need to continue the fight, and of the formidable force that is the empowered woman. Muriel Matters is a true feminist icon to which every person, male and female, young and old, can look for inspiration, for her legacy is universal and her life a cause for all to celebrate!

Kryztoff Rating 4.5K

Mar 17

Fringe 2018: Betty Grumble: Love and Anger – 4.5K, GOUD


How to describe Betty Grumble: Love and Anger?

Here’s a few buzzwords: controversial, inspiring, confronting, hilarious, thought-provoking, sexual, opinionated, and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Betty is inspired by Valerie Solanis’ Scum Manifesto, and weaves her way through cabaret, poetry, comedy, and even art. Not for the faint-of-heart, you’ll see every inch of Betty’s body (and then some) as she uses her body to discuss feminist, queer, and political issues of our time.

With an impressive voice, a very intelligent mind, a wicked sense of humour, and stories with tonnes of heart, Betty will make you laugh, challenge you, and definitely shock you.

Beware: do not attend this show if you are averse to nudity. There’s plenty of it. You’ll even take home a “Pussy Print” to prove it (be sure to get it signed afterwards!)

Kryztoff rating: 4.5K

Mar 17

FRINGE 2018 – INTERACTIVE – #SelfiesAfterDark – BRKLYN – 4K

#SelfiesAfterDark is a very unique experience that one does not really expect from a show. Coming in with no expectations at all, be a little bit confused where the show is really going to take place or what the show is going to be about.

The production goes on and there was a subtle transition to when it actually started, that makes it feel like you’re part of the lives of the characters. The audience are taken to be part of the show by supposedly Steph’s friend, Alicia. Very charismatic and true to her character. There was a small walk away from the venue which was unexpected. Alicia kept making me think that she is a real person rather than a performer. Her stage was the streets, and it made it feel so surreal.

As we go along and witness Steph’s life through her Instagram stories,  it can be confusing how the concept of someone else’s Instagram story can be ‘hijacked’ with ‘stolen footages’— but if you leave that mentality behind and just allow the story unfold right before your eyes, it is highly entertaining. I’ll put an emphasis that the experience felt like being part of the story. There can be some existential issues within the performance when you look around Adelaide’s east end wondering if it was part of the show or just the city being what it is.

It’s not all walking as the audience were taken in the ‘club’ on her guest list and get to fully witness the full story and what happens next. Here you’ll watch some amazing acting from the characters which once again can truly pass as a true to life drama.

Overall, it was a  fun and unique approach to storytelling indeed. Don’t forget to bring your Instagram-ready smartphone and some earphones for the best experience!


Kryztoff Rating 4K


Mar 16

Fringe 2018: Shitfaced Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet – 5K, Gluttony


One iconic play. Five actors. A shit-ton of booze.

Shitfaced Shakespeare might be exactly as it says on the tin, but that doesn’t mean its unimaginative. A fantastic mix of improvisation, constructed comedy, and theatre, this production of Romeo and Juliet is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

On this particular night, Romeo was the intoxicated actor in question. And yes, he really was drunk. He stumbled about and ad-libbed so much that he even altered the iconic ending of the play. He tried to kiss A LOT of people. He used a dildo as a dagger. All of it was absolutely, completely hilarious.

What was most impressive, though, was how the other (sober) actors in the play handled his antics. With a professionalism and improvisational ability that needs to be commended, the rest of the cast rolled with what Romeo was doing and never skipped a beat. Letting out secret giggles when they thought that the audience wasn’t looking, the cast seemed to be enjoying Romeo (or, as he called himself, “Steve, who works in agriculture”) just as much as we were.

The program stresses that every precaution is taken to ensure the health and safety of their actors is of the utmost importance, and you can see that this is a cast that have each other’s backs. That kind of camaraderie, friendship, and joy is infectious.

Grab yourself a ticket to Shitfaced Shakespeare this final Fringe weekend – and, with a different actor drunk every night – you’re likely to see a very different show than I did, although no less hilarious.

Kryztoff Rating: 5K

Mar 15


Greeted warmly at the door by one of the dancers and ushered to our seats we were soon transported from the Spiegelzelt at Gluttony to a Café Cantante of 19th century Spain.

The music started slowly and gently with stunning singing and beautifully fluid solo flamenco guitar work. The three dancers, who were initially seated, gradually unfurled themselves utilising their embroidered shawls to great effect as they did so. This was followed by solo performances by each of the dancers, each having her own unique style and amazing stamina. The costumes were simple and stylish and enhanced the movement. One dancer coped amazingly well when the neckline of her gown came undone, hardly missing a beat. The hand clapping with its weaving together of the different rhythms was an artform in its own right. The amazing footwork resembling tap dance, percussion and skilful guitar playing were accompanied by calls of encouragement from members of the cast and from the many Spanish speaking people in the audience. This felt like an authentic flamenco experience in its juxtaposition of passion and control.

Flamenqueando’s latest production brings together Spanish singer Cristina Soler, Aria nominated flamenco guitarist Damien Wright, dancers Jessica Statham, Chachy Penalver and Madrid-trained Adelaide-based Rosalie Cocchiaro, with jazz drummer/percussionist James Hauptmann.
Time is running out to see this wonderful show at this year’s Fringe; final dates are 15/16/17 & 18th of March.

Mar 15

FRINGE 2018: Elixir – 4.5K

By Anthony Nguyen

scaled_canva-photo-editorWith many successful Fringe seasons since 2015, the Melbourne-based boys of Head First Acrobats are back at the 2018 Adelaide Fringe with their internationally-acclaimed show, Elixir. Recreated and reimagined for a spiegeltent audience, Elixir presents a different style of circus entertainment, interweaving elements of storytelling and physical comedy.

Elixir follows the story of three acrobatic scientists who attempt to create the elixir of life, and in turn inadvertently create the zombie apocalypse. The playful and animated personality of each performer adds a sense of fun and enthusiasm that is not often seen in typical circus shows.

The three acrobats performed several impressive feats incorporating many elements and props including the trapeze, a ladder, and most notably a large Cyr wheel. The overall performance displays a good blend of extraordinary acrobatics and comedic storytelling which allows for an entertaining night out. By engaging with the audience and sometimes breaking character, it is clear that the performers are just three passionate boys who truly enjoy what they do.

Elixir is an award-winning circus show which has proven to be a crowd favourite throughout the years and there is no question why it has been successful all over Australia. Located in The Octagon at Gluttony, the hilarious antics and comedic acrobatic performances are not to be missed and the boys continue their 2018 Adelaide Fringe shows until 18th March 2018.

Kryztoff Rating: 4.5K

Mar 15

Fringe 2018: James Donald Forbes McCann: McCann-dle in the Wind – 4.5K, Raj House


James McCann tackles everything from Catholicism, to sex clowns, to call centres (or, as he terms them, ‘hope graveyards’) in his new show, “James Donald Forbes McCann: McCann-dle in the Wind”.

A favourite in Adelaide’s comedy scene, McCann doesn’t hold back as he dissects his upcoming marriage, his previous (depressing) work history, and the newly-found religion in his life that has led him to meet some interesting folk that have figured out that cocaine is fine during lent (the priest said so).

That’s part of McCann’s charm – nothing in his life is off limits, and he’s not afraid to poke fun at himself. He’s also not afraid to pick on comedy generally, and other comedians – something that in this ever-growing Fringe comedy section, flooded with big names and big egos, is fantastic to keep everyone else in check.

McCann is also a master at working the audience – both with them, and to make fun of them and keep hecklers in line. There’s just the right amount of improvisation, particularly at the beginning of the show, which injects an extra element of fun and shock value.

Grab a ticket to James Donald Forbes McCann before the Fringe is done – you won’t be disappointed.

Kryztoff Rating: 4.5K

Mar 14

FRINGE 2018 – COMEDY – Jason Pestell: Kmart is Life – Rhino Room – 4K

Kmart is Life, a comedy skit on bargains and the life of being a cheap stake. A local comedian, Jason Pestell has quick-wits and has given Australia a taste of it. In the show, Pestell described his life mission of finding the greatest discounts and bargains for homewares at Kmart; divulged the audience of his visits and research on most of the stores he has visited across South Australia.

Pestell’s show was relatable and engaging, strung along by asking the audience questions and appealing to them using real-life shopping issues. He also shared tips on how to get the best bargain. It’s a shame that it wasn’t targeted to everyone but mainly to women of certain ages. There were moments when he was a bit hesitant with his jokes so sometimes you are left uncertain whether to laugh or not. It was a great show that apparently had a target audience in mind. However, they laughed the most and seemed to have been able to relate.

Overall, it was a fun experience and a must-see if you’re a bargain lover, especially if you’re also in for a little bit of karaoke and singing along, which is included towards the end.

Definitely would recommend watching this show. It has 3 more days to go and it’s a sweet treat for all you bargain hunters out there!

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

Mar 14

FRINGE COMEDY – Mark Twain Tonight – Buckingham Arms – 2K

By Peter Maddern

The 19th century produced a wide array of writers – poets, philosophers, playwrights and the like – on both sides of the Atlantic who not only captured the mood in their societies but who’s observations have withstood the test of time. One can think of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw and, of course, the subject of this show, Mark Twain.

Whether his thoughts and writings can constitute comedy is open for debate but unfortunately this relaying of the great man’s thoughts didn’t work or do him justice.

One of the things that separated out these big mouths was their brashness and their views of the world which were mostly formed and promulgated by the end of their 30s or 40s. By presenting Twain as an old withered man, this reviewer thought the brilliance of the younger man was lost.

Whatever one’s view of that, when one reflects that the four most famous quips of Twain as rated by Mr Wikipedia didn’t make it to this show, truncated to just 25 minutes, it is hard to conclude this show nailed his subject or his target audience.

Kryztoff Rating  2K

Mar 14

FRINGE COMEDY – The Gong Show – Producers – 3.5K

By Peter Maddern

For those of us who grew up in the 70s, The Gong Show was a view of another world, of weird stuff we had never seen on television with stars like the Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, JP Morgan, and the extraordinary host Chuck Baris. Luka Muller doesn’t have quite that talent and room to work with in the upstairs room of The Producers but he has done his best to capture that show’s vibe.

For his hour, he has assembled a collection of comedians in town for the Fringe who get around three minutes to strut their stuff and if they fail to engage they can get gonged. For Tuesday night’s show Luka had assembled performers from Singapore, Serbia and onto the USA. It’s all good fun, certainly the comedians enjoy laughing at each other’s jokes but there is much to amuse the casual observer and it is great way to finish one of these last nights at the 2018 Fringe. For a different take on the Best of format, the Gong Show is fun.

Kryztoff Rating   3.5K