Feb 28

Fringe Review – Bucks (Or a bag of (D*cks) – 4K

Bucks is a raw and emotional show. It portrays the multiple faces of Australian masculinity through it’s many characters, on stage and off, and discusses many of the issues of Australian rural life.

The show follows Kyle, a young man returning to his home town for his wedding after living in Melbourne for multiple years. Upon his return his high school best mate, Dane, has kidnapped him and taken him for “the best night of his life”. Dane has organised Kyle’s brother and two uni mates to come along to a country hotel room for a night of drunken larrikanism. As the night progresses tensions arise and we see a searing conversation of class and masculinity. The five actors play these roles well, each revealing more quirks and anger as the night goes on and tensions mount.

This show is intense, unfiltered and accessible. There is a visceral sense of reality to the characters, the pompous and stressed young professionals who came up from the city juxtaposed against the harsh and commanding soldier Dane. Scott, Kyle’s Brother, plays a modest but drug addled young man frustrated with his brother’s lack of love and understanding. These characters clash as the story unfolds and we learn of the quintet’s disturbing and furtive history.

The audience is left reeling as the tension and stress mounts, characters’ emotions and motives are revealed and the plot thickens. This play is disturbingly masculine. It’s uncannily accurate, anyone who has attended such an event remembers the situations, the tensions and the unavoidable clashes as multiple men strive to be in charge.

This play is blokey and sarcastic, the message is clear and relevant. Bucks is an important and necessary production, one which delves into Australian masculinity and asks questions of a secret and somewhat disturbing practice, the bucks night. A fantastic small scale production with an excellent cast and a crucial message.

Rating: 4K

Feb 27

FRINGE MUSIC / CLASSICAL – SCHUBERTIADE – 5K

by Riccardo Barone 

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A  marvellous brochure, which shows an elegant cover page and a very detailed introduction, followed by a very well psychological – contextualized – temporal -analytical description of the programme, leads to the energetic and so complicated (because the points enunciated before) performance.
Every Composer needs to be contextu. Always. And the Duo Contraste’s performance temporally guides and makes sure that every single note has been strongly related to Franz Schubert’s surroundings detected from mail conversations with friends.
Anyway the grand piano where the Duo performed on needs tuning – seriously – expecially the lower register. It was pretty sad to hear such a wonderful concert on a piano out of tune.
The attendance was pretty good: church not full but still busy enough.
The Duo Contraste, victorious from the award received from “Recitals Australia”, still conquer and satisfy the audience remarking their precious synchronicity and their special connection with each other.

Kryztoff Rating  5K

Feb 27

FRINGE 2017 – Gabriel – Holden Street Theatres – 4K

GABRIEL is a barefooted ballet by the Victorian State Ballet that incorporates various styles from contemporary and classical dance. The performance is very expressionist in its sense and can deem to have some sense for most of the show, but you don’t take notice much of it because the breathtaking moves are magnificent and captivating.

An exploration of the biblical archangel, Gabriel, the performance doesn’t really convey much about the messenger angel – however, celestial characters in chaotic yet charming choreographies is a the flowing theme. The symphony of lights, smokes and sounds work very well with their draping, white costumes.

Soothing soundtrack mainly by Peter Gabriel and some Enya is played all over the performance which fortifies the heavenly feel.

A couple of mishaps during the performance didn’t deter the full effect of the dancing and truly gives a sense of heaven on earth and the delivery of the beauty of the human form and movement.

Overall, a very pleasurable presentation done by very skilled performers.

 

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

 

 

 

Feb 27

FRINGE 2017 – BLANK TILES – DYLAN COLE – TUXEDO CAT

Dylan Cole has either played Scrabble seriously or he must certainly have spent time around people who have.  This funny, sad, insightful show should appeal to both the Scrabble fraternity and also to those who have never touched a tile. 

This portrayal of world champion Austin Michaels, and the story of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on his life is brilliantly executed. Dylan moved effortlessly between the young Austin, the very cool Austin in love, through to the Austin struggling to hold onto his memories and subsiding into frustration, disappointment and anger.

Presented in this year’s cosy quirky Tuxedo Cat venue, this was an anagrammers heaven and I was surrounded by fellow practitioners who laughed along with the in jokes and at parts of themselves (and others) that they recognised.  I wondered occasionally if some of them might not have to be restrained from participating.

Kryztoff 4.5K

Feb 27

FRINGE 2017 – NOSFERATU – A SYMPHONY OF HORROR – MERCURY CINEMA – 4K

I had only ever seen short excerpts from this film so it was fascinating to see a full-length version of the F W Murnau movie based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and made almost 100 years ago.  With an expert live score featuring keyboards  percussion and electronic music, this full length (84 mins) version of the 1922 German vampire classic was presented by Tess Said So at the Mercury Cinema. 

The music was well suited to the action, at times a little monotonous due to the sometimes repetitive nature of parts of the story.  This is a film that has obviously had a large impact on popular culture, film, and the horror genre.  Seeing it made me realise that even quite recently made films have been inspired by its imagery and style.  (The similarity between the character of Nosferatu and that of The Mug in A Heroic Life is quite striking).

Experiencing this movie as it was originally presented, as a silent movie with live music, creates an interesting window into another time and place.

Kryztoff Rating 4K

Feb 27

FRINGE 2017: A History of Early Blues – The Wheatsheaf Hotel – 4K

By Tom Eckert

FRINGE SQUARE 2017

The award winning trio performing this show give the audience exactly as advertised. A meander through the various permutations of blues music with all the spirit and character that went into the original arrangements.

Rather, as some musical shows are prone to do, than simply playing the repertoire; the group indulge in the esoteric curiosity of the audience and delve into the stories behind the blues. This adds to the experience as the songs are all the richer for the understanding

Individually exceptionally skilled together they make for a great ensemble. A History of Early Blues is a delight of toe tapping and beat swinging that will make an audience nostalgic for a time that they weren’t even alive.

 

Kryztoff rating: 4K

 

 

 

Feb 25

FRINGE 2017 – 80s Kid’s Disco – Royal Croquet Club – 4K

The title of this show is pretty gosh-darn self-explanatory: a disco, for kids, set to 80s music. Bam. That’s exactly what’s offered, and exactly what is delivered by Austrian DJ Peter Baecker.

Armed with hundreds of balloons (reminiscent of the iconic 80s peace ballad 99 Luftballons) and a vast array of era-appropriate wigs, costumes and other props for all attendees to go nuts with, this free-form dance show is great fun for young kids and *ahem* slightly older parents who may or may not remember the 80s in all their glory to groove along to.

My only complaint? 45 minutes is far too short. This show could easily have gone at least twice as long.

It may have been good to leave the 80s fashion behind in the Ukiyo tent, but walking away from the show was definitely disappointing. Warning – be prepared to explain what a cassette is in the car on the way home.

4K

Feb 25

FRINGE 2017 – 2nd National Maestro Impro Games – Live on 5, Adelaide Oval – 4K

A regular contributor on the Adelaide comedy and theatre circuit, On the Fly Impro’s latest offering, the 2nd National Maestro Impro Games, follows on – somewhat logically – from 2016’s inaugural Games. Self-described as the “Hunger Games” approach towards finding Australia’s best improv artiste (at least, amongst those present in the room at the time of the show), the concept is simple – more than a dozen actors enter the arena, armed with not even a script, and are required to compete in a variety of completely improvised scenes as their numbers are whittled down through audience voting until only the one true winner remains. The background and circumstances to each scene are provided by two directors, also part of the comedy troupe, and audience suggestions.

Improv is generally one of the most entertaining forms of live entertainment, and observing these very talented – and brave! – actors is often hilarious and always impressive. The only downside of the voting format is that occasionally weaker players are boosted by other players in their skits, and remain part of the competition for longer than other, stronger players, who in turn are eliminated much too early.

You may not know exactly what format your evening will take, but you can guarantee that you will laugh out loud, cringe and sit on the edge of your seat during this show.

4K

 

 

Feb 25

FRINGE 2017 – Prohibition – Gluttony – 4K

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As soon as you enter the Speakeasy in Gluttony, you’re told that you’ve gone back into time to Paddy’s in 1930s prohibition era Chicago. You’re introduced to a range of characters, each bringing their own comedic, sultry elements to the party.

With a mixture of acrobatics, magic tricks, cabaret, and stand up, Prohibition has something for everyone. The Speakeasy venue works really well for the theme of the show; it’s an intimate space that draws the audience in to the death-defying feats that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The show thrives on its audience participation. Minnie Maneater pulls a couple out of the audience and really goes for it; the Hunchback pulled a guy out of the audience and even let him fire a small crossbow during the act. The cast put a lot of faith in their audience, and it pays off in spades – the audience were whooping, cheering, and bent over double with laughter.

There were a couple of missteps in the show – an audience member that ended up on the floor during a trick (however, she promptly gave it another go), a couple of tricks accidentally revealed – but for the most part Prohibition still manages to dazzle and entertain.

If you’re looking for a great night out and a show that has a mixture of everything, give Prohibition a go. It’s funny, entertaining, and will have you on the edge of your seat.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

Feb 25

FRINGE MUSIC / WORLD MUSIC – THE STRING FAMILY AUSTRALIA TOUR – 5K

by Riccardo Barone 

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Miracle! That’s because a family performing music on a stage is able to create a secret harmonic veil of pure sensations that surround  your aura.
The youngest is twelve years old and it is surprising where she found the time to practice and play the violin in such a mature way. The elder is fourteen and his touch on the cello is still resounding in the elegant premise. Mother and father lead the quartet playing the cello and the violin.

Unusual setting for a standard string quartet which requires two violins, viola and a cello, but this one presented by the String Family results in something  absolutely amazing and characteristic. Just because the two cellos double each other quite rarely. Plus in some pieces is present a pre-recorded base which enrich the terrific performance.

The repertoire slides from the evergreens to classical, without any limit, wisely arranged by the quartet.
Nicely storytelling the beginning of their fantastic adventure, the mother, which is the leader, enchant and conquer the audience with the elegance and the refinement of her touch giving to everyone special memories to bring back home at the end of the concert.

Kryztoff Rating  5K

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