FRINGE COMEDY/THEATRE – Matt Byrne’s Hott Property – Maxim’s Wine Bar – 5K

scaled_APY2njz9U4QPHuNKCGyv21yRecnn794brAAlexander Ewers

Matt Byrne’s Hott Property embodies the quintessence of everything wonderful and celebrated about Adelaide’s Fringe Festival. Especially fitting, given it represents the 15th Fringe show and over 40 years in the business for Byrne, producer, director and performer extraordinaire.

Nestled in the in the funky and intimate upstairs space of Maxim’s Wine Bar, Norwood, Hott Property promises an unlikely marriage of two seemingly incompatible bedfellows – comedy and the real estate industry. This reviewer admittedly ventured to the Wine Bar decidedly dubious, a sentiment not relieved by being the sole millennial in a more seasoned audience. But from the outset, Hott Property disarmingly defuses all preconceptions and doubts, and proceeds to dance between the droll, the daring and the delightfully entertaining.

The concept is bold. The Hott family are one of Adelaide’s prime real estate businesses. Matt himself plays the affably boisterous Red Hott, principal realtor and nominal family head, and is ably supported by the marvellously wry Theresa Dolman in the role of Smokin’ Hott, their daughter Pipin’ Hott (played by Amber Platten) and ambitious apprentice and boyfriend, Terry Trott (Brad Butvila). Ostensibly the show portrays the Hott family’s efforts to accommodate four gloriously and risibly caricatured couples, but along the way, hurls irreverent and indiscriminate hilarity at everything that moves in the real estate world, be it denizen, contender, or inquisitive/prying neighbour.

Two elements really elevate this performance beyond the pedestrian. Courtesy of long time real-life realtor Brad Butvila, a depth of inside insight into the real estate industry is evident, lending a richness of timbre and a cogency to even the most comedic of moments. In fact, Hott Property feels at times as much education as entertainment, a lesson on lies and lingo and life-advice. But if this must be education, let all schooling be this memorable! The real heart and soul of Hott Property however, lies in the sheer calibre of creative and comedic talent on display, a life-force sustained equally by each member of the cast. It is a triumph of pure theatre – minimal props, minimal pretence – just a compellingly honest and wholehearted coalition of stage experience, energy and camaraderie. It is a thirst-quenching experience to bathe in artistry such as this, where a feather boa represents a role change and yet each and every character is as convincing as the last.

In an entertainment world saturated with the latest and greatest in props, sets and CGI, Hott Property is testament to the enduring power of the performance alone. This is a glorious bit of comedy theatre – theatre at its finest. And while perhaps more pertinent or attractive to those who have personally brushed or battled with the world of real estate, this really is a show for all adults, even millennials. Because you never know: you might learn even something!

Kryztoff Rating 5K

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