LORD OF THE STRINGS – The Clubroom @ GC

MATHEW FAGAN is “LORD OF THE STRINGS”

GC (German Club) The Clubroom      Feb 23rd – 7:30pm

Review by GARY CLARKE     4.5K

Tucked away in the back of the GC behind the busy dining room/bar is an intimate venue named The Clubroom.   This night featured acclaimed guitarist Mathew Fagan a.k.a Lord Of The Strings.  The title was gifted to Mathew by none other than Billy Connolly with whom Mathew toured 53 gigs as a musical accompanist in 1999.  Did that make him a guitarist playing second fiddle to a banjo player? …

Not really.  Mathew was lauded by Billy as ” The best guest guitarist he has ever had”  !  As the evening progressed Mathew proceeded to demonstrate just why he deserved such an accolade.  Initially Our Lord presented  as something akin to an exotic Eastern Prince resplendent in brightly coloured, highly distinctive dress.  After a brief intro he put aside his costume and set about putting us all at ease with his unpretentious persona and adept flourishes of guitar music.

Perched comfortably amidst a cache of beautiful guitars  including a unique 10 string Richard Howell featuring 4 extra bass strings  Mathew demonstrated his extraordinary musical prowess interspersing  the set with clever witticisms and easy banter.  He tells us he took up guitar as therapy and this performance was equally therapeutic for the delighted audience.

We were asked to contribute suggestions of guitar pieces in a Guitar Challenge.  From The Beatles to Bach, from Peter Green (Albatross) to Paco De Lucia and even Bob Marley!!! nothing phased him.   Watching Mathew rip through Paco De Lucia’s Almoraima was breathtaking yet he didn’t even break a sweat!   This very entertaining performance was worth 5k but for some minor distortion that may have been an artifact of the rooms acoustics …….Highly Recommended    4.5K

Review by GARY CLARKE.

 

NOTE:   Mathew Fagan also teams up with Czech Violinist Romana Geermans in a World Premiere of  “Gypsy Fire Electric”   See Fringe Guide for more details.

FRINGE 2018 – Comedy/Improv – Maestro 3rd Annual National Impro Games – National Wine Centre – 4K

By Julia Cudsi

Improvised comedy is something of a Fringe staple – it fits right in with the ethos of a cheap, fun night out, hopefully with a lot of laughter and perhaps a few drinks thrown in. The Maestro 3rd Annual National Impro Games certainly delivers on all of these promises.

The format of this show is very simple – one MC, two judges, a skilled music man, and a whole group of competitors, helpfully wearing netball bibs as identifiers. Between the judges and the audience, outlandish suggestions are made for themes, locations, relationships and other scene-setters, and the actors on stage are required to improvise what happens without the assistance of any sort of script. Thanks to audience votes, players are systematically eliminated, until there remains only one player – the ultimate winner.

This is the 3rd Annual National Impro games, and I am pleased to say that I have seen all of the competitions, ably put together by On the Fly impro – and each year has maintained the quality of the previous year.

If you are looking for an evening of quality entertainment (probably almost definitely child-friendly), then this is it.

4K

FRINGE COMEDY – Lawrence Mooney: An Evening with Malcolm Turnbull – The Factory @ GOUD – 3.5K

scaled_malcom_whiteBy Belle Dunning

Lawrence Mooney’s Turnbull is scarily good. In this one-hour show, Mooney embodies the Prime Minister in all his arrogance, charm and apparent love of swearing. The accent, mannerisms and political smack-talking about fellow party-members and opponents alike is entertaining in its familiarity.

The show takes the format of a new tonight show entitled ‘Malcolm’, hosted by Malcolm himself. Mooney begins by warming-up the audience and introducing them to a more personal side of our PM, through various disparaging ‘back-room’ stories about other politicians and the goings-on at private dinner parties of our political elite. In the second-half, an audience member is invited to the couch for a one-on-one chat with Malcolm, although this is characteristically dominated by Malcolm himself.

Throughout the hour, the audience are invited inside a private world where Malcolm feels safe to share a little more than we usually see. His various monologues in the ‘ad breaks’, as he becomes distracted by his own witty remarks and favourite stories, are both entertaining and leave you wondering how much is really true.

Despite the genuine substance and seriousness of some of the topics covered, the crude swearing and everyday political facts — from Barnaby to submarines — had the audience laughing the hardest. That and Mooney’s impeccable enunciation of words such as ‘Parliament’, ‘fire hydrant’ and ‘sex-sual’. Don’t worry, you too will learn how to speak like a well-educated, upper-class, powerful AND rich member of the political elite.

Mooney is an excellent impressionist and does the character that is our PM justice in this show — both on a superficial and deeper level. The main downfall was the television-show format itself — with the structure between pre-show, ads and the show itself a little unclear, and the pre-determined multiple-choice question and answer section falling a little flat.

Regardless of your political leaning (which Malcolm will try to get out of you), this show is a fun look at the ridiculousness of our political system. No real political knowledge is required. Although the audience was mostly of the baby boomer generation (and they were certainly laughing the hardest), you’ll still have a good time if you like your politics with a good dose of cynicism and wit. Even Mooney himself had to break character and laugh a few times. A guaranteed good night out before you trundle off, in Malcolm’s words, to your middle-class dining experience.

Kryztoff Rating 3.5K

FRINGE 2018: Viggo Venn: Pepito – 3.5K – GOUD

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Viggo Venn is a name to watch.

Whilst Venn’s show Pepito definitely needs a little polishing, there are stretches of comedy in there that signify that this man is a fantastic clown, comedian, and generally nice guy.

Venn’s show is equal parts sketch comedy, audience interaction, and ode to cucumbers (not a euphemism). Venn becomes Pepito, a space-travelling, vegetable-loving, beret-wearing man who has both mundane and extraordinary adventures. Pepito shares his hidden cucumbers (again, not a euphemism), phone calls with his friends in the audience, and a genuinely hilarious final joke that was a great way to get the audience involved in the show.

This particular night suffered from some rather rude audience members; two women on their phones, who proceeded to continue looking up train timetables whilst Venn was in the audience, asking them to stop; and a young man and woman, who continued to talk over the top of the opening bit (they were eventually asked to leave). It was a shame, because it resulted in the show being thrown out of kilter, having to restart 3 times (although the opening skit was hilarious, so it didn’t matter that we watched it again). This seemed to throw Venn’s confidence off, which was a shame.

There were certain skits that need a bit of development, but others that were gems. Viggo’s unexpected nuggets of comedy, like finding out what happens when you take your snowman friend to the sun, were genuinely hilarious. More so, the fact that Venn trouped on despite the heckling and the disruption it causes also tells me that this man means business, and that kind of hutzpah will get you somewhere.

All in all, Viggo Venn’s show is a fun night out at the garden – that is, so long as you like cucumbers.

Kryztoff Rating: 3.5K

 

FRINGE CIRCUS AND PHYSICAL THEATRE, CABARET – Rouge – The Octagon at Gluttony – 4.5K

scaled_rogueAlexander Ewers

“Decadent”. “Astonishing”. “Sensational”. Scion of the much acclaimed Papillon of seasons past and launching into the lofty footsteps of its predecessor, Rouge promises the prodigious – a spectacle of and for the senses. And largely, Rouge delivers just that! Surging with a primal vitality and sophisticated sensuality, this sensory buffet at once seduces, scintillates and stuns.

Set against the evocative rouge-tinged glow of the Octagon, the eponymous show opens to mesmeric live vocals from the undeniably talented and versatile lead chanteuse-cum-diva. The following hour unfolds as a fusion of circus acts both traditional and reworked, playful burlesque, and sultry cabaret. Diversity is the name of the game. Rouge is an energetic, acrobatic and smoothly choreographed routine incorporating everything from the pyrotechnic (fire breathing), to the hypnotic (Risley act), to a composition that somehow assimilates ballet, breakdancing and Beyonce.

The performance draws from a vein of the sybaritic, the sensual, and yes at times, the overtly sexual. And for the most part, Rouge adroitly navigates the line between the tantalising and the tawdry, delighting and teasing alike with wanton exuberance. A couple scenes do strike a discordant tone however. The “Turn me on” sequence in particular seems unnecessary and out of place in the context of the hypnotism woven throughout the show.

Rouge’s strength and hidden surprise is its vocalist, who proves a statement in both her own right, and as a supporting act for the other performances. Sultry, powerful, and versatile, her talent, operatic as much as cabaret, constitutes the most unparalleled impression of the night. In a genre where a certain degree of physical and performance excellence is simply expected, the singer is Rouge’s point of difference from the rest. “Rouge – the circus with the opera singer”.

Not at all shy, and not for the shy, Rouge is a feast for the senses, a self-proclaimed circus for grown-ups. Behind the glitter and allure, one struggles to find a deeper meaning – a story – to the performances. But perhaps there is not one, and perhaps that is the point. Rouge is the triumph of show over substance, the carnal over the cerebral. Be prepared to be dazzled, titillated and captivated. This unashamed exultation of sexuality and physicality has something to please every “lady, gentleman and friend beyond the binary”.

Kryztoff Rating 4.5K

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

FRINGE 2018: F**k Tinder – 3.5K

By Anthony Nguyen

scaled_f_tinde_800_by_800_red_backgroundIn the 21st Century age of online dating apps, many people are familiar with the disillusions of chasing a digital romance. Self-proclaimed Scottish single man, Chris Henry, attempts to revive the romance by bringing lonely singles back into the pubs with his comedy event, F**k Tinder, for the 2018 Adelaide Fringe.

Social interaction is actively encouraged between the audience with fun social elements introduced through the night in the form of activities such as trivia, brainstorming, and poetry-writing. By the end of the show, you can mark on a sheet the people you’re interested in (through provided allocated numbers), and if there is a match, contact details will be emailed to you the following day.

This social dating experience presents an interesting concept that highlights the eccentricities with online dating and has a lot of potential with more effective execution. The show relies heavily on audience interaction and participation, and Henry’s comedic personality did its best to ease the initial awkward atmosphere between audience members.

Henry is supported by fellow comedians, Eleanor Conway and Steve Bennett, who provide a much-needed comedy assistance to the show. Keeping with the theme of their lack of romance, Conway and Bennett, present different comedy styles to Henry which kept with the theme of being unlucky in love.

F**k Tinder has a lot of potential to be a fun night out with your single friends. However, it would not be suitable for all types of people, especially if you are looking for a comedy show without having to be forced into uncomfortable social situations with strangers. Additionally, there is no regard for sexual orientation as everyone is essentially assumed to be straight with social activities encouraging more boy-girl interactivity. With a runtime of over two hours, be prepared for a long show with comedians presented as the “best wingman you’ll ever have.”

The F**k Tinder comedy event has presented successful shows throughout many global locations including London, Glasgow, and Singapore. Presented in the Red Room at the Austral Hotel, Chris Henry continues F**k Tinder for the 2018 Adelaide Fringe every Wednesday night with his final show on 14th March 2018.

Kryztoff Rating: 3.5K

PICK OF THE FRINGE (part one)

PICK OF THE FRINGE  (Part One)

TGI  @ THE KENTISH WINESHED-23 Stanley St. Nth Adelaide.

21st February 7pm – 90 Minutes   Reviews by GARY CLARKE

 

Held in The Kentish Arms upmarket  “Wineshed”, walls adorned with racks of expensive plonk, this was a series of 10 minute preview tasters of shows from The Adelaide Fringe.

I missed my bus from Norwood on the way to the show so I hailed a cab on Magill Rd.  Where to?  Sahil enquired as he cut the volume on the music he was playing on the cab’s stereo.  I immediately recognised it as Punjabi music.   Sahil needed little encouragement to crank it up and we sang and  danced in our seats all the way to the venue !

The atmosphere at the Kentish Arms was informal and friendly and our host Shakti introduced the first act, the  very engaging and disarmingly funny :

Steff Tisdell.  Steff worked the room warming up the audience, regaling us with one liners on subject matter that some less confident artists would struggle with. Her timing and delivery are 1st class.  Catch her show “IDENTITY STEFT” – Piglet@ Gluttony  Recommended 4.5K            

From the back of the room strutted a dark figure dressed all in black making her presence  known . Wow, this was no rehearsal, this girl meant business!  Makeup and costume were immaculate.  Cazeleon  had arrived.  Working a  film noir theme, Cazeleon delivered a sultry cabaret performance and unleashed her vocal talents on this receptive audience.  This is not just another drag show,  Cazeleon  is a perfectionist and it shows. Catch  “DIFFUSION “-  Raj House 54 Hyde St. rated   4K                                                    

 Two tall beautiful dark haired women rose from a nearby table and moved onto the stage.  The audience weren’t sure.  The two women stood nervously staring out beyond the room. The audience grew more unsure… The women were waiting for something ..the audience were waiting for something… The women began moving around the room approaching tables asking in English and Farsi  for something ..”have you seen Mr Ghadalari?” —  Shiva Makinian and Mina Zaman draw us into their plight  with very few words. For some the door is difficult to open and what awaits on the other side is  full of uncertainty. Iran Saye Theatre  present THE DOOR  – TGI @ Adel. Town Hall

Marc Ryan sidled up to the mike looking somewhat bemused.  How do you follow two frightened women dramatically  fleeing  oppression and turmoil with a comedy stump about being Bogan in Adelaide’s Northern suburbs ?  Well, Beautifully it seems.   Like a pro, Marc launched into his very insightful and funny stand up.   When you hail from “a place with more neck tattoos than shoes” not much phases you.   Marc is insightful, honest and very very funny…catch Marc’s show:  BEAUTIFUL BOGAN –  LIFE”S NOT FAIR  (see Fringe Guide)  4.5K

Hailing from Vancouver, Canada ,  Green Eggs and Ham disappeared under a makeshift table with a light and a sheet draped over it .   What seemed to a be an improvised set  lent itself to an excerpt from their show  The Bridge involving hand shadows and a dialogue around crossing The Golden Gate Bridge,  post apocalypse.  Unfortunately, due to the limits of the venue, I couldn’t get good visuals and it made it difficult to evaluate its merit.  However, it was well received by those in the audience with a better vantage point.  It also gained an excellent review from fellow Kriztoff reviewer Julie Robins who saw the original complete show.  To get across  THE BRIDGE  – you will need to head to  — Studio at Bakehouse Theatre 225 Angas St. Adelaide

Idris a.k.a  “Eyedrys”  Stanton thought about getting a real job  but instead chose to entertain us with juggling,  witty repartee’, original humour, a leaf blower and a kiss of rock ‘n roll.   And if you think that doesn’t cut it, apparently in his full show he juggles chainsaws!….nuff said!                                                                                               Catch The LAST KING of VAUDEVILLE – After Dark Theatre @ Gluttony.  4K

Our host had informed us earlier that    SENGAR SENI DHARMA BHUDAYA dance troupe and a full Gamelan orchestra from Indonesia were scheduled to perform here but had been held up by immigration.  All 38 of them! … which was a shame, and sadly ironic

And speaking of our gracious host,  I couldn’t help noticing that the demure Asian woman that had initially presented at the mike as the evening’s host  had been undergoing a gradual transformation. More and more of her shawl drifted off  as the night drifted on, revealing a  deeply tanned sensual dancer that burst forth onto the stage to close proceedings.

Shakti exudes joy and evocatively expresses herself through dance and rhythm.  Her show is a dance fantasy inspired by the music of Armand Amar  and you can catch Shakti  in her show at : TGI@ ADELAIDE TOWN HALL 128 King William St. Adelaide –     4K

 

Please note these reviews are based on very limited 10 minute excerpts from the artists shows without sets and may not be entirely informative of the full show experience. Refer to reviews of the complete shows for further guidance.                            

                                                                                                                                Reviews by GARY CLARKE

Fringe 2018: Socially [un]acceptable – 4.5K

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By Amy.

There are some Fringe shows that stick with you long after you leave. They make you contemplate your own experiences, opinions, and beliefs.

Socially [un]acceptable, a no-holds-barred piece by Laura Desmond, is definitely one of those shows. An honest, unflinching look at both the sexual assaults experienced by Desmond throughout her life, and the warped attitudes towards harassment, sexual assault, sexuality, and misconceptions about what does and does not constitute assault in Western society.

Clad in her underwear, Desmond dresses and undresses throughout the show, which was an inspired choice; it is a one-two punch in accompanying her brutal stories, and also seems like something more personal.The admiration that you will have for Desmond’s bravery, who bears both her body and soul to her audience, is immeasurable.

An important performance for both women and men alike, Socially [un]acceptable needs to be seen, heard, discussed, and praised for its bravery and honesty. Thank you, Laura Desmond, for sharing your experiences with us.

Kryztoff rating: 4.5K

Please note: This show has a trigger warning for survivors of sexual assault.

THE BRIDGE – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2018

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

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

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

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

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

4K

Presented by Green Eggs and Ham, Canada.

Bakehouse Theatre