FRINGE 2019: Dolly Diamond’s Blankety Blanks – 3K – Gluttony

Dolly Diamond is your host as you enter the May Wirth in Gluttony and prepare to play – or, to watch others play – Blankety Blanks.

That is the basic premise of the show, but throw in a panel of Fringe celebrity judges (artists, staff, venue managers, etc.) and a couple of unsuspecting audience members and you’ve got a game on your hands. Dolly reads out a saying – famous or otherwise – and it’s up to the panel to fill in the blank. If they have a match with the audience participant, they win the point.

Dolly Diamond is a great host, bringing energy and life to the stage. She knows how to work a crowd and does it expertly.

However, the premise itself wears a little thin after the first two or so rounds. Moving through the rounds quicker would have helped here – the pace does wear the audience down a little and after a  while your mind starts to wander. Another thing that grated was that many of the participants repeated answers for all questions, and this also wore thin and just wasn’t entertaining – perhaps they should have been briefed beforehand to write a different answer each time.

This is a good premise, with a great host, but needs a little development in order to keep the audience engaged throughout the whole show.

Kryztoff Rating: 3K

FRINGE THEATRE — THE SORRY MUM PROJECT — Exhibition Hall @ The National Wine Centre — 3.5K

By Belle Dunning

Playwright and performer Pippa Ellams and director and producer Hannah Goodwin (of Pip and Han Inc) produce a modern, fun and honest theatre performance that is firmly grounded in the real world.

‘The Sorry Mum Project’ explores Pippa’s relationship with her real-life mum, and how they ended up so emotionally alienated that Pippa decided to make a Fringe show about it. Over the course of an hour, Pippa talks (and dances) her way through ridiculous and haltingly honest stories from her childhood and teen years, bringing the audience along for the ride. 

An awkward teenager with an overbearing showgirl for a mother, childhood dreams that are crushed by over-zealous body hair, family turmoil at the Moulin Rouge. At times embarrassing and uncomfortable, it’s also funny, quirky and uplifting.

Both a cathartic performance of coming to terms with her own guilt and a sincere apology to her mum, Pippa’s performance is refreshing in its honesty. This is theatre that isn’t trying to be anything fancy — it’s simple, up-close and personal. The show leaves you realising that we’re all just inadequate human beings trying to do our best, and we really should be a little nicer to our parents.

The Sorry Mum Project has now finished showing at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe, but keep an eye out for these girls in 2020.

Kryztoff Rating 3.5K

Fringe 2019 – Bourgeois and Maurice – RCC Little Theatre – 4K

We are all going to die. So we might as well go out dancing to a disco beat, with this talented and charismatic (probably human) duo as our guides.

Bourgeois and Maurice, the upbeat dancer and the downbeat pianist, tell us that they are workshopping their next show and trying it out on us here in Adelady. They are searching for a formula that will pull the crowds and fill the theatres, and so they decide on a show about…death. A memento mori – a reflection on mortality.

And so, sequinned and spangle-clad, they launch into a repertoire of clever witty songs, dance and banter.
Maurice isn’t convinced that it will work – they may need to aim for something bigger, something more inclusive.
But it’s not ALL about death. They’ve just arrived from the UK (The Land of Uck) and they’ve written a new national anthem. And there are ideas for saving the planet – which don’t involve giving up sequins. And there’s lots of sex, oh and love, sort of.
At any rate, they discover the meaning of life – for themselves at least.

This is not a show for the easily offended. It contains strong sex themes and language, and plenty of death, bitchiness, subversive songs, and dance. And they’re not very nice about immigrants from the womb – whoops – I mean babies…
4K

RCC Little Theatre until March 10th.

FRINGE Visual Arts and Design – Orion – Sound Bath – Adelaide Planetarium – 5K

The cosmic cloud Orion Nebula – 1,500 light-years away from Earth.
Retouched and cleaned version of original image with infrared and visible-light from NASA – Hubble Space Telescopes.

By Alisha Dyer

This years Fringe season is already at its half way mark and with so much going on you may find yourself in need of some meditation. What better way to leave that stress behind than by immersing yourself in the sounds and visuals of space?!

Orion Sound Bath is presented by Sacred Resonance founders Darren Curtis and Bradley Pitt. The experience is held in the cosy but remarkable planetarium at the University of South Australia Mawson Lakes campus. An intimate seating of just 45 has the audience reclining to look up at the eight metre domed ceiling, where a simulation of the night sky is projected by a rather impressive machine. The projector is analog, calibrated manually, and while it was installed in the 1970’s, the technology still surpasses that of modern (digital) projectors when it comes to star clarity.

A mini astronomy lesson pointing out the positions of Orion’s Belt, Orion Nebula and some well and lesser known stars is followed by an immersive sound and visual experience that will relax you into a deep meditation or even sleep.

Hear the raw sounds of Bellatrix, Saiph, Mintaka and celestial nebulae that have been recorded by NASA and expertly mixed into a dreamy sound bath by Darren and Bradley. Close your eyes or keep them fixed on the domed ceiling where the sound bath has been paired with stunning visuals of the galaxy and artistic renderings of sacred stone art from ancient cultures around the globe.

Sacred Resonance have absolutely succeeded in their endeavour to present a unique musical piece, based on natural resonate frequencies, that carries an entire audience to a peaceful state. Suitable for families, spiritual beings and anyone with interest in space. Take some time out of your busy weekend and escape to the stars this Sunday 3rd March. The Orion Sound Bath experience is scheduled at 2.30pm, 6.00pm and 8.00pm.

Kryztoff Rating 5K

Fringe 2019 – PUSSY RIOT – Riot Act

PUSSY RIOT — Riot Act 

The Attic – RCC Fringe Feb 27th 2019 – 8PM

 

Review by GARY CLARKE                                                                                                                                           5 STARS

“Planned Leaping and Hopping”  was the description one church employee gave at the trial of Pussy Riot activists. This referred to the now infamous 40 second “Punk Prayer” protest event in Moscow’s pre-eminent Orthodox Cathedral of Christ The Saviour that day in August 2012.  An event that epitomised the movement that challenged Putin’s grip on power.   “Non Conformity in The Eye of Conformity”.   And we were treated to plenty of planned leaping and hopping, air punching, dancing and hard core, high energy protest music  in The Attic.

This show featured not 3 but 4 of the original members of Pussy Riot in a 6 piece band .  Using multi media  including  a backdrop of archival footage, visual effects , music, theatre, dance, song and spoken/shouted word /chant. The whole explosive performance evoked  Masha Alyokhina’s prison memoirs.  All  this delivered at a blistering pace.  Pussy Riot were taking no prisoners!  The enraptured audience of 150 were fired up on a hot and balmy Adelaide night.

This feisty  Russian protest art collective, as they have been described, haven’t backed down an inch since those heady days  of 2012 despite the Russian State’s efforts to neuter them.  They are even more potent today as a result and that is reflected in their commitment to a better tomorrow.  More power to their arm I say.

This was also a  rare opportunity to purchase their “merch” in the form of signed Pussy Riot T-shirts and copies of Masha’ memoirs that the performance was based upon. This night the lines stretched three deep the length of the balcony. Many were stocking up on multiple copies of  the book and several T shirts. A large portion of the profits were going to support political prisoners.

A raunchy, driving, potent, display  and a rare opportunity to catch a piece of history  unfolding.   Catch it now and you wont regret it and you can say “I was there”

Review by Gary Clarke                5 stars

Riot Days merges punk, electronica, theater, documentary footage and protest.

FRINGE 2019 – Rouge – Gluttony – 4.5K

By Julia Cudsi

Circuses of the adult variety have been exceedingly popular in recent years of the Fringe, and generally for very good reason: amazing acrobatics, combined with burlesque, bawdy humour and a strong dose of titillation generally makes for an excellent night out.

“Rouge” fits perfectly within this description. From the welcoming words of “Ladies, Gentlemen, and Non-Binary Friends”, it is clear that this is a show which celebrates diversity in all its forms.

Ushered in by a magnificent operatic soprano, the audience is taken along on a magical ride of trapeze artistry, feats of physical strength, impressive gymnastics, hula-hoop related wizardry and – yes – full frontal nudity. “Rouge” is naughty, sexy, sensual, kinky, hilarious and just plain fun. I promise that you will never look at lamp shades, or carrots, the same way again.

If you only see one show this year, make it “Rouge”. But hot tip: leave your kids and your parents at home unless you want to endure an awkward ride home.

5K

 

 

 

Fringe 2019 – Double Denim: A Very Fancy Dinner Party – Cupola – 4K

In every comedy duo, there’s a straight man and a funny man. Double Denim – featuring Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew – is not every comedy duo. There is no straight man here; it’s just crazy and crazier.

Double Denim: A Very Fancy Dinner Party is a kooky parody of My Kitchen Rules, with the pair playing a host of characters including British Tourists, a bogan father and son and a pair of 20-something friends.

It’s quite hard to explain what to expect from a show like this: it’s sketch comedy, but also musical, but also just like… a shouting mess in the best way possible. And yes, there is a high stakes storyline, but no, you won’t need to follow it closely. 

The pair break into song at irregular intervals complete with choreography. Comedic musical numbers are usually divisive, but this pair have the audience looking forward to these tunes. These ladies are genuinely talented musicians who just happen to also be hilarious, and these songs were highlights of the show.

As a woman in her late 20s, my personal favourite was a song about just that – being a woman in her late 20s. In fact, any young Aussie with a quirky, absurd, Aunty Donna-esque sense of humour will love this show and the themes throughout. 

Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew are relatable, hilarious, talented and perfectly in sync. They have mastered the art of making a highly rehearsed and practiced show look effortless and casual. Check them out at the Garden of Unearthly Delights this week, or you may have to wait a whole year to see them again. 

4K

Fringe 2019 – The Tiger Lillies Present Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunted Palace – RCC Elder Hall – 5K

The eerie ethereal sounds of the theramin were a fortuitous forewarning to any audience member not yet familiar with the dark cabaret of the Tiger Lillies.

Based on the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe this performance contains songs based on Poe`s poems and stories, as well as original material. Elder Hall is transformed into a seemingly haunted place through the use of wonderful lighting, projection, and clever set design. Poe frantically travels through this nightmarish world in search of the special ink that the raven has seduced him into using, and without which he cannot write.

This hard to define trio ( Brechtian, punk, avantgarde, contemporary vaudeville all come to mind) present the Haunted Palace. This is a journey through the tragic life and strange mind of Poe. We are confronted by his poems, stories, and events from his life around every corner, behind every door.The show features the falsetto-voiced founder and song writer Martyn Jacques as the evil raven-like character on accordion and piano (and other stranger instruments), Adrian Stout on theremin, double bass and musical saw, and Jonas Golland on drums, percussion and backing vocals. They are joined by actors who play the parts of Poe and the raven`s rather scary assistant Doris, as well as other, doomed, female characters. The costumes, and make-up, are suitably surreal.

After 90 minutes of menacing hilarity the audience seemed to have been rendered almost too nervous to request an encore, but the Tiger Lillies laconically returned and wowed us with, of course, a song based upon the poem of The Raven.
5K

RCC Elder Hall until 10th March.

Fringe 2019 – Circus Abyssinia – Ethiopian Dreams – Peacock at Gluttony – 5K

In a Fringe awash with circus acts Circus Abyssinia are a stand-out.
Gimmick free and full of top level skill and enthusiasm, any one of the acts in this show would be well worth the admission price.

Formed in 2017 by brothers Bibi and Bichu, Circus Abyssinia is the first circus created by and for Ethiopian artists. Don’t be fooled by the youth of these charismatic performers, they exhibit a level of expertise way beyond that of many older artists.
Synchronised perfectly with the sensational music, and with spectacular lighting effects, the performances continue at a cracking pace. Hitting the stage with a wonderful dance routine the mood then shifts constantly with an astonishing contortionist double act leading into skipping routines, hand vaulting, cloth spinning, Chinese pole work, juggling, hula hoop, and more dance.
Even each set up of equipment was done in an entertaining fashion. There were just enough minor mishaps and near misses to keep us on the edge of our seats. Indeed the routines were executed with so much skill that it made the feats seem deceptively easy. Perhaps they should have issued a caution of “don’t try this at home!”

The standing ovation that this celebration of life received was well deserved. Circus Abyssinia is an ideal show for all ages, the children in attendance were transfixed throughout. In the middle of this hot Adelaide summer a bonus is the fact that the Peacock is an airconditioned space.
5K

Peacock at Gluttony until March 17th.

FRINGE 2019 – The Choir of Man – 4.5K – Gluttony

There’s no doubt about it – The Choir of Man is a Fringe favourite around the world for a good reason.

This is a polished production, one that has dotted the ‘i’s and crossed the ‘t’s. It knows itself – particularly its strengths – inside and out. It’s well practiced, with high production value. In short, it’s got its shit together.

The Choir of Man are just that – a choir, of men – who’ve set up shop in their local, The Jungle. They’re lads, blokey-blokes, talented young chaps, and together they make up a choir that helps each other through all times, good and bad. It’s home to the Choir.

Let’s start with the choir – and boy, are they good. The voices of each and every member of the choir were flawless. Most are able to play an instrument, sometimes two, and often all can dance. As I said, this is a well-oiled machine.

The crowd was going absolutely nuts as the choir expertly upped the energy, enthralled with their stunning slower renditions (including a truly fantastic rendition of Sia’s Chandelier), and even pulled some lucky punters on the stage for a free pint. There’s certainly no faulting the singing, that’s for sure!

Where the (admittedly small) fault lies is actually in the spoken word sections of the performance, particularly in the second half. Whilst the introductory section is very well done and very clever, from then on the spoken word merely hints at certain plot points, such as one of the Choir members recently going through a bad breakup. Unfortunately it doesn’t wholeheartedly pay off in the final spiel.

Also, I understand that this is the ‘Choir of Man’, but the unseen female characters are presented rather terribly – as shrews breaking the hearts of these men, or lambasted for essentially being boring (a la Josh the Bartender’s wife). Come on CoM, you can surely do better than that in 2019.

All in all, the fantastic singing makes up for the small gaps in the plot. Definitely a must-see this Fringe.

Kryztoff Rating: 4.5K