FRINGE 2019 – ALL CHANGE – 5K

by Riccardo Barone

Life’s cycle. But the memory remains. Or it could remain, maybe hidden between a daily ink-check of our favorite pen and a weekly visit of our first daughter. No, hang on, our second daughter.  But did she really come?

In the scene every object establishes a strong bond with the past becoming a return ticket to the past, sweet flashbacks drenched in melancholic jungian dialogues between an early widower and his daughter.

Nevertheless time goes fast, and the little plant is becoming an adult tree whilst the adult tree is slowly loosing its branches. And we know it; when a coat of hoar starts to cover our fur, every little complaint becomes a huge demand. Old age is merciless: there is no room for sugarcoated words, just truth, flowing emotions, a pinch of cynicism and an ocean of tenderness.

The show opens a crack in the walls of a common man suffering from dementia; we put our eye in it and we may think how dramatic life could become due to a drastic change of circumstances, such as moving into a new and “safer place”.

The train represents a Pirandellian element of the story, where this time Mattia Pascal will jump on it against his will, pushed by the inexhaustible aging process.

The duo Tim Marriott and Stefanie Rossi sparks again, this time with a comedy, after the unforgettable dramatic last year Fringe show  Mengele, showing  perfect versatility and polyhedrical mastery of the scene.

Kryztoff rating: 5k

FRINGE CIRCUS & PHYSICAL THEATRE — LE AERIAL — Apollo Theatre, Adelaide Convention Centre — 3K

By Belle Dunning

Le Aerial showcases the high-flying skills of home-grown athletes and dancers in a family-friendly performance.

The show is made up of various aerial acts by young performers from Aerial Artists Australia, who show-off their strength and flexibility on ropes, silks, chains and a variety of suspended objects. A singer accompanies each act live on stage, adding some theatre and turning this into a cabaret-style performance.

The aerial acts were graceful, and complemented well by the lighting and costuming, but they lacked excitement and that something extra that makes a Fringe show truly memorable.

Although the audience seemed to enjoy the show (and on the back of a sell-out 2018 season), I found it a little forced and clichéd in its delivery. There wasn’t a cohesive link between each aerial act or song choice, the showmanship felt overdone at times, and it lacked the depth and grit needed to really pull you in.

Le Aerial is a solid performance of aerial skill and strength suitable for all ages. It shows potential but hasn’t yet found its own unique voice in the Fringe physical theatre scene. 

Kryztoff Rating 3K

FRINGE THEATRE, The Archive of Educated Hearts, Holden Street Theatres, 5K

Alexander Ewers

What is an educated heart? Have you an educated heart? Why is the educated heart so frustratingly inarticulate? How then do you tell a story about things that cannot be condensed into words?

Archive of Educated Hearts is one such story. It is an intensely personal and arresting account of four women forced to confront the certainties and uncertainties of cancer. It is a story about re-evaluating the real in the realities we create for ourselves, finding some to be shallow and meaningless, and discovering other neglected side-alleys of reality to be all-important. It is a story in which Casey Jay Andrews is both a participant and an observer, a purveyor of the objective and the subjective. And yet in her hands, it is so much more than a story. It is a vehicle, a means, by which to illuminate the visceral questions raised by the sorts of life events that represent a “line in the sand”. How does the heart survive such moments that reshape all that came before and will shape all that comes after? And what of the present that is left as a gaping chasm bridging the between?

Time fades into irrelevance as one steps into the Manse at Holden Street Theatres. The setting is intimate. 15 seats in a gently-lit sitting room, surrounded by the familiar and comfortable farrago of personal mementos and belongings. But this is not merely a convenient venue. The impression is of stepping into the innermost sanctum of another’s life. It is like Casey has projected her memories and mind to the dimensions of the room, and we are embraced inside this sphere. And that sense of unclothing of self continues. Casey remains in close and gaze-holding proximity, both guide and participant in the unfolding of her mind, a physically present tethering point for the agonies of the educated heart. She becomes the coherent link between a number of audio-visual media that feature throughout the performance: photographic images and voice recordings speaking to the theme of a heart not just alive, but wrenched into the necessity of truly living.

Herein lies the archive of an educated heart. It is moving; it is frank; an honest discussion about living. And yet the inarticulacy of life is raw – one can sense anger, passion, grief, joy, intensity, creativity, vitality, all swirling and heaving beneath and between the lines of the script. But the goal is far from simply eliciting emotions, or rousing action, or raging against the futility of attempted action. Casey remains composed and measured, setting a tone that is both reassuring and regenerative.

Perhaps this elegant piece of theatre is best condensed into the orated quote by Gelett Burgess. “Everything can be done beautifully by the educated heart.” One leaves feeling indeed touched by beauty, and having been gifted a question: “Have you an educated heart?”

Showing 6 days a week until the close of the Fringe Festival. A must-see.

Kryztoff Rating 5K

FRINGE MUSIC – Sound & Silence – The Mill – The Breakout, Adelaide – 4.5K

By Alisha Dyer

No amplification, no accompaniment, no frills – just vocal skills! Award-winning contemporary vocal ensemble Voice of Transition presents a 30 minute a Cappella show that will ignite your senses and leave you wanting more!

The performance takes place in a small, dark hall, the only light source the warm glow of flameless candles. The audience is seated back-to-back as the vocalists enter the room single file and line the walls to completely surround and enclose you. It feels intimate and almost ritual like. The room is silent with anticipation.

That first deep breath is followed by a chorus of voices singing in unison, softly at first then growing louder and pausing with precision. You can’t see many faces but you hear many voices. You are immersed in the sound of the human voice. You can feel the passion for music in the energy that flows between performer to listener in every direction. I found myself closing my eyes and dropping my shoulders as my mind and body relaxed into a meditative state.

When the last song was announced I didn’t want to leave my chair. I would have happily sat through a full hour of Sound and Silence. The only thing holding me back from a 5K rating is the fact that I was left wanting more. More skin tingling harmonies, louder rises and a longer performance. Move me to tears – I know you can!

The ticket price is very reasonable (a bargain really) and there are only two performance dates left (and selling out fast) so get in quick! Book your experience on Friday 1st or 15th March at The Mill.

Sound and Silence is suitable for all ages that can sit quietly, wheelchair accessible and comes with complimentary goosebumps.

Kryztoff Rating 4.5K

FRINGE 2019 – Yummy Deluxe – 4.5K – The Garden of Unearthly Delights

Yummy took the Adelaide Fringe by storm in 2018 and now they’re back with a bigger and better show than before.

Yummy Deluxe brings back most of your Yummy favourites (Karen from Finance, the much-loved MC from last year, was unfortunately missing) for a night of fun and frivolity. Some numbers were more bizzare than others, some slower, some more poignant – but nonetheless all numbers were entertaining. Valerie Hex was a fantastic MC, getting the crowd ready for some fantastic performances, and participating in a few of the best ones herself.

MVPs of the night were Hannie Helsden, queen of the hoop, and Zelia Rose, one of the world’s best burlesque stars. However, all of the Yummy case brought something magical to the stage, eliciting laughs, whoops, and cheers from the audience throughout the entire show.

The reason this isn’t five stars is that there were a few numbers from last year’s show that were included, where there was space to showcase new, exciting work – and two of them were the weakest numbers of the show. It was a shame, as with such talented performers, there was opportunity here for exciting new content.

However, this is a small gripe. Overall, Yummy Deluxe is a fantastic night out and you won’t regret purchasing a ticket. Get along for a night of fun, dancing, and talented performances.

Kryztoff rating: 4.5K

FRINGE 2019: James Donald Forbes McCann: Devil’s Advocate – 5K – Rhino Room

James Donald Forbes McCann is here to defend indefensible statements.

When you enter the Rhino Room, you’re asked to write down a statement that not a single person can defend. Maybe even the worst thing you can think of. You put it in the bucket, take your seat, and out comes James.

One by one (with the help of an MC, in this session it’s comedian Corey White), James takes each statement and defends it. He has no idea what any of these statements are going to be – indeed, he often remarks on themes that emerge with surprise, in this session the themes were inexplicably foreskins and anti-vaxxing – and has to completely improvise his answers.

Watching McCann first sweat, then masterfully defend these ridiculous statements, is absolutely hilarious. McCann’s intelligence comes through immediately as he talks about history, socio-politics, and social issues when defending a statement about Kanye West’s recent work. His skill to improvise is fantastic and you’ll be cringing, yes, but mostly laughing as he works his way through the statements one-by-one.

Having seen McCann’s work over the past few Fringes, I can say that this is his best show yet – fully realised, a genius concept (you can come back time and time again and see a vastly different show), and truly funny. He won Best Comedian at this week’s Fringe awards – don’t miss out on the opportunity to see why he’s deserving of that award.

Kryztoff rating: 5K

FRINGE 2019 – The Best of Edinburgh Comedy – The Bunka @ The Austral – 3.5K

The Adelaide Fringe is the one of the biggest arts festivals in the world… second only to Edinburgh. So it seems only natural for some of Edinburgh’s best comedians to flock to Adelaide and show off their talents.

And with such large festivals, sometimes it’s hard to know who to see. Maybe you only have time to see one show this year – how do you get your money’s worth?

Hosted by Darius Davies, the Best of Edinburgh is a showcase of three comedians straight out of Scotland. It’s a great taster for those who can’t decide what to see, and a show to chill out to on any night of the week.

Thursday night featured Chris Henry, Susie McCabe and Leo Kearse.

Chris Henry was a great way to start the night. He was chatty and charming – as a regular visitor to Adelaide, he certainly had the audience leaning over and whispering to each other, “ugh that is so me!”

Susie McCabe is an effective storyteller who spoke about living life as a lesbian woman in a Catholic Scottish family. Her stories were charming but I would have loved to have more time to warm up to her.

Leo Kearse seems to march to the beat of his own drum. He’s commanding and comfortable that his jokes will hit – and of course they do. A great way to end the night. Has anyone ever told him how tall he is?

Host Darius Davies’ aggressive, audience-attacking brand of humour was thoroughly enjoyable. No one is safe from his wrath – not even in the second row! 

If you love comedy but hate commitment, this is the show for you. With four comedians giving it their all, you’re bound to see something you like.

Don’t go to the show if you hate profanity, or comedians asking what you do for a living. There’s plenty of both.

The Best of Edinburgh Comedy is on every night until March 17. Buy a beer and head on up to the Bunka at the Austral to check it out. 

3.5K 

FRINGE CIRCUS & PHYSICAL THEATRE – Back Left – Tandanya Theatre, Adelaide – 3K

By Alisha Dyer

Forget what you think you know about this act, let go of any expectations and treat it as a “lucky dip” Fringe show. The Back Left Project was conceived by a duo, as a duo act, but has arrived in Adelaide a solo performance. It is obvious that some of the original magic has died, but what is left is still to be admired.

Back Left is presented by Ezra LeBank, Professor and Head of Movement at California State University Long Beach. He is extremely honest and humble in his presentation of what could have been and what exists here and now.

Have you ever been lost in an idea? Or swept away by love? Taken away in a bubble that lifts you so high it seems nothing can ever bring you down.. only to have it all end in an instant? The bubble bursts and you are left standing in a puddle of broken dreams.

Do you wallow in sadness? Pretend it never happened? Or do you pick up the pieces and try again? Ezra has chosen the latter, incorporating pieces of the original dream with new ideas and presenting them as a new experiment. The juxtaposition of the original idea (captured in its infancy on film) with the reenactment by Ezra on stage is inspiring.

If you’re up for some experimental and improvisational theatre, and in favour of supporting a man who is brave enough to carry on alone after heartache, you can meet Ezra this Fringe season Live from Tandanya.

Kryztoff Rating 3K

FRINGE 2019 – Bernie Dieter’s Little Death Club – 4.5K – Gluttony

Step inside the Little Death Club and you’ll see some sights you won’t forget in a hurry – and that’s not a bad thing!

Bernie Dieter is your host as you step inside this one-of-a-kind cabaret club, full of nudity, naked mole rats, and a whole lot of talent. From the always-fantastic Gingzilla, to the fiery “bearded lady”, Bernie’s Berlin cabaret club is something to behold. Her voice is simply incredible as she emcees a night filled with incredible physical, circus, and vocal talent.

Most numbers were fantastic, funny, and definitely feisty. With the exception of one number that didn’t quite seem to serve a purpose or have much of a thread, the rest of the show was so much fun. Be warned – you will see full frontal nudity, including one of those pesky unsolicited dick pics, but just give yourself over to the lure of the Little Death Club, darling.

Well done to Bernie Dieter and Gluttony for a fantastic night out – just maybe don’t take your Oma, unless she’s as badass as Bernie’s.

Kryztoff rating: 4.5K

 

FRINGE 2019 – Shit-Faced Shakespeare – The May Wirth @ Gluttony – 4.5K

 

“I just peed in my pants a little. Just a little bit”
– Hermia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream??

 

Did you love Shakespeare in high school English? Or did you hate it with a passion? Well, it doesn’t matter: the cast of Shit-Faced Shakespeare don’t care either way. For the next four weeks of the Fringe, one actor will tear apart one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, one beer at a time.

For the uninitiated, Shit-Faced Shakespeare is fast becoming a Fringe staple. Almost every night of the Fringe, a group of classically trained actors grace the stage with an abridged version of some of Billy Shakespeare’s most famous works, while one actor, who has gotten sloppy drunk beforehand, just tries to make it through the night.

Audience participation is a relatively big part of this show, but luckily there are different participation levels for different personalities. Do you like to heckle? You could be one of two audience members given a gong that you may strike to force the slurring actor to down another drink.

Not much of a heckler? Cheer them on as they chug with the rest of the audience, or “whoop” when the fellow actors improvise around the rogue drunk. The performers seem to feed off this energy, so encouragement is, well, encouraged.

Prefer to chill? That’s fine too. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

This year’s Willy Wonder is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As someone who isn’t too familiar with this Shakespeare play, I was worried I would get lost during the performance. Luckily, the storyline was stripped back and the cast provided moments of clarity where the audience could catch up on the plot.

The character “Hermia” was the drunk of the night and she certainly was a slurring success. There were moments I suspected she was pretending to be drunk, but other times, through fits of laughter, I thought she’s either very drunk, or a very good actress (maybe both). The ensemble improvised well around her, and held it together in between Hermia’s wedgie-picking and beer-splashing.

With a show this popular, it’s probably unsurprising that The May Wirth venue is packed a little tight. As a young woman with a derrière that would make Sir Mix-a-Lot proud, I would have preferred a little extra space between the chairs. But this is easily fixed, especially if you get in early enough to shift the chairs slightly to allow yourself a little extra space.

While this probably goes without being said, it is important to note this show is hilarious but not exactly family friendly. Additionally, if you have a complicated or negative relationship with alcohol and drinking culture, it might be best to sit this one out.

Overall, the show is an excellent night out and highly recommended to most fringe-goers. This is my second year seeing the show, and I will almost certainly return next year.

Shit-Faced Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is on at the May Worth, Gluttony, every night (except Mondays) until March 17. Check it out and buy tickets here.

4.5K