FRINGE 2017: THEATRE – A Regular Little Houdini – Bakehouse Theatre – 4.5K

One of the quintessential Adelaide Fringe theatre experiences has got to be an engaging story, told by an engaging solo writer-performer, on an almost bare black stage. It’s a genre that allows the performer’s craft to shine through; their words to create the settings, and their portrayal to form multiple believable characters through small nuances in their voice and physique.

A Regular Little Houdini is just such an offering. It is presented at the Bakehouse Theatre this Fringe by Guy Masterson, and anyone who has attended other similar shows produced by him in previous years, will know to expect a high quality performance from writer/performer Daniel Llewelyn-Williams. Under the direction of Joshua Richards, he does not disappoint.

Lighting is well utilised to delineate between shifts in time and space, and to add atmosphere to the various scenes, however it is primarily Llewelyn-Williams’ performance that captivates. He deftly switches from a wide-eyed 10 year old boy, to his often absent dock-working father, his genial and indulgent grandfather, various members of the Newport community, and even Harry Houdini himself. His Welsh accent is a delight to listen to, as you’re taken on this unusual coming-of-age tale.

The interweaving aspects of the story of a young child obsessed with Houdini, the everyday life of a working class kid in early 20th century Wales, his relationship with his family and his dedication to fulfilling his dream of becoming a magician, complement each other nicely. The inclusion of a variety of magical “amazements” throughout the show adds an extra little flair to the performance, creating a very satisfying theatrical experience.

Kryztoff rating: 4.5K

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