FRINGEWORLD 2018 | A Modern Guide to Heroism & Sidekickery | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

What does it take to be a hero? A cape? A costume? A million dollar legacy, purpose-built command centre in a cave and dead parents? Michelle Zahner is here to dispel those myths. Sometimes the best way to be a hero is just to start helping.

In A Modern Guide to Heroism & Sidekickery, Zahner tells the whimsical tale of the ‘superhero’ The Shadow and how she started making small changes to improve the lives of her fellow town members. Zahner switches between the narrator – wearing cute ‘Clark Kent’ glasses to the hero – The Shadow, donning a tool belt (far more practical than a cape!) talking out how comfortable she feels hanging around rooftops and how you notice things differently from above. She also wears a big grey hoodie to inhabit the character of sidekick, Karl. Karl finds notes around the town – he’s used to fading into the background but that changes when he is finally noticed.

It’s a charming and beautifully acted – Zahner’s exuberance for the story is infectious. She leaps around the stage as The Shadow, slinks around it as Karl, and relays the story to the audience as herself. She is a versatile performer, a delight to watch, and brings life to these charming and flawed characters. You don’t have to be ‘super’ to be a hero. Zahner highlights the hurdles and stereotypes that are attached to public figures. The Shadow doesn’t really talk much, Karl does the talking for her, yet we feel we know her based on the qualities imposed on her.

Zahner is the most affable performer, her zeal is strong as she tells the wild story and creates real social change. A Modern Guide to Heroism & Sidekickery fosters a sense of community, of love for your fellow man, and a distinct distrust of gluten. The message is simple and beautiful – love one another, try to change the world one step at a time, and try to work out what exactly to call a male damsel?!

WHEN: 16 – 25 February 2018 | 6:00pm

WHERE: The Gold Digger | Fringe Central | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $20 – $23 | Duration 50 mins | Suitable all ages | THEATRE



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