FRINGEWORLD 2021 | Nadia Collins: Chrysalis (a work in progress) | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Nadia Collins is an absolute favourite of The Fourth Wall – we love her in everything she does, so when given the opportunity to review a work in progress we leaped at it headlong into the fray. And it does not disappoint! Chrysalis (a work in progress) sees Collins tackling mother nature as she reenacts a nature documentary live on stage, with hilarious results! As it is only a work in progress, I’m sure some of the details will change by the time you see the show again but it’s worth pointing out that in my opinion, there’s not a lot to do. Through classic clowning techniques and improvisation, Collins creates a hilarious and silly show that savagely calls out the natural world and our hopeless misunderstanding of it. And it’s genius.

Donning a robe and attempting to maintain an angry demeanor, Collins is hilarious as the formidable Mother Nature – lecturing us through suppressed giggles. The premise is refreshingly shambolic – a state Collins is perfectly suited in – things are chaotic from the audience reaction to the clearly uncertain dialogue. This is Collins’ strength – she excels at awkward comedy and doesn’t take herself too seriously. Homemade costumes continue this genius-level haphazardness from plastic bag jellyfish to velcro flower petals, Collins’ face says it all as she embraces the slipshod appearance of the show. Chrysalis has a chaotic energy that keeps you on your toes throughout – there is anticipation as each miracle of nature manifests out of what appear to be mounds of detritus on the stage but transform into actually quite clever designs.

Collins nails every minute of this show. Her audience interaction game is strong as she communicates well and makes everyone feel comfortable, like being involved in a shared joke. From the time lapse of flower growth to the crepe paper spider web, Collins gives her all and the result is a clever and funny show that capitalises on shared knowledge and makes kick arse pop culture references. I appreciate the subtle use of the American Beauty when the plastic bag jellyfish is floating in the ocean, and the Armageddon sountrack gets a pretty good go, too. Overall while this may be a work in progress, it’s a damn good one. All the puns are on point, the savagery of nature is hilarious – although there are some things you probably shouldn’t laugh at but Collins makes them so funny – and of course, the silliness of the show caps everything off. You know the old saying truth is stranger than fiction? In this case, truth is funnier than fiction – this pisstake is on point!

Chrysalis ran during the FRINGEWORLD 2021 Encore season but we’re confident it will be back.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2021

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