ARTICLES

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Absolute Zero – Jez Watts | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

Jez Watts has absolute zero funds on him – in fact he is in the red of $16,000 of an $18,000 loan that he has from his now fiancé, a vet from Singapore and he used to be a neuroscientist! This amusing story explores how love can appear unconventional but still work. The loan was given to assist him tour the world and do festivals – just proving how tough being an independent artist can be.

While the crowd is settling down on to their seats, we observe Watts use a loop box machine, while interacting with the crowd. This creates a quirky feel to the night and displays improvisation that some may think is unusual, but this comic is able to go with the flow with a sense of self depreciating cool. When all the crowd is in, he explains the concept of the show, including a bit about people thinking the show is called loser. Watts embraces this because he does not mind making a fool of himself, however he has little patience for fools.

Watts consistently gains laughter and is quick to interact with the audience to defuse any awkwardness. To add some variation to the night, the loop box machine is used to add an extra layer is used about half way through the show, in combination with a mini story about working in IKEA. The honesty in this show is refreshing as it does not shy away from themes like depression and suicide.

This Perth comedian who states he will be basing himself in Melbourne, in two weeks, is a comfortable storyteller and show how he has gained maturity from adversity. By the end, you feel like you have a strong idea of this man that just seems to go with the flow.

Absolute Zero – Jez Watts is a humorous show to see how comedy does equal tragedy plus time.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 9:15pm

WHERE: The Craft – Beer & Cider Garden | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $18 – $21 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content Warning: Sexual References, Occasional Course Language | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/absolute-zero-jez-watts-fw2019

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FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Mark Turner and Jessie Gordon: Best Friends |4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Perth is the luckiest city to be home to these two fabulous musicians – Mark Turner and Jessie Gordon: Best Friends celebrates the 15+ years the pair have known each other. Playing in a community swing band and then moving on to various bands throughout the years, Gordon and Turner’s friendship has strengthened over the years, as has their talent. The chilled out evening sees the friends playing some of their favourite music and loving every second of it.

Both Gordan and Turner are at home at the Ellington Jazz Club, a very supportive and frankly, really cool space for musicians. They sit on high stools, various guitars and ukuleles casually arranged nearby. Tonight’s show will be completely different to all the others – picking from a set list with 33 songs on it, the audience shouts out the numbers to create a unique show every time. The chemistry between these guys is infectious – they really have a deep friendship, the same sense of humour, and an incredible affinity for each other’s musical improvisation. Beginning with a silly quickie in ‘Ragg Mopp’ the two remain faithful to the list system, Gordon attempts to introduce each number with a cute little anecdote but mostly Turner just starts playing!

Because they are best friends and are so comfortable with their setting, the show has a jam session vibe and it’s wonderful to be privy to that. Mark Turner and Jessie Gordon: Best Friends is the most fun you’ll have this FRINGEWORLD 2019. It’s casual and laid back but definitely not at the expense of the talent – every song packs a punch and showcases Gordon’s phenomenal voice and Turner’s flawless guitar playing. There are original songs, jazzy/blues arrangements of old classics, and of course old classics themselves – each one is performed to perfection.

So, join the circle of friends, these guys have a lot of love to spare! Oh, and go and buy their CDs – I’m pretty sure Mark Turner mentioned it once at the beginning – faintly…

 

WHEN: 13 – 17 February 2019 | 8:45pm

WHERE: The Ellington Jazz Club | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $21 – $30 | Duration 55m | Age suitability: M | Content warning: sexual references | WA ARTISTS | MUSIC

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/mark-turner-and-jessie-gordon-best-friends-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Age of Stephen | 4 STARS

Review | Link Harris

Age of Stephen is exactly as the description states: “a night of unforgettable music, stories, and laughs in an epic celebration of the greatest voice our country has ever produced” as Stephen Valeri tries his hardest to convince the audience not only that John Farmham is the greatest voice our country has ever spawned – not that you would be here if you didn’t love him already however if you aren’t a fan, you know where the door is – but that his spirit animal is or that he is spiritually connected to Farnham.

Valeri’s voice is incredible doing near perfect renditions of some of Farnham’s biggest hits from ‘Sadie’ to ‘Chain Reaction’ – backed by Caleb Garfunkle on guitar/backing vocals and Kelly Ann Kimber on keyboard/backing vocals – Valeri takes us on a very tongue in cheek look at their similarities – Valeri and Farnham – all the while cracking jokes and interacting with audience members displaying exceptionally good improvisational skills – as you never know what is going to be said when throwing the audience into the mix – even going as far as recruiting “boy band members” from the audience and choreographing dance moves to songs.

Valeri’s charisma, presence and vocal range are highlighted in this production and are without a doubt  why this is such a brilliant show. If the season hadn’t already ended I would say get off your bum and go see this hilarious and brilliantly entertaining look into an artist such as Farmhan by arguably one of his biggest fans Valeri.

WHEN: 14 – 16 February 2019 | 8:30pm

WHERE: King’s Lair | His Majesty’s Theatre | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $31 – $35 | Duration 60 mins | Age suitability: PG | CABARET/MUSIC

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/age-of-stephen-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Beautiful Girls: The Bruno Mars Show | 3 STARS

Review | Amanda Lancaster & Link Harris

Walking up the stairs of Air Nightclub the music is pumping, everyone is smiling, drinking and generally having fun waiting for the show to start as Jake Dennis, his dancers and band finally get on stage and Beautiful Girls: The Bruno Mars Show begins.

It’s unusual for a Northbridge Nightclub venue to be described as mellow and chilled out but that was exactly the type of setting that came along with all attending this performance, much to the – clearly mixed generational – crowd’s satisfaction and delight.

Treated to a plethora of Bruno Mars’ hits spanning his three albums and interspersed with a DJ  playing top 30 R&B hits from similar eras – like that of the recently made popular throwback sessions   introduced by well known radio stations- you can be assured there is a little something something for everyone to be enjoyed.

The singing  voice of Dennis is superb but unfortunately seeming as though it wasn’t quite given the opportunity it could have been to show us just exactly how vocally talented he truly is. The choreography of Dennis and his dancers was on point an in fine form, the backup band was excellent, the lighting and backdrop screen set the scene beautifully lighting up all of the excellent Air Nightclub but unfortunately the music always seem to be a half or full beat ahead of where it should have been and drowned out Dennis’ voice…

If you like Bruno Mars and can forgive minor alterations to his music go along and have fun and even if you can’t get past these changes go along anyway and have a good night and a fun time. Regardless of these minor issues  these reviewers can attest to being seduced by the soulful and  upbeat  funk atmosphere enough that by the end of the show they had us on the dance floor enjoying ourselves.
WHEN: 15 & 16 February 2019 | 7:30pm

WHERE: Air Nightclub | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $25 | Duration 120 mins | Suitable 18+ (restricted) | WA ARTIST | CABARET/MUSIC

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/beautiful-girls-the-bruno-mars-show-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Femme | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

FEMME is a variety night about issues facing women and/or if you identify as femme. The creation of a warm and giving burlesque artist in Lola Cherry Cola, who wants to create a supportive environment for femmes to explore their feminine side and promote feminist issues. Host, Cherry Cola knows that some sensitive issues are going to be put out into the audience and that you can leave the room at any opportunity. There are also fans in the shape of pussy – cats that this MC jokes that can be flapped!

Each night has different performers that are part of FRINGEWORLD 2019. The night I watched it, Charlotte Glance, a stand-up comedian opened with zeal and gave the right number of well-timed punchlines to get the audience open to laughing at life and thinking about double standards.

To mix things up, the experimental cabaret comedian, Jamie Mykaela mixed energetic wit with sombre spoken word poetry and then finished highlighting her amazing voice, with a quirky ukulele song with attitude.

To add to the interesting introspection, Camden Champagne decide against showcasing her famed burlesque dance act by instead doing a monologue on smiling and why it is OK not to smile. It uses computer slide images in bringing attention to how often fake smiles often used to please people in power and that a ‘natural’ smile is quite rare to find.

Then burlesque performer, Chelsea Smiles did a strip with a dark side to it. Coming on fully clothed, and these clothes displaying messages of prudishness. Then as she stripped the messages were more about being a sexual piece of meat and had audience members pull off the meat images, one by one, with each displaying real stories of sexual harassment and assault.

To clear all this heaviness, Gabe Hogan give us a beautiful visualisation meditation. We all then came together from the heart of Cherry Cola to be strong and speak out against forces hurting the FEMME spirit.

For a wonderfully constructed, socially aware show, come see FEMME for a message that more should embrace.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 7:45pm

WHERE: Paper Mountain | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $20 – $25 | Duration 55m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content Warning: Sexual References, | THEATRE | PERFORMANCE ART

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/femme-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Let Me Finish | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Let Me Finish is the brilliantly titled brainchild of the hilarious Charlotte Otton – WAAPA graduate and relative newcomer on the Perth Independent theatre scene. It’s a collaboration and celebration of and with women and what it means to identify as women. There’s laughter, pain, insecurity, a capella singing, and solidarity in a series of sketches, monologues, games and devised pieces that showcase the sheer power of women and what it is like to be a woman in this world.

Everything is covered – from harrassment while dancing in clubs, to the solidarity of the ladies toilets! The cast work so well together and each bring something unique to the work. Jess Moyles acts with dignity and sincerity as she searches for love and recounts her terrible account of sexual assault. Perth wonder, Izzy Macdonald provides a manic energy that is hilarious and becomes calmed down throughout the work. Ana Ika and Angela Mahlatjie are both hilarious and heartfelt – Ika has a mature quality about her, way beyond her years. Mahlatjie’s laugh out loud account of finding a cheating boyfriend and her over-the-top reaction is all of us.

The sketches are hilarious – from parodying the ladies’ book club type with Otton’s face a masterclass in comedic acting, to a clever piece on race Let Me Finish brilliantly and succinctly tackles intersectional feminism head on and doesn’t care if any feelings get hurt along the way. There are moments of intensity – the game ‘Don’t Know, Now You Know’ sees rapid-fire stories shouted at the audience, and a moment of pure rage is expressed by the women literally reduced to their hands and knees chanting ‘fuck off, fuck off’. It begins with laughter and intensifies as their pure rage finally finds an outlet.

Let Me Finish takes the thoughts and feelings of women and thrusts them, warts and all, into the spotlight. It features some truly heartbreaking moments of introspection when looking at old photographs, and a beautiful love story (I totally ship Jess & Ana!) and will certainly resonate with anyone identifying as a woman. It’s an important piece of theatre that #YesALLMen should see.

 

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 9:40pm

WHERE: Circus Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $28 – $35 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: PG | Content Warning: Occasional Coarse Language, Sexual References, Strobe Lighting, Sexual Assault, Mental Health, Loud Noises | WA ARTISTS | THEATRE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/let-me-finish-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: A Migrant’s Son | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Musical powerhouse Michaela Burger (Exposing Edith) graces the stage once again, this time with a biographical tale of the most important person – her father. In Exposing Edith, Burger told Edith Piaf’s story through theatre and song – now she has dug deep into the roots of her family tree and shares the struggles, love and loss, hard work, and delights of her own family. Her father, Vincent Luke was A Migrant’s Son and Burger explores what that really means in an absolute triumph of song, dance and theatre. With original compositions, and beautiful community choirs led by the wonderful Carol Young, and an old suitcase full of memories, A Migrant’s Son is the heartwarming tale that will prompt you to go home and call your father.

When Michaela Burger set out to write this show, she wanted to showcase her father’s strength – through adversity, heartache, love – but as she dug a little deeper, she realised that his indomitable spirit came from generations before him. Beginning with her Yaya (Grandmother) and her journey to Australia at the age of 14 in 1936. Burger dons a gypsy-style long skirt (sequinned of course, this is a cabaret show after all!) and sings a heart-wrenching ballad about her grandmother’s apprehensions and mixed feelings leaving her homeland. She goes even further back to her Propappous (great grandfather) a man who left war-torn Greece to become a baker in Adelaide. The absolute passion and love that Burger injects into his character is overwhelming at times. She never met him but every word she sings in vibrant and full of love.

Every family has a story, and Burger tells her father’s story with heart – building up the fundamentals of his family and the work ethic drilled into him as a young boy baking and delivering bread for hours before school, to opal mining in Coober Pedy – this plucky, quick-thinking, soulful man is brought to life in the most stunning way possible. One of the most interesting elements of this show is how often Burger references Victor’s pride in his family – he sounds like an absolute character! From bursting with joy at his daughter’s wedding, to holding his first grandson with tenderness and trepidation, and even proudly declaring that his daughter was the best performer in Australia to any celebrity who would listen. But to me, the most touching part of the whole show is the pride that Michaela Burger feels for him.

A Migrant’s Son is a stunning piece of theatre. The music is simple, sweet and full of emotion – swelling to majestic heights with the voices of Indie Mix Pop Choir and the Dal Segno Singers. It is a spiritual experience to hear Burger’s clear and heavenly tones. She is passionate and loving and every note is sublime. Brimming with emotion, this exquisite show will pull on every heartstring and you will have to clap and cheer through eyes blurred with tears. This is one for the family.

WHEN: 13 – 16 February 2019 | 8:00pm

WHERE: Upper Burt Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $30 – $35 | Duration 80m | Age suitability: PG | Content warning: Occasional coarse language | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/a-migrant-s-son-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Equinox | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Equinox is a love letter to all the witches and magical creatures who have graced our stages and screens. Velma Celli is utterly spellbinding as she sings the siren songs of the hags and creatures that go bump in the night. She weaves her magic in the truly bewitching arrangements of any song with a link – tenuous or not – to magic.

Black sequins shimmy through the crowd as all eyes stick to the divine mistress herself. There are classic witch manifestos in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ and ‘Defying Gravity’ – immaculately performed. Celli’s voice is so phenomenal that the audience’s jaws cannot fight the forces of gravity and remain firmly on the floor! There’s a stunning reimagining of ‘1000 Years’ and the most chilling rendition of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ that is gentle and giving and warm.

Of course, no evening with Velma Celli wouldn’t be complete without a few surprises and she doesn’t disappoint. Equinox will bring out your dark side, so embrace it and howl at the moon a little. With bitchy, witchy and wonderful tributes to the devilish and disenfranchised, Velma Celli will put a spell on you and now you’re hers!

WHEN: 11 – 17 February 2019 | 7:45pm

WHERE: De Parel Spiegeltent | WOODSIDE PLEASURE GARDEN

INFO: Tickets $27 – $30 | Duration 75m | Age suitablity: M | Content warning: occasional coarse language, sexual references | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/equinox-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Angels’ Share | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

The top ten percent or so of whisky in a barrel gets evaporated – just dissolves straight into the air for the angels. It is the angels’ share.

So the saying goes. When writer Michael Ramus discovered this and the life of ‘whisky boys’ on a trip to the Scottish Isles, he was, quite rightly enamored. Angels’ Share is a quirky tale about two ‘whisky boys’ – best friends entrusted to guard the barrels of whisky in the long abandoned distillery on an isolated island. Nicknamed Feints and Fallshorts, slightly derogatory terms for the unusable whisky as part of the distillation process, the two lads realise they are sitting on a goldmine and then all hell breaks loose.

Angels’ Share sees Carl (Mark McDonald) and Mike (Jordan Valentini) distill their philosophies through small town sensibilities and isolation. Their realisation that the barrels are worth a lot of money is the catalyst for both their recklessness and their guardedness. McDonald is hilarious as the goofy Carl. He bounces around the stage and one can’t help but feel affection for him As his budding relationship with Claire (Jen Bagg) grows, a real tenderness creeps in and you start to care for this character. Valentini’s Mike is a little more brooding. As a homosexual man hiding his true self from people who probably wouldn’t care anyway, he is a tortured character who has grown a little too big for the island he inhabits. Hanging over his head like a cloud is the alcoholism that has seen him lose almost everyone he loves, and the dire warning that he is heading in the same direction.

Jen Bagg is great as the impish Claire – you kind of don’t like her much at first as your loyalty will be with Carl, but after a while you realise how well she performs the role. Likewise, Sophie Lester who plays the cheerful police officer, Rosie and a rather sinister character later on. She’s a great foil for the two boys and her charm is in her teasing delivery. Director Jared Barkla does a fantastic job of keeping the action concentrated. The set is small and intimate, at times taking on the claustrophobia of not only the space but the plot squeezing down on the characters. He also steps in as Richard, Mike’s lover and provides a reasoning voice to the whole thing.

Much like the barrels of whisky that are guarded so tightly, the story of the ‘whisky boys’ is a quirky one that has long been forgotten to the outside world. I for one, am glad that some of its magic leaked out, that we got the Angels’ Share of the tale.

WHEN: 14 – 16 February 2019 | 6:30pm

WHERE: Nevermind Smallclub | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $25 | Duration 60m (Likely to run overtime) | Age suitability: PG | Content warning: Occasional coarse language, Sexual References, Depicts Violence | THEATRE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/angel-s-share-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, In Brief, on now

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Stephen Valeri | Age of Stephen | 5 With Fringe

Stephen Valeri is the die-hard fan of John Farnham gracing Perth stages with his tribute show Age of Stephen this FRINGEWORLD 2019. He answered our 5 With Fringe series ahead of the show.

Describe your show in 3 words: 

ULTIMATE. FARNHAM. CELEBRATION.

What is your show all about?

It’s a very, very loving tribute to Aussie musical icon, John Farnham. I spend the show attempting to convince my audience that John and I share a spiritual connection, whilst cramming as many of his iconic hits as possible into an hour!

Favourite FRINGEWORLD 2019 hangout?

I’m loving the vibe at our venue, His Majesty’s Theatre – the place is buzzing with audiences grabbing a drink and bite to eat before and after seeing their shows. There’s also pop up performances every night that add to the lush atmosphere.

What is the best part about FRINGEWORLD 2019?

I haven’t had a chance to see a lot of shows just yet, as we’re only here for the last week of the festival – but I am enjoying everyone’s friendliness! Fringe Artists are usually a pretty friendly bunch, but everyone in Perth is so relaxed and up for a chat – it’s great!

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend?

  • Dolly Diamond’s ‘BLANKETY BLANKS’ – Not many people in the world make me laugh like Dolly! She doesn’t miss a beat and this show is her in her absolute element. Downstairs at the Maj until Saturday.
  • Sinsational Rita & Mae – Melody & Lucinda Beck are bringing back old school glamour with their classy (and cheeky) tribute to Rita Hayworth and Mae West. And they can SING! King’s Lair (His Majesty’s Theatre) until Saturday.
  • The Boy, George – Patrick Livesy’s show tells the future story of Prince George (yes, the sassy son of Will & Kate) and his quest to take over the world. His show sounds hilarious and I can’t wait to see it this week! Shambles at The Woodside Pleasure Garden til Sunday.

You can grab your tickets to Age of Stephen HERE.

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019 | Captain Spaceship: Maiden Voyage | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

Space: the final frontier and often an area that artists are scared to explore because some feel that science and art are domains that do not overlap. Weeping Spoon Productions attempt to tackle this challenge by use improv comedy and this is possible with star actor and producer, Shane Adamczak being a Sci Fi geek. Meet Captain Spaceship (Esther Longhurst) and follow along as she brings her rag tag crew (regulars Shane Adamczak, Daniel Buckle and sound tech Alwyn Nixon Lloyd) along with a rotating lineup of guest improvisers, as they hurtle through space and time.

As they all they all have performed on the theatre sport creation of The Big Hoo Haa, their comedic chemistry is excellent. However, there is much difference as this team has to each night create a new storyline that goes for an hour that only relies on crowd suggestions and their improv skills.

Adamczak gleefully sets the scene for the night by interacting with the audience, asking what Sci Fi shows they are fans of. Happily, this host acknowledges the few hard core geeks in the crowd and makes some great jokes about it. It is all from the top of his head as he states the night before had much weirder, drunker audience. Still with his long experience in the comedy caper, Adamczak easily goes with the flow. The crowd suggestions can be hit and miss, so the most potentially funny and challenging suggestions get chosen.

The hilarity of the show comes from each performer having a different interpretation of what is suppose to go on and seeing their creative minds deal with the chaos. A beginning, middle and end is masterfully made that incorporates the unpredictability to make you wonder at incredible skill they must have.

Captain Spaceship: Maiden Voyage is a great show to see a creative way to achieve comedy on the spot.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 8:20pm

WHERE: Deluxe | YAGAN SQUARE

INFO: Tickets $20 – $22 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: PG | WA ARTISTS | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/captain-spaceship-maiden-voyage-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Paper Doll | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Gripping from the very start, Paper Doll is confusing, intense, and packs an emotional punch. A man stands at a woman’s front door, dripping wet and clutching at a plastic bag. He is expected but still shocks her. Martin Ashley Jones and Hayley Pearl are absolutely flawless in this two-hander that will put your guts in a vice and slowly squeeze. Jones is welcomed in and immediately things are awkward. You can’t quite work out their relationship – ex-lovers? Father and daughter? As the play progresses it becomes clear that the answer is somewhat more sinister.

It is clear that Pearl is on edge – her tone is light and airy, but her eyes bulge out of her head in fear and she approaches Jones with a wariness borne of pain. She clearly doesn’t want to get hurt again. Jones is phenomenal. He speaks to Pearl as if approaching a frightened animal. His words trip and stumble in nervousness – revealing a tenderness unexpected in someone so rough. He is like a pressure cooker, fighting to hold back his intensity – but there are moments when the steam escapes and we glimpse the monster underneath. Jones is quite simply, acting his heart out and I could watch him all night long.

Paper Doll is not for the faint-hearted. It is intense. It peels back layer after layer and reveals at its heart a twisted knot of thorns. Playwright Katy Warner was inspired by Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge and has stripped back the key relationship in the play. The language takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion – from sweet and almost cautionary first love, to hatred and resentment, fear, and affection. Jones and Pearl pour their hearts out onstage every night. Their stuttering and inability to complete sentences whilst talking over each other not only create a realistic feeling but intensifies the gritty reality of the action.

If you like your theatre intellectually and emotionally stimulating, do not miss out on this gripping psychological thriller, played to perfection by two actors at the top of their game.

WHEN: 12 – 16 February 2019 | 8:00pm

WHERE: The Main Space | The Blue Room Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $24 – $28 | Duration 45m | Age suitability: M | Content warning: Occasional coarse language, Sexual Assault, Sexual References | THEATRE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/paper-doll-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Tony Galati the Musical | 5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

When we think of the word Perthanlity, it’s hard not to think of Tony Galati – known as the ‘Spud King’ for his potato revolution that lead to the business Spud Shed. Aarnav Productions have maximised their creative skills to make a musical that tells the story of Tony Galati, right from when he was a child and his family travelled all the way from Sicily to Perth. Using some of the best talents from local theatre groups, like The Big Hoo Haa – this show is certainly a perfect fit for FRINGEWORLD 2019.

Aarnav Productions are a collaboration between Dan DeBuf and Sonia Arakkal, who with those surnames would have experienced the prejudice of old school WASP thinking – especially in small-town, isolated Perth. Intelligently, this musical does not adhere to revision history but keeps it light with plenty of well peppered gags, and we first learn that Tony’s passion for the potato came from his father, Francesco (both roles played by Thomas Papathanassiou).

Tony’s voice is beautifully captured by Papathanassiou’s acting and DeBuf’s writing. It is surprising how respectfully this is done, as ‘The Spud King’ is mostly caricaturised by the media in a typical simplistic manner. There is even a hilarious mimic of an interview with the Sunrise Team of David “Kochie” Koch and Samantha Armitage, where two of the performers from the Perth Improv troupe use their comic talents to bring many great moments of laughter.

In terms of musical direction by Caleb Garfinkel, the songs are aptly coordinated to align with the theme of the story – from old Italian music sounds to up beat music to signal the Perth’s obsession with modernisation, in the expense of character and charm.

This weaves all together to create a friendly show that will make you feel good inside. Go see Tony Galati The Musical to laugh and sing with a local Perthanality hero.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 6:00pm

WHERE: De Parel Speigeltent  | Pleasure Garden | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $27 – $30 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: All ages | THEATRE | MUSIC | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/tony-galati-the-musical-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: 10,000 Decisions | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

We make approximately 10,000 Decisions every day. No wonder we’re exhausted by the time we go to bed! US comedian, Robyn Perkins is here to help you make some of those decisions easier. It’s an interesting premise – the self-confessed most useless person at making a decision (to the point she has literally gone hungry in restaurants) aiding us, but Perkins has the (pseudo) science to back it up!

Perkins used to be a biologist but now spends her time making people laugh and I for one, am glad she made the switch. Sorry ecosystems – we need this funny-lady more than you. No-one is more aware of the need for laughter than Perkins herself – an American in London – what a sucker for punishment.

The show is educational as Perkins gives you a crash course in neuroscience and how the brain goes about making a decision. She is hilarious! Self-depreciating but not self-hating, Perkins’ inability to decide in love, lust, food – thankfully not politics – will probably scrape close to the bone – Perkins is all of us.

As a comedian, she is great at getting an audience on side but it feels so much more than that. Perkins is conversational and honest, she is just like that funny friend who comes to you with their love-life issues and gets drunk with you. At least one decision will be made tonight – what it will be is up to the audience as Perkins offers up not only a sympathetic ear but a great feeling of togetherness.

Making the decision to see 10,000 Decisions is a no-brainer – let your amygdala blurt our yes and your frontal cortex pay for the tickets! It’s one decision you won’t regret.

WHEN: 11 – 17 February 2019 | 6:30pm

WHERE: The Gold Digger | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $18 – $25 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: M | Content warning: coarse language, sexual references | Note: Performance on Saturday 16th February will be at Teatro in the WOODSIDE PLEASURE GARDEN | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/10-000-decisions-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Underemployment: A Show about Not Enough Work and Way Too Much TV | 5 Stars

Review | Amanda Lancaster & Link Harris

Employment: Use, purpose, the activity in which one engages or employed. An instance of such activity. This show however is a clearly and cleverly a demonstrable instance of the ensuing consequences of those instances of inactivity.

Written and performed by Keren Schlink who made us laugh in Pupperotica: Foreplay, Underemployment: A Show About Not Enough Work and Way Too Much TV is exactly as the title suggests – a show about not being employed and watching way too much TV but it is oh so much more than that.

Think Bridget Jones diary meets a kind of ironic 12 step program and you might be almost in the ball park of just how terrifically funny and self identifying this performance piece will become over the course of this non stop channel hopping 45 minute laugh fest with every member of its audience in some way. So hilarious, charming and talented is our one-woman powerhouse and with such effervescent personality that its hard to remember that this piece was itself created in the face of such unlucky and seemingly ongoing mishaps and misfortune.

Be uplifted by the downward spiral of knowing someone else and in fact numerous someone else’s out there know just what it is like to tread the waters of not the “employment vs unemployment” deep end of the work pool. Empathise in guilty pleasure as the phases of loss of purpose and identity have not only the good, bad and ugly laid out for all to see but also the eccentricities and inanities of exactly how it feels to be human in today’s day and age.

This show will resonate with anyone who has been through unemployment and rigmarole of dealing with Centrelink, applying for jobs, getting rejected from jobs either you are qualified, under-qualified or over qualified for, going to job interviews and your pants being too tight – they fit when you were employed- not to mention the day to day happenings of getting out of bed or being too drunk and binge watching TV in such a clever manner that you will just love this show even if you haven’t had the misfortune to do any of the above.

Not so much a statement about the underemployment of one within the work force but the underemployment of oneself within our own existence to feel useful needed worthy successful and fulfilled in our very own lives

Forget the it could always be worse idiom and instead o yourselves a favour when I tell it could always get better …. just as it does with each and every one of Schlink‘s performances I’ve viewed to date.

If we could give this show a 10 out of 5 we would.

WHEN: 13 – 16 February 2019 | 8:30pm

WHERE: The Windsor Hotel | SOUTH PERTH

INFO: Tickets $15 | Duration 45 mins | Suitable 18 | WA ARTIST | THEATRE/MUSICAL THEATRE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/underemployment-a-show-about-not-enough-work-and-way-too-much-tv-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Bumble Me Tinders | 4.5 Stars

Review | Peter Spence

Patrick Melton from Las Vegas’s hilarious, naughty and revealing show will have you red in the face from laughter and excitement as Bumble Me Tinders reveals the best, worst and most embarrassing Tinder stories from the audience. Cheesy pick up lines that do and don’t work? You decide. The audience are engaged throughout the whole show, including a “perfect-match” style live SWIPE OFF. Even midweek this show is a sell out and an absolute riot!

Each night a different special guest comedian joins Patrick on stage to roll with the jokes and politely poke fun, with the help of saucy and suave sidekick Chad, deciding on the best and worst pick up lines, you’re likely to ever hear.  *cue air-horns*

Stories from the audience flow as best stories earn liquid rewards and one lucky punter perhaps winning a prize which brings to mind – there’s always time for lubricant!

The vibe is red hot and the audience are entertained to the point of not getting up to refill their drinks, a few dry mouths but a few damp seats.

SWIPE RIGHT for this high energy, riot-risqué – not a dry seat in the house!

4.5/5 right-swipes

WHEN: 18 January – 17 February + 14 February VALENTINE’S SPECIAL! | 8:20pm & 5:00pm

WHERE: Terrace Lounge | Universal Bar | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $21 | Duration 55m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content warning: coarse language, sexual references | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/bumble-me-tinders-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Silence My Lady Head| 4.5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

Ahh, the 80s – a time where an explosion of new ideals, allowed for more women to rock it, as lead singers of rock groups. This was a gigantic leap from the disco era of the 70s and many people did not know how to take it. Women often had to battle conservative ideals and that is contrasting to music that is darker and sexually provocative. Women had to be strong feminists to fight these black and white perceptions of femininity. One thing that nobody could disagree on is that these women had powerful voices that spoke strongly from the heart.

Solo performer in this production, Indigo Keane, is a young performer that matches these rock heroes of the 80s, with an awesome voice and an intense stare that tells a thousand stories. Dressed in black leather she stylistically moulds into the black background, in this edgy piece of cabaret. Keane highlights all the emotions exposed that are as raw as the animals that she acts out. There is a punk rebellion to it but sound-wise there feels to have a channelling of the goth tones of Nick Cave. I love this combination where the soul of the story brims out clearly for all to see deeply. The intensity is kept throughout, even when Keane’s character of Lady Head’s nature is chaotic.

Lady Head, as a singer shows discomfort in singing the toxically masculine Kiss song, “I was made for loving you baby.” She puts her own feminine spin on it but notices that her fictional audience has people that want to put her down, just because she is a woman. She asserts herself against these kinds of people and evolves more realness throughout. Eventually leading to full expression of the complexities of being a woman to display how mentally draining it can be. You will be stunned with awe by this superbly crafted piece of theatre. Silence My Lady Head is a show that you will certainly not want silenced!

WHEN: 12 – 16 February 2019 | 9:00pm

WHERE: The Studio | The Blue Room Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $18 – $21 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content Warning: Mild nudity, occasional course language, strobe effects, loud noises, sexual references | THEATRE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/silence-my-ladyhead-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Paradise! A Cool & Smart Show | 3.5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

What is paradise? If you think you know what paradise is then you are most likely naive. This show by Barney Pollock and Matt Young is a series of silly sketches to explain a journey of two fraternity boys Alec Rose (Young) and Robert Tumb (Pollock) to find The Ice-cream Man. They know that this messy story is going to sound crazy, but they appear to want to come across as a Jackson Pollock in comedy form. This creates some bits to be highly meaningful and others you must use your imagination more. The ideas are a bit vague but the bottom line it is about friendship and coming together to solve problems. Whatever you feel about this show, you know these starring performers have a strong bond.

Alec and Robert represent young men that are smart academically but emotionally immature. The more recent generations (millennials) can especially relate to this – world of stuff and spoiling parents. These two are desperate to be cool but don’t know how. They don’t realise that trying too hard is not cool. They think making a long train journey to Perth to meet The Ice-cream Man will make them cool. In their journey some bizarre characters appear, in possible reference to Alice in Wonderland. There is small amount of crowd interaction that is done well because of Pollock and Young’s exceptional improvisational skills.

In the end they get to meet The Ice-cream Man, played by a very funny performance from Tim Quabba. His facial expressions are amazing as a crazed man that explains his distorted views of reality. There is also an amusing moment when Robert body gets turned into super buff, where Cam Pollock comes on wearing only briefs. All this chaos is cleverly resolved to highlight the pointlessness of their existential journey.

To see some clever ideas, expressed in an artful way, Paradise! A Cool & Smart Show may be the journey you need to be destined for.

WHEN: 12 – 16 February 2019 | 7:30pm

WHERE: The Studio | The Blue Room Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $21 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: M | Content Warning: Frequent course language, loud noises, sexual references, drug references   | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/paradise-a-cool-smart-show-fw2019

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FRINGEWORLD, Interview, on now

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Luke Bolland | INTERVIEW | Part 2

Luke Bolland is the brilliant comedian behind award winning show Fame Dropper and new show Weight Dropper. Comedy correspondent Kieran Eaton caught up with him before the show.

Haven’t read part one? Click HERE to read it now!

How do you think your last show, Name Dropper went? Do you enjoy [doing] Name Dropper? Especially winning Best WA [comedy] act.

Yeah, it was pretty great because it that thing of, you know when I’m doing a show I put so much effort into it will be pretty much a year of hard work, and so to have that is my fourth year in a row and I had never even been nominated for an award so to not only get nominated but win an award in the same year, it felt a justification. That is four years of hard work, it is paying off right now – it felt amazing. I think it was a good show and people who saw it said it was amazing, and an outstanding review from you which I appreciate. But I think it has pushed me, this year that I hope that I have created an even better show – I feel good about this one.

 

Have you tested a bit of material at the [comedy] clubs?

Yeah, absolutely – it has literally been 10 months I started working on it. I started working on it on March, going up the open mic rooms and doing bits from the new show and then be like, “That worked, that’s going in the show, that didn’t and so that’s no.” But there are a lot of bits that doesn’t work outside the show, so I’m doing it for the first time. I did two test shows last week – one was to a friend who was going to be away, travelling so could not make it. So, I went to their house to the show and their feedback was it was better than last year’s show. And, I did the show for two complete strangers – who were co-workers of my producer, one of them did not speak very good English, and so if this could work in front of them, I know I am on to something. And, they loved it! I needed to it in front of somebody other than my wife and get feedback. I’m feeling pretty good about it now.

 

What has made success not change who you are?

The main thing for me is because I’ve got kids, I don’t really get to perform outside of Perth. People in Perth don’t care if you’ve won an award and had sold out shows. They’ll come see you at a pub – if you are not good, they will tell you very quickly. So, having to constantly work every week and prove myself all over again, keeps me very grounded, very level-headed – because as soon as you get out there and say, This next comedy act won best comedy act at Perth Fringe World Festival,” and the audience is like, “I don’t give a shit, make me laugh or not.”
How can you not stay humble when that is your constant mindset that you have to constantly put yourself in.

 

I am guessing also children also keep you grounded?

Definitely – they don’t care what awards you have won. All they care is that your there each night, making them dinner, running their bath, tucking them into bed, reading them stories – you’ve got to do all of that. It keeps you level headed

 

Was it easy to get ideas for the show?
It an interesting one because I didn’t know what was going to be the strategy, what I was going to do. So, I said I’m going to write about the story – the timeline of ten months of trying to lose this weight. I had no idea starting out, what I was going to do. I had no idea how I was going to lose the weight. The show just became about that and I met some interesting people along the way, where I’m offered up advice and work out buddies. So, it was a weird thing that there was no, this is where the show is about the start, this is going to be middle part – I just knew this is the start and this is where I’d like it to finish. So, I recorded part of the show back in March when I first started, so there are some video components to the show, and that is the only bit I knew at the beginning, All I knew is that the video is going to open the show – everything else we’ll see what happens next year.

 

So, I guess you just went with the flow and the main thing is it gets laughs?

That’s the most important thing for me because you people to laugh, you want people to have fun and have a good night out.  It is what I like to call a slow build – it is starts out pace out well, but I think it build to a really fun finish. The last twenty minutes are very funny and entertaining, so I can’t wait for that moment – it is my reward for all the hard work, the last twenty minutes of the show, seeing people hopefully going crazy and enjoying it

 

In three words, how would you describe your show?

Funny weight-loss adventure.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Weight dropper, I won’t do again. It has been a ten-month journey and this is the end of the journey. It is not going to be relevant for me to go back and dig it up in a years’ time, it is relevant right now. So, if you want to see you’ve got to come to Fringe World now because I won’t be doing the show again next year

You can check out Name Dropper HERE.

Or read our review of Weight Dropper HERE.

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FRINGEWORLD 2019: Robyn Perkins | 10,000 Decisions | 5 With Fringe

Robyn Perkins is an American comedian gracing our shores this FRINGEWORLD 2019 with her show 10, 000 Decisions – a heady combination of science and trivial pursuits! She answered our 5 With Fringe series ahead of the show.

What is your show all about?

In short, it’s a show about decision-making, combining personal anecdotes and neuroscience. But really, it was a show inspired by a bad decision I made. I look at that decision and investigate all of the reasons that led to that decision. We also make a decisions anonymously submitted by an audience member…so come armed with a decision you are struggling with!

Favourite FRINGEWORLD 2019 hangout?

Budgie Smuggler. Friendly people, [usually] great music. And the cheap drinks help.

What is the best part about FRINGEWORLD 2019?

The people. I mean, the weather is amazing. But the people are the best. Not just people at Fringe World, but the audiences. The positive feedback I have had after shows has been so nice.

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend?

Comedians Against Humanity is a really fun show, and different every time. I loved 52 Days by Aidan Jones. YUMMY Cabaret is also great. And whilee I have not seen the shows, I really want to see Dion Arnold and Rory Lowe’s show.

You can grab your tickets to 10, 000 Decisions HERE.

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Talofa Papa | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

 Talofa everyone! Please, sit, drink, celebrate – it’s good to see you all! Talofa Papa (hello, Papa) sees Kasiano Mita embody the titular character and welcome the audience into his home for Grandma’s birthday party. Mita is gentle and warm. His character is clearly derived from a place of love. He greets everybody as though they are family – and for one night only, the audience actually become that family. Rich in Samoan culture and tradition, Talofa Papa embraces its roots and proves that whatever the culture, family is not only important but strong bonds are prevailing. 

Mita is amazing as Papa. His characterisation is perfect, from subtle nods of the head, to a stiffness of gait, from switching between praise and annoyance at his grandson, to inducing mild wariness in the audience family. There is a feeling of reverence about this character – he is compelling in every way. Papa teaches the audience how to celebrate Samoan style – how to dance, how to sing, how to party! Talofa Papa is hilarious and heartfelt. There are serval laugh out loud moments, mostly derived from Mita’s flawless crowd interaction. 

There is a unifying element in this character. Everybody knows a patriarch or elder figure in their own family who is like this. They unite the family and although hugely likeable, are often just a little unpredictable! Talofa Papa is the sweetest, gentlest show this FRINGEWORLD 2019. It pulls the audience in for a big hug and doesn’t let go until the end. You’ll feel uplifted, nostalgic, a little sad, and ready to call your grandma. 

WHEN: 12 – 16 February 2019 | 6:00pm

WHERE: The Studio | The Blue Room Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $18 – $25 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: All (general) | THEATRE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/talofa-papa-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Sticky Digits | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

I like my erotic fiction like my men – strong, hard, thick, and full of surprisingly interesting facts copied directly from Wikipedia. This is why I am Pamela deMenth‘s biggest fan – she provides all of the above and more in her novels from classics like ‘Panties Inferno’, and ‘Hooked: Romp in the Abbitoir’, to subtle masterpieces like ‘Butterfingers: After Hours in the Dairy.’ You can imagine my excitement to be at the launch of her latest novel Sticky Digits and have the chance to learn from the master! 

Well, at the launch I was star struck! deMenth is an inspiring figure – clad in a power jacket, beige pants and turtleneck, she walks straight-backed through the crowd, shaking hands and regales us with a PowerPoint presentation with insider secrets! There is nothing this woman can’t do – from working in a nuclear power plant to attending an erotic fiction masterclass in Spain with Raol Fernandez, deMenth takes it all in stride. This character is fabulous! Hilariously obtuse about her desperation (think David Brent as an erotic writer) deMenth reveals her tricks of the trade, including adding in a lot of Wikipedia research and overusing adjectives.

The smut-level is off the charts! DeMenth’s language would make the entire fleet blush but it honestly doesn’t get crude. All of deMenth’s advice is hilariously interwoven into the extract of the novel we are more than privelaged to hear. From a strong opening line (which I won’t repeat!) to a rather aggressive marketing partnership with a certain supermarket chain, Sticky Digits will keep you enraptured and giggling your head off throughout. After establishing the characters – who are thinly veiled knock offs of herself and family members – the plot goes from the ridiculous to the ludicrous all the while maintaining its zest for all things sexy. 
So, pull up a chair, grab a drink – believe me, deMenth will match you – and get ready to enjoy the scintillating, smutty, provocative, feather-tickling, c**t throbbing, meat pulsating, volcanic show that is Sticky Digits.

(I’m not entirely sure I used enough adjectives….)
WHEN: 1 – 17 February 2019 | 3:30pm & 6:30pm
WHERE: Tiki as FK | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $20 – $25 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content warning: sexual references | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/sticky-digits-fw2019

 

 

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FRINGEWORLD 2019: Indigo Keane & Nicole Harvey | Silence My Ladyhead | 5 With Fringe

Indigo Keane and Nicole Harvey are the wonderful creatives behind Silence My Ladyhead playing during FRINGEWORLD 2019. They answered our 5 With Fringe questions ahead of the show.

Describe your show in 3 words: 

Indigo Keane: The. Teeth. Underneath.

Nicole Harvey: Disco, nightclub, exorcism OR…  unpredictable, irreverant, visceral

What is your show all about? 

I: What is left of one woman’s performance as she begins to exorcise ‘character’. Who does Lady Head think she is after her purpose begins to dissolve in front of the audiences very eyes…

N: The show is about Ladyhead – a larger than life, powerhouse of a front woman who has been performing for her adoring fans since the beginning of time. Ladyhead will do anything to stay in the spotlight but her one-woman show is falling apart and we’re there to watch the whole catastrophic explosion.

The show is an exploration of the tension that exists between the performed self and lived experience – an exorcism of character and a brutal resurrection of self. Silence My Ladyhead is a declaration of female power, a celebration of female desire and a rebellion against social expectations of gender.

Favourite FRINGEWORLD 2019 hangout? 

I: You’ll find Lady Head downing a post show champaz at The Blue Room Bar.

N: The Blue Room Theatre and Budge Smuggler…

What is the best part about FRINGEWORLD 2019? 

N: Connecting with artists from all over the country (and world) and seeing so much new work in the one place.  I love the variety of FRINGE and being able to go into a venue and see works by both upcoming and more established artists. It’s always such a fun and exciting vibe and there’s usually work that experiments with form as well as content.

FRINGEWORLD has a feeling of potential and unpredictability – which I love. In particular I’m really excited to see diverse and experimental works that play with form as well as content and I’m super excited for Ladyhead’s DJ set at the silent disco

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend? 

I: Feminah – I feel like we are sister shows.

N: Only Bones v1.0, Feminah, Betty Grumble LOVE & ANGER, Micromove

You can get your tickets to Silence My Ladyhead HERE.

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Night Cap | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Out and about on a Friday or Saturday night and don’t want your FRINGEWORLD experience to end? Are you left wanting more after the regular cabarets are over? Fancy a late night tipple? Then look no further than Night Cap and end your evening with a bang! Join local burlesque star Whisky A’More as she brings a stellar line-up of subversive, innovative, and artistic burlesque acts. This isn’t a show for those seeking glitter and sequins – it’s a thinking person’s cabaret – so sit back and ponder and let the crew from Night Cap stimulate your intellect.

Opening the night is Whisky A’More herself, the boss-bitch firmly in charge of her crew as the squad entertain with a very sexy group number. It sets the tone for the night – sophisticated, inclusive, and goddamn hot! Hosting this sensual evening is the fabulous Barbie Q and we couldn’t love her more. She is quick with a quip and has a razor sharp tongue but believe me, you’ll be begging to get a few cuts by he end of the night! She calms the rabble and is in genuine awe of the acts. Plus, she’s just plain hilarious!

Night Cap puts Perth talent centre stage and celebrates the innovation and artistry borne out of isolation. There really must be something in the water over here as all of these acts are unique and explore interesting themes within society. From the phenomenal Scarlet Adams – the first Drag Queen to win Miss Burlesque 2018, to the flexible Karl Kayoss – winner of Mr Boylesque 2017 we see diversity and difference celebrated here. Adams is a delight to watch. She is all class – a dangerously sexy mix of Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe with silky moves, she will keep you on the edge of your seat. Kayoss is a new favourite of mine! His costuming is wonderfully subversive and blurs the line between gender and body identity. He decides what is covered and what isn’t – reclaiming dominion over his own body, keeping the audience in a trance-like state with his hypnotic supple movement.

Both Lulu Liqueur and Wild Kat keep you on your toes with their unique stylings and whip-cracking entertainment. You’ll probably want to go home and watch Star Wars after the Princess Leia inspired costume – and I’m not talking the buns – you know which one I mean. There are sultry sounds from songstress Malaika Moon, whose flawless tone brings a hell of a lot of sex appeal to the crowded tent. She croons Mein Heir from Cabaret and has every breath caught in anticipation – each note more perfect than the last.

Of course, it’s not all safe – be prepared for the firey antics of Smokey LaBare whose blend of humour, sex appeal and sizzle factor will keep you burning for hours. her routine is funny and sexy and dangerous – the perfect combination for late night burlesque! Perhaps the most subtle performance comes from the legendary Whisky A’More in the most understated and classy headline act ever. Stepping out like a naughtier Judy Garland in Get Happy – suit jacket, fishnets, fedora and not much else – A’More proves that classy is always best when it comes to burlesque.

So, go and have a few stiff drinks – cap off your night with a clever and stimulating evening of burlesque, sex appeal, subversion and fun. Don’t miss out on this Night Cap.

 

WHEN: 8 & 9 February | 15 & 16 February 2019 | 11:15pm

WHERE: Shambles | WOODSIDE PLEASURE GARDEN

INFO: Tickets $27 – $30 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content warning: Nudity, Coarse Language, Strobe Lighting, Smoke Effects, Sexual References, Loud Noises | WA ARTISTS | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/night-cap-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, In Brief, on now

FRINGEWORLD 2019: | Matt Young and Barney Pollock | Paradise! A Cool & Smart Show | 5 With Fringe

Matt Young and Barney Pollock are the lead creative of Paradise! A Cool & Smart Show, a funny and clever sketch comedy show playing as part of FRINGEWORLD 2019. They answered our 5 With Fringe ahead of the show.

Describe your show in 3 words:

Matt: Worth your money

Barney: Existential, messy, superdumb

What is your show all about?

M: Two friends trying to make each other laugh and hoping other people fall into the vortex.

B: Paradise! A Cool and Smart Show is about wanting and desires. What does paradise mean to you? What happens if you actually get it?

Favourite FRINGEWORLD 2019 hangout?

M: I’m terrified of the heat so I’ll be at the beach.

B: Mum and Dads House. Its a 24/7 bbq and everything is free. Also the shower is really good.

What is the best part about FRINGEWORLD 2019?

M: I get to see where Barney’s from and add to my ever-growing psychological profile of him.

B: Having a good reason to walk through Northbridge yelling on a Monday night. Itsssss Fringe BABYYYYY!

 And the shows 

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend?

M: Bella Green is Charging for It and Ben Russell’s Fylleangst.

B: Bella Green is Charging for it , Double Denim and Ben Russell’s Fylleangst.

All very funny very talented people doing A+ show.

 

You can grab your tickets to Paradise! A Cool & Smart Show HERE.

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Dolly Di*mond’s Bl*nkety Bl*nks | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

What a star is Dolly Diamond! She is so engaging that I could watch her all night but beware, she might think that you are interested in her sexually – that is if you are a young man. Her comedy talents are exceptional, and she is immensely cheeky. Yet, this show does not just revolve around the extravagant Diamond, she also works with a daggy offsider who will wave at the audience at any opportunity. Then there are the rotating ‘Perthanliaties’ that range from comedians to cabaret acts. Lastly, there are two contestants from the audience! (They are required to fill out a little participation form so Diamond can work off their bio.) The winner of the contest gets a good prize, no silly jokey prize – so worth being made fun of by the host.

A self-described ‘Queen of Cabaret’, Diamond works her magic on an old TV show – so old that even dust is on it! With her tight-fitting dress and larger than life hair, the show is seamlessly converted into a live performance, at the intimate Downstairs at His Maj. It does not matter if you have not watched the show before because it is simple: The contestants must fill a blank in a given sentence and they get a point for every match with a guest celebrity answer. Now, this is a late-night show, so the answers tend to lend themselves to sexually explicit language but with the right amount of silliness, it works like a treat.

Looking at the set you feel like you have been teleported back in time with a cheesy look that is well parodied. Everything is done in jest, from the camera photos to the group wave at the end. There are so many reasons to laugh but if you can’t muster up a chuckle there is a bar to have a drink, relax and not take yourself so seriously!

For some well-constructed, light entertainment Dolly Di*amond’s Bl*nkety Bl*nks is certainly a match.

WHEN: 12 – 16 February 2019 | 9:00pm

WHERE: Downstairs at Maj | His Majesty’s Theatre | PERTH CBD

INFO: Tickets $34-$42 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: M | Content Warning: Sexual reference and occasional course language | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/dolly-di-mond-s-bl-nkety-bl-nks-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: The Voice Behind The Stars | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Intimate and giving, The Voice Behind the Stars is a witty and genuine look at the ‘Ghostess with the Mostest’ – the incomparable Marni Nixon. Eliza Jackson embodies the role in a one woman tour de force that not only highlights the amazing talents of Ms Nixon but cements Jackson as an absolutely legendary performer. She is one to watch – and it will be a delight to do so over and over again!

So, Jackson plays Marni Nixon – Hollywood’s worst kept secret! Switching between the recording studio and lounge room complete with cozy armchair that is begging to have a story told from it, Jackson complies with honesty and heart. If you were expecting a one-woman expose and harshness towards the film industry, look elsewhere, because The Voice Behind The Stars finally puts Nixon’s voice centre stage but gently. Jackson’s portrayal of Nixon is a sheer delight – her shy smile and joy of recounting Nixon’s early life is nostalgic and sweet. There is a tenderness here when speaking of the family, friends and above all, the music. Jackson places the story firmly in Nixon’s hands.

Of course, we all know that Marni Nixon had a sublime voice and that she could match the stars she was dubbing. Well, Jackson has the remarkable ability to mimic Nixon mimicking the stars! I cannot stress how phenomenal this talent is. Jackson, like Nixon before her matches Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Kerr, Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood with aplomb. There are all the old favourites, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, ‘I feel Pretty’ , ‘Getting to Know You’ that almost invite the audience to join in – of course once you hear how remarkable Jackson’s voice is, you won’t sing because you couldn’t come close if you tried!

I love the little surprising moments in this play. Jackson’s effervescence is infectious, and you can’t help but smile in sympathy as she gently exposes the world of old Hollywood. The Voice Behind the Stars is a simply stunning piece of theatre. It pulls on every heartstring with Jackson’s angelic voice accompanying. There really was no-one quite like Marni Nixon, but thanks to Eliza Jackson, we know her story. It will make you want to get out all your old records and listen to the wonderful talent captured between the grooves.

 

WHEN: 10 – 13 February 2019 | 8:00pm

WHERE: The Gold Digger | Matsuo’s Broome Time | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $15.50 – $24.50 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: All (general) | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/the-voice-behind-the-stars-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, Interview, on now

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Colin Ebsworth | Ebz Dispenser | INTERVIEW

Interview | Kieran Eaton

I am here with Colin Ebsworth. He is doing a show for Fringe World 2019 called Ebz Disperser. So, what is it about?

It is a brand-new hour of comedy. It is the best stuff from last year. It is the same way that I always do it. I take hours, hours and hours and cut it all down. I then take it to Fringe and give them something new that is very, very funny, I hope. It is just exciting because this is the biggest venue in terms of the number of people I’ve got coming, the number of shows I am doing, the material I think (I hope) is the best which is great because last year was really good – you guys [Fourth Wall] reviewed it and gave it four stars, which is really good, I am happy about, that really nice. I think this year will be even better and I am having lots of fun already.

Yeah, I’m excited – saw your show last year and was at a Greek place (Yeah, The Helenic) ?

Yeah, I think I bitten off more than I could chew, that was a very big venue and I my hungry little eyes saw more than what I could do.

So where now? You have moved on from that spot, haven’t you?

Yes, so I don’t think that venue is running any shows this year, but I managed to have a complete fluke this year. I got sent over to London by the Comedy Lounge and which was great. When I got back, all then venues had been snapped up and I was like I don’t have a city venue. I had all these hubs but no city and then The Laugh Resort Comedy (Australia’s oldest running room) establishment came out of retirement and hiatus with a venue smack bang in the middle of Yagan Square which I later found would be fifty feet from the main box office, and they did not have anyone because everyone had locked in their runs so I applied and they said, “Yes of course, it is a local thing and we want to provide for local artists.”

And I love the guys who run it, it was just nuts, a complete fluke.

What is that venue called?

The Shoe Bar, it will be at the back venue. The have a really nice, sweet setup because that is run through The Laugh Resort which is the comedy club. Then I have the Balmoral which is in Vic Park, which is on the 20th. I’ve got the main run in Northbridge which runs from the 21st to the 3rd of Feb. I’ve got the 7th of Feb which is in Fremantle at the Sail and Anchor. Then Scarborough is a giant two hundred-seater tent which I did last year, which was unreal. That one in Scarborough is at The Sunset Veranda which will be on the 15th Feb. The last show is the 16th of Feb and that is at Midland and I maybe, maybe, if I’m good will have another sneaky show, but I can’t talk about it too much right now. The hype is there, it will be cool.

How many shows are you doing?

So this is eight. Last year, it is down four from last year but still this is the biggest in terms of number of hubs because I found last year I found the hub venues were great. I had a lot of fun at Fremantle, Scarborough went like gang busters so yeah, I ‘ve been doing a lot of hub stuff and I see.  I’m finally in a position financially where I can have a fun Fringe and not just stress about things, I’m really looking forward to it. It’s really weird, isn’t it weird when the onus and impetus of money of money is removed you can become such a better performer.

Would you say that is one of the hardest things of festival shows?

Absolutely, the money is awful. If we could do, a lot of people have spoken about things – there is a few things that would be good in the short term. Things like reducing the comp ticket price – in Adelaide it is 30 cents per comp ticket, over here it is a dollar so even if you even if you decide that you know what I am not going to make any money but at least I want people to enjoy my show, it will cost you money to even just give it for free.

If you really want to have an inclusive festival on top of that I’ve heard that small venues are given a mid-season payout, which would be huge for international acts and being able to go over here and get at least half their profits or half their money they have earned back sooner. If Fringe World Could do something like that it would be great.

I guess FRINGEWORLD is not as old or established as Adelaide?

Well Adelaide was in a pickle, they had a lot of problems and it only took a max exodus of the international and interstate acts coming in for them to go, “We are going to change it up.”

I feel like Perth kind have had that last year but whether this year will be a continuation of that or enough has changed, we’ll see.  I know it is bigger and I am excited for it personally. I know a lot of less acts are coming over, but it has been difficult.

I guess the key is numbers, right?

Yes, we will see how the artists are doing and we will see how many know about it. It really comes down to: Does the city know that it is on and if they do know and go, do they go and have fun and the artists make it financially viable, will hopefully lead to a successful, fun experience and their efforts to provide that.

There is three things; visibility, you know it’s on because of visibility; how much fun the audience has because of course it is the audience because if they are there and we are not doing anything; and if it is viable for the artists, mentally, emotionally and financially.

Yeah, the less stress the better?

Yeah, I completely agree. There is always going to be stress at the festival, it is just about minimising that. Like this I have a producer and she is doing such a good job, so it such a weird kind of divergence, where it now like, “You send this email, not me.” But yeah, it’s been a breeze this year, so I guess more of that management side of things.

So, is it your first time, having a producing?

It is the first time! I was explaining to a friend who is in theatre what I did, and she was like, “That is insane, what do you do?”
I was like, “I send a couple hundred emails out, visit a couple hundred venues.”
She was like, “That is crazy.”

That was the first year I factored in my time, which is what a lot of artists don’t do. Which is where on paper it appeared that I was making money – not a lot but enough to get by. As soon as I added my time as an asset or an expense, I realised I not making as much money as I thought I was.

Yeah, because you are losing time that you could be doing other things?

Yeah, even putting up posters this year. I used to be vehemently against poster distribution because they are making it harder for us. Then I paid for some more recently last year and not only were they friendly, good, very quick and very cheap; they took the time out where you talk to venues and worry if they are going to be taken down. It was a completely worthy experience for the one hundred of two hundred dollars that I spent, to see posters that I see everywhere and now I can run promotions where I am like, “Hey, take a photo of my poster and send it to me on your Instagram, tag me and blah, blah, blah, get a free ticket.”

You are just building so much more traction with it.

You sound like you are in an improved headspace?

Yeah, I can’t wait, it these new meds baby!

Do you talk about your well-being in this show?

Big time, yeah, so last year’s Fringe show you saw?

Yeah, last year’s one you mentioned about being diagnosed with Bipolar, right?

Yeah, which turned out to be a false diagnosis, which is great because now I have a whole new bit where I talk about a new psychiatrist that I met, and he is hilarious! He is an incredibly intelligent man, but he has the thickest Ghanan African accent and it is so funny because I am a huge marvel fan and as hard as I try, I can’t get it out of my head that every session with him I’m in a dream sequence, speaking to Black Panther’s dad. He speaks in a way you are like, “You are being ridiculous, you are quoting Lion King, I know you are doing that.”

He’d like to say these ridiculous analogies, crazy colloquialisms. You be like, “You are making this up to mess with me.”
That bit might not have been finished when you saw it last year and now, I’ve done a continuation of the story with different material, you get to see how it rounds out.

Yeah, it seems like last year you were only freshly diagnosed with it.

Yeah, I did not think of it like that. That’s a very astute point.

So, you have gone on a bit of a journey, last year?

Yeah, I am more excited this year and my perspective on comedy has kind of changed. It is not [now] the be all and end all and that is good because I have more fun with it now and a more relaxed vibe means I am not stressing myself out to get laughs. I enjoy the material more. I have removed the self-imposed limitations or restrictions that I have had: How long a bit should be; how many laughs it had to get; how it had to be deconstructive; how much energy to put in, etc. Which was after a while very strenuous, so now the pressure is off, and I think the audience likes it more.

It is almost more natural, ironically?

Yeah, completely. It is the stuff that I find funny. I think I went overboard, I overcorrected. In the past I did not write very much material and I was like how I get more in and I started writing a lot quickly. As the years went by I wrote a lot but I got these ideas that I had to write so much, like x amount before a bit is finished and now I kind of redirected and reorientated myself.

I am now like no longer has the writing of previous years help me find what I find funny but I now don’t have to write it to it’s fullest 100% extent because I end up cutting it down to the three jokes that I liked anyway. It is like this interesting efficiency that I’ve hit where I can go straight to the jokes that would have made the final cut, without having to do all that waffle to write all these long bits. So, I’ve satisfied both criteria, the creative side of the writing because it has been better able to reach the points that I want.

So, you get to the good bits quicker?

Quicker than when I first began. Yeah, you are never going to get straight from point A to point B in any creative endeavour because you are will be always wondering if there is something better out there, so I had to explore the whole map to realise that there was a straight line possible. But if I had of had that straight line, I would have been wondering is there a better way of doing this. So, you must do everything wrong before you can find out what is right, it’s a paradox.

It is kind of like life?

Yeah, that’s why sometimes wear different shoes, I’ll walk backwards, I’ll talk in different languages. You’ve got to do everything wrong, I’ll stab my toes on any corner, sip a coffee too hot straight away, people who go for a hand shake I high five them straight away. Everything wrong!

Living life in the moment?

Exactly! Get fired from one hundred jobs so when you don’t get fired you appreciate it!

Your whole brain will work out what is best for you anyway!

Perspective on these things is the key. Anyway, I think it is going to be a relative experience.

So, you evolved psychologically, philosophically, and comedically?

I hope so, or maybe I just bought a dictionary and learnt some new words.

What would you say is the main difference between club room comedy and festivals?

I very much enjoy Fringe shows for the artistic freedom that is offered. In comedy rooms, Perth especially because we have a less evolved comedic sensibility, purely for the fact that it has been for a less amount of time. You can see the quality of the scene and judge it based on purely how long stand up has been around.  The UK/US scenes will be a lot better than Eastern European scenes which have had comedy for literally long as the end of the Soviet Era and even more recently you see places like Lithuania and Estonia starting to get comedy room, having them for a couple of years. In that regard, Perth has an alright comedy scene because it is part of Australia and Australia is (pretty) developed.

We have an interesting mix of American and British styles that results in some interesting satire and delivery, narrative and storytelling, act outs. Perth as part of the scene is the least evolved, I’d say Perth and Adelaide. Perth is doing very well but the actual – the comics are doing good but the audience and what they want. That is where the disconnect is. We have some phenomenal comics here, great with crowd work, great everything, but the audience just is not clicking. You can be the best comic in the world but if the audience is not laughing – I think that is that understanding. If you are a good comic, you will be able to make it work. The compromise is that WA acts must do some simpler comedy, some less flourishes that they personally like. There are a lot of act out that I really like because they are super silly, and I love fully committing to a ridiculous scene. The audience goes that is step too far, we don’t understand. I must give them – let’s say the first couple of pages of what would have been a funny chapter of comedy but because of the audience and the way Fringe being like this artistic expression to its fullest means when people come to the Fringe show I can give them the full chapters and experience.

What I usually do is write a bit up, write it for ten, twenty minutes – however long it takes. Then I cut it back to the five I like. That five then goes into Fringe but a club set takes the best two minutes. Because that best two minutes are going to have jokes that are steady and it is not going to have the longer, more dynamic stand-up that might be offered to me at a Fringe – for people who are coming to see me.  The compromise I am trying to get now is how do I get the Fringe stand up as good as the club set, in terms of the hit ratio laughs per minute. How do I get my club set as artistically explorative and as dynamic, as the Fringe set?

I guess you just are learning the more you do it?

Exactly, because Perth is a small scene and this a big opportunity for us to make money and get seen, but it is for us to see other people – so many acts here. In terms of what I can view outside of Netflix specials or sometimes touring people, I get to see so much acts so it is great for us to it because it can be done. We often think, no you can’t do some long winded political piece in Australia, especially Perth because of the political apathy that is rampant in the scene because you don’t want to bore audiences or get them angry and then you see a touring comic do it and you see it is possible and they do it very well. I was wrong and it was one of those things that until you see it you won’t believe that you are wrong. You must see it for it to be done, which is great.

Because you went to the UK, didn’t you?

Yes, John McCallister from the Comedy Lounge jumped on stage after a set that I was hosting and just said, “Hey, Colin has been doing very great here, here is a gift voucher.”

I was enamoured, it was so nice of him.  I love the guy and they have given me so many opportunities. Shout out to those guys, Brandon The Lounge for making it happen. So, he handed the gift voucher I thought it was like one hundred dollars, and thought it was cool and I could use it in Melbourne but when it was like five hundred, I was like, “Oh geeze, I’m going to Europe baby.”
So I went to London and man, I was born and raised in America, raised by an American mum, got a lot of American centric  comedy I was raised on. So, I always felt a fondness for that and a defensiveness when they said there are other comedy forms. Like, I can appreciate that Monty Python is funny but I just have never super clicked on to it but I have had so many people over the years say, “Oh, your comedy style is like the English comics.”
I would just get defensive and be like, “ No, you are wrong!”

Then gradually I’ve been exposed to it and I’ve been like, bit more UK, bit more UK and I have found that the James Akisses of the world, the Phil Wangs – I like their stuff. Going over there was the final push that I needed to go, “Oh, I love UK comedy.”
I still love American, but it still resonates with me more, the UK. I feel that I’ve been living this double life. I’ve been in the comedy closet, so to speak and now I’m out and now I love UK comedy it almost aligns with me more – in terms of what they do with stories, in terms of satire, the wit and the dryness in the material, the beats.

How many gigs did you do there?

Only a couple because I was just trying to get a feel for the scene, but they were all great. We had Open-Mikes that had about forty people, which was is a good crowd, but they were like apologising to us, saying, “So sorry that there is only forty, usually there is about eighty.”

That is like crazy – there would be Open-Mics that would do donations at the end, a model that hasn’t successfully transitioned to Australia yet. People have mixed feelings about it here but in the UK, it works, in a lot of the venues.

They do it in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

Yeah, they have tried to do it Perth and people are like, “We don’t understand it.”
It is either you pay for it or you don’t, but don’t say it is for free and then ask for money. Perth audiences have a weird – Australians are weird.

It is like how we are with tipping?

Yeah, it is like how we are with niceties. I think Australians like a very clear arrangement. They are like you have done this and I’ll provide you with this. You know, X is Y.

They don’t want to think too much?

Yeah, it is like, “You said it is free and now you want money? You lied to me!”
No matter if they enjoyed it, they would be like why you would lie to me like that. They don’t understand that it is whatever you feel. What they feel is hurt and betrayed. Donate, your masculinity is not going to be threatened, everyone still thinks you are funny at the construction site, and this no way reflects on your moral character.

We need more place like the food donation ones, like Annalaksmi?

We need more Hari Krishna comedy – is what we need. It is comedy that comes with a 5 out of 10 Chickpea Masala but you give twenty bucks anyway because you feel bad – I won’t be stingy,

I love Annalaksmi.

Yeah, Annalaksmi is great. Let’s give a shout out to Annalaksmi, sponsoring this. You do great food, I don’t know what you put in that orange juice, I am hoping it is orange because it really is the bees knees.

It’s good.

Yeah, so the rooms are great for the open mikes. They even gave money to the acts, so they got home safe – a spilt from the money they take from the donations, it crazy, I loved it. As you know, from Melbourne, New York, Toronto, places that give you stuff over the years in the scene function – when you get a big concentrated group of artists together the price bottom falls out and you end up with shitty rooms, no punters, no pay. London was a complete 180, an anomaly that I was so pleased by it.

Have you done any other Fringe venues, other than Fringe World?

Oh, Adelaide Fringe. So, I have done Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival and done my own travels around, but you can go to a scene and check it out for a fraction it would cost to invest in a show – time and money, and contacts, energy. It is so much more demanding to say I am going to do the festival in Sydney or in Melbourne, or Toronto than it is to say that I am going to do gigs.

 

As they say in China, you are in the long plan?

Are you referring to Mao’s grand plan? That is funny because I was reading about the history of the centralised plan to modernise agrarian China. Man, that’s the kind of reference I’d like to do in one of my shows.

Maybe we could workshop on that.

Next year coming at you, 2020 – Colin Ebsworth: 5 Year Plan.

My metaphor is that you are not too focused on time, anymore. You are more about getting it right?

Yeah, everyone has got to do their own thing and I’ve found it really daunting and not worth the energy in terms of the financial, creative and emotional outlet to do other places. I love Perth. People say Perth is small, Perth is this – but that is the trade off for a scene that pays as well as it does, gets crowds the ways it does, with opportunities that we have. We have three huge festivals every year.

I mean, it is insane that we have that. We have a regional circuit, a dedicated comedy room that is the best in the country – it’s nuts. The trade off is that you can’t do five average gigs in one night that you’d be able to do in New York, to only comedians for no pay. I’ve don’t that scene and you know what, five gigs a night, you pump out less material because you have less time to write, less time to reflect and less money because you can’t work, as you are waiting for two hours for them to get back to you.

Yeah, I’ve heard some interesting stories.

It doesn’t work. If it made better comics the ratio in the world would be 90:10 to New York. Everybody should be from New York. I should be from New York, statistically. If the New York system worked, judging by the number of people there and start comedy, all of them in America should be from New York.

Yeah, it just that they have the history, so people come near and far to go to it.

Every comedy room that I ever performed in would have been New York comedians, if the New York system worked and it doesn’t. You go to New Jersey, Perth – there is great comics from Adelaide!

Yeah, the world is like a smorgasbord, where you can look all around it and say I like that one.

It all goes down to writing, performing and watching. Those are the three things – you can be strong in one but you can’t completely avoid one, and you have to do all three to some extent and you’ll get better. Whether that is one gig a year or one gig a month or whatever, you make your opportunities. [Rodney] Dangerfield did twenty years not doing standup but he wrote every day, selling door to door rollershutters. He still wrote it all, put it in a chest and so by the time he returned twenty years later, he had twenty years of material. So he really bulked down on that one thing but if he did not complete that trifactor and started performing he would have never become famous.

You can be anywhere. Look at your friend, Sami Shah?

Yeah, Sami Shah’s first gigs were on the computer program, second life! He’ll perform on virtual comedy rooms, online, with microphone and headset on his computer, performing to a bunch of NPCs and other characters from around the world – who would laugh at a delayed reaction because of slow internet speeds. You make your opportunities – you totally do it.

He must love comedy.

If you are funny, you are funny. Bill Hicks started doing skits in the middle of his high school, while he was waiting between transfer from classes. During his timetable he would do skits with people – it’s totally feasible.

Are those people who go against the grain of finding success your inspiration?

Yeah, I have got a lot of respect for them, for people that can do it like that.  I guess I get down on myself, like any artist would thinking that I’ve not done enough, blah, blah. Then I look back and go I’ve kinda done a gig but even if comedy wasn’t there, I’d still be doing silly things. Even before comedy I was writing dumb skits and filming them – they were so bad, but I was doing it because I enjoyed it.

You pretty much know if somebody wants to be a comedian, even if they stopped doing it after a couple gigs?

Yeah, they are hooked. Everyone always said it to me [do stand-up] and I’d be like no, I don’t see it. I was afraid, I was terrified. I did not know to write material, either. So, I was like, “No, I won’t do it!” but you gradually come to the idea and you do it and you think of it more.

Do you think they [comics] are people that need to embrace their inner quirkiness?

Yeah, totally – but there are hilariously funny people off stage, terrible on stage, and vice versa. There are people hilarious on stage who are just boring, reserved.  What I do know is there are people that should be doing stand-up, if they had more confidence, support, pay structure throughout their entire lives – reinforcing that it is ok to be funny and two, that you are funny and that you  are better for it because it is another form of expression of who you are and what you see.

The bottom line is we recommend anything creative.

It is the same with writing. People say if you can’t write material, just write anything, whether it a diary entry, whether it is poetry, whether it is rapping or music. Whatever you do, get the words out and the brain rolling and moving because – it is like one of those paintings where you put a blob of paint and roll the marble through it and tilt the canvas and that makes a thing. It is not where it goes, it is just the fact that it is going that will make the art.

It is part of the human condition, the need to be – to explore your consciousness.

Absolutely, it the same way we have the need to move because our body was designed to move – we have a need to think and explore these things. Otherwise we’d just lie in bed all day just breathing.

Bam, we’ll wrap it with that! Your show in three words?

Dynamic, energetic, creative.

YOU CAN GRAB YOUR TICKETS FOR COLIN EBSWORTH – EBS DISPENSER HERE.

AND CHECK OUT OUR 4 STAR REVIEW HERE.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Peggy Lee & Judy Garland | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Inspired by Peggy Lee’s appearance on The Judy Garland Show in December 1963, award winning Perth singers Ali Bodycoat and Jessie Gordon bring to life the one time these powerful women came together. Peggy Lee and Judy Garland is an absolute triumph! Opening with their first sketch on the show ‘We Love Being Here With You’ – a playful medley that references each of the artists’ famous repertoire, Bodycoat and Gordon prove that their voices are perfectly suited to one another’s. 

Ali Bodycoat embodies Judy Garland’s indomitable spirit. She entertains and has the whole crowd tapping along with classics like ‘Get Happy’ and ‘The Trolley Song’ – her voice even emulating Garland’s signature tripping from note to note. It’s eerie how similar Bodycoat is, yet she still makes it her own. ‘Zing Went the Stirngs of My Heart’ is the perfect blend of Garland and Bodycoat and she exemplifies diversity moving effortlessly from upbeat to melancholic – ‘The Man That Got Away’ is heartfelt and haunting, the perfect seguay to what the audience is waiting for.

A lot of artists, including her own daughter, Liza Minnelli shy away from tackling ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ yet it is still the most enduring of Garland’s songs. Bodycoat uses Harold Arlen’s original opener and elegantly transitions to the arrangement from Garland’s famous concert at Carnegie Hall. Bodycoat’s voice is raw and passionate, emotion barely contained as she sings her heart out in an absolute highlight of the night. 

If there ever was a contemporary reincarnation of Peggy Lee It is the fabulous Jessie Gordon. She literally has it down pat – bedroom eyes, sexy rasp, and powerful belt all included. Gordon’s selection is a little more serious than Bodycoat’s as Lee’s songs tended towards the melancholic. She has the audience hanging off every word in the darkly existential ‘Is That All There Is?’ and even makes clicking her fingers sensual in ‘Fever.’ Gordon has real fun onstage and that shines through in her playful rendition of ‘He’s A Tramp.’ It’s Gordon’s hilarious asides and anecdotes that command attention – she has perfect stage presence. This is the only reversal of roles as on the Judy Garland Show, you can’t take your eyes off of Judy – but here, it’s Gordon who is compelling.

Bookending the show with another medley ‘I Love Men’ this duo is so amazing, it’s eerily similar to the video footage of the original. Bodycoat and Gordon have such passion for these songs and these women and it shines through from the top of their matching 60s style diva dresses, to their radiant smiles. Peggy Lee and Judy Garland will have you jumping on as many playlists with these songs on them because you won’t want the magic of these amazing singers (all four of them!) to end.
 

WHEN: 6 – 10 February 2019 | 8:45pm

WHERE: Ellington Jazz Club | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $27 – $36 | Duration 55m | Age suitability: All (general) | WA ARTISTS | MUSIC

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/peggy-lee-and-judy-garland-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Worship | 5 Stars

Review | Amanda Lancaster

To Worship is to honour, to adore, to show reverence for. As if observing a divine being or supernatural power or force…… And believe me when I say upon viewing this show, worship you will –  with full undying need, desire and devotion .

Worship is one of the most amazing shows FRINGEWORLD 2019 has to offer. Bringing together some of the sassiest and the sexiest performers and acts ever assembled in a seamlessly interwoven sensory overload. In a festival that has its fair share of burlesque, circus, singing, dancing and dark seductive themes, Worship and Foxglove Productions are at the very top of the creativity game.

Opening the showcase is aural chill, a flushing of goose bumps to the skin, haunting, beautiful, a voice aided mysteriously by a very conveniently timed zephyr of wind, quite literally shakes the house. As you can imagine, this only succeeds in setting firmly in stone the tone of things yet to come over the duration of the show’s performance determined to do no less than bring a dark world into a sexy light.

The whole show is an overload of each of the senses, touching on all facets of the term ‘worship’ and what it can mean – bringing some very dark qualities and subjects forward, keeping the audience enthralled – on the edge of their seats and their deepest desires. The acts include fire dancers, contortionists, singers, burlesque dancers, and one incredible dance with a fur coat and pvc wide brimmed hat that is truly unforgettable and needs to be seen to be believed!

Observe in idolatry one of the most incredibly athletic circus performers as he bends and twists his body in the most amazing feats of strength and balance right up to the point of drawn in breaths of unison. Hands cover mouths as shock ensues – as the audience sways, spellbound by the seemingly devilish characters. At first glance the personalities are so darkly comic but quickly become more and more thrilling with each and every hauntingly gothic portrayal of the shows layering of talents.

My pick to watch, being that of the sultry singing stylings of sex kitten seductress Miss Veronica Lily – who this reviewer and her guest can now attest to idolising. A recommendation for lovers of sinful pleasure, seduction of the senses, and a powerful performance of outright perfection for lovers of the cabaret genre. This show encompasses all. Bewitching acts that your mind will be unable to let go of long after they vanish from view. An insatiable craving an unsated yearning for more throughout the performance and for nights and days to follow.

On your knees people: it’s time to worship.

WHEN: 7 – 17 February 2019 | 9:30pm

WHERE: Megamouth | YAGAN SQUARE

INFO: Tickets $25 – $30 | Duration 60m | Age Suitability: 18+ | Content warning: Sexual References, Strobe Lighting, Smoke Effects | WA ARTISTS | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/worship-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: The Stevenson Experience: Takes One to Know One | 3.5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

What does it mean to be a twin? I should know being one but I am a fraternal (non-identical), while Beej and Jimmy Stevenson are identical twins, so they have a whole different bunch of identity issues. Nature vs Nurture tend to subtly work together, so any variation this pairing have would create a vibe of a sliding doors situations, and we learn early on that labelling them as the same person is not on, just like racism.

Performing in the action packed Rosie O’Grady’s, they seem to compete with the noise by being loud themselves. Twin fights are quite normal things but these two know each other so well that it became intense and sometimes the funny did not have time to be processed. Their material is interesting and intelligent but sometimes feels self indulgent. Their banter is their strong point, even though their musical abilities are quite high. Musical comedy used to be quite a novelty but now with success of bands like Flight of The Concords, any similar song can lead to pale comparisons. What keeps it together is their self and pair awareness that allows for for quick witted retorts to the audience. They enhance this with an original idea of having a few audience members throw tennis balls, each with different house belongings. This is to decide who gets what when they move to separate homes.

This duo is a slick combination and when they try to appear loose it appears too contrived. Their material is mixed from celebrating country bakeries to contemplating who is the evil twin, with them asking who is their favourite and using compliments to sway the judgement.

The Steveson Experience: Takes One to Know One is a solid experience of laughing at a duo that know each other as well as themselves.

WHEN: 5 – 17 February 2019 | 8:30pm

WHERE: Cabaret Bar | Rosie O’Grady’s | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: M | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/the-stevenson-experience-takes-one-to-know-one-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, In Brief, on now

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Whisky A’More | 5 With Fringe

Whisky A’More is the burlesque queen in charge of two amazing variety shows this FRINGEWORLD 2019: Night Cap and Flight of Fancy. She answered our 5 With Fringe questions ahead of both shows.

Describe your show in 3 words:

FLIGHT OF FANCY:  dazzling, side-splitting and titillating.

NIGHT CAP: seductive, thrilling and intoxicating

What is your show all about?

FLIGHT OF FANCY: Adult variety at it’s best returning to Fringe World for a second year. We have a principal cast in each show, including myself, magician Eliott Bibby, and New York Burlesque performer Jezebel Express and we will be joined by special guests for a frech, lively and sexy show each night, with British comedian Andrew Silverwood as the host.

NIGHT CAP: With a too-hot-to-handle line-up of incredible cabaret performers, the world premiere of Night Cap is your sexy ‘one for the road’ at the end of a hot summer’s eve. There’s a heavy emphasis on modern (neo) and envelope-pushing burlesque in this show and some acts will take the performers (and the audience!) out of their comfort zones. Local drag queen Barbie Q is currently celebrating 20yrs as a drag queen and I’m thrilled to have her as host for the show. When people ask me about Night Cap, most of the know about Flight of Fancy, so I say it’s like the weird cousin of Flight of Fancy that turns up to family events, gets drunk and tells crude jokes!

Favourite FRINGE WORLD 2019 hangout? 

There’s a great programme of shows happening at Connections this FRINGE WORLD, so I’ve found myself there a few times this festival. The Surrealist Salon has also been home to a couple of late night rooftop hangs.

What is the best part about FRINGE WORLD 2019? 

The ability to completely revel in the amazing local talent Perth has, mixed in with interstate and international performers. This is my 5th year as a performer at this festival, so it becomes a bit like a family reuninion when everyone comes to town. It’s almost better than Christmas (and I LOVE Christmas!).

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend? 

I’m very biased towards supporting local Perth talent. We have some great new shows being debuted in 2019 and some wonderful fringe favourites so I have some fabulous recommendations for the rest of Fringe World: Gender Blender Burlesque; Stick ‘Em Up: Back in the Saddle; Worship; Kiara with a K; My Life In Heels; Umar Azad | Halal?.. Is it Meat You’re Looking For?; Gloria’s G-Spot Game Show, and Femme.

You can get your tickets for the fabulous Flight of Fancy HERE.

Click HERE for all your Night Cap needs!

 

FRINGEWORLD, In Brief, on now

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Vanessa Immink | Talofa Papa | 5 With Fringe

Vanessa Immink is the producer of The Co-Lab who are bringing the heartfelt family comedy Talofa Papa to FRINGEWORLD 2019. She answered our 5 With Fringe series ahead of the show.

Describe your show in 3 words:

Fun, universal, heart-warming

What is your show all about?

The show is about coming back together as a family for one big celebration. Papa leads the party and shapes the audience story through memories and moments.

Favourite FRINGEWORLD 2019 hangout?

The Blue Room Theatre (we haven’t seen much of the festival yet!)

What is the best part about FRINGEWORLD 2019?

Meeting and connecting with other artists, and members of our Pacific community here in Perth.

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend? 

Blanc de Blanc, Only Bones v1.0

You can join in the family celebrations of Talofa Papa and get your tickets HERE.

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Rest | 4.5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

What does it mean to be dead? In the end nothing is because of the interconnected nature of the universe but it does not mean we should disrespect the lives of the past. In REST, director, James Berlyn explores this in the best possible site-specific destination, the East Perth Cemetery – a place that was our first official cemetery and then suffered a period of abandonment. This sacred location has so much history, yet it often gets unrecognised.

Gathering with strangers, late at night, in the middle of a cemetery can seem creepy but the cast and crew create a safe space for you to explore an eerie place, in a fulfilling production that is deeply thoughtful. Harnessing the talents of WA Youth Theatre Company and the National Trust of Western Australia we are respectfully toured by a diverse bunch dressed in black that adds to the literal and metaphorical darkness. In a world where death to many is just this scary thing that people would like to avoid, Berlyn emphasises the importance of the individual experience that death gives us. The participants walk around individually to different tombstones where you experience the actors either embodying the dead person (if they were a well-known enough historical figure), or telling a story about their own encounters with death (if the tombstone is for an obscure person, otherwise forgotten to the ravages of time.)

These one-on-one experiences even ask for your thoughts on it all – however they don’t force you to verbalise it. From missionaries who travelled far and wide in the name of God to a murdered child, they all ended up in the same place – death is the one unifying element of life.

Still, one of the most memorable parts is walking down together to be told of a story where the land was set on fire to many that seems sacrilegious but in Aboriginal culture, spirituality smoke ceremonies are used to burn off bad spirits. Though the traditional custodians of the land, the local indigenous people were not given any rights to this land, that only had one Aboriginal person (a tracker, who might having been a Wadjuk man). An aboriginal performer informs us of the level of hurt it causes, due to their connection to the Wagyl spirit world and their unique perspective to death. When you leave the cemetery, having experienced a personal spiritual experience, you will realise that Rest is a great way to give focus to your life.

WHEN: 23 January – 16 February 2019 | Various times | *SEASON EXTENDED*

WHERE: East Perth Cemetries | EAST PERTH

INFO: Tickets $20 – $25 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: PG | Content warning: smoke effects, mental health | THEATRE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/rest-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Hands some Feet | 4.5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

A love story can be told in many ways and if your strength is circus tricks, why not use them in telling it! Liisa Naykki & Jeromy Zwick are all about this and blend interpretive dance with the circus skills of juggling and tight rope walking. The pair resemble characters in an indie movie, with their strong Scandinavian artsy vibe. This makes sense, seeing that Naykki is from Finland – they are dressed in a matching pink & blue overalls that has a sweet look of innocence – instantly creating mass likability.

When you first see Zwick in a stripped back set, playing with juggling balls on the floor – you really get an idea of his personality – chilled, yet playful. His strong stage presence keeps the audience attention, gracefully building up difficulty with style – juggling with circus style dance that is totally unpredictable. With Naykki looking over at him with curiosity, the two automatically communicate with each other through body language and facial expressions that is clearer to understand than what any words could capture. Gradually the female love interest gets involved in the juggling in a very cute combination.

With comedic chaos, Naykki brings on the tight rope set-up, with Zwick appearing to be love struck takes a while to help her. The Fin’s amazing ability to balance grows and grows with it eventually becoming dancing to didgeridoo played by the young love interest.  The couple work perfectly in harmony together and eventually end up combining their skill sets together in an artful way that looks stunning. They solidify their bond with a little kiss on the lips and it truly melts your heart.

Hands some Feet is a strong show of acrobatics that is wonderful for anybody wanting to see how hands can work with feet.

WHEN: 5 – 17 February 2019 | 8:15pm

WHERE: The Black Flamingo | YAGAN SQUARE

INFO: Tickets $15 – $25 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: All ages | Content warning: Strobe lighting, mild haze  | CIRCUS

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/hands-some-feet-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Bella Green Is Charging For It | 3.5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

What does it mean to work in the sex industry? It is a massive industry and yet so divisive. Bella Green is here to provide a face for it. She certainly has the charisma to pull it off, with a smile and confidence that makes you take notice of what she says. Her laconic nature makes you feel that you are already her friend. She may only be in her early twenties but she has clearly experienced much more than most Australians of similar age.

It is a surreal seeing PowerPoint slides of an industry that for many appears dark and mysterious. There have been slow progressions in protecting the (mostly) women involved in all the varieties of sex work but because of the stigma it is often a thing that nobody talks about. Green sets this premise up with the question, “Are little girls born to be sex workers?” She knows this because technically we are not born any specific job but it evolves gradually and she admits that certain quirky interests growing up have led her to be interested in jobs more outside the box.

Many costume changes are made to add visual insight, and so Green also uses the computer slides to distract us with real evidence she gets from men wanting services. You have to squint to get a good sight of it and an audio backing could of added to the feel. Sometimes laughs come more from disgust and amazement of the arrogance of the people paying for sexual entertainment. Highlighting hypocrisies and ironies is her strength, especially when combined with live and video act outs. However, a few more moments of word play would of added to this concept because how often do we use double entendres to deal with the awkwardness of sex.

This is still an important eye opener to the world of making money through sex and so see Bella Green is Charging for It for some comedy that keeps it real.

WHEN: 5 – 17 February 2019 | 9:30pm

WHERE: Deluxe | YAGAN SQUARE

INFO: Tickets $18 – $22 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: M | Content warning: sexual references | mental health | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/bella-green-is-charging-for-it-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019 | RanDom | 4 Stars

Review | Link Harris

Dom Chambers is RanDom (see what he did there?): the internationally award-winning magician and comedian. He has appeared on Penn & Teller: Fool Us and his YouTube videos have reached over 20 million views! Chambers is in Perth this FRINGEWORLD 2019 with this fantastic comedic magic show.

The show begins with a nod to his famous appearance on Penn and Teller: Fool Us. He starts out with an empty paper bag – pulling out pint after pint of beer, and a single wine bottle for the sake of doing something different! He pulls out his shoe – which is now magically not on his foot – then pours a beer from it – quickly skulling it all. After that – the magic is all new and has never been seen before!

Chambers is personable and funny, keeping the audience laughing with quips and tomfoolery in his act as well as getting some of the audience members in on many of his bits. Whilst he didn’t fool Penn & Teller he certainly fools everyone in the audience – if the constant cheers, oohs and aahs are anything to go by.

This show is definitely worth a look and you won’t be bored or disappointed with Chambers’ stage presence and personality – not to mention his magical iphone assistant, Siri. So go and take a punt on a RanDom show!

WHEN: 26 January – 9 February 2019 | 9:50pm

WHERE: Shambles| WOODSIDE PLEASURE GARDEN

INFO: Tickets $27 – $31 | Duration 50 mins | Age suitability: M | COMEDY/MAGIC

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/random-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Tom GK: Hearing Loss, The Musical | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

For as long as he can remember, Tom GK has wanted to be a star. Sometimes it has been to be attractive to ladies he fancies but mostly it’s the glory that fame brings. Once you meet GK, you straight away see the energy of a dreamer who loves seeing people enjoy his presence. As a dreamer, many things occupy his mind and so when he greats you he asks you ever so sweetly to sit in the front, with bundles of energy because his deafness will affect him hearing laughter. Now, how could you turn him down?

While you sit down, GK is giving himself a hearing test because to make amazing music, you do need a certain level of hearing ability and in his determination to push through his disability, he allows you to really feel his natural enthusiasm for being an entertainer. With a strong audience connection, he is able bring you on board quickly, including two audience member who offered to help fill a sign language void that he normally has. However, GK has a sincere warmth and you feel his genuine apology for the situation. The realness of this comedic musician is what makes us come together in appreciation of him.

In full old school cabaret attire, including the old bowler hat that when he takes it off, he explains his insecurity of becoming bald. Considering his deafness, you would not think this would be an issue, but he is taking you back to before his condition was a real thing for him. His story starts in university where his real love of music began and lead to after graduation becoming a music reviewer. A medical condition with a long name that sounds scary he gets diagnosed changes his life for ever. Like how music helps him tell this story, music helps him accept his losses to embrace what he can give to the world by the power of song. His keyboard talents grace us in a way that when he requests us to sing along with him, we fully do it and love it. Tom GK: Hearing Loss, The Musical will leave you sing for joy in embracing adversity and fully giving yourself.

 

WHEN: 7 – 10 February 2019 | 7pm

WHERE: Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den | The Brisbane Hotel | HIGHGATE

INFO: Tickets $22 – $27 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: PG | Australian Premiere | COMEDY| CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/tom-gk-hearing-loss-the-musical-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, In Brief

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Sian Murphy | Angels’ Share | 5 With Fringe

Sian Murphy is the Public Relations Manager for the brilliantly Scottish play Angels’ Share playing this FRINGEWORLD 2019. She answered our 5 With Fringe questions ahead of their 3 show run.

Describe your show in 3 words: 

Dark, scottish, and spirited!

What is your show all about?

The play follows the adventures of ‘Feints’ and ‘Fallshorts’, two best friends and uniquely Scottish characters who have spent the last 10 years as caretakers of an abandoned Scottish whisky distillery on their remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. One of them is content with life as is, however the other is struggling with his identity and family and feels trapped on the small island.

Their adventure begins when they do the math and work out the value of the whisky they are safe-guarding and start to plan on how they can change their lonely lives on the island…with some dangerous consequences for them and the people they love.

Favourite FRINGEWORLD 2019 hangout?

Our team loves the Pleasure Gardens! It’s super close to Nevermind Smallclub which is we’re Angels’ Share is playing and is a garden of delights. It’s just like a big bar with some of the worlds best entertainment!

What is the best part about FRINGEWORLD 2019?

The broad range of high quality shows on! No matter what mood you’re in there is something for you. Also the way it ignites the city and Perth in general, it’s just buzzing at this time of year!

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend?

This is a tough one because there are so many great shows on so we’ll have to list!

* YUCK Circus- was a fantastic show

* Let Me Finish. -If you didn’t get a chance to see this when it sold out at The Blue Room Theatre then definitely get along!

* The Summer Nights Program at the Blue Room in general, but I love DAD and have seen so many good things there this season!

You can get your tickets to Angels’ Share HERE.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: DAD | 5 Stars

Review | Link Harris

Before entering The Studio at The Blue Room Theatre we are instructed to not touch the pillows, thinking to myself “what the heck are they talking about?” and everything becomes clear as the floor is covered with pillows – save for a walk way – and when everyone is seated the Dad jokes and Dad dancing start.

The show stars Issac Powell, Jarryd Prain and Marshall Stay – all wearing the same onesie and white shirt – acting out scenes from their childhoods and later on in life from the weird, wacky and scary or frightening with the very odd but comically gold use of pillows as they get thrown, kicked, built into forts, transformed into busses or tables and even just laid down upon.  These three performers are exceptional at their craft not only with delivering dialogue, the improvisational parts of the show and sharing stories about their (grand)fathers but each and every one of the three are relatable – with their own stories and will – hopefully – get you seeing your own fathers in a good light or possibly accepting them more for their faults and failings or even possibly evoking the idea that you don’t want to be like yours.

Some of this show’s stories hit a little too close to home for me and undoubtedly for the rest of the audience but there is nothing bad about DAD, except for maybe the dancing and possibly some of the puns but even that is still highly entertaining as this trio of guys does such a wonderful and thought provoking job at bring this show to the audience. I would without a doubt recommend it to anyone any everyone old enough to attend an 18+ show.

WHEN: 5 – 9 February 2019 | 9:00pm

WHERE: The Studio  | The Blue Room Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $19 – $23 | Duration 50 mins | Suitable 18+ | THEATRE/PERFORMANCE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/dad-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Bitch on Heat | 5 Stars

Review | Link Harris

Walking into The Main Space at The Blue Room Theatre we can see four white Roman column pedestals, three with flower pots each sporting some green foliage and the last with a silver serving tray – with a domed top – and a huge puffy white thing in the middle of the floor draped in white material and what I can only presume is a woman inside then the show starts.

Unfortunately, other than what you’ve already been told I can’t actually tell you anything else about the show because it would ruin it other than the fact that this one woman show – performed by Leah Shelton – revolves around consent or implied consent all the while taking the mickey out of it and looking exceptionally well whilst doing so. The props are excellent, lighting is exceptional, costumes are hilarious, musical backing is awesome, lip-syncing is on point and Shelton had it all down to absolute perfection in this somewhat provocative and thought inducing show.

This is definitely a show to see and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone – except maybe misogynists (although they would benefit from the message!) If you have ever seen any of Shelton’s work before you will not be disappointed and even if you haven’t get yourself a ticket and support a great artist! Personally I couldn’t speak more highly of this show.

WHEN: 5 – 9 February 2019 | 9:30pm

WHERE: The Main Space  | The Blue Room Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $28 | Duration 45 mins | Suitable 18+ | THEATRE/PERFORMANCE ART

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/bitch-on-heat-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Velma Celli’s: A Brief History of Drag | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

There is only one word to describe Velma Celli: phenomenal. In A Brief History of Drag, Celli pays homage to the Queens who made it all possible. The movers, the shakers, the gender-benders, and the bold performers who said anything was possible if you just stay true to yourself. Bursting onto the stage in rainbow sequinned glory, Celli is fabulous from head to toe. In the opening number from Lady Gaga – someone Celli draws inspiration from because she is so comfortable in her own flamboyant skin.

This show is so raw and honest – Celli tells her story and interweaves it with the songs and stories of the trailblazers. Starting out with a love of musicals, and performing in the West End, creating the drag act – I would just like to point out that everything about Velma Celli (especially the name) is on point! Her makeup is flawless, outfit flawless, stage presence – you guessed it – FLAWLESS! It is an absolute joy to watch Celli from beginning to end.

Celli performs the usual suspects – showtunes from Chicago and Rent, Cher, Priscilla Queen of the Desert – but there are a few surprises. There is a stunning tribute to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie (not going to lie, a tear or two did escape!) and some wonderful arrangements that prove that Velma Celli is a force to be reckoned with. A Brief History of Drag doesn’t shy away from the uglier moments in LGBTQI rights. It is hard to believe with such an encouraging audience that people had to fight (an continue to do so) for their rights just to be who they are. Velma Celli pays tribute to those who came before her and then some!

 

WHEN: 7 – 10 February 2019 | 9:40pm

WHERE: De Parel Spiegeltent | THE PLEASURE GARDEN

INFO: Tickets $27 – $30 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: PG | Content warning: occasional sexual references & language | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/velma-celli-s-a-brief-history-of-drag-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Daniel Nils Roberts: The History of the World in 1 Hour | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

Do you take your history from the Bible, or from scientific literature? Well, for once it does not matter as Daniel Nils Roberts gives you the best of both worlds in this mocking parody of a history lesson, in an absurd Power Point presentation that makes you question all that you have learnt in your life. The show is called The History of the World in 1 Hour and the duration is only 50 minutes, so it’s a satirical bundle of contradictions.

From the start you feel the purposeful, shambolic nature of Robert’s creation when he states that he did not study history at university, rather literature to the amusement of the audience. Everything in this collection of silliness is simply outlined on his Power Point screen, even that he will have a joke at the start and the rest is history…

To assist the show, Roberts plans to have guests but this is just a trick to use wacky crowd interaction, in this slightly surreal performance. The history is from the begining of the universe and is interesting comparing the vast differences between the Bible and the scientific model. Sometimes these realities are blended in a weird fusion that adds to the novelty. The spouted-out facts appear to be the personal favourites of this comedian and this sends him into unusual tangents that side track him from time.

Roberts is a genial Brit, who embraces his foppishness with true self-aware dry wit, where some jokes knowingly go over the heads of the audience. It all ends in an unexpected manner that fits perfectly to the whole nature of this comedy.

Daniel Nils Roberts: The History of the World in 1 Hour is a fun one man show for people who have comic sensibilities of the UK or are just a bit quirky.

WHEN: 5 – 9 February 2019 | 9pm

WHERE: Cheeky Sparrow | PERTH CBD

INFO: Tickets $20 – $27 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: PG | World Premiere | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/daniel-nils-roberts-the-history-of-the-world-in-1-hour-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Jon Bennett | The Nominee| 4.5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

Jon Bennett has travelled all around the world over the many years that he has been a festival favourite. Six of his shows have been nominated for awards and yet he has never won. Awwwww. So, when it came to creating a new show for FRINGEWORLD 2019, Bennett has decided to have a break and instead give a ‘choose your own adventure’ ‘best of Bennett’ performance. Each night he allows the audience to choose one show out of three of his previous award nominated repertoire.

Each night is a different three, on the night I came the three choices were Pretending Things are C*ck (crowd favourite), Fire in The Meth Lab (personal favourite), My Dad’s Death (critic’s favourite). Bennett barely describes each show as he encourages the audience to use their gut instinct on what show should be told by raise of hands. It was a close race, but Fire in The Meth Lab won out – even though the audience appeared open for anything!

This chosen show was a show that I’d seen before but this did not matter as it now felt more polished and far more enjoyable. Basically, it is a story of one of his older brother’s journey to drug addiction and eventual jail. This is a fascinating story; however, Bennett could take on any of his previous shows and nail them. He has an affable storytelling nature which ensures that any of the choices would be wonderful! Bennett knows how to capture your heart in multiple ways. The hallmark of any of his tales are clever, philosophical insights that highlight the true importance of storytelling in culture.

Jon Bennett: The Nominee is the show to go to if you want to see a storyteller at the peak of his powers.

WHEN: 6 – 15 February 2019 | 6pm

WHERE: The Shoe Bar & Cafe | Yagan Square | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $15 – $22.50 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content warning: Suicide/Self Harm, Sexual References, Sex Scenes, Mental Health, Drug use, Depicts Violence, Frequent Course Language | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/jon-bennett-the-nominee-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Yummy Deluxe| 5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

Wow, where do you start with something that sends you into another world, full of colour, camp and craziness? Yummy Deluxe is the place to go be taken out of your bland reality to a world of out-there artistic exploration. Hosted by show creator, Valarie Hex commanding our attention and joking that Karen from Finance could not make the show due to some white-collar crime. This statuesque performer opens your eyes wide with larger-than-life costuming that epitomises her equally large personality.

Hex is an immensely supportive host, making sure the crowd clap and cheer loudly for all acts. Before the acts showcase their talents, they all come on together dancing in unison with vibrant energy that is amazingly eye catching. All the performers are Melbourne based, except for Joni and the Moon, who is a powerful cabaret singer that works perfectly with these glamourous entertainers. There is also a new addition to the team, in the strong but flexible Jared Dewey. He makes the most of circus tent environment with a highly skilled acrobatic showcase of talent. This is all sublimely synced with music that adds extra dimension of style.

Also performing in this show, the beautiful burlesque movements of Zalia Rose, whose costume changes evolve so easily, it’s absolutely breathtaking! Following Rose is the very amusing performer Jandruze, who even uses an audience member too – in a sexually playful manner. Lastly, the multi-talented Hannie Helsdon is back this year for her usual mix of burlesque strip tease, pole dancing and hula hoop twirling that will leave your head in a spin!

Once they finish showing all their wares, the YUMMY crew all come back together in a finale dance encouraging the audience to Mexican Wave them, in an orgasmic feminine style. Yummy Deluxe, is a must for anybody wanting to see a world class cabaret masterclass.

WHEN: 5 – 12 February 2019 | 9:45pm

WHERE: Edith Speigeltent | Yagan Sqaure | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $30-$38 | Duration 60 mins | Suitable 15+ | Adult themes | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/yummy-deluxe-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: McMagic Moments| 4.5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

What do you get when you cross a comedian with magician? You get Elliot Bibby, who is like getting a two for the price of one deal! His humour is quick and punchy, but it is his magic that is truly impressive. Like a good comedian, he leads you down the garden path of one direction and then pow, he surprises with a super mesmerising trick that just leaves you clapping and looking at the other audience members in awe.

Bibby is the master of creating crowd warmth. This is vitally important as he completes so many tricks in almost an hour – that goes so quickly you think that he suspended time! He requires a high amount of crowd interaction and all go with this because of his charm and humour. Wearing a blue, tartan jacket and slick, spiked up hair – he grabs your attentions from the outset.

As for type of tricks, they range from card tricks to mentalism. Some of these mentalist tricks are so tricky because they use suggestions from the audience – even while they are queuing up! – however no time is left for him to see these suggestions, as they get put straight into a glass bowl that you can see during the show. In fact, Bibby tries to hide nothing from us, unless he wants it to disappear and then reappear in a place seemingly impossible for relocation.

I have seen Bibby before and a year later he is even more mesmerising because he is even more confident and straighter into things. He still would sometimes let you think that he stuffs up somewhere but before you know it – you see that his trick works in an extra difficult way that makes you laugh in astonishment.

For a show that all should enjoy, McMagic Moments is certainly memorable.

WHEN: 3 – 10 February 2019 | 6:30pm

WHERE: The Gold Digger | Urban Orchard | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $17 – $30 | Duration 55m | Age suitability: All Ages | MAGIC/ILLUSION | COMEDY

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/mcmagic-moments-fw2019

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Maddie HW: Let’s Get Loud! | 4 Stars

Review | Link Harris

Waiting for the show to start you can see Maddie HW running around Rosie O’Grady’s wearing a shiny backless top and Everlast track-pants spruiking for more people to come to her show Maddie HW: Let’s Get Loud!

Walking into the room a bare stage with nothing but a mic and a laptop sitting on a chair next to it, Maddie greets audience members and tries to guess what suburb they are from with little to no success – either way it is funny – and then it’s all on when the show starts with ear bleeding volume, enthusiasm and overt love for her boss. As the name suggests it is most definitely loud, her vibrancy and personality are electric – even if some of the jokes fall a little flat. Maddie’s musical instruments sure don’t disappoint, though – they are accompanied by her laptop and looped songs or some really strange yet pleasing renditions of famous songs by Four Trombones – who would have guessed they would be so good?

Obviously you can’t really say much about stand-up comedy without giving the jokes away, but Maddie HW: Let’s Get Loud! is definitely a show worth a watch, so please go along and support this hilarious – albeit loud – improviser, stand-up and sketch  comedian hailing from Sydney.

WHEN: 31 January – 8 February 2019 | 7:00pm

WHERE: Upstairs at Comedy Hub  | Rosie O’Grady’s | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $26 | Duration 50 mins | Suitable 18+ | COMEDY/STAND UP

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/maddie-hw-let-s-get-loud-fw2019?fbclid=IwAR2HE5y0tdb7aiVrqt-vBuRRg0PRxvpLCm9vfsPTD6eFFWnHHDB2vLf9AhA

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: BOY ZONED | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

You are their fire, their one desire… They want it that way.

The guys from cover boy band BOY ZONED are here to serenade you with their hilariously goofy take on the great adequate boy bands from the 90s. Complete with co-ordinated choreography, matching but not matching outfits, floppy middle parts, flavour savours, and not a frosted tip in sight, these guys are the ultimate in parody.

Jack Martin, Liam Wigney, Ryan Hunt, and Sam Moloney are the boys involved – CJ, JJ, GJ and KJ – but don’t worry, even they don’t know which one is which! They burst onto the stage like new kids on the block – step by step! The dance moves and accents are on fleek – they will get EVERYBODY moving – are they original? Are they the only ones? Probably not, but the show certainly is funny. Back-up singer extraordinaire Georgia McGivern totally has the best voice, and this is acknowledged however, her plotline is the only incongruous part of the show.

Every little thing they do, never seems enough for the audience as they not only emulate the bands, observant fans will recognise some iconic dance moves – especially if they had taped Video Hits onto their VHS and mimicked their every move with a bunch of girlfriends after school – I digress. BOY ZONED is a love letter to the 90s. It mentions all the big players and the original boy bands, and is the ultimate nostalgia trip. So, say bye, bye, bye to your plans and grab a ticket to BOY ZONED – they don’t care much – as long as you love them!

WHEN: 5 – 10 February 2019 | 9:40pm

WHERE: Circus Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $20 – $25 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: M | Content warning: strobe lighting | WA ARTISTS | MUSICAL

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/boy-zoned-fw2019

 

FRINGEWORLD, Interview, on now

FRINGEWORLD 2019: DAD cast | INTERVIEW

Interview | Laura Money

Marshall Stay, Isaac Powell and Jarryd Prain are the creative team behind DAD, a show all about their Dads and how their relationships with them have developed over the years. We interviewed them about their show for FRINGEWORLD 2019.

What is DAD all about?

Marshall Stay: The title isn’t doing anything tricky – this show is in fact just all about Dad. All of our Dads, in fact. The show is a scrapbook of stories, games, and lots of pillows, that we use to bring our memories to life. It’s got a lot of humour, and heart, and we’re hoping our audiences feel both!

Isaac Powell: Simply put, DAD is about each of our memories & experiences of our own fathers, and how that has affected us moving through life in relation to our masculinity, our ability to connect with other people and the idea of ‘legacy’ through generations.

Jarryd Prain: It’s basically an homage to our Dads and recounts the good times, the bad times, and the times that shaped the men that we are today. It’s been a really colourful trip down memory lane and an incredibly emotional journey making this work.

 

How did the concept for DAD arise? What was your development process?

M:We developed this show originally in our third year at WAAPA, in the Performance Making course – we all got put in this group together, and our job was to find something we all wanted to make a show about. I was back in Brisbane with my Dad at the end of 2017 for the first time in 2 years, and it really gave me a new perspective on my relationship with him. I pitched the concept of a storytelling show about our Dads to the boys in our first rehearsals, and luckily we found it resonated with all of us.

I: In our third year of WAAPA’s Bachelor of performing arts course, the three of us were put in a group together, and were moving through ideas for creating a show, and we found that the conversations around masculinity and our fathers was something that resonated with all of us.

J: Marshall came back with the idea of chatting about our Dads after visiting his own Dad for the first time in a while. We realised that we’re three white dudes and we wanted to consider what our story was and what we could tell with absolute honesty, and delving into the ideas of legacy, connection, and masculinity, particularly through the lens of a father and son relationship was a genuine step into the conversation we could take.

 

How do you feel about how masculinity is being represented in current media?

M:Something I’m really excited by, and hopeful for more development of, is the representation and wider understanding of what is and what isn’t ‘toxic masculinity’. It’s part of a much deeper understanding of what the origins of masculinity and femininity are – which I would encourage everyone to do some reading up on – so I won’t get into it here, but honestly the Gillette ad is a decent place to start.

I: That’s a big question, and there is no easy short answer you can give when talking about concepts this big. What I can say with confidence is that any representation of masculinity (be it toxic or otherwise) being displayed in current media has the power to start a conversation, or contribute to the larger discussion around masculinity in the current age. Everyone needs to work to further understand ideas like masculinity and femininity, and I believe one of the best ways we can widen our understanding of such things is to talk about them. No one person has all the answers and so we have to work together to build this picture and our collective understanding.

J:  I think we’re moving into a time that we are able to seperate masculinity and toxic masculinity and speak with a more nuanced voice as to what being masculine or even being a man is in today’s day and age. I think there’s been a lot of conversation about the toxic nature of masculinity, which while valid, is definitely alienating and closes off a more detailed look into what masculinity is and how you can be both masculine and a good person at the same time. I think it’s good to seperate tradition masculine or feminine traits from gender as well. I personally inhabit many traditionally feminine traits but I definitely still classify myself as a man.

Ok, you’re all wearing onesies and pyjamas – how important is nostalgia to this work?

M: It’s pretty much the foundation of this show. There’s a lot of fun to be had, but nostalgia is where you’ll find the heart.

I: Incredibly important, as we all know memory is a funny thing, and cannot always be trusted to tell us the exact story of what happened, it can only tell us the way we remember it, and that was really important to acknowledge when we were creating this piece. One of the strongest aspects of this show would be the authenticity of both the stories and the way in which we tell them, but without nostalgia, both our own and the audience’s looking back on their own childhood wouldn’t hit home as hard.

J: The onesies and the pillows automatically put us in the safest of spaces, creating a room where I could comfortably lay down and fall asleep at any point. It takes you back to a childlike sort of world and that is where a lot of the stories grow from. So nostalgia and connecting with yourself and how your relationships were formed at a young age are central to this piece.

 

How are your relationships with your fathers now?

M: Mine is great. I definitely didn’t make this show for my Dad, but it’s spiritually a bit of a ‘thankyou’ to him.

I: I will admit, I still don’t have a great relationship with my Dad, I haven’t spoken to him at any length in about 4-5 years, and I haven’t heard from him at all in the last 18 months or so. One day I may contact him and arrange to meet him or have a conversation. Its a process, and I will cross that bridge when I feel I am ready to.

J: Incredible. I’ve always had a strong relationship with my Dad, even though rocky at times, but the last year while making this show has just made us even closer. He was able to see a creative development late last year of the show while he was in Perth and I’ve never had a more fulfilling or important performance than that and I doubt I ever will.

 

Are any of you Dads and if you are, how has your father influenced your own parenting?

M: God no. You’ll find out my thoughts on being a father in the show, but for now you can know that I don’t intend to have any kids for a number of years.

I: Unless the other two have been keeping giant secrets from me, none of us are Dads yet. I’m thankful that I’m not a father so far, to be honest I have a few things to work out with myself before I try and teach a child anything. If I do one day become a father, I will be remembering all the things I went through with my own Dad, and will make sure that no child of mine has to go through the same. The way I see it you can either repeat mistakes or learn from them, best part is, they don’t have to be your mistakes.

J: No not at all. And I’m super gay so there’s not even any maybe kids out there. But it definitely will affect my parenting one day without a doubt.

 

What do you think people will get out of DAD?

M: I deem each show’s success on the basis of reflection. Above the humour and the journeys of our own maternal relationships, I’d hope that each audience member, at some point, thinks about their Dad. One of the greatest compliments we have ever received while working on this project, was when someone walked right outside after the performance and called their Dad. It’s strange, but very rewarding to have been the catalyst for a real world reaction to the show.

I: Well firstly I hope people enjoy it, it’s really affirming as an artist to have people come up to you after the show and tell you that the performance really affected them or one particular part really resonated with them and their own experience, and that has happened a few times so far. If I were to pick the perfect audience response, I’d say I would like everyone to be able to consider their own parents as human. No-one is perfect, and parenting certainly doesn’t come with a handbook, and that’s important to take forward into your own life. I hope we make everyone think about their own Dad, just a little bit. WE did have one audience member come up to us after a showing and say that they had just called their Dad. That was big, probably the most amazing moment I have had as an artist.

J: I’m happy anytime someone comes out of the show reflecting on their own fathers. We’ve had many people tell us that they’ll leave the show and then call their Dad or think about the last time they called their Dad. If we’re able to use our stories to let people connect to their past and the people in their lives, then I count that as a success.

 

Make sure you get your tickets for DAD right HERE and then give your Dad a call – better yet, bring him along!