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REVIEW: Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Review | Laura Money

The crew from Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are back with another evening of farce, slapstick, and hilarity in Peter Pan Goes Wrong. It takes the genius of The Play That Goes Wrong and ramps up the madcap antics to a whole new level, every single second of this play will elicit not just a few chuckles, but whole-body laughs that will rack the audience long after leaving the theatre!

I didn’t think it would be possible to top the previous work, yet here I am, gleefully corrected. Familiar jokes are heightened, yet still stand alone if you missed the first incarnation. The cast and ‘crew’ move about the audience in a pre-show that gets the laughter building from the beginning. Improv skills are on show here as the audience assist in the setting up of everything from electricity to set. The titular Peter, Jonathon (Darcy Brown) walks in late, coffee and dark glasses displaying his importance, Director Chris (Connor Crawford) and Co-Director Robert (Luke Joslin) argue audibly about the show, and the ‘crew’ inadvertently reveal the flaws in the set – of course these will come to a head in the third act.

The timing of Peter Pan Goes Wrong is as precise as clockwork – every element must fit into each other to create a chaotic effect. Of course, there is more to the title than just lights crashing to the stage and props going missing – there are broken bunk beds, quick costume changes that border on hilariously risque moments, stage fright and slip ups. Slapstick is this work’s strong suit – from broken flying wires, to broken legs, Joslin getting stuck in a doggy door, sound guy Trevor (Adam Dunn) forced to step in yet again, and of course, Robert’s accident prone niece Lucy (Teagan Wouters) encountering hilarious mishap after hilarious mishap, they just get it right. Part Some Mothers Do Ave Em, and part Mr Bean – it’s the perfect combination for laughter.

Once again, the funniest elements for me are the dramas from the actors – and this time, we see a lot more of that. Dennis (George Kemp) is still so useless at learning his lines they have resorted to feeding him his lines through headphones that are anything but discrete! This leads to some predictable, yet funny moments where wires get crossed, and Kemp is brilliant in his timing. After her flirtation with fame in the last production, Stage Manager Annie (Tammy Weller) multitasks as Mrs Darling, Eliza, Tinkerbell and probably a few more characters I missed, and her delivery is hilarious. From strange dance moves, to deadpan delivery, watching her onstage is a delight the entire time.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is truly witty and incredibly clever. It hits you over the head with slapstick and tickles your cerebral cortex with hilarious group dynamics – a hilarious love triangle, over-acting from the pint-sized Sandra as Wendy (Francine Cain), and the accidental playing of audio that are hard to ignore. Not since The Play That Goes Wrong have I laughed from beginning to end – actually after the end (do yourself a favour and stay for the post show entertainment, I can guarantee a good laugh!) Poking fun at the pantomime genre, when adults play kids, and the politics present in Am Dram, but the actors are playing actors who can’t act – or think they are better than they are – and therein lies the genius.

If you want to see a flawless evening of hilarity, look no further than Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Every single element is brilliantly rendered and perfectly performed that it can be difficult to realise just how incredibly clever it really is. There are subtleties here – Robert falling down when the phrase ‘I don’t believe in fairies’ is uttered – and of course, hugely farcical moments – the entire set turning around like a side-slpittingly hilarious carousel. As I wrote about its predecessor: it’s a perfectly timed, perfectly executed, and perfectly performed masterpiece. You can only go right when you see Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

WHEN: 7 – 17 March 2019 | 8:00pm

WHERE: His Majesty’s Theatre | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $84.90 – $110.90 | Duration 110 mins including interval | Age recommendation: 6+ | Wheelchair accessible venue

LINK: https://www.ptt.wa.gov.au/venues/his-majestys-theatre/whats-on/peter-pan-goes-wrong/

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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

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