FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | Cecelia | 4 Stars

Review | Amanda Lancaster

Welcome to my midlife crisis cabaret says our star for the evening as she proceeds to regail us with recent events and anectdotes that have bought about this very show’s existence.

Presented by multiple award nominated Susannah Thompson and Adam Keshwar, Cecelia is a show about what it means to be a woman. From heath scares to turning 50 to a teenage daughter who thinks she’s a meek and mild mannered Hufflepuff in a world of no real viable role models to be seen. This is just the beginning of an evening of autobiographical narration punctuated by some of the most amazing vocal talent you’ll ever hear.

Flawless song stylings are effortlessly crooned to the audience as an example in melody of whatever point in her life Susannah is retelling and the feelings it evoked for her at the time. This is a brilliant idea for a show and a lovely way to remember that song and stories are just another way by which human beings best learn, communicate, and remember each other and what it is that is important to each of us as individuals and as a whole.

Soft spoken, calm, perfectly timed tales are told with honesty and delivered with just enough humour to take the sting of being to harsh to hear out. A wonderful expose of feminine stereotypes and issues faced over one woman’s lifetime that is totally relatable to all even now. Each era described has its own musical anthem appointed to it and this lady’s voice doesn’t miss a beat. She’s hands down one of the most amazing, understated songstresses I’ve seen. She nails every tune to perfection. The crowd will be absolutely transfixed the whole night. Everyone is encouraged to sing along, and you really can’t help but join in as the songs are all ones you know and love.

Fifty years of life laid bare for all to see, from her first and favourite party as a child, through the oppressive and wild 70s and 80s, all the way through to see her own offspring grow into their own strong personality and deciding whether or not to continue to be offended by being unofficially placed into the Hufflepuff house.

“And so I keep quiet and say nothing”
Such a seemingly tiny phrase. A string of harmless little words reiterated over and over throughout the show’s sixty minute duration gives the viewer a subconscious sense of almost discomfort. A beautifully subtle method of using something small to shine a much needed light on something so big. This is not just your average caberet performance folks, prepare to not just choose to listen and watch but to be made to think and feel.

This show is an open letter to all the people out there that think they need to make themselves small, to all those who stay quiet and need the courage to help find their own voice. This is as lesson for all about the importance of what it truly means to be not just listened to – but heard. I’d say that’s pretty Gryffindor and not that Hufflepuff wouldn’t you?

You can catch the time-travelling Cecelia at ACES Cabaret until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Article, Coming Soon, FRINGEWORLD

FRINGEWORLD 2022 FOCUS | ACE’S CABARET | Downstairs at the Maj just got hotter with great entertainment this Fringe season!

Feature | Laura Money

Downstairs at the Maj is the best place in Perth for year-round Cabaret entertainment but things just heated up for FRINGEWORLD 2022. ACE’S Cabaret are taking over with a fun and entertaining programme that highlights the best of the cabaret scene in Perth and beyond. From tributes to classic acts like Neil Diamond and ABBA to original musicals this summer season has it all. So, sit back, relax and let them entertain you!

CLUB SHUFFLE | Saturday 15th January | 6:00pm | 100 mins | TICKETS

Kicking things off with a star-studded opening night, Club Shuffle is a little bit of everything from the ACE’S programme. Shuffling 8 acts you’ll get a preview of these shows before booking in the whole thing. Each section will be the essence of the show, giving you a whirlwind tour of the entire deck. Come along and pick a hand – you’re guaranteed to love the hand you’re dealt with these winning selections.

HELL HATH NO FURY | 20th – 22nd January | 8:30pm | 70 mins | TICKETS

Zalia Joi brings a show that is hell-bent on working through pain and sorrow through song and trying to reconcile how to match up being a good person when people have treated you badly. It’s set in the basement of hell and features original music written around break-ups and healing. It’s a great night out with some amazing talent. You can read our review from last year HERE.

WALKING WITH CASH – LATE & ALONE | 31st Jan – 5th Feb | 7:00pm | 55mins | TICKETS

50 years ago Johnny Cash had a conversation with country music superstar Marty Robbins, where he said he always wanted to record an album called Johnny Cash – Late & Alone. Just his voice and a lone guitar. This show honours that intention. Join Charlie Scott where he will be “Walking with Cash – Late & Alone”

GIRLS GONE ABBA – THE SOUNDS OF MAMA MIA | 31st Jan – 5th Feb | 8:30pm | TICKETS

Girls Gone ABBA features five powerhouse performers putting the flare(s) back on stage with their hour-long love letter to the music of ABBA and the inspiration and hope of the Mama Mia movies. You’ll find yourself becoming a Dancing Queen and thanking these ladies for the music in a night of dancing and singing you’ll never forget. Check out our pun-filled review from last year HERE.

A SEATED WALKING TOUR OF WESTERN EUROPE | 7th – 12th February | 8:30pm | 55mins | TICKETS

Armed with only Google Street View, a big screen, and an enthusiastic but flawed knowledge of history, Andrew guides the audience through the great plazas, past the magnificent cathedrals, over the odd statues and into the seedy bars of Europe’s greatest cities and towns. See the things! Learn their stories! Get no exercise!

Never has a European walking tour been so quick, funny, covid-safe and indeed, cost effective.

COMMA SUTRA | 7th – 12th February | 7:00pm | 55m | TICKETS

Louisa’s found true love in the English language, but it’s hard being a grammar nerd when there are people selling ‘potato’s’ and misusing the word ‘literally’ at every turn. All she really wants is someone who’ll snuggle up with her on the couch and seductively whisper puns into her ear. Ideally in multiple languages. Is that too much to ask?

It’s nerdy. It’s pun-filled. And it might just make you want to learn a language… or at least start erasing those damn stray apostrophes on cafe blackboards.

You can check out the whole of ACE’S programming on the FRINGEWORLD 2022 website, HERE.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

Past Production, Review

REVIEW: Hell Hath No Fury | Musical Bitchin’ From the Basement of Hell

Review | Laura Money

When the age old saying Hell Hath No Fury like a woman scorned comes up, the image of an angry, possibly violent woman doing something vengeful and stupid is conjured. Blistering rock songs that will rip your heart out and rain spite down on every man. This is the stereotype, but Zalia Joi is all about the healing power of love and forgiveness – so titles can be deceiving! The show is hell-bent on working through pain and sorrow through song and trying to reconcile how to match up being a good person when people have treated you badly. It’s raw, full of expression and utterly human.

Joi is the embodiment of wiccan rock chick. She sings with an emotional core that brings power and depth to a suite of original music that taps into a Fleetwood Mac vibe but exudes Joi’s wonderful blend of strength and nurturing. Alicia (Joi) finds herself in Tartarus – the ‘basement of hell’ – a place where souls live out their worst nightmares – their own personal hell. Accompanying Joi in this circle of hell are the band ‘Men From Hell’ a mash up of good boys gone bad all wearing various shades of red and black an sporting hellish and grotesque accessories. Joi’s guide to Tartarus – Evie (Fiona Cooper) becomes philosophical as her and Alicia nut it out over how to react to betrayal. Cooper is mesmerising in her badassery! She slinks about the stage with a mischievous grin, delighting in revenge and torture – in our case extending that delight to removing a mobile phone from an unlucky audience member – and her songs and story reflect her reactionary violence that might mask a vulnerability. Cooper treads this line with blistering vocal talent and a compelling stage presence and is the perfect counter to Joi.

Throughout the show, Alicia is processing her feelings and what exactly happened to her. Through heartfelt original songs, Joi brings a depth to Alicia that unpacks the initial shock of betrayal and probes beyond a knee-jerk reaction. As much as it pains her to confront these feelings, Joi’s Alicia is the vulnerable princess whose forgiving heart urges you to choose compassion over anger and is able to find peace. Clearly written from experience, Joi is the ultimate salve for heartache as she embraces you in her hurt yet giving embrace. The music is brilliantly composed and arranged and the ladies sing the hell out of it! Hell Hath No Fury is a blistering night of rock and soul that will stay with you the next time you’re faced with the decision to be kind.

Review

You’d be in deNILE if you didn’t enjoy Murders on the Nile Downstairs at the Maj!

Review | Laura Money

Cruise down the Nile in style with the murderous bunch from Cluedunnit and put yourself directly into an Agatha Christie story where you not only bear witness to but solve the murders! This is Murders on the Nile, the latest installment of Murders at the Maj – a series of dinner theatre shows that take the classic murder mystery genre and create an immersive experience complete with three course meal and brilliant entertainment. Put your safari hat over your thinking cap and gear up for a jolly good show that follows the twists and turns of the famous river and leaves you crying for your Mummy!

Master of theatre, Robbie Burns is back as his alter ego Jonathan Maplethorpe – crime writer extraordinaire. He skillfully drives the show through its Egyptian themed plot and gets you all in the mood to solve a crime. The room is decked out with replica items from Tutankhamen’s tomb, so realistic one expects to look out the window and see the Sphinx! As Maplethorpe conspiratorially drops hints of articles to read and tidbits about the host of characters they artfully duck and weave through the tables, allowing us to get to know them a little better. Of course, the keen detectives are there to give the actors a grilling – something they are all more than capable of weathering – each actor skillfully answering in the way their character would, never once dropping their guard. The actors are improvising – from the suffragette curator of Egyptian antiquities to the toff who funded the expedition, and the married archaeologists straight out of the pages of Agatha Christie’s diary itself!

The plot is masterfully thought out, rendered both realistic and thrillingly entertaining by the terrific cast. You have a three course meal to provide food for thought and detailed reproductions of evidence. Burns is the perfect host – he delights in holding all the cards and teases the genre he so clearly loves. Murders on the Nile is the perfect mystery – it contains clues as slippery as asps in a basket, the mystery peaks at the right part of the pyramid, and the action is as hot as the desert! So, book your tickets now to this deftly performed, loving homage to the genre and you too could be thinking on your feet, surrounded by the jewels of the Nile.

Murders on the Nile has sailed down the river, however Cludunnit have several other shows on as part of their series Murders at the Maj. You can get your tickets HERE

on now, Review

REVIEW: Murder mystery gets interactive as you guess who-dunnit in a cabaret evening like no other

Review | Laura Money

Enter the glamourous cabaret Downstairs at the Maj and witness the best of 1930s entertainment as singers, dancers, magicians, and actors all vie for the top billing in Fringe Benefits. Producer, Cosmo Smallpiece – who has boasted more stars than the firmament – is auditioning acts to appear at the London Palladium – it’s a gig that most people would kill for – and one actually will! Grab a seat, drink up at the bar, and watch as these theatrical types stab each other in the back – and stomach, and break more than just a leg! It’s as if everyone in the audience is named Macbeth.

Murders at the Maj are the bread and butter – or should that be the arsenic and ricin? – of theatrical company Cluedunnit. It’s the brainchild of actor Robbie Burns who serves as host of this delectible mystery night. He does so with tongue in cheek theatricality – making fun of the genre from an obvious place of love. The characters mingle throughout the audience as the premise is set up and the audience can ask them anything – and I mean anything! Each actor is simply phenomenal – they must improvise as their characters entirely off of a very small bio and where they fit into the mystery. As the drinks flow so too do the questions get harder and they all do a brilliant job fielding the paranoia of would be Miss Marples with martinis.

So what Fringe Benefits do you get by attending? Not only are you treated to a three course dinner, which is absolutely top class, but you also get a full show within a show. You get Gershwin and Puccini and if that isn’t enough, let the glamour and wit of the actors shine onto you, as you get to share the limelight a little bit too. Cluedunnit don’t want you to passively watch the show, they exuberantly grab you by the hand and throw you into the deep end – with dead bodies on your dining table! Murder at the Maj is the ultimate homage to all things murder mystery – it’s so devious and delightful, Agatha Christie would be banging at her coffin lid for the chance to help solve this mystery. So book a table, glam up, and enjoy a night of extending your little grey cells while being entertained by a brilliant cast of actors.

Fringe Benefits ran at Downstairs at the Maj in December 2020, for tickets to their next season click HERE