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



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




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




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


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


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


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