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Fix Reviews: Thu Feb 21

Arj Barker – Go Time
Arts Theatre, Tue Feb 19
Arj Barker began with a Billy Crystal-style Oscar-night musical number before ripping out a combination of old-school one-liners (that he managed to make side-splittingly funny, even while admitting they were from 1987) and stories that became so funny that asthmatics were reaching for their puffers.
As an audience member I felt confident in Barker’s hands; never once did I doubt that he was going to make me laugh. For over an hour the sell-out crowd were on the ride which included moments of philosophical reflection that turn funny, of course, and are all too rare in comedy acts of lesser accomplishment.
Barker is a class act, but it’s a pity he closed this excellent show by resorting to that tired old ground of how to convince a woman to sleep with you and poo jokes. Clearly he’s capable of much more insightful stuff, as the majority of his show proved.
Final Word: LOL.
Lynette Washington
Arj Barker performs at Arts Theatre until Sat Mar 16.

The Lowest Of Us – Waxing Lyrical Productions
Adelaide College Of The Arts – Stables, Tue Feb 19
SA’s Waxing Lyrical is proud to premier this new work by local writer Liam Ormsby, graduate of the Adelaide Centre For The Arts. The play takes place in a hotel room, sparsely set with just a bed and dressing table, mirroring the raw and visceral tone of the piece. For Bill (Jamie Morgan), a bank guard, and Cassie (Lucca Boyce), a young callgirl, this is where their secrets are revealed, memories played out and ghosts exorcised.
Both leads were excellent, drawing in the audience with their repetitive dialogue and angry outbursts, and acting out painful experiences in the hope to bring each other closer together. Each cycle becomes more physical and emotional as they move towards some sort of resolution.
This contorted, passionate and emotional play sends you on a rollercoaster of their personal grief.
Final Word: Passionate.
Kris Neilson and Jim Hilditch
The Lowest Of Us continues at Adelaide College Of The Arts – Stables until Fri Mar 8.

Abandoman – The Life And Rhymes Of Abandoman
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Cupola, Tue Feb 19
Abandoman was one of my absolute favourite acts from last year’s Fringe and I am happy to report that he is just as brilliant and hilarious in his new show. This year, with a cache of new material, Abandoman works harder at linking the raps he creates live on stage. In pulling together a narrative thread throughout the show he adds another degree of complexity to what is already a remarkable feat – how he does it I will never know, but it’s damn impressive, utterly brilliant and freaking hilarious.
Be prepared for lots of audience participation – Abandoman feeds off spontaneous information collected from the audience to create impromptu raps that are so funny that you will leave the Cupola with sore cheeks and stomach muscles. It’s no surprise Abandoman won Best Emerging Comedy at last year’s Fringe.
Don’t miss him this year – this is comic genius at its finest!
Final Word: Unmissable!
Lynette Washington
Abandoman performs at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Cupola until Sun Mar 17.

3
Gluttony – Pig Tales, Tue Feb 19
Three of Australia’s best magicians showcase their skills in a flawless, smooth and often hilarious routine using subtle audience interaction – not the cringe-worthy kind, but selecting participants by throwing around a stuffed cactus. The 3 hosts flirt shamelessly with the crowd, poke fun at themselves and glide seamlessly from one trick to the next regardless of the crowd’s reaction.
Combining different forms of ‘magic’ - Mentalism, Close Up and Technology - they astonish with their bizarre video interludes, strong audience rapport and transform the most cynical non-believer into one who constantly wondered, ‘How did he do that?’.
Great value for money, their sold-out show was fabulous for all ages, and had the crowd laughing from start to finish. Slick, stylish and fabulously engaging, their invitation to perform a few extra tricks outside after the show would have been taken up my many wondering how exactly they did the lemon trick.
Final Word: Fascinating.
Sian Williams
3 continues at Gluttony – Pig Tales until Sat Feb 23.

Dave Bloustien: Grand Guignol
Gluttony – The Piglet, Tue Feb 19
Grotesque Hansel And Gretel-with-her-body-on-backwards puppets began the show on a miniature stage. The idea of an hour-long puppet show was more terrifying than all the stories combined, but luckily Bloustien soon appeared as the first of his many characters.
Grand Guignol told the tales of Tutankhamen’s penis, the real face of politics, coffee experts and the fate of a beat-poet salesman. The script was fabulously written, using vivid and peculiar descriptions to evoke the horrific and hilarious.
Bloustien’s expertise as a stand-up comedian meant that improvised deviations from the script had as much humour and intelligence as the rehearsed lines. His childhood memories of the Grand Guignol Theatre (and a mugged Parisienne prostitute in a fur-lined bikini) added a personal touch. Grand Guignol’s comic horror is a ghoulish treat. You’ll learn to never trust a barista, and to never wake the baby. Murder will never make you laugh so hard.
Final Word: Twisted.
Ilona Wallace
Dave Bloustien performs Grand Guignol at Gluttony – The Piglet until Fri Mar 1.

Tom Gleeson – Hello Bitches! 
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Umbrella Revolution, Tue Feb 19
Have you ever wondered why you should never pick up a mirror from the floor? Tom Gleeson will tell you. He’ll also let you meander through his very-random-but-somehow-sensible brain while he talks babies, sex, Brazilians and porn. Gleeson’s also very calm about being very angry – about illegal downloading, Apple products and rejecting authority: indeed, nothing’s taboo for the self-styled “free-range motherfucker”.
His scripted stuff is pretty good as you’d expect, and the crowd certainly lapped it up and laughed along throughout, even at his older jokes. Still, it all felt a bit safe and some of his most absurd or risky images could have been pushed even further. Gleeson was at his sharpest when it came to audience banter, but this was limited. Next time, it would be nice to hear more of the free-range free style. This time, it’s a typically solid show and Gleeson fans won’t be disappointed.
Final Word: Relatable.
Jenny Thompson
Tom Gleeson performs at The Garden Of Unearthly Delight’s Umbrella Revolution until Sun Mar 17.

Dave Campbell: Bipolar Bear
Rhino Room – Beer Garden, Tues Feb 19
Dave Campbell admitted to just talking about whatever his brain told him to; a scattershot strategy that led through topics as diverse as badgers wearing badges, the best way to hold up a supermarket and the benefits he perceives to being transgender. He managed to appear simultaneously hyperactive and half-asleep with the former factor explained by an anecdote about his childhood medication for ADD (“You’ve replaced discipline with party drugs!”).
In fact, Campbell frequently mined his life for self-deprecating laughs, from his job to his skinny physique. When he strayed beyond his direct experience, he sometimes sounded uninformed. But a capacity crowd was very welcoming, and Campbell squeezed laughs out of even slim material with a simple intonation or facial expression.
Improvisation aside, the show will no doubt tighten up as its run continues, but later audiences will miss the biggest laugh of this night, which came from unscripted audience interaction.
Final Word: Unpredictable.
Owen Heitmann
Dave Campbell: Bipolar Bear continues at Rhino Room – Beer Garden until Sat Mar 2.

Tom Thum – Beating The Habit
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Paradiso Spiegeltent, Tue Feb 19
Taking the audience on a journey through time and travel is Brisbane beatbox addict Tom Thum. With little more than his voice and ‘chaos machines’, Thum creates sound effects, remixes and original ‘soundscapes’ that wow the mind. Whether it is his near-death experience or Home Stay Blues’, Thum’s ability to tell stories cleverly through music and/or noise is truly amazing.From machine guns and explosions, to bass and trumpets – you name it, he’ll try it! Hard to pin down just one highlight of the show, Thum’s documentary on his attempt at ‘Beating The Habit’ is hilarious, while a guest appearance by fellow Tom Tom Crew member and talented musician Jamie MacDowell had the crowd grooving to their acoustic rendition of Thanks from their album Pirates And Thieves. Thum never ceases to amaze; he has to be seen to be believed!
Final Word: MAD!
Sheree Foster
Tom Thum continues at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Paradiso Spiegeltent until Sun Mar 3.

The Man With A Hat!
Gluttony – The Bally, Tues Feb 19
Featuring a delightful assortment of acts, the show simply named The Man With A Hat boasts much more than its title lets on. Paddy of Ireland, wearing a striking red vest, immediately gets the crowd involved by performing some mystical tricks with a rope (or “thick Irish string” as Paddy would say!) His sharp, quirky humour and improv that feeds off audience participation instantly generates an entertaining, jovial ambiance in the tent of The Bally.
The key to the show is the amazing variety of acts including bewildering card magic tricks, a quick piece on the banjo and patriotic shadow puppetry just to name a few (...and some charming hat tricks, staying true to the shows name!). Paddy even showed he was not easily flustered by brushing off some technical difficulties with veteran composure. It’s a diverse show with something everyone is sure to enjoy!
Final Word: Magical.
Jonathan Boyd
The Man With A Hat continues at Gluttony – The Bally until Sun Mar 3.

The Candy Butchers
The Garden Of Unearthly Delight’s Big Top, Tue Feb 19
Bizarre, beautiful, whacky, wonderful, gasp-worthy and a little bit naughty! These consummate circus performers entice us into another world, another time and seduce our senses with their exceptional physical expertise, dark humour and riveting depictions. Bringing traditional circus skills to the world of contemporary physical theatre, The Candy Butchers combine thrilling, funny and surprisingly touching moments with a sprinkling of adult play.
Highlights include the glorious living sculpture of two women on a trapeze, the delightful journey of a love affair with a shovel, stunning aerial adroitness of a man in a straitjacket and creative things to do with fairy floss.
The audience were enthralled, excited, delighted and frightened by this outstanding show from world class performers. It is a five-star experience, but don’t take the kids. There are many things not to be tried with garden equipment or cutlery at home! Don’t miss it!
Final Word: Stupendous!
Nikki Fort
The Candy Butchers perform at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Big Top until Sun Mar 17.

Adelaide Comedy’s Next Generation
Rhino Room – Upstairs, Tue Feb 19
What do you get when you put together a handful of Adelaide’s brightest and freshest comedians of different ages and backgrounds, cracking jokes about everything from breastfeeding to tomato sauce? The answer is a room full of laughter, amusement and an all-round cheerful vibe.
Adelaide Comedy’s Next Generation, held at Rhino Room, features a crop of five comedians including the boisterous and hilarious host Marc Ryan, witty and intelligent Nick Skeer, the clever Demi Lardner (who even got giggles when she paused to sip her water) and the gross but funny John Brooks, who held the ‘Legends Spot’. Most notably amusing was Latino Ivan Aristeguieta, whose Latin dancing and impersonations of the typical ocker Aussie had the audience in uproars of laughter.
If this small taste of Adelaide’s rising comedians is hilarious, we can only imagine how our sides will be splitting when they reach their peak.
Final Word: Promising.
Melissa Keogh
Adelaide Comedy’s Next Generation continues at Rhino Room - Upstairs until Sat Mar 2.

Samantha’s Hotline
Duke Of York, Tue Feb 19
Welcome to Samantha’s workplace as this newly singled mum, needing to make a living, works with lonely males on her hotline. With a clear voice, good audience interplay and fine acting, the character skips effortlessly from aspiring lady to a not-so-neighbourly bitch; from gossiping neighbour to sexy seductress, all within seconds.
Samantha is role-playing on the phone as her clients get their rocks off on the other end of the line. We glimpse her journey and the desperation of the situation. I expected it to be a little raunchier, with more of the everyday elements of domestic life juxtaposed into the sex play, and I’d also like more obvious links to the deeper levels intended by the writer. The set and props were effective and no doubt all the swilled wine could have had more of an anaesthetic effect. The ironic ending further highlights the emptiness of her situation.
Final Word: Pout.
Clayton Werner
Samantha’s Hotline performs at The Duke Of York until Sat Mar 16.

Eastend Cabaret – Notoriously Kinky
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Le Cascadeur, Tue Feb 19
Bernadette Byrne and Victor Victoria seduced and shocked the late night La Cascadeur crowd with songs and tales of all things kinky. Formed in late 2009, this musical comedy duo have blended new material with popular songs from their 2012 Adelaide Fringe award winning show, The Revolution Will Be Sexual.
Musically the performance was tight and a powerful with a blend of voice, piano, saw, accordion and disco beats. The show is 60 minutes of songs about kinky and awkward sexual experiences, so if you’re prudish, stay at home with a camomile tea instead. Crowd-pleasing songs included Is It In Yet?, Still Hard, Danger Wank and Bernadette Byrne’s ping pong experiences in Thailand. Eastend Cabaret are hilarious! If you missed them last year make sure you don’t miss them this year. If you saw them last Fringe Festival – go again!
Final Word: Megamix!
Bobby Goudie
Eastend Cabaret continues at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Le Cascadeur until Sun Mar 17.

Flanders And Swann
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Romantiek, Tue Feb 19
Tim FitzHigham has travelled from England (Kensington, naturally) and teamed with local pianist Matthew Carey to bring their Flanders And Swann recital to the Garden, some 50 years after the original duo toured Australia. The gentle satirical magic of this classic songwriting team is brought to life through the performance of songs such as The Gasman Cometh, A Transport Of Delight and Have Some Madeira M'Dear. Other highlights include Ill Wind and the sing-along Hippopotamus. Among all of the wordplay and good-natured humour, there are glimpses of genius; as evidenced by the wistful Slow Train (recently covered by none other than Frank Turner).
The witty anecdotes linking songs are, in FitzHigham’s own words, “seamless”, and his attempt at constructing a French horn from a chair, a funnel and a length of garden hose is fun.
This early-evening show will prove a joy for anyone seeking some good old-fashioned intelligent entertainment.
Final Word: Delightful.
David Robinson
Flanders And Swann continues at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Romantiek until Sun Mar 17.

Limbo
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Paradiso Spiegeltent, Wed Feb 20
This is one Limbo you never want to end. The show’s otherworldliness can’t be read, conjured or imagined; In fact, don’t even read this review: just go! Limbo – whose world premiere is at the Fringe – draws you in, holds you in delicious suspense then releases you suddenly, twistingly with humour, pain, sorrow, awe.
Through illusion, collusion, slapstick and farce, this fire-breathing, sword-swallowing, knife-throwing, chain-dangling, chemistry-filled, physics-defying show bursts with physicality and magical energy, all underscored by energetic live music. It’s at once Heaven and Hell; sombre and comic, wrapped in a narrative made soul-wrenchingly real by a committed cast. And then there’s some per-sway-sive pole dancing of a very different kind...
This is sexy, edgy circus at its dark and sassy best, with a confident swagger that keeps upping the ante – and delivering. While limbo itself may be torturously uncertain, this show is a dead-cert success.
Final Word: Super-nal.
Jenny Thompson
Limbo continues at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Paradiso Spiegeltent until Sun Mar 17.

Tim FitzHigham – The Gambler
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Cupola, Wed Feb 20
Some would argue that betting is in the Australian blood. An hour with wide-eyed Tim FitzHigham makes it quite clear that our obsession with betting has ancient roots in the mother country. Tim has done some very strange things in his time, all in the name of a good bet. Pushing wheelbarrows across London, challenging the world’s best in chess, rowing a bathtub across the English channel, long distance Morris dancing – and he re-enacts these crazy adventures with the skills of an engaging storyteller. And if his stories seem a bit far-fetched he has photographs to back them up.
The appeal of this show is the weirdness of the tales and the humour and infectious energy of the storyteller as we relive his oddball adventures and take our own bets on their outcome. Like a bet? Take a chance and go and see this funny, enjoyable and instructive show.
Final Word: Chancy.
Michael Coghlan
The Gambler continues at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ Cupola until Sun Mar 17.

Aaaaaaaargh! It’s The Best Of Fringe Comedy From The UK
Austral Hotel – The Bunka, Wed Feb 20
The most astounding thing about Aaaaaaaargh! was that this ‘Best Of The UK’ showcase featured two Australians: Arnie Pie and Cath Styles. Beleaguered ex-submariner Eric and sad west-countryman Alan Sharp provided the British bits of the bill.
Stand-out stand-up was the MC, Nik Coppin, who perhaps over-excited the audience with his fantastic opening banter, and the rest of the night went downhill. The Rent-A-Heckler crowd didn’t let poor Eric finish one line of his routine. Cath Styles’ recycled jokes and dull quips about vaginas were unpopular, although her desperate dingo material got some chuckles. Racist, sexist and geography-based cheap-shots made up the rest of the evening.
The lucky-dip of shows, it proved a great way to weed out the acts you’d want to skip. Of course, tomorrow night could be twice as good, so if you’re looking for a taste of the laughs on offer, don’t write Aaaaaaaargh! off completely.
Final Word: Varied.
Ilona Wallace
Aaaaaaaargh! It's The Best Of Fringe Comedy from the UK continues at Austral Hotel – The Bunka until Sun Mar 17.

Barely Legal.
La Bohème, Wed Feb 20
Harriett Allcroft may be all of 19 years of age but already she has accumulated over a decade of performance experience and maturity. And don’t let her diminutive frame fool you; if you heckle she will capably and amusingly bite back! The sold-out show presents a collection of songs and stories to chronicle her retail and performance employment journey to date, as well as her quest, and eventual success, to find romance.
Allcroft’s impressive range and sweet tone blends jazz phrasing and pop improvisation with vocal gymnastics that fall just short of overuse, but thankfully do not become intrusive to the melody. Pianist Alex Wignall’s playing is sensitive and soulful, and at times his intense focus is reminiscent of Snoopy’s Schroeder.
The encore, while a very lovely song choice, was an unnecessary and puzzling inclusion to an otherwise coherent and well-structured show. Sometimes it’s better to leave an audience wanting.
Final Word: Joyous!
Jenna Bonavita

I Am My Own Wife By Doug Wright
Bakehouse Theatre – Studio, Wed Feb 20
If one is very lucky, every now and then a Fringe experience comes along and bowls you over just when you least expect it. Such is the power of Doug Wright’s award winning narrative and the spellbinding performance of Charles Mayer. Built around a series of interviews between Wright and elderly German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, I Am My Own Wife charts the playwright's experiences in dealing with such a unique character.
Mayer is completely mesmerising, his ability to ‘morph’ between over 35 different characters is truly remarkable. A shrug, a lifted brow, a change in accent and the audience has no problems following this compelling tale. His Charlotte is subtle, charming and quite endearing, a presence that remains firmly anchored among the myriad of characterisations sharing ‘her’ stage.
This is truly a wonderful theatre experience that will leave you inspired to find out more about this extraordinary story.
Final Word: Amazing.
Rosie van Heerde
I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright continues at Bakehouse Theatre – Studio until Sun Mar 2.

Sacred Sounds
St Bart’s, Wed Feb 20
A highlight of the Fringe is being introduced to venues you may not otherwise have encountered. St Bart’s is such a place, with easy parking, beautiful acoustics and a fabulous setting for Sacred Sounds; a program of music presented by Ensemble Adelaide & Friends. The two different programs over four nights comprise of various guest soloists; tonight’s offering was the Australasian Double Reed Society and the Adelaide Ensemble- string performers from various outfits and orchestras around SA.
A tidy, enjoyable program suited to the seasoned classical music lover or the new listener, highlighted by their last offering – Holst’s St Paul’s Suite; guaranteed to have everyone wandering off into the night with a smile on their faces.
The lyrical leadership of Simone Slattery on violin and Celia Craig on oboe was beautiful to watch – clearly a tight knit ensemble that has plenty of high calibre performers in their midst.
Final Word: Uplifting.
Sian Williams
Sacred Sounds continues at St Bart’s until Fri Feb 22.

Confessions Of A Control Freak
The Tuxedo Cat – Red Room, Wed Feb 20
Frances is a neurotic mess! Trying to keep a balanced life is challenging and, surely, the best way to achieve inner peace and tranquillity, and relinquish control, is to obsessively write lists and pie charts, then print, laminate and neatly place them on the wall? Wait... but first there’s cleaning, cooking and shopping to do; and yoga!
Confessions is a frantic display of procrastination in a train collision with excessive coffee, wine and ballet. Although the pace at time makes the journey a little exhausting and difficult to follow, Confessions is an energetic and amusing insight into the OCD within all of us. Frances (Belinda Raisin) takes a breath and reins it all in near the conclusion of the show with some very poignant vocal performances. From sharing wine with the audience to discussing the benefits and pitfalls of getting a pet, Confessions is non-stop exploration of manic meets meditation.
Final Word: Tense!
Jenna Bonavita
Confessions Of A Control Freak continues at The Tuxedo Cat – Red Room until Tue Feb 26.

Raton Laveur
Bakehouse Theatre – Main Stage, Wed Feb 20
Wondering about the title, right? Raccoons sometimes wash their food in water before eating it and the French call them raton laveur. (laveur = washer). Opening the scene we see a hyperventilating Phil, holding a baseball bat, splattered in blood and standing before a rolled up rug that conceals the oozing remains of some poor creature that has just met a grisly end – courtesy of said bat. Perhaps it is one of the neighbourhood raccoons (nay, the King Of Raccoons!) that has been bothering Phil, a recent arrival in Toronto along with his partner Lily. But as the play progresses, we discover a more sinister twist in the plot.
Raton Laveur is riotously funny and must not be missed! Ben Noble excels as Phil, with some of the funniest moments occurring when Phil is unseen, with just the sounds of his actions leaving the rest to the imagination. Blood-drippingly marvellous!
Final Word: Bloody!
Carl Cranstone
Raton Laveur continues at Bakehouse Theatre – Main Stage until Sun Mar 17.

Sound & Fury’s Hamlet And Juliet
Gluttony – Pig Tales, Wed Feb 20
Sound & Fury are a three-man comedy troupe from Los Angeles. I’ve found their shows at previous Fringe Festivals to be very reliable; Hamlet And Juliet did not disappoint. Using a classic vaudeville approach to mash up two of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, the trio delivered a lot of laughs.
The seasoned team (all playing multiple roles) merged the two plots with plenty of jokes at the expense of the original text and numerous pop culture references (such as “To be or not to be” sung to the tune of the Oompa Loompa song) that appealed to both the older and younger generations in the audience.
Seat-of-the-pants improv kept the show fresh, with the players bouncing off each other perfectly (sometimes literally). Shakespeare (or Francis Bacon) would be rolling in his grave; I was rolling in the aisles. The wordplay’s the thing! (And the exuberant slapstick certainly doesn’t hurt.)
Final Word: Frolicsome.
Owen Heitmann
Hamlet And Juliet continues at Gluttony – Pig Tales until Fri Mar 15.

The Boswell Project
Tiffins On The Park, Wed Feb 20
The Boswell sisters were three sisters from the ‘30s who broke new ground in managing their own music business, who had fabulous voices singularly and incredible harmonies collectively. With songs and arrangements that haven’t been heard live since the ‘30s, was it curiosity, reputation or anticipation that had made it a sold-out audience on the first night? And just how much texting by an awe-struck audience does it take to sell out the remaining gigs?
With an AV presentation supplemented by storytelling we learnt some history of the girls. But it was all about the music and the authentic Boswell Sisters songs, with incredible vocal arrangements and harmonies. Of special mention are some of the unusual vocalisations; not simply scat, very effective.
Great band, great venue, fantastic night. Do yourself a favour: bribe someone with a ticket and get yourself to one of the remaining sold-out gigs!
Final Word: Vaboom.
Clayton Werner
The Boswell Project performs at Tiffins On The Park until Wed Mar 6.

‘Places, People!’
Bakehouse Theatre – Studio, Wed Feb 20
Bridie Connell is an incredibly versatile and engaging actress. At tonight’s Bakehouse Theatre performance, the glamour, aspirations and disappointment within showbiz bound together six diverse characters on stage. Bridie played each of the characters in short monologues, with some being portrayed just once and others characters coming back multiple times.
The show started with an ambitious high school drama student, followed by an Irish amateur theatre enthusiast taxi driver and a controlling stage mother. An Aussie bogan soap star, a ditzy model and an old showbiz diva round off the well-developed and engaging characters.
This script is excellent, with each of the characters encompassing charm and depth, assisted of course by Bridie’s portrayal. Props, lights and costumes were simple yet effective, but the posters on the walls were tacky. Overall the show is a nice little gem worth checking out, especially by fellow thespians.
Final Word: Clever.
Bobby Goudie
Places, People!’ continues at Bakehouse Theatre – Studio until Sat Feb 23.

Cracked
Suzie Wong’s Room, Wed Feb 20
Cracked is a one-woman show that’s part post-teenage angsty backpacker and part reflections on being in the large earthquake in Christchurch a few years ago. In terms of props, the show is staged largely from the backpack, which is an interesting idea, but it does involve a bit too much fumbling around with the performer’s back to the audience.
While there are some engaging moments in this play, chances to liven the show up a bit by flitting into the other characters in the story, using some of their voices, teaching us the emergency evacuation drill (which could be a twist on learning the haka), breaking out into some Kiwi dialect, bro, or focusing a little more on the human survival and interest of the
earthquake itself would have made for healthy diversions from what is essentially a monologue.

It is an interesting idea for a play that would benefit from some workshopping and extra input.
Final Word: Shaking.
Clayton Werner
Cracked continues at Suzie Wong’s Room until Thu Feb 28.

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