post fringe round-up 2017

The green unicorns have shed their horns and wandered back to their pastures... the glittery pink and green rainbow that's been spread over the city for the last month has shone it's last... the 2017 Fringe is well and truly over.

It's been over a week since I went to my last show and I've watched, somewhat sadly, from the bus each morning as both the Garden and Gluttony are dismantled and returned to regular and slightly dull parks (albeit with a little bit more albino grass than before).

Weirdly, while I don't feel like it's been the busiest Fringe, I did equal my previous record of 24 shows (although this was 22 Fringe and 2 Festival)... but I think that was more about sensible planning. And with having to shuttle back and forth picking Ma up and dropping her home a number of times plus staying up late writing show reviews, I did end up a little sleep deprived by the end of the month.

The German Club, Live on 5 at Adelaide Oval and Brick+Mortar where all new venues for me this year. I'd never actually set foot in either the German Club (I saw 3 different shows there) or Adelaide Oval (sadly just the a single show).

The Peacock at Gluttony also had 3 visits, but we only managed 1 trip to the Royal Croquet Club, but given the new location for RCC, I was okay with that... it's a little less convenient now than it would have been if I was still living in North Adelaide.

I very much invoked Rule 3 during this Fringe... on about 5 separate occasions (7 if you count the Festival shows), I was able to give feedback directly to the performers and tell them how much I appreciated or loved the show or just their performance. I'll be honest, Rule 3 is my favourite of the Fringe rules... especially because you get to see them light up knowing that you appreciated what they did.

Once again I forgot to put star ratings on my reviews... I've left myself a reminder where I'll see it this time, so that should help. I also need to look at the way I tweet out my reviews if the Fringe Twitter account continues to retweet a massive amount of content like they did this year.

As far as shows go, while there were some low spots, it was a remarkably good year overall, and even the ones that fell to the bottom of the list had moments that I enjoyed.

The first 5 shows on the list are exceptional this year... each of them was brilliant. In a lesser year, any of them could have been number 1. And I would stack these top 2 against my top pick for any of the other years. They're essentially as close as close can be.

It's only at about the three quarter mark that they they really start to dip into shows that I didn't necessarily connect with.
  1. Night Creature
    "I feel like to say any more would spoil the experience, but I cannot recommend seeing this show highly enough, it is a perfect little gem that was washed up at my feet."

    I certainly hope that I saw this on a slow night and that they had bigger crowds at other points in their run... but if not, I was lucky enough to witness something rare, and so unique and special that only a select group of people saw. This show touched me emotionally (although I still don't know completely why, and I'm okay with that) and was the first thing that I mentioned to everyone who asked me what I'd seen that was amazing (even though it was only on during the first part of the Fringe).

  2. The Chemsex Monologues
    "I laughed, I welled up, I got mad both at and for the characters and most of all I felt for these four people."

    Like Night Creature, this was something that I just wasn't prepared for... it was brilliantly acted, wonderfully written and I had no idea it was going to be something I loved as much as I did.

  3. Signifying Nothing
    "And, you know what, it works... it works to perfection. It really shouldn't... but it does."

    It's not pure Shakespeare, and I think that's what makes it work as brilliantly as it does... and Nicola Bartlett steals every scene that she's in with her amazing, nuanced performance.

  4. Stories in the Dark
    "But mostly it's amazing and sweet and just filled with such rich and wondrous words by authors throughout time."

    I love Fringe experiences like this... even understanding what was about to happen, the reality of being told stories in pitch blackness was one of those experiences I'll hang onto.

  5. Barbu
    "There really aren't enough words to do Barbu justice... it has to be seen."

    It's beards, it's Canada, it's sexy men (and women), it's crazy circus done just right.

  6. Altar Girl
    "The language is modern, with the occasional Shakespearean phrase thrown in. And setting the play in what feels like the latter half of a party means that everybody is primed for drama when it begins."

    I think I can safely say that without Jeni Bezuidenhout as Lara, this show may have ended up further down the list. She drew me in, captured my attention and was the shining star of this production.

  7. Elixir
    "Elixir is what happens when you put three incredibly talented showmen together under one roof."

    Harris, Gorham and Thomas have created a show with a simple premise but one that is hilarious and engaging from beginning to end. Plus, they show you their underwear.

  8. Blanc de Blanc
    "It is, in equal parts, a chic 1920's Parisian hotel staffed by the insane and a debauched cabaret of flesh and champagne."

    This was another instance where I didn't completely know what I was walking into, but discovered that it was the kind of place where I felt right at home.

  9. Panti Bliss: High heels in low places
    "Panti is without doubt a queen well worth your time."

    She is, in fact, an Irish National Fucking Treasure™... and a hell of a storyteller.

  10. Fauna
    "That's kind of the point of Fauna I think... it's not big, over the top, dramatic tricks for the most part, but everything that they do, they do with an immense amount of power, strength and control which is even better as far as I'm concerned."

    It comes as no surprise to me that Fauna won both the Best Circus/Physical Theatre award in Week 1 and the overall Emerging Artist award for this year's Fringe. The company has an amazing pedigree (pun optional given the theme of the show) and the show feels incredibly polished.

  11. Half Hour Hamlet
    "To keep the level of performance at around 11 for the whole half hour show really shows how skilled he is as a performer and an improviser."

    This year I was Hamlet, so it was something of an atypical experience having the play directed mostly at me... and I can never fault Patrick on his energy.

  12. Shakespeare's Menage a Trois
    "Where they all really shone were as the players... White was pompous and hammy... Drury radically transformed... Anderson manages a very meek lion but the standout was Shaw... she was hilarious, rolling her eyes at Bottom and making Wall more than a little naughty."

    A sweet little sampler of Shakespeare with some genuinely hilarious moments.

  13. Sound and Fury's Sherlock Holmes
    "If you've never been to a Sound and Fury show, what have you been doing with your life?"

    I'm still hoping that one day they bring back either the Dirty Fairy Tales (my first ever experience) or Testaclese and Ye Sack of Rome (which I've seen the video for but never in the flesh) or both... but for now, all Sound and Fury is good Sound and Fury.

  14. Puppetry of the Penis
    "There is just something odd about watching guys contort their penises into all manner of shapes and configuration."

    I'm glad that I waited until now to see this show, Barry Bisco and Rich Binning were worth waiting for, and it's not often you get to just watch two guys play with their junk for an hour... well, not with that many women in the room anyway.

  15. Unplotted Potter
    "It was still a very funny show, and one I would recommend to any Harry Potter fan."

    These shows are always very hard to review as you never know exactly the version you're going to get on any given day... but this cast gave what they were presented with their all, and you can't ask for much more than that.

  16. Shakespeare's Waiting Room
    "The gold star has to go to the waiting room receptionist though... not just for her amazing facial expressions throughout each and every audition, but also when she gets a chance to really cut loose, she's amazing."

    Thinking back on this show, I feel like the location hurt rather than helped and this would have been better suited to a small room somewhere. Also the fact that this was advertised as 90 minutes but barely ran for an hour didn't make for the best impression. It's a shame because the performances were strong.

  17. Hamlet
    "It was an interesting take on the Danish play though."

    I was most impressed with Aarod Vawser's various performances here, but also the choice to cast Hamlet as a woman and portray a "lesbian" relationship with Ophelia is worthy of both mention and kudos.

  18. Coral Browne: This F***ing Lady!
    "Browne sounds like she was a witty old broad who had one hell of a life and Mooy portrays all of that with a twinkle in her eye and many a wry smile to the audience."

    I hope the issues with Mooy forgetting/calling for lines was resolved later in the run, because it marred an otherwise good show.

  19. The Package
    "While I enjoyed the story, I wouldn't say that it'll be one that stays with me (comedy genitals notwithstanding)."

    There wasn't really anything wrong with this show, it was just that it was never exceptional.

  20. Razi
    "If the word adorkable was ever going to apply to a Fringe performer, then Razi would be it."

    Having seen some of the more impressive Fringe magicians in past years, unfortunately Razi fell a little bit short... but he was very sweet and his contact juggling was amazing.

  21. Concrete
    "I fully acknowledge that I have very high expectations for this kind of show, but sadly this one just didn't get there."

    The performers are highly skilled (and I discovered later that one of them was involved with or filling in on Elixir, which says a lot), but I just feel that the show would have benefited from a more experienced director/choreographer to tie everything together.

  22. The Baby Farmer
    "I just couldn't connect with the material as much as I would have liked, it just felt like there were just too many layers of artifice in the way between me and it."

    This wasn't a bad show, by any means... like I said in the initial review, I just was never able to find my way into it like it needed. I did wonder after the fact about the folk from the Baby Farmer and the folk from The Package getting together and reworking this show using the somewhat creepy puppets... now THAT I could get behind.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go back into hibernation until next Fringe...

Current Mood:

photo saturday: brick people

grievous vs kenobijetty fishing

knighty nightcostume time
It's been a very, very different week this week...

Firstly, no Fringe shows, so I was at home every night this week (and there is a round up post coming, I've just been taking a few days off). So I've played a bit of Lego Dimensions, I've tried to catch up on some of the Acquisitions Incorporated YouTube videos, I actually cooked food three times this week with varying results.

And I realised this morning when I got in the car that I haven't used it since last Saturday.

Work is mostly slow at present, but next week I have an interview for my job... which is slightly terrifying. Not the interview itself, just the idea that I might not get the job that I've been doing for the last two and a half years. My current offsider is also applying for the job, so in essence he's probably my only majorly serious competition. Like I said previously, I don't mind that he applied, I would have 100% have done the same thing in his position, but I am more than a little irked that he never told me he was. I saw him completing the application and I finally asked him this week, because I hate not knowing stuff I already know (along with people thinking they can actually keep things from me).

The thing that worries me is this wouldn't be the first time that the person actively doing the job didn't get the job. Yes, usually the correct person has gotten the job, but we'll see I guess.

Cross your fingers for me on Wednesday.

You want to know what I am sick of this week? Guys online who get halfway through a conversation with you and then just stop... or worse yet, say they want to meet and then disappear or arrange a time and a place and then just disappear.

Mostly that last one... if you've gotten to that point of saying you'll meet when you have no intention of doing so, then you sir, are an fucking asshole. If you do it at another other point before that you're just varying degrees of rude, which I can completely cope with. I also never understand what they get out of that situation... I'm clearly interested, you say you're interested... you agree to meet, when you don't meet, you disappear, sometimes deleting your whole profile and then go back to, I don't know, eating Pringles and jerking off to Tumblr porn or whatever you were doing before you decided to fuck with my life.

I think I may have been even more annoyed and sensitive to it today because a) I was hungover as fuck (more on that in a minute), and b) one of the assholes who did it to me started messaging me while I was being stood up the first time. Thank you very fucking much.

Anyway, like I said, I'm a little grumpy today.

We went out for drinks after work last night... H-San is going on extended leave overseas, so we went out to celebrate and wish him a bon voyage. At some point I did lose track of the number of drinks I had... but I only bought myself one, then other people kept offering to buy me one and I kept saying yes. I think it was somewhere in the more than 6, less than 10 bracket.

Granted that was between about 4:30 and 8:30, so while I definitely knew I was approaching the land of drunk, I wasn't a hot mess.

And I got to catch up with a couple of people we don't always see that often, which was nice. Also, the guy who was spending most of the time behind the bar and was also in my line of sight for most of the evening was cute as fuck.

I couldn't be bothered walking home afterwards, so I went and caught the bus, got home, drank a bunch of water, faffed about for a bit and then went to bed. And slept pretty badly I have to say. Which wasn't related to the booze I don't think as I've slept badly on and off all week.

I was up relatively early, did my shopping relatively early, which was fine, but it was all in aid of making time for someone who didn't then bother showing up. But moving on.

When it became clear that the morning wasn't going to work out the way I expected, I packed up and went to Ma's.

To be honest, I wasn't really expecting to still be doing this at this stage... but you play the cards you're dealt.

Much like before the Fringe, I went down there and we ended up going to the shopping centre. To be honest, the original plan was to go to the movies, but it seemed like everybody had gone crazypants in Ma's neighbourhood... it was really hard to get a park at the shops, there seemed to be people everywhere, and when we got around to the movie theatre people were queued up out the door. I do not for the life of me understand why... there were a couple of movies all starting at the same time, but I've never seen it so damn busy.

So we gave it up as a bad idea and wandered around the shops instead. We were going to head back for the next session, but I really wasn't in the mood by that point, so we had some lunch and then we called it a day.

We did drop all of the refundable recycling off on the way back to Ma's place though, and made $18.20 from the plethora of iced coffee containers and other bottles I'd been taking to Ma's since before she injured her shoulder.

And then it was back here for more douchbaggery.

So we're back to our regularly scheduled programming I guess.

Current Mood:

fringe: signifying nothing

adelaide fringe: signifying nothing
Signifying Nothing is Shakespeare done the way it's meant to be done... but with a twist.

Writer, co-director and star Greg Fleet takes the idea of the cut and thrust of the modern Australian political landscape and overlays it on the tale of deceit and ambition that is Shakespeare's Macbeth. Lord and Lady Macbeth become Paul and Lainey Macbeth... and the kingdom of Scotland becomes the premiership of Perth.

All of the action takes place in and around the bedroom of the Macbeths which makes perfect sense the more I think about it.

Half of the language is the bard's original, the other is Fleet's very modern Australian vernacular and parlance... not to mention a hell of a lot of profanity. Sometimes a word or two of modern language will creep into the Shakespeare to have it make sense in the world of the story.

And, you know what, it works... it works to perfection. It really shouldn't... but it does.

Fleet manages to capture the intent of Shakespeare's dialogue and then reinterpret it to fit his modern day context, weaving the two styles together so well that it never seems odd to go from Macbeth talking about taking Fleance to the football to Lainey reciting Lady Macbeth's first monologue direct from the play.

My ongoing love and familiarity with the Scottish play is, at this point, well know... and I will say that this is one of the best versions I've seen. It's a big call, but it's one I think is is well deserved.

A big part of that is Nicola Bartlett as the Lady to Fleet's Lord. She performs her lines the way that I want to see it done in every Shakespeare play that I see, with emotion and thought and feeling. They're not just a procession of words to be gotten out in the right order... no, Lainey Macbeth exists as a three dimensional character who is clearly thinking, feeling, plotting, scheming and manipulating with all the light and shade that that implies while speaking both Shakespeare's words and Fleet's.

Fleet's Macbeth is likewise fully formed, but he doesn't seem to have quite so much of the heavy lifting as far as the bard's prose is concerned. He also manages to make his Macbeth very charismatic.

Macbeth's friend and fellow politician Banquo (Luke Hewitt) and the five witches, as well as some initial set up and a recurring interview between Macbeth and a reporter (Roz Hammond) all take place projected onto the screen behind the bed (within the fiction of the play's universe, I think it's all happening on phone, tablet or television screens). It's an interesting technique and allows for additional parts of the narrative without additional actors on the ground.

To me this works the best in the initial conversation with Banquo and in the interactions with the witches. This is also ties into the use of technology in the rest of the play, specifically the "killing" of Duncan politically with a scandal rather than actually stabbing him.

As this version is only an hour long, and switches between modern language and the original text, all while focusing exclusively on the titular couple... so naturally there was a lot of the original play that had to go to make way for the new content. While it makes sense, I was sad to see sections like the entire banquet sequence be lost. It also felt like there were lines from parts of the play that I don't generally see performed.

Fleet's music choices also felt particularly spot on throughout the play, especially in the sequence where he mimes to a song (The Nosebleed Section by Hilltop Hoods, I think). It could have felt weird and out of place, but worked incredibly well.

If I had any complaints at all it would be that occasionally the prerecorded audio was a little hard to discern all the words to... particularly with the witches.

All in all I could not have asked for a better show to close out my Fringe 2017 experience.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: metal

torsogeneral

farkdonkey
I really did need the day off this week... thank goodness for Adelaide Cup Day.

And it was nice just to do essentially nothing for a day.

I had one of the shows I was supposed to see on Sunday night cancel due to the rainstorm that rolled across the city last weekend. It meant that I had to rebook it for last night, but it worked out fine.

And it was also nice not to have to do the usual prep work for my lunches either.

Then Tuesday was my birthday, which has to be the most low key birthday I've had for a while... although we saw a great show, so that was nice.

The rest of the week was fairly quiet, we had a work lunch on Thursday (another reason I didn't bother making lunch for the week) which was nice.

It was Friday when the arse really dropped out of the world... nothing major, but Ma messaged me to say that she'd seen the doctor again about her shoulder and he'd told her that the operation hadn't been successful. Why it took them this long to work that out, fucked if I know, but suffice to say that it really, really flavoured my mood for the rest of the day in the colour of cranky.

I think it was frustration and being tired of the whole situation... and the fact that I'd kind of had a suspicion that something wasn't right back at the beginning of the Fringe when I discovered that Ma couldn't actively move her arm forward. That seemed like something of a red flag to me, but figured everybody involved knew more about it than me, so it should improve. Turns out, no... as always, I should just believe my gut reaction to things, since it's usually essentially correct (okay, maybe not, but I feel like it's true more often than not).

So, yeah, Friday was... more difficult than it needed to be. But I had two Fringe shows after work, so at least I wasn't sitting around stewing about things. Weirdly, the show I had cancel on me (Elixir) then got moved to an hour earlier, thankfully the nice folks at Fringe sent me a text message to let me know, so I didn't miss it.

But with one thing and another it was about 2am before I got to bed, so it was a bit of a late start this morning.

And that meant a much busier supermarket. Plus I needed to work out what the hell I was going to make for lunches in the coming week (it's going to be some kind of salad, but even though I've bought all the individual elements, I still have no idea what type of salad it's going to be).

Then it was back here, unpack, relax for about half an hour and then I was off to pick up Ma for our final Fringe show of the season.

But first we took a trip to Target to wander somewhat aimlessly and buy a few bits and pieces... then a stop at Haighs to pick out our Easter eggs for each other (even though Easter isn't until the middle of April), then back here for a while.

Given that the last show was at Holden Street, it made the most sense to stop off in North Adelaide for dinner, and we went to one of the places we used to go on semi-special occasions... but just being in North Adelaide and no longer living there, and the fact that the restaurant has obviously changed hands, or at the very least changed their menu, meant that the whole trip was both bittersweet and a little disappointing.

Also, this will be the last time for at least a month that I will be having Chicken Schnitzel... it's been my "go to" meal for pretty much every meal we've eaten out this Fringe. I didn't mean for it to be, but it just kind of worked out that way.

The meal itself wasn't bad, and it was presented quite nicely (I should have taken a photo... I mean my phone was out on the table at the time and everything).

After that it was time to head to Holden Street.

And then after the play, I drove Ma home again. I will say that I won't miss the "up and back, up and back" of the last four Saturday nights, or even the "up and back" of a couple of the Tuesdays for the past month.

In fact, there is a lot of things I'm not really going to miss about the last few weeks, although the shows themselves are not amongst them.

Current Mood:

fringe: elixir

adelaide fringe: elixir
Elixir is what happens when you put three incredibly talented showmen together under one roof.

Cal Harris, Thomas Gorham and Rowan Thomas are talented acrobats and comedians, not to mention being collectively sexy as all hell.

I saw Elixir back in 2014 when it was just Harris and Gorham and loved it then, but I have to say that the refinements of the intervening years as well as the addition of Harris' former castmate Thomas from Alice In The Madhouse the previous year have both taken a show that was great and made it outstanding.

And I think I may have spotted their other castmate from Alice, Will Meager, in the audience at tonight's show (the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and White Rabbit together again... is there any chance at all of a full on reunion?).

This is also the only show I've been too all Fringe long where you're encouraged to take photos during the performance (provided your flash is off and your phone is on silent... otherwise everybody DIES)... and I did get some excellent photos.

The story is much the same as the original show, "Professors" Harris, Gorham and Thomas are testing elixir compounds in the lab and they need to run some strength and agility tests... after which it's time for testing, and things get all little bit... funky. It was great see the level of polish and sophistication that they've given the show in the last three years... and it's been refined to a perfect little show.

Thomas is an outstanding addition, he's a natural clown, from his squeaky voice to his playing with the audience regularly, he had us all eating out of the palm of his hand. And I've seen a lot of acts use the big cyr wheel and spin and rotate, but Thomas is the only person I've ever seen use that giant metal hoop as a damn hula hoop! I'm not completely sure who was spinning who at certain points, but it definitely made an impression.

I swear that Harris gets sexier every time I see him... that body is amazing and he still has that face that switches between leading man and comedy relief at the drop of a hat. His ladder routine is still astounding and he's introduced whip cracking into his arsenal, which combined with his costume from the latter part of the show definitely makes an impression.

Gorham has introduced some breakdance elements that I don't remember from the previous show that are both amazing (even if Thomas does occasional steal all the attention) and work really well for his character at that moment.

The three of them manage to make the show both humorous and at times quite homoerotic (or at the very least homosensual) without relying exclusively on "dudes sometimes like other dudes, isn't that weird" style gags. And for which I give them another round of applause. Thomas, especially, flirted with, I think, three separate men in the audience during the show (sadly I wasn't one of them).

Elixir really does have a little bit of everything, and it's a show that it well worth seeing.

Current Mood:

fringe: shakespeare's ménage a trois

adelaide fringe: shakespeare's ménage a trois
Four players, three plays... well, three sequences from three plays...two comedies and a tragedy.

I started this year's Fringe with a visit to the Raw Shakespeare Project, and here I am, nearly at the end with a return visit. And a very different experience overall.

For Shakespeare's Ménage a Trois, they've taken sequences from three of the Bard's plays, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream and present them as self contained vignettes... so they become Beatrice and Benedick, The Tragedy of Lady Macbeth and Bottom’s Dream respectively.

As characters, Beatrice and Benedick are essentially screwball comedy before there was screwball comedy... and with Leah Anderson and Mark Drury as the titular pair, the barbs do fly thick and fast. Anderson clearly relishes the dialogue here and Drury is both leading man and prat-falling fool all at the same time.

Backing them up as four different characters are Isabella Shaw and Damien White... both Shaw and White have a talent for hamming it up (in the best possible way... and doubly so when White throws on a frock for comedy effect, especially with his beard), and in all three plays I found that I was drawn to Shaw anytime she was on stage, especially as Wall in Bottom's Dream (more on that in a minute).

After a brief break and a costume change Beatrice and Benedick transition to Lord and Lady Macbeth.

I will say that Drury makes an excellect Macbeth, but I did feel that Anderson was a little stiff in her delivery, more so in her opening monologue than when she spoke to Drury. But as I've said before, it's hard to remember all that dialogue AND be able to make it all live as speech at the same time. Or maybe that was just an acting choice for Lady M, as she was certainly full of personality in the other two sequences.

The sequence was very much Lady M's story (as the name suggests), so it kept some of my favourite lines ("O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!") and lost others ("That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold!"). White and Shaw were less prevalent here, just because the story has been trimmed of all but a few additional characters.

And then, as Shaw announced to the crowd, Lady Macbeth needed a bit of a cuddle, so after a brief break we were back in the land of the fairies with Oberon and Titania.

The first thing I have to say about this sequence is that I absolutely adored the choice of costuming. I half wished they'd done this throughout, although how well it would have worked for Macbeth is debatable...

Drury as Oberon, Shaw as Titania and Anderson as Puck were all wearing jeans and printed t-shirts declaring them "Fairy King", "Fairy Queen" and "Hobgoblin" respectively. Drury's shirt especially got a massive laugh from the crowd (although all I could think was "I want one!"). White filled out the quartet as the ass-eared object of Titania's enchanted affections, and then the other three threw on coats and hats to play the players within the play.

Shaw did a fantastic job as Titania, managing to be equal parts sultry and petulant... and Anderson was manically gleeful as Puck, bounding across the stage at every opportunity and really showing a completely different side to her personality.

But where they all really shone were as the players... White was pompous and hammy as Bottom/Pyramus, Drury radically transformed into a very childlike Flute/Thisbe, Anderson combined the roles of Quince and Snug into one, also managing a very meek lion but the standout was Shaw as Snout/Wall... she was hilarious, rolling her eyes at Bottom and making Wall more than a little naughty.

I've never really like the player characters in Midsummer, they've always felt like Shakespeare came up a few pages short and was just padding the play out, but I genuinely enjoyed this interpretation.

In fact I thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance.

Current Mood:

fringe: the package

adelaide fringe: the package
An old woman in a nursing home receives a mysterious package and starts to reminisce about her life.

The Package starts out with a simple enough premise, and adds layers of puppetry, masks, animation and music.

I will say though, that I don't think this is a show suited for kids under about 14, even though this show is classified as "family friendly". Partly because I'm not sure how many of them will get it and if it will hold their attention, but also due to some oversized fake body parts during a comedy nudity scene.

The puppetry itself is often quite beautiful, especially the bird and the full sized woman, but there was just something about their faces that was a little too "creepy doll" (especially the child) for me to really get engaged in them.

The same goes for the old woman character, played by Katelnd Griffin... her mask was kind of off-putting... especially as there were often times you couldn't see the human eyes underneath it. I got the point of it, to give a cohesive look to the characters, but I still found that it distanced me more than it drew me in.

Griffin did do a fantastic job as the old lady though. Her movements felt authentic, and she did a great job for the most part of conveying emotion without using her face.

The other two performers, Kristy Schubert and Robbie Hoad, fill in the rest of the roles around her as well as performing the puppetry and they're both excellent.

The live three piece band manages to be unobtrusive to the story, but as has been the case with previous shows, I did wonder if their roles would be better served by prerecorded music to give the whole stage off to the performance (but again, that's possibly more about me than them).

While I enjoyed the story, I wouldn't say that it'll be one that stays with me (comedy genitals notwithstanding).

Current Mood:

festival: backbone

adelaide festival: backbone
This will be the fifth time we've seen Gravity and Other Myths... We first saw them in 2011 with Freefall, then A Simple Space in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

But this year they've stepped into the big leagues with Backbone as part of the Adelaide Festival in the Dunstan Playhouse.

Each show we've seen has been better than the last, and Backbone is no exception. This feels like a gigantic leap forward (no pun intended) for them, both in their performance but also in the staging, lighting and set that this show and director Darcy Grant has provided them.

Original GOM cast members Lachlan Binns, Jascha Boyce, Martin Schreiber, Jacob Randell and musician Elliot Zoerner are joined again by Simon McClure, Joanne Curry and Lachlan Harper. New faces this time around are Meike Lizotte, Lewie West, Jackson Manson, Lewis Rankin and musician Shenton Gregory. Just the fact that the cast is now eleven people strong and that Zoerner's percussion has been joined by Gregory's piano and violin make the show feel that much bigger and grander. And allows them to do much more elaborate sequences that seemed to fill the stage with flying bodies.

I will admit that I am still completely mesmerised by Harper... there's just something about the way he moves through space that means I find it very hard to look away from him (and of course it doesn't hurt that he's beautiful).

But it's amazing to see how much the original cast has matured in the seven years since we first saw them, and how well the new faces have fitted into the family.

I also love the fact that very often (especially at the beginning of the show) there will be so much going on on stage that tricks that other shows would have as a feature just happen like they're no big deal, and if you miss them while watching something else happening on the other side of the stage, its okay.

It's also amazing the number of things that happened during the two hour show... so many different kinds of tricks and sequences, all relying on the cast's strength, balance and skill.

Two of the most mesmerising sequences include Boyce carrying a stone and being carried and turned by the rest of the cast and Lizotte being lifted aloft by wooden poles... just the sheer fact that they're doing what they're doing is breathtaking enough, but in both cases it's performed with such an amazing presence. Oh, and there's also the sequence where everybody has buckets on their heads, which is pretty damn amazing.

Unlike previous shows, there's less of a connection made directly with the audience this time around, which is usually one of the things I enjoy most about GOM shows. But somehow in this show, I'm more than happy to trade off that connection for both the pure spectacle of this show and feeling like the performers exist in their own strange heightened universe where they pour buckets of "dirt" on the floor, change their clothes over and over again and throw, kick or toss each other from one end of the room to the other.

Fortunately while there is definitely a level of polish here, they haven't lost the rawness and realness of previous shows. You still hear them call to each other, and by the end the effort is evident in all of their faces.

Before the show had even finished, I was already wishing I could turn around and watch the whole thing again.

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it's my (43rd) birthday

Today is my 43rd birthday today... which isn't 42, the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything or double digits 44... it's just 43. Which is fine.

As always, I also wish a happy birthday to some of the famous gentlemen who share my birthday... Demetrius Joyette, Johan Paulik, Jamie Bell, Taylor Hanson, Michael Caine, Chris Klein, Albert Einstein, Corey Stoll, Daniel Gillies and Ansel Elgort.

It was a simple enough day... I got up, did the final preparations for the rental inspection, went to work, got my birthday Boost Juice on the way in, mostly just got on with my day although there was a brief outbreak of Happy Birthday at one point. I came home, found a Kickstarter reward waiting for me, then went back out to meet Ma for my birthday dinner and show.

The dinner was acceptable but average, the show was fantastic.

So a pleasant, if unremarkable birthday overall.

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fringe: the chemsex monologues

adelaide fringe: the chemsex monologues
I didn't really know exactly what to expect from Dragonflies Theatre's production of The Chemsex Monologues. It sounded interesting, and while it was definitely gay themed, it's a world I (thankfully) know nothing about . So I took a chance.

That chance paid off, and I got one of the most amazing pieces of theatre I've seen this Fringe.

I laughed, I welled up, I got mad both at and for the characters and most of all I felt for these four people as they tell us about the way their lives slide across each other and intersect the world of gay sex on drugs.

As the name suggests, the show is four (well five technically) monologues... the narrator (Richard Watkins) begins and ends the show, Nameless (​Damien Killeen, pictured above) is the boy everybody wants, Cath (Remy Moynes) is a co-dependant fag hag... and then there's nerdy sexual health worker Daniel (Richard Unwin).

Of these, it was Watkins' second performance that I found the most moving... as he takes us through his desire to help Nameless to his frustration with him, from loving him to hurting him and back again, there was something in his eyes that really grounded him in the moment and brought me to the brink of tears.

But there were moments in each of the monologues that touched me... Killeen's Nameless being so desperate for a connection and relaxing into the embrace of a new love, Moynes' Cath realising how far away her best friend has gone from her and Unwin's Daniel being so completely out of his depth but yet still holding out his hand to someone in need... they're all beautifully performed and each monologue is amazingly written.

In fact, the text of the play by Patrick Cash is so beautiful that I bought myself a copy of it at the end of the performance, and then had the cast sign it like the giant nerd that I am.

It's also at times genuinely funny... more so Cath and Daniel's stories, but there are moments of humour throughout that made me laugh.

I also loved that in weaving these stories in and out of each other, there's opportunities for each of the actors to either impersonate the other characters, or to give their own interpretation of the never-seen character of Mother Meth, the American host of the chillouts. The moments when they take on another character felt to me very much like showing that how others view us and how we view ourselves are two completely different things.

In a lot of ways it reminded me of the show I saw five years ago, Shadows of Angels... four stories, each one picking up the thread of the previous one, and amazingly strong performances throughout.

And weirdly, stepping outside the world of the play for a second, when Daniel asks "why do so many gay men want to be outside themselves?", I instantly thought of an article I read earlier this week about gay men and loneliness as it deals with some of the same questions.

It's a subject that needs to be discussed, and a piece as beautifully crafted as this is a good place to start.

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fringe: barbu

adelaide fringe: barbu
Barbu is absolutely amazing and completely insane in equal measures.

I don't even know where to begin... a live band, bearded men in swimwear, a Cyr wheel mirror ball man, magic tricks, acrobatics, ping pong balls, a four way Chinese pole routine, a hamster (Milette), rainbow ribbons, roller skates, incidental nudity, beer!

You may have been lucky enough to see the four bearded men, Antoine Carabinier Lépine, Jonathan Casaubon, Francis Roberge and Jean-Philippe Cuerrier rollerskating their way through the city advertising their show. That was pretty much my first introduction to the world of Barbu last year.

Lépine, Casaubon, Roberge and Cuerrier are all also amazing acrobats and performers, from the moment them come out of stage on rollerskates and weave their way across the stage, I was mesmerised. And they hadn't even gotten to the swimwear portion of the show.

Once they did there was so much raw masculine power in that room. From Roberge and a beer keg to Lépine and Cuerrier trading ping pong balls through the air to Casaubon and Cuerrier and their gold beach ball, they all showed power, grace, humour, skill and made the whole thing both amazing to watch and pretty damn sexy.

I will say that my heart belonged to both Roberge with his mohawk and Cuerrier with his sock suspenders, but everybody was a joy to watch.

Way out on the insane side of the equation was comic relief and hamster owner Lucas Jolly who filled in between the other acts while they were getting ready... but who also was a major part of the show's finale.

I was also incredibly impressed by the Genevièves, Gauthier and Morin. Gauthier did some amazing work with the aerial hoop, and made it look both beautiful and powerful all at the same time and she and Morin did amazing balancing work together. Watching Morin and Lépine to an acrobatic routine still on rollerskates was amazing to watch as well.

There really aren't enough words to do Barbu justice... it has to be seen.

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fringe: unplotted potter

adelaide fringe: unplotted potter
Rita Skeeter (born 1951) is a witch journalist (and unregistered Animagus) who worked for the Daily Prophet.

At some point after Harry Potter "retired to the Bahamas", according to Improv Adelaide's Unplotted Potter, she started working with the Wizarding Police, took on a writing apprentice named Marius and was given a quill that caused whatever was written to come true... all while being marked for death by the Wizard Mob and pursued by a mysterious masked dark wizard (who turns out to be one of Neville Longbottom's children).

And that's what happens when the name of a minor character from the Harry Potter universe is drawn out of a very, very tiny Goblet of Fire and everyone on stage improvises a show based on that name.

This is our second time seeing Unplotted Potter and naturally it's a very different show.

As always, improv shows are about the cast, and there were many returning faces... Eden Trebilco as Marius and the head of the Wizarding Mob, Curtis Shipley doing a turn as a broomstick, Jarrad Parker as both a mobster and the editor of the Daily Prophet... I didn't catch the names of the two women, one of whom played Rita and the other who did an interesting turn as a Ministry employee very concerned about Animagus poop.

The new face, at least for me, was Sam who took on roles as both one of the mobsters and the masked wizard who turns out to be a Longbottom. I think if I was picking Best in Show (wait, is that just for dogs... now that seems horribly insulting... let's go with it anyway) it would have to be Sam. He managed to direct the story at a couple of key junctures (including inventing the whole "quill that makes things happen" subplot) and made it all the more interesting. Also he does a mean set of Quick-Quotes quills.

I will say that I think the story got away from everyone a little more this time than it has in previous shows I've seen. Which isn't a complaint, it's just what happens when everyone is making the story up on the spot.

It was still a very funny show, and one I would recommend to any Harry Potter fan.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: funny old day

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white crestsurf craft
Remember all the fun I had last week trying to cram too much week into my week?

Well it turns out that at least one part of that was a waste of time. My rental inspection.

I sent them an email on the Thursday just to say "hey, did you do it, because you didn't say anything"... then Monday they get back to me "no, we seem to have lost the spare keys, but we didn't remember to tell you either that we had lost them or that we weren't coming, because whoops". To which I say "WTF".

So I've had a spare set of keys cut, I dropped them into their office and now I have to make sure the apartment is ship-shape again this weekend for next Tuesday.

True, I don't have to do a whole lot and I have the holiday Monday to make use of, but even so, WTF.

Otherwise this week has been a bit blah.

I made a fairly excellent risotto as my week-long lunch... I took an existing recipe for an essentially vegetarian risotta and added chicken, bacon and chorizo to it, and it was pretty damn tasty, even by the end of the week (a little gloopy, yes, but still good).

Do you want to know what my second least favorite thing about living in my current apartment is? Not being able to wander down the street at any old time and find at least somewhere that I can get food. I mean, yes, there are places, but they're not as easy to get to. And for the record, my least favourite thing is the traffic/traffic noise.

This Saturday we only had two Fringe shows, but Ma wanted to run a bunch of errands and I needed some new slip on shoes...

As I was headed to the the supermarket I happened to think how weird it was that even though I've cycled through a number of different times that I end up going to the supermarket since I've been flying solo, that I never run into my friend who lives just around the corner. And yes, you guessed it... I ran into him not five minutes later. Weird.

I did a very, very minimal shop this week... I really don't need anything and I've decided I'm just going to buy my lunch this week, as I'll only need three days worth.

Then it was back here, unpack, wash some dishes, then off to Ma's to deliver her shopping and pick her up.

I don't think I've mentioned it previously... but thank the gods for podcasts... they keep me relatively sane on the drive to Ma's place to pick her up, and the drive back here after I've dropped her off again.

Anyway, I pick up Ma and we went off to the Gepps Cross Homemaker Centre to buy Ma a fridge. She really, really, really needs a new one, the old one has to be in excess of 30 years old... 20 at the absolute minimum.

And now she's the owner of a shiny new LG one, which is going to be delivered to her place tomorrow... and they'll even set up the new one and take the old one away.

We wandered around the rest of the complex a little, but only really poked our noses in a couple of places... then headed back towards my place, stopping briefly in Norwood to pick some stuff up, then headed off to Target so I could look for shoes.

My probably with shoes currently is my feet seem to be getting wider, which is a pain, because they were already wider than the average. So I ended up getting a size larger than usual, which meant that fit perfectly width wise but are actually too damn long. They're functional though and that's all that matters.

We did a little bit of other random shopping, then came back here to relax for a little bit before we had to head out.

And then we were off... after the first show was over we had a wander and then went for some dinner at Schnithouse on Rundle Street... which was really, really busy, but the food was great.

Then we wandered down to Gluttony to try and work out a way to fill the time in... which we did by watching the guy who puts on free shows on a little stage, as well as watching the passing tide of humanity... fortunately the same humanity caused us to leave the spot we'd staked out to wander around, which was when we saw that the line was already starting for our second show... which was good because it ended up being stupidly long, and we ended up with a front row seat (essentially, there were multiple "front" rows, but I think we were in one of the best spots.

And then it was back down the road to Ma's, then home again, home again.

It's too damn late to write up the reviews for the shows now (it's currently just past 1am, but I am going to backdate the post to earlier), so I'm heading off to bed and I'll deal with all that and the other half dozen or so things I need to do tomorrow (yes, technically today).

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fringe: concrete

adelaide fringe: concrete
Concrete, as an adjective, is:
  1. constituting an actual thing or instance
  2. pertaining to or concerned with realities or actual instances rather than abstractions
  3. representing or applied to an actual substance or thing, as opposed to an abstract quality
  4. made of concrete
  5. formed by coalescence of separate particles into a mass.
Concrete, as the show from the Concrete Collective, only fits the last definition.

The show is a collection of very separate particles, none of which necessarily go with any of the others, and together they form... well, a mass.

I want to make it completely clear that I think the three performers, Luke Hubbard, Dylan Rodriguez and Colette Pengelley are all incredibly talented.

But when it comes to circus and dance (both of which feature heavily in this show), I only ever want one thing. Character. If that character comes along with an understandable story, so much the better, but at the end of the day, if you give me some element of character, then I'm all yours. If I can't tell almost instantly what the scenario you're trying to convey is, I'm not going to engage.

Symbolism is also all well and good, but if nobody knows what it's supposed to be a symbol for, is it really symbolism. Also you can mix comedy and drama together, so long as the transitions make a degree of sense.

Oh, and pick your music very carefully, because music choices make all the difference.

As far as Concrete was concerned, I just couldn't find that one element to pull me through the show. It felt like it was all over the place, flicking from comedy to drama to abstraction. It felt like exactly what it was... a series of vignettes and ideas that had been pushed together to form the hour we all spent in a room together.

That's not to say that there weren't moments. The flamingo and duck number right at the end was genius, although I would have loved to see it pushed even further, with the duck really getting in there.

And the ballet vs breaking number could have been amazing, if the same music was kept through the whole number... changing to more street music made it obvious, but keep the classical music (or just throw a drum track under it), whole new ballgame.

The makeup number was interesting, but first it veers dangerously close to "blackface" and then just fizzles into nothing much.

However the "Beyonce" number is so completely incongruous with everything before or after it that it kind of grinds the whole show to a total halt. And that may just simply be the fact that suddenly there are words, loud words, incongruous words, irritating words. It also feels like the idea of a feminine man is being used purely for comic effect, and given that it's being done by Rodriguez, who is already a feminine man, it just didn't sit well with me.

I did kind of wish that Hubbard and Rodriguez had embraced their sexuality more in their performances (if they are both, as I presume, gay men)... it felt like the only times they really came together was either in a combative sense or a camp and asexual one.

The studio stage at The Bakehouse seemed like an incredibly odd choice for this kind of circus and dance show. It's very small and it felt like the performers were either going to hit the walls, the ceiling or the audience at any moment. And given how small it is, every time the performers thump into the floor or the walls, the whole theatre shakes, from the seats on up.

Also because the show is a series of isolated routines, the transitions between are often either too long, are missing music leaving the stage in complete silence before another piece of music starts or have lights and music but no performers. And I realise some of that was due to costume changes... but did there actually need to be that many costume variations.

I fully acknowledge that I have very high expectations for this kind of show, but sadly this one just didn't get there.

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fringe: altar girl

adelaide fringe: altar girl
Teenage girls are horrible spiteful creatures... not individually perhaps, but get them in a group, or get on the wrong side of one and, as the man himself once said, hell hath no fury.

Altar Girl is Shakespeare's Othello "as told by teenage girls out for revenge".

And the tunnels under the Adina Apartment Hotel are the perfect setting. The space seems quite odd for a theatre piece, being long and narrow with the audience sitting along the length. But with some clever staging by director Alanah Guiry and the use of mirrors at either end, the audience is able to see pretty much everything that happens.

I will admit that I'm only passingly familiar with the original version, but as the story here is different enough to the original that it really didn't hamper my enjoyment in the least. The language is modern, with the occasional Shakespearean phrase thrown in. And setting the play in what feels like the latter half of a party means that everybody is primed for drama when it begins.

The cast is small, and about half of the characters are gender flipped, so Othello becomes Ollie, Iago becomes Lara and Roderigo becomes Rory, while Cassio and Desdemona remain Michael and Dess respectively. Which for the second time this Fringe means that the main character and their love interest in a Shakespeare inspired piece have been turned into a lesbian couple.

Substituting sexuality gives an interesting twist on the racial subplot of the original.. in fact sexuality and power are the key themes here, as Lara tells us and the other characters more than once "everything is about sex, except sex, which is about power".

Although Ollie is played by Shamita Sivabalan, the only non-white member of the cast, so they don't abandon race completely.

All the performances are exceptionally good but while I'm fully aware that Iago (or in this case Lara) is the villain of the piece, Jeni Bezuidenhout is just so incredibly magnetic in the role that I couldn't help but be drawn into her world of intrigue and revenge.

I knew Lara was bad, but I didn't care... I wanted her to succeed, even though none of the other characters have done anything to deserve her wrath. Even the moments when the focus was on other characters I was often drawn back to her. It also helped because she's the only character who addresses the audience directly once the play gets going.

Lucy Orr has the difficult job of making Rory both awkward, pathetic and sympathetic, which she manages admirably... and it's easy to see how she falls under Lara's spell so completely.

The show only runs until the end of this week, so I highly recommend going to see it if you can.

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fringe: the baby farmer

adelaide fringe: the baby farmer
I don't believe I've ever gone to a play before that also had both a book and an art exhibition associated with it...

But that's probably the least weird thing about The Baby Farmer by The Laudanum Project.

I'll be honest though, the show was trying too damn hard to be weird. From the creepy (yet beautifully detailed) art by Chloe Neath outside the space, the dismembered baby dolls on spikes as set decoration, to the makeup and costume of the duo, to the lighting and music... it was trying very hard to creep the audience out. Now dark and creepy is very often right in my wheelhouse, so this should have been likewise, but it all smacked of just doing too much.

And looking through The Laudanum Project website, the characters they were presenting weren't specific to this show, it seems like they have those characters in everything they do... Alphonse Cheese-Probert (Nick Ravenswood) and Captain Enoch Malleus (Gareth Skinner). Although we were never introduced to them as their characters in this show.

I'll also say that having Skinner on stage providing the live musical accompaniment to Ravenswood's performance was at times a little distracting and a touch louder that I think was needed. I did wonder more than once if I would have been more engaged if it was just Ravenswood up on stage alone with the music either provided live but off-stage or just as prerecorded sound.

Having said all of that, the actual story that Ravenswood was telling was interesting.

The baby farming of the title was the practice of "accepting custody of an infant or child in exchange for payment" in late-Victorian Britain and the play tells the tale of 6 year old Agatha May and her mentally ill mother Winnifred Alcorn.

I think it's possibly the tale of the Alcorns was inspired in part by the tale of Amelia Dyer, the most notorious baby farmer of her day.

Ravenswood does command the stage well and his voice and delivery are perfectly suited for this kind of supernatural tale. I just couldn't connect with the material as much as I would have liked, it just felt like there were just too many layers of artifice in the way between me and it. The most effective and interesting part of the whole show for me was at the very end during the scenes in the prison.

But at the end of the day I really wanted to like this more than I ultimately did.

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fringe: sound and fury's sherlock holmes

adelaide fringe: sound and fury's sherlock holmes
In the past five years I've seen Sound and Fury tackle:
This time they're off to jolly old Victorian England to take on Sherlock Holmes.

There has been a murder and Sherlock Holmes is going to put all of his considerable intellect and deductive reasoning into finding a solution. Except, in the grand tradition of Without A Clue, Sherlock is an idiot.

If you've never been to a Sound and Fury show, what have you been doing with your life? If you have, this is the same level of barely controlled insanity we've come to expect from them.

Richard Maritzer and Patrick Hercamp have returned without their erstwhile companion Ryan Adam Wells who is off touring his music show in the US, but they are ably assisted by honorary Furian and Perth native Shane Adamczak once again.

Shane makes a great replacement for Ryan, and brings a completely different energy to the group, which is always exciting.

I'm never completely sure when it comes to a Sound and Fury show what is intentional rehearsed mayhem and what is seat of their pants improvisation... and I think that Sherlock Holmes contains both in equal measure. Although I really couldn't tell you which was which. I will admit that I like it best when they manage to run each other off the rehearsed rails (which most often happens to Richard... normally caused by Patrick) and into a moment of incredulity and stunned silence.

The humour, as always, floats on that line between highly sophisticated and really, really dirty (often using one to get to the other), which I clearly adore. There's cross-dressing, a blow up doll, some really outrageous costume changes, excellent pipe work and an audience participant (who in this case was outstandingly good... like if she's not already doing a show, she should totally get involved, even if she did keep getting her script pages muddled up).

And as I think I've said in every review of them so far, one of the things that I like most about Sound and Fury is how welcoming they are and how much they seek to make a connection with the audience during the "pre-show portion of the show". They welcome you inside the joke and that makes all the difference.

As always, time spent with Sound and Fury is a very good time, and very well spent.

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fringe: half hour hamlet

adelaide fringe: half hour hamlet
This is our second time seeing Patrick Hercamp perform his half hour version of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

For the purposes of the show Hercamp is not the titular Dane but rather Shakespeare, translating the play into the modern language of the day (our day, not Shakespeare's). The role of Hamlet gets filled in by an audience member (which in this particular show turned out to be me, thanks for that Patrick), and Hercamp then directs much of the explaination/play directly to them (or, for the purposes of this review, "me"). Fortunately this entails sitting in the audience and holding Yorrick (the skull) and not being on stage.

Like last time there are also soundbites for the audience to recite... when anybody dies, when poison is mentioned, when everybody is blissfully happy (remembering of course that this is Hamlet, so that one doesn't come up a lot) and when "your grandfather kisses your sister" (or "ewwwwwww"). A little like last time, the first two of these are basically a noise and a word together, which get progressively more difficult for the audience to manage to remember for some reason as time goes on.

Having the whole half hour essentially directed right at me was something of a unique experience. I love Hercamp's energy at the best of times, and being right in the focus of it was amazing and more than a little dazzling.

The show itself feels somewhat tighter than last year, I'm guessing mostly because he's had a year to really relax into the performance, as well as refine it and lose anything that didn't work in favour of things that did. As I said before Hercamp's energy and performance is really what makes this an amazing show to watch. To keep the level of performance at around 11 for the whole half hour show really shows how skilled he is as a performer and an improviser (whether it was when a random somebody banged on the fence of the beer garden or when I said "whoopsy" about the death of Polonius, Hercamp just picks it up and runs with it).

I do find myself wondering if this is something that could work with other Shakespeare plays or if there's something particular about Hamlet that makes this work as incredibly well as it does.

In any event, it's a show I highly recommend you go and see, whether you're familiar with Hamlet or not.

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festival: intimate space

adelaide festival: intimate space
Intimate Space from Restless Dance Theatre is an odd experience that sits at the intersection between performance art, dance and theatre.

And it takes part against the backdrop of the large, never sleeping machine that is the Hilton Hotel.

Restless is a company who create "inclusive work informed by disability" and means that a large number of the performers have some kind of "difference", the most immediately obvious one for a number of them being Down Syndrome.

The experience beings with a great deal of whimsy. And the only people we interacted with were all members of the company. I'm going to keep some of the details vague, but there are certain things I definitely want to remember.

We were greeted by the concierge, who tied baggage check tags around our wrists after asking which of six categories listed we most identified with. At the time I chose "Fancy Free", but afterwards I went back and checked "Sentimental Fool" to go along with it, because it was more apt.

There were only about a dozen people in the audience group, enough to fill a hotel elevator, but not too many to make it really cramped.

Up to a certain point there's no speaking, we have to read signs and hand signals and people's clothing.

The whole introductory section with Ashton Malcolm, Kym McKenzie and Michael Noble was beautifully done to induct us into the world we're about to visit, and when Noble (that's him in the photo) finally leads us off, a little like a sweet and geeky version of the White Rabbit, leading Alice into Wonderland.

We're led through the hotel, from corridor to hotel room, then into the service corridors and the basement, to the blue lit laundry room, along the corridors following giggling staff, then up to the kitchen and out onto the mezzanine overlooking the bar.

The bar scene was the one that really got to me. We were all given headphones as we come out onto the mezzanine and after a number between a man and a woman we're invited to join the woman looking out over the balcony where performers are dotted amongst real hotel bar patrons. I have no idea if anyone warned the visitors what was about to happen, but they do kind of get absorbed into the narrative just by their mere presence in the room.

Then Jianna Georgiou and Alex Luke start to dance together on the stairs, as two people in love. She has a "difference", he does not. As they dance and flirt this looping, overlapping, repeating words and phrases come through the headphones.

"They don't belong together."

That's not all of it, there's a lot of words, all rolling and coiling over each other... in fact, I'm not even sure now if that's actually one of the lines, but that's the message. And it really got to me, because it's always what people who discriminate or want to have power over others say to lessen other people's power and agency. You can do better. He's too good for you. And I teared up. Because, as I mentioned earlier, I am a sentimental fool.

While I have singled out a few people by name, everyone involved did an amazing job, and intersecting with the lives of the real hotel staff and seeing, albeit briefly, the workings of the hotel was incredibly interesting.

The only quibbles I have are really minor ones... firstly the baggage check tags never overtly come into play... yes, I realise they're probably more to identify us as belonging to the production in a fun and quirky way, there was only one spot where Noble checks the tags on everyone, but I'm not sure if the tags made a difference. And on occasions it was difficult to know where to stand or when to follow, so the odd bit of extra direction wouldn't go astray.

But they're very minor issues with an otherwise highly interesting piece.

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photo saturday: hell of a week

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Things I did this week...

  • wrote a job application
  • cleaned my house for a rental inspection
  • had a meeting with the new employment agency contact
  • went to three Fringe shows
  • drove up and down the road to Ma's place twice (including today)
  • got my hair cut
  • went out for drinks with The Nuthouse.
It doesn't sound like all that much, but there was almost literally not enough week for the amount of shit I had to pack in it and I'm all kinds of emotionally shattered. Like I said last week I'd forgotten that the inspection was this week, so I'd intended to write my job application on Sunday, and I had to instead split my focus between the two and leave parts of the house cleaning until later in the week. Which would have been fine had I not had something of an emotional breakdown trying to write the application.

Partly that was due to the fact that those things are never just written in plain English... and I had to write 1500 words in response to things that made no sense. In the end I got to around 900 words, and then took it into work and spoke with La Ninj since she's no longer involved in the process, she gave me some good advice, I reworked some stuff, added other things that made sense, copy and pasted various things from the last time I did one of these things and got it to just shy of 1500 words.

I then put it in on Thursday. There was some additional internal mental drama around filling out the supporting documentation, but I kind of knew that was A Thing. Still doesn't stop it from being drama.

Now I guess it's just mine to lose. I've been doing the job for almost three years, I quite literally wrote the book (well, the process document) on how to do the job. And if it turns out that I don't get it for some reason, I will print out the process document, either hand it to the new person or simply leave it on the desk and walk out. Because fuck that noise.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think my current offsider is also applying for the job. If he isn't and the application document I saw him working on on Friday is for something else completely, then fine, I owe him an apology inside my head at least... but if he is, why the fuck wouldn't you just say something. I also can't really blame him for putting in an application, but at the same time I really want to... and doubly so because he hasn't had the decency to say something about it.

It also turns out that I know all three people who are going to be on the interview panel. I expected to know two of them and for the third to be a stranger, but no, turns out I know all of them. Not completely sure if that helps or not, but let's go with it being an advantage.

Tuesday was a big evening, with two Fringe shows back to back and then I had to drive Ma all the way home. Thankfully she came in on the train though and I met her at the Royal Croquet Club. But I didn't get home until almost midnight.

Wednesday was Haircut Day and also Tink Has A New House Day. Fortunately it isn't that much further away though. I finally made all the correct words about what I actually wanted from my hair colour... I kept not getting it quite right, at least since she'd been away, so while my previous hair did make other people comment, that wasn't really what I was looking for (by contrast, nobody said a damn thing this time, which I kind of prefer).

Thursday was my inspection day... and I think it went well, unlike the last couple of times nobody left me any kind of communication to say that it was all good or not, so I don't really have a clue.

I also had a late Fringe show, which I really should have left for earlier than I did... I had to rush as quickly as possible from where I parked the car to the Garden and then was at the end of a long line of people. It wasn't a major disaster, but I could have been closer to the action if I'd just gotten my crap together earlier. Kind of the story of my life just at the present to be honest.

Friday was actually a really slow day. Mostly because I decided to take it slowly after having been through the wringer for the rest of the week, but fortunately there wasn't anything that stopped that from happening. And then we went out for drinks after work... and I discovered Pimms. Yes, I know, it's been around for a while, but it was sitting there on tap right in front of me, and it just sounded like a good idea.

Granted there was only one of the bar staff who really knew what the fuck they were doing when they made it up for me with orange and lemon and lime peel and whatever else he did (and he charged me slightly less than the others too)... whether that had anything to do with me talking about Puppetry of the Penis with someone from work when I went to the bar, I don't know.

It wasn't a late one, but I couldn't be bothered walking home, so I took my slightly tipsy self off to the bus. Of course because of stupid damn Clipsal it took longer than usual to get home.

This morning was what has become the new standard Saturday... I got up, I got ready, I went to the supermarket, I did my shopping and Ma's shopping, I forgot at least one thing that one of us wanted, I came back here and unpacked. We didn't have any shows until 2pm today (Festival, not Fringe), so I hung out here for a while before I packed up the car and headed off to Ma's. Essentially I drove down there, gave her her stuff and we got back in the car and came back here again. There wasn't a lot of time to spare, so we made a quick stop here for tickets and whatnot and then headed into the city for the show.

Then afterwards we came back here to hang out until it was time for the evening shows.

First show we only just got to it in time, which is a habit I don't enjoy, but at least we didn't have to do a lot of useless hanging around. Between that show and the third show of the day we went across to Gluttony for some food. There may have been better choices/options if we'd tried anywhere else, but we had yiros and it was nice enough.

Then we headed over to wait for the last show, saw that, resisted the urge to punch the people in the row behind us who seemed to think that they were part of the show, left, drove Ma home, had a very lovely and chilled (and, yes, quite cute) drunk dude engage me in conversation from the back seat of the taxi he was in when it pulled up next to us at the traffic lights, came back here and called it a night (okay that last bit isn't in the least bit true, I came back here and proceeded to finish this post which I started when we came back here earlier, then I have to do the write-ups for the three shows).

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