Friday, March 9, 2012

2012 Adelaide Fringe picks

Sadly, I haven't had time to do a proper Fringe report – it's just been way too busy with all the shows plus the reviews I've had to write and the 100+ reviews I've had to edit and upload to the ATG website (which, by the way, you should check out) – but I want to 'share the love' for the shows I've seen and liked so far and which are still going.

As in the preview, there's a link to that show's FringeTix page so you can get more info and/or buy tickets.

If you haven't read my preview you should as it has thoughts on other shows I haven't seen (yet) and therefore haven't included in this post, which deals exclusively with shows I've seen and which are still on.

Barry Morgan's World of Organs

A great show, like nothing else I've ever seen. It's also very hard to describe, but it's really all about how funny the character of Barry Morgan is, and how deeply invested he is in it. Oh, and he's a pretty good organ player, too.


The LoveBirds

I gave this 4.5 stars in my review; obviously I really enjoyed it. It's a very quirky show, but very cleverly done, and featuring some great singers – director/performer Simone Page Jones in particular.

While I didn't put it in my review, I realised that she – Page Jones – was in the great show I saw in 2010, A Company of Strangers, where she performed with Matthew Carey on keyboards – complete with costume bear-head.



Review here.

I expected this show would be good – it was part of the lineup of shows brought by Guy Masterson and the Centre for International Theatre (CIT) – but I wasn't prepared for it to be as good as it was, or as different as it was.

Theatre – for me at least – is at its best when it's clever, and that's certainly what Outland is; they do away with the standard stage concept, which makes for a much more compelling and involving – immersive is a good (possibly made-up) word; the first time I used that to describe a play was when I reviewed the mindblowing Man Covets Bird in the 2010 Adelaide Festival – experience.

If you like clever, imaginative, theatre – and/or are fond of the works of Lewis Carroll – you should definitely see this.



One that wasn't on my list – I know neither the show nor the company staging it – and went along with my friend Miriam, who was reviewing it; her review for Kryztoff Raw here. Tony Busch reviewed it for ATG; that review is here.

Another very clever show, it fuses two stories of families struggling with illness, specifically brain disorders – one that affects memory, the other sleep. The script is well-written and the performances excellent.


The Ballad of the Unbeatable Hearts

Another amazing piece of verse-theatre (that's not really a thing; I just made it up) from the stunningly talented writer/performer Richard Fry, following on from his 2010 show Bully and 2011's Smiler.

My (5-star) review here. It pretty much covers it.


The Jane Austen Argument

One of my favourite Fringe acts/bands playing a longer set in a bigger venue, and showcasing material from their debut album, Somewhere Under the Rainbow – that's a good combination.

It was a bit different from what I'd expected – review here – but it was still a good show. And it was even better when I went back a second time a few days later; it felt a lot more settled. They had guest performances from the band Neon Bogart, and did a couple of songs with Mikki Ross (check out his MySpace page here), which were awesome.

Oh, and I forgot to note in my review that they also did a cover of Samson by Regina Spektor, which was awesome. And it's made me suspect that she's one of their influences, since there's at least one song with a passage that sounds vaguely Spektorish.


DeAnne Smith

There's just something adorable about DeAnne Smith. That, combined with the fact that she's clever and very, very funny, makes her one of my favourite standups.

In this show – “The Sweet Life” – she talks about the perils of going on a meditation retreat when you're the sort of person who just can't stop thinking; the first time getting a bikini wax (warning: if you're like me, you're about to experience hearing the word 'vulva' spoken out loud more times in five minutes than you've previously heard in your entire life put together) and what can happen when a date goes so horribly wrong you wind up in the emergency room.

Hilarious stuff.


And that's it so far; I'll be seeing a bunch more this weekend so will do another blog about what to see over the final few days of this year's Fringe.

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