Adelaide Fringe 2016: Week 1

Improv Against Humanity (12/02/16 at The Producers Warehouse)

A show with an excellent method but not the best ingredients. Based on the popular party game Cards Against Humanity, an improv troupe took to the stage armed with audience suggestions to shape their performances. Though given plenty of potential thanks to the audience’s inevitably inappropriate choices, the cast sadly didn’t make the most of these. Though a talented group of people with varying but collectively quirky tastes in humour that had the audience on the odd occasion chuckling, the interaction between them felt clunky and some scenes went on much longer than necessary. I’ve no doubt however that with more experience in front of a live audience, this show could be well refined by these six actors still finding their funk as an ensemble.

 

 

Cult (12/02/16 at The Garden of Unearthly Delight – Umbrella Revolution)

Performing in sync with projections of movies with cult followings such as Pulp Fiction, Beetlejuice, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Jaws, a group made up predominantly of drag queens pay tribute to, parody and at times painfully ruin your favourite moments of your favourite films. During the 90 minutes of madness, I was confused, disturbed, impressed, but all around amused from start to finish. Not for those of sensitive dispositions to sexual and violent content, but definitely for those with a love for the creepy, the crazy and the cult classics we all grew up with. No matter what side of the fence you fall on, prepare yourself for a whole lot of weird and wacky.

 

 

Rhino Room Late Show (13/02/16 at Rhino Room)

As one of the longest running late shows of the Adelaide Fringe since 2002, I walked in with high expectations of this particular event and was not disappointed. With the Rhino serving up an excellent line-up of comedians of differing age, gender, culture and humour, there was something to make every (open-minded and obtuse) audience member laugh. This is one 2-hour show that could never be called boring. Highly recommend to those who wanted a sampling of what’s on offer in comedy in the Adelaide Fringe!

 

 

The Bookbinder (14/02/16 at Bakehouse Theatre – Studio)

A simple one-man show that proves that no matter how small a cast or space, if you have all the right production elements you can create something remarkable. Together, superb acting (or rather narrating), ingenious use of light and shadow, puppets, props and paper art to create atmosphere, an enchanting musical score, and an elementary but engaging story makes adults feel like children again being told their favourite fable before bed but by a far better storyteller than their parents. This is a family friendly play for those who love dark fairy tales and crafty theatre; if you identify yourself as one such person, I urge you to see it before its season

 

 

The Escape Hunt Experience: Murder At The Winery (15/02/16 at The Escape Hunt Experience)

Designed for the lovers of murder mysteries such as myself, this was one of the most exciting, engaging, challenging interactive experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life. Charged with a classic ‘whodunit?’ investigation, players are locked in a room with 1 hour to find clues, solve riddles and puzzles, and ultimately crack the case and escape the room, this is an experience that will keep you thinking and on your toes from the second the countdown begins to the second it times out. And the best part? It’s here all year round! If you love Cluedo or Criminal Minds, you will love this!

 

 

Red Ink (15/02/16 at Tuxedo Cat – Pereske Pavillion)

A modest but important piece of theatre where the role of everyday people in extreme social situations is examined. The exceptionally well-written story of an often-ordinary occurrence that takes place in a supermarket that turns into turmoil is seen through the eyes of the four people involved. The actors portray each one of their characters with professional precision, recounting their individual experiences to the audience with a rawness that allows the production to go beyond just being a production and instead resemble reality. The simple set and sparse but clever use of lighting and sound allow these performances to truly be the focal point. Emotionally escalating for the audience as the action onstage does, this is a show that will engage you, enrage you, sadden you and see you questioning the part you play in our society long after the house lights come up.

 

 

Sammy J and Randy Land (17/02/16 at The Garden of Unearthly Delight – Corona Theatre)

A silly story, song and dance, sexual jokes, and absolute stupidity all around make up this show by Australia’s favourite skinny idiots. Telling the tale of the duo’s venture in creating a ‘family friendly’ amusement park and all their resultant misadventures, this original musical leaves audience members tickled pink (or rather purple) as they struggle for air between gags. These two must be especially commended for their incredible ability to laugh at themselves when things go awry, such as malfunctioning props or muddled lines. If you love revenge plots, aggressive animals, indecent exposure, and a classic bromance, this is a must-see for you!

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The Umbrella Plays (18/02/16 at Bakehouse Theatre – Main Theatre)

This is a cute, comedic, crazy, cleverly conceptualised collection of short plays, all connected by the recurring motif of an umbrella, skilfully directed, designed and performed by a talented group of 20-somethings. Each actor portrays a handful of varying characters with presence and precision you’d expect from professionals rather than the amateurs most of them are. For every audience member there is a story to enjoy and a character to connect to. A show highly recommended for those with a love for well written and acted theatre, and a short attention span!

 

Words by Georgia Brass.