George Glass Proves the Existence of God

George Glass Proves the Existence of God successfully scratches the itches to life’s biggest questions. Is there a God? Can God hangout later? What’s God’s biggest weakness? Will the Hungry Caterpillar show up? Is there anyone working on an Eyes Wide Shut musical?

Adelaide’s own George Glass brings musicality, absurdity, and plenty of blood in this exceptional one night only performance. Kicking everything off the band (Nic Conway, Pud Hamilton, Chris Nenov, Alister McMichael, and Ruby Gazzola) appropriately introduces themselves in an extremely religious fashion. The Garden of Eden. Eve is a man with balloon breasts of biblical proportions, Adam is a woman in a muscle suit, the forbidden fruit is, of course, an inflatable red costume with matching face paint, and the snake (a morph-suit) slithers its way on stage.

With an intro like that, you know that what you’re about to see is no Sunday service.

George Glass Proves the Existence of God is full of running bits that never grow old. There’s a cleverly instigated checklist at the beginning of the show that provides topics or thematic elements (e.g. baby, cake, pussy cat, tie him up and throw him in the River Torrens), a drummer with a small bladder, and a literal hotline to God. The back and forth tongue and cheek between the band is seamless and never fails to get a laugh, together inhabiting the stage as if it were their home.

George Glass is foremost a rock-comedy showcase. Boasting an array of original songs (that you can listen to yourself on Spotify right now) that are catchy, full of energy, and of course humour. Particular songs such as Detective Andrews, God Is Dead, Christ Likes to Eat Pussy, and Secret Song are the highlights and bring to mind the works of Jack Black and Kyle Glass from Tenacious D. Cohesively the band are multi-talented, switching between instruments throughout the show as each member has their moment centre-stage. However, the first two songs were a little hard to decipher. Whether it be some slightly muddled vocals or technical difficulty, the lyrics weren’t entirely comprehensible, but the band soon found their footing and from there on out it was crystal clear.

George Glass also effortlessly involves the audience in their religious escapades. Members are utilised to form Caterpillars (of the hungry variety), dispose of very incriminating evidence, and to create a crowd surf that more or less turns into a polite yet wholesome carry.

If George Glass Proves the Existence of God resurrects itself for another performance in the future, make sure you see it.

4 1/2 stars


Words by Isaac Freeman

George Glass Proves the Existence of God‘s season has now concluded

For more information about George Glass visit his website

Larry Dean – Fudnut

‘Fudnut’ is Glaswegian slang for ‘idiot’ and in Fudnut Larry Dean attempts to dissect where and how he was a fudnut in his recent string of relationship woes. For Dean, owning his sadness is the key to dissipating it. Personally, I like to use copious amounts of rum, liberally applied as required, to own my sadness, but different strokes and all that.

His most recent meaningful relationship ended in a familiar way; break-up, reconciliation, discovery of infidelity, second break-up, couple of rebounds to take the edge off. Peppered with his trademark observations, Dean tends to go off on tangent after tangent before dragging the story back to the original narrative. It’s all really rather funny, his off-handed comments consistently hitting the mark. His penchant for impressions and accents also regularly enhances the story – it takes it all from routine stand-up to another level, a bloke who’s clearly very good at what he does and very comfortable being on stage telling you stories rather than firing jokes at you and demanding you laugh.

Whilst most of the material lands solidly, there’s a few rough patches where it’s missed the target. Although Dean expertly moves straight on, you can tell that some of the jokes need a bit of work. It doesn’t detract from the overall show though, with plenty of genuinely laugh-out-loud moments.

It’s all part of his very charming, somewhat inoffensive delivery. If that sounds like a backhanded compliment, it really isn’t – the ability to be funny and make jokes that don’t require punching down or being needlessly controversial is quite a skill than many comics couldn’t locate if they were the AFP raiding a journalist’s house.

Fudnut is critical introspection without being woe-is-me-please-feel-sad-for-me, and his casual but skilful stage presence underlines the overall quality of the show. He’ll regularly get lost in a story, stumble upon something that he finds tremendously amusing and just has to let us in on the joke, and in turn cracks himself up. Call me old-fashioned, but there’s something about watching a very talented comedian who clearly loves his job.

3.5 / 5 stars


Words by Mikey Della Porta

Larry Dean’s Fudnut is playing until March 15

For more information and tickets click here

The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus

The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus is exactly what the title suggests; a chaotic adult-only performance. With more f-bombs than a Tarantino movie, drugs, violence, and tricks it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Think Playschool meets the circus with a dash of, scratch that a lot of, cocaine.

Your two hosts for the evening are Adelaide’s Murder clown the sane and YouTube star TK. The two have a disastrously intentional rapport and as the show develops so does their descent into madness and their escalation into chaos.

The “circus” side of the show is clearly where it shines the brightest. Expect card tricks, fire-breathing, rope escapes and perverse animal balloon making. These elements are the ultimate crowd-pleasers and come with quite a lot of unique skill and humour. The children’s show element is akin to that of Sammy J’s Playground Politics in its use of adult themes presented to the audience as if they were five. The utilisation of this theme gives us one particular long-winded joke that works quite well. There does seem to be a bit of a peculiar imbalance between the two elements, but you can quite easily accept it as an oddly twisted showcase.

The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus brings familiar comedic stylings to that of The Eric Andre Show, Family Guy, and Monty Python albeit not at the same level. Certain jokes certainly overstay their welcome in their ambition. A “technical difficulty” drags out and its occasional moments of laughter ultimately become overshadowed by its enormity. A particular opening joke, unfortunately, matches the overly long formula and doesn’t necessarily land to well with audiences either. The closing joke involving a pie with a rather special ingredient doesn’t pay-off its effective set-up either. However, there are plenty of dead-pan moments, a political skit, and heated arguments that certainly do not escalate to where you expect them to (another bright moment). Ultimately there is great conflict within the show, as there are aspects that work brilliantly and others that don’t so much.

The obtuse aspects of this show are certainly commendable in taking great risks and ignoring the norm to deliver a unique experience. The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus’s absurdist and unconventional approach is more likely to stay in one’s mind than other Fringe shows this year. But you might feel as though it needs just a little bit more fine-tuning.

3.5 / 5 stars


Words by Isaac Freeman

The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus is showing again at Ancient World on March 12

For more information and to purchase tickets click here

AN EVENING WITH FIONA O’LOUGHLIN (& MICKEY D)

There’s a pretty good drinking game I indulge in these days. Requires the right people, though, can’t just be a bunch of random weirdos you’ve met at the bar – there’s other, less cerebral games for that scenario. What this game entails is you get progressively drunker, and begin every third sentence with, “Hey, do you remember when…?” Rather riotous fun, depending on the mix of people and alcohol. Fiona O’Loughlin and Mickey D – in this setting probably more Mick Dwyer than his alter ego – indulge in a fair bit of this game, sitting across from each other on a bare stage.

The two friends met twenty-odd years ago at Adelaide Fringe when both were barely rookies in the scene. Both have gone on to become veritable comedy royalty, having done the fringe circuit – Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, NZ, Montreal, and Edinburgh, in that order – for many years. As you’d expect, they’ve picked up one or two stories in that time. Dwyer acts as a foil for O’Loughlin, throwing out prompts and helping the show along; O’Loughlin freely admits that the show is vastly different every night. It’s not so much a retrospective or greatest hits album, released to eke out one last payday for either of them, but more two old mates shooting the breeze. There’s a little of bit of This is Your Life to it, but the nostalgia is quick and more a sub-text to the actual stories they both share. When they get on a roll over a certain story where they bounce off each other, regularly cracking each other up, it’s clearly purely organic.

Neither pull any punches regarding their sobriety either, both having battled addiction issues quite infamously in the past. Dwyer recounts a story where he came to in a Melbourne hotel room, having already missed a flight. His producer was reading him the riot act, telling him “Other comics can pull this sort of stunt, they’ve already got a profile, but you’re a nobody – pull your sh*t together!” Both have now got several dry years under their belts, and are clearly doing better for it.

O’Loughlin has announced that this will be her last Fringe, according to her she’s done everything and said everything she wanted to with comedy, and as far as a last hurrah goes, this is a pretty good way to do it. More victory lap than anything else, O’Loughlin’s definitely earned a chance to wave a trophy around and bask in acclamation.

4 / 5 stars


Words by Mikey Della Porta
An Evening with Fiona O’Loughlin is on until March 15

For more information and to purchase tickets click here

Only Human

The future of Robotics, the uBot, was revealed last night at the Only Human showing at RUMPUS in Bowden. The South Australian Young Artists (SAYArts) delivered a thrilling and relatable story that pays homage to the tropes of the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

Only Human is an ode to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. The show demonstrates that science goes too far, having the uBot learning quickly and despising humans due to their apparent inferiority to robots and A.I. The uBot, part of the next generation of robotics and A.I. technology, breaks the Three Laws of Robotics as set down by Isaac Asimov back in 1942.

Some of the main tropes from the Golden Age of Science Fiction are explored in Only Human with great detail. Issues with racism, accelerated advancement of technology, and human greed are discussed with subtlety. This subtleness is what I found one of the most enjoyable about the show. The creators have introduced these classic sci-fi themes to a wider audience in this show. One example is how someone thinks crocs are bad because others on the internet say they are, this shows how we mould our thoughts around what others say without experiencing them ourselves.

The cast of this show is made up entirely of young artists who did a fantastic job within this performance, carrying a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm bringing their characters to life. The human and the robot character who later fall in love were two notable actors who did a great job. I related to their character on a personal side as the character reminded me a lot of myself, through their love to overexplain everything and awkwardness with human interaction.

Another moment of the performance that is memorable is the dance in the last third of the show. They all dance along to Flight of the Conchords’ ‘Robots’, fitting the robotic theme of the show, this choice allows the performers to take advantage of this catchy, funny song.

Only Human is a well-written performance that is funny, thought provoking and filled with references galore. It explores the idea of science and technology going too far with an effective narrative that is deep but subtle. It is a show you must see if you are into any of the above-mentioned themes of science fiction. Even if you aren’t, this is still an enjoyable show in an equally enjoyable venue.

4 / 5 stars


Words by Cameron Lowe

Only Human is showing until March 1

Tickets to the final two performances are now sold out

For more information please click here

Grace Notes: Grace O’Malley, Irish rebel, pirate queen

In a captivating feat of storytelling, Jennifer Liston entrances her audience with a combination of spoken word and song. Liston’s talent for drawing in her audience is impressive as she tells the tale of a distant ancestor, the legendary Irish rebel and pirate queen Grace O’Malley (Grainne Mhaol).

Born in the 16th century, O’Malley’s life was different to that of the typical female archetype of the time. A born leader and a wily adversary, O’Malley’s life was ruled by her love for the sea. Having devotedly learned the art of sailing and clan rule from her father, O’Malley returned to her clan after the death of her husband, taking on the role of clan chief and maintaining their reputed strength on both land and sea. With her education steeped in Brehon law, O’Malley’s character is presented as being a highly moral individual both for the good of her family and her clan.

One of the highlights of this show is perhaps the explanation of Brehon law, a cultural norm of the time which bleeds into modernity. Together with explaining the concept and telling us of O’Malley’s afront at this law being ignored, she also graces us with a haunting tune that will stay with her audience for some time yet. Even now I can still hear the echoes of that chorus.

Liston transforms the atmosphere of the Grande Room in Gilbert Street hotel into something almost mystical. With the help of white and red lighting, subtle costume ‘changes’, and the skill of switching between song, narration, and poetry the audience is quickly drawn into this entirely captivating performance.

Born from scraps of history, legend, and a touch of innate intuition, this performance is telling in the way stories can inspire new works of art. If Liston hadn’t heard O’Malley’s story from Sister Peter back in school and if she hadn’t talked with her mother about it after, who knows if Liston would have come so far as to perform this particular show at this particular Fringe Festival far from the wilds of her Irish homelands.

4 / 5 stars


Words by Kayla Gaskell

Grace Notes: Grace O’Malley, Irish rebel, pirate queen is running until March 4

For more information click here

Fleurieu Films at The Fringe

This year finds the regularly occurring Fleurieu Film Festival taking a leave of absence. Known for providing a platform for filmmakers and their stories, Fleurieu Films at The Fringe showcases previous winners with a compilation of ten short works from the last four years.

Below are a series of short takes on the best the evening had on display.

Breaking Barriers (2018)
Director: Dave Wade

‘Breaking Barriers’ is equally hilarious and thought-provoking. A group of people follow a rather miseducated tour guide through the almost post-apocalyptic landscapes of the Great Barrier Reef. With sharp writing and comedic timing that works almost flawlessly, the film has a nostalgic nature and longing for lost beauty. The film is akin to the works of Taika Waititi in its balance of tone and playful dialogue, finding an ideal mixture of heart and humour. The run time is tight but effective at 3 minutes and 19 seconds, yet some audiences may desire just a little more.

4 1/2 stars

 
Healey (2018)

Director: David Parkinson

‘Healey’ is an ode to both Parkinson’s father and the rare and exceptionally unique Austin Healey 100S. Chronicling his first glimpse as a boy, owning it as an adult, and cherishing it as an older man the tribute is simple but touching. With no dialogue, ‘Healey’ speaks through looks, music, and exceptional visuals. The cinematography is gorgeous, the driving sequences in particular ooze of style and ferocity. There is also effective use of the super 8 film medium that provides a crackling warm feel (bringing a personal home-made essence in the best way possible). Upon initial viewing, ‘Healey’ came across almost like an advertisement in parts, but can alternately be read as a touching tribute to a father-son relationship.

4 stars

 

 

The First Place, The Last Place (2017)

Director: Phillip Storer

A passionately made documentary that showcases the disgraceful handling of a proposed nuclear waste site on the land of an Aboriginal community. The land’s significance to the Adnyamathanha people is brought to us through a local Elder, Regina McKenzie. Her passion and honesty as a storyteller is the true highlight of the film. The sites significance is also viewed from the lens of scholars, providing insights into its historical significance and the detrimental impact the proposed site would have on the environment. ‘The First Place, The Last Place’ lays out the reality of the situation and the lack of communication with the Adnyamathanha people.

5 stars

 

You and Me (2016)

Director: Richard Coburn

Charmingly executed, ‘You and Me’ is full of imagination and childhood innocence. The film follows an older sister helping her younger brother get to sleep with a bedtime story. Precise in its intentions and style, the writing is whimsical and comes across in a Dr Seuss type of way. Its themes of siblings and sweetness are heart-warming. Storybook like qualities not only come from the writing but from animation too. An array of creatures great and small find their way on screen to create even more visual appeal to its surrounds. A definite crowd-pleaser.

4 1/2 stars


Words by Isaac Freeman

 

Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale’s Feelgood Factory

If you’re planning on going to Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale’s Feelgood Factory in Gluttony this Fringe, bring someone gutsy with you, someone who likes to perform, and nudge them toward the stage when volunteers are asked to climb on up.

As Hale tells his audience at the beginning of his ‘Feelgood Factory’ show, hypnotism isn’t not mind-control or magic and he, as the hypnotist, really hasn’t any power at all. Hale is simply a guide. It’s the volunteers from the audience who have the authority to make the night a success. As a former ‘Crap Elvis’ impersonator travelling around the world and man-who-was-tied-to-the-bonnet-of-a-car-and-driven-through-fire and as a DJ in Ibiza for a six-month stint, Hale knows just how far enthusiasm to have a crack at things can get you.

No doubt that understanding what hypnosis really is takes the childlike wonder out of it because, honestly, it’s rather mundane. People fall in and out of various states of hypnosis every day. We ‘zone out’ while we drive a common route to work then suddenly ask ourselves, ‘How did I just get here?’ We meditate while doing yoga and sometimes, if we consider ourselves experts at self-hypnosis, we can get ourselves into a transitive state, preferably in places like an Ashram in India if we have heaps of money.

So what about the people we’ve seen on television or even on stage who, at the snap of a finger, can turn into an ape or an opera singer then, at another snap of the finger, will be asleep standing up? They’re either trained to do so for the audience, hence the whole thing is fake, or they’re really game participants.

Our show had people giving orders in screechy voices and singing Jon Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’ and substituting ‘prayer’ for a fruit or vegetable. They weren’t faking. They were in ultra-relaxed states when given the instructions and then, when they were ‘snapped out of it’ they were the friends and family members we know and love who don’t really mind being the centre of attention. Could this be you or someone you know? Then you need to join Matt Hale in the Empire Tent for Fringe. He’ll be the one cracking up, getting his body right into it and making sure a stage-full of people join him. It’s what you want from Fringe: a sixty-minute party.

3.5 / 5 stars


Words by Heather Taylor Johnson

Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale’s Feelgood Factory is showing in the Empire Tent at Gluttony until 15 March

For more information and to book tickets click here

JONATHAN PIE: THE FAKE NEWS TOUR

A few years ago, Jonathan Pie racked up over one hundred million views with a profanity-laced tirade about a certain someone getting elected President of the United States. The general gist of this rant was not that he was annoyed at Trump’s victory, it was his white-hot visceral rage at the other side for becoming what they’d become – elitist, aloof, unwilling to engage with people holding opposing views or ideals. Of course, being a lefty he was also rather unimpressed with the President-elect, but it was more a case of how could they have let this happen? Four years on, not much has changed.

His latest tour is on the back of his fictional firing by the BBC – Pie is in fact played by comedian & actor Tom Walker, with occasional help from Andrew Doyle – for making a pretty reprehensible statement that he freely admits he really shouldn’t have done, or at least made sure the camera wasn’t still transmitting. As far as excuses for swanning about Australia in the middle of summer go, it’s a pretty good one. Bit of a working holiday; enjoying the sunshine, getting up on stage for a handful of nights, and giving the people what they want – dick jokes, tearing shreds off of Tories, big-‘L’ Liberals, small-L liberals, Labor, Labour, Republicans, Democrats, and some blunt opinions about cancel culture, the professionally offended, and of course, wantonly attacking just about everything else, especially Twitter. By god he hates Twitter.

Pie maintains that the media, specifically the 24-hour news cycle that was normalised post-9/11 and fuelled by instantaneously published ‘opinions’ on Twitter, has accelerated the moral decay of political discussion to the point that now almost immediately in any situation a vast majority of people have adopted the ‘Brexit Face’ – where they just glaze over and stop listening, waiting only for the other person to stop talking. Kicking off with the origins of Brexit, the lecture – not a stand-up routine, he’s at pains to explain – gradually morphs into a diatribe where he questions how we’ve gotten to this point; climate change, crackpot world leaders, divisiveness, and identity politics.

Having previously admitted that Pie was a manner in which to vent when Walker was struggling for acting jobs, the character has become a version of The Thick of It Malcolm Tucker, if Tucker was secretly a bleeding-heart lefty who could accept that reducing his carbon footprint and being a bit more open-minded about things could actually be beneficial. Happily swinging a rather precise axe at everything he deems a worthy target, The Fake News Tour is equal parts Pie’s/Walker’s utter despair at the current state of affairs and his bright hope for the future.

4 / 5 stars


Words by Mikey Della Porta

Jonathan Pie – The Fake News Tour was on for one night only at the Royalty Theatre.

Promise and Promiscuity

The reimagining and retelling of a treasured work of literature can be a risky endeavour; New Zealand writer and performer Penny Ashton courageously took this plunge in her one-woman-show Promise and Promiscuity. Ashton describes this piece of theatre as collaboration between herself and Jane Austen, the 18th century writer who gifted the world with texts such as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion. Ashton engages with Austen’s timeless values and narratives to bring us the character of Elspeth, a young woman battling against the gender obligations and expectations of her time. Using wit, song and dance, Ashton stages a charming and utterly hilarious revision of Austen’s iconic works.

Ashton was a riot of energy on stage as she jumped so precisely between the portrayal of various entertaining characters who were all exaggerated depictions of classic Austen personalities. Ashton’s physicality, vocal talents and unwavering commitment made such characters overwhelmingly comical. Paired with sharp staging, all character distinctions easily identifiable.

Songs were scattered throughout the 70-minute production, adding an additional layer of amusement and ridiculousness to the piece. Ashton also interacted with her audience, introducing us to an eager participant, Mr Lock, who hand a grand time dancing across the stage with our performer. Ashton’s talents in improvisation were on display in these moments as the inclusion of the audience only added humour and appeared organic and comfortable.

The aptitude of Ashton’s writing shone in her inclusion of contemporary pop-culture references: although Austen’s work is timeless, Ashton made it relatable and relevant. This was not limited to Austen’s advocacy against gender conventions, although droll comments on the long-standing gender pay gap were slipped in. Ashton also provided references to Fifty Shades of Grey, Kim Kardashian, Kmart, Donald Trump, and Billy Joel, with this list is only scraping the surface. Intertwining 18th century life with our current day perspectives highlighted how little this world and humanity has really changed: we are as hilariously absurd now as we were then.

The themes in Pride and Prejudice will never get old; hence, Promise and Promiscuity is built on an intertextual solid foundation. Although this piece is rooted in Austen’s work, it must be noted that the enjoyment of this show is not exclusive to those who are well-read or obsessive fans of Austen’s literature. Promise and Promiscuity is widely accessible, cheeky and uninhibited, particularly in the way it draws from the current day zeitgeist. Ashton, her chummy friendship with Austen, and her delightful production provides all audience members with the opportunity to have a hearty chuckle.

4.5 / 5 stars


Words by Michelle Wakim

Promise and Promiscuity is playing at Gluttony’s Masonic Lodge until March 1

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here