Rouge

Rouge, presented by Gluttony and Highwire Entertainment, incorporates beautiful acrobats, incredible physique, and tantalizing burlesque to create a show just as suggestive and blush-inducing as the powder it was named after.

The line for Rouge was long. Squished into our seats, the anticipation was thick. We were not disappointed, it was absolutely spectacular.

There were a number of role reversals between traditional men and women’s gender roles threaded throughout the performance. Where there would usually be more of a focus on men and women dancing or doing acts together, there were men dancing with men, women with women, and women leading men. Huge male acrobats on the shoulders of a female, women with whips and men in underwear are just a few of the surprising things that make Rouge stand out.

With amazingly spectacular costumes, flashing lights and an incredible opera singer, Rouge engaged the senses. From the very moment you enter the tent, you’ll feel at home with the boisterous and cheeky performers. Engaging and friendly, their characters will keep you laughing throughout the show.

With the slogan ‘circus for grown-ups’, you can guess that the sexual references and nudity might be prevalent; and you would be right. Anyone who would like a good time and a good laugh, book in to see Rouge. Perfect for a good night out with friends who will be able to chuckle and gasp along with you.

Five stars from me!


Words by Sarah Ingham

Greek Comedian of the Year

Greek Comedian of the Year, presented at the Howling Owl, Griffins Hotel and the Austral, was one of the most enjoyable and engaging pieces of comedy at the Fringe this season I’ve seen. George Zacharopoulos, the self-titled “Greek Comedian of the Year”, stood before audiences night after night sharing stories from his upbringing in Kalamata, Greece, and his experiences living in the UK for the last fifteen years. This show had everything from embarrassing childhood stories to circumcision, dating with children, and cultural conflicts.

The way Zacharopoulos’ conversed with audience was charming and effortless, enhancing every aspect of his material; he made sure to identify the Greeks in the room, and those of other cultures – Lebanese, Italians and Vietnamese at the show I attended. For those without an ethnic background, this show will give you a hilarious and honest insight into the quirks of Greek culture. For those with any form of ethnic background, this show will ring home loud and true, and you will find yourself relating to our charismatic comedian from the get-go. You will walk away from this show feeling like you took a trip to your country of origin, or you dropped into a family dinner.

Zacharopoulo’ writing and material had depth, and the humour was witty and perceptive; this combined with his relaxed presence on stage, made for a comfortable and amusing evening that reminded me greatly of the enjoyment I feel when watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

George Zacharopoulos, if you are reading this, I was the Lebanese reviewer in the front row at one of your last shows at the Austral. I have been harping on about your show ever since, and I will be advocating for people to see you perform on your return to Adelaide next year!

4.5 stars


Words by Michelle Wakim

So French So Naughty

On Wednesday evening, La Buvette, a delightful venue found in an alley off Hindley Street, welcomed in a jolly crowd to So French, So Naughty – a French swearing class. We were ushered into an intimate room at the back of this bar, with exposed brick and candles scattered about; the vibe was warm, the wine was in audiences’ hands, and everyone was ready to get down and dirty with the language.

Our charming teacher, Arnaud, took the space with a slide show by his side. Within minutes, we all knew that the next hour would be a good laugh, as Arnaud’s humour was witty, organic and accessible for all audiences.

This concept of teaching us to swear in French is incredibly clever as Australians seem to have a deep-set interest in rattling off every swear word we can get our hands on. We are always trying to expand our already colourful language, so it is no surprise that people flock to learn how to swear in the world’s sexiest language. It was rather strange to see a room full of working adults and professionals engaging in such a light-hearted and sometimes vulgar activity. But as Arnaud reiterated with a clip from the Matrix, ‘swearing in French is like wiping your arse with silk’, hence the sophisticated audience.

The pleasure and humour of this show didn’t just come from learning our most common swear words, but from finding out the odd and humorous English translations of French insults. For instance, we learnt phrases that translated to ‘droopy bum’, ‘old windbag’, ‘silly buffoon’ and ‘more piss then sperm’. As you may find out, the French also have a unique obsession with broomsticks and working them into their insults. It was such fun to hear a room full of adults chuckle to such subject matter.

We finished the night with a jolly singalong to a song that is often belted out when drunk. The entire experience was incredibly unique, and left you feeling jovial and lively at the end of the evening.

I cannot speak of this show, or this general concept, with higher praise. It will have you laughing, and for a moment, it transports you out of the quaint little room that pairs so well with imagery of wine, to a place of fun and adventure – almost the same thrill you get from travelling.

In summary, the French language is very sexy, Arnaud was very entertaining, and this show was very good.

So French, So Naughty was presented by Sips and Giggles, who pride themselves on providing the adults out there with an escape from their serious and monotonous working lives. All year round they offer swearing and flirting classes in French, so if you can’t get to the Fringe to see this show, hit the group up another time of year. If you are looking to attend, I would highly recommend you get in quick – their shows sell out hard and fast!


4.5 Stars

Words by Michelle Wakim

To find out more and book tickets, click here.

Singin’ in the Pain: A Disability and Chronic Illness Cabaret

The premise of Justass League’s Singin’ in the Pain is innovative. It’s a burlesque show based around disability, chronic pain and mental health being two disabilities covered. Like the disabilities, the acts themselves were diverse which included fan dancing, singing, and more.

The performance was deeply personal, the performers spoke of their pain, struggle, and trauma. Be it through singing about mental health or society’s views on what a disability should be, it was an incredibly emotive performance. They opened up about their vulnerabilities and themselves to a wider audience. It was beautiful and empowering to see this unfold.

The stand out performer for me was US disability advocate and burlesque performer Jacqueline Box. Performing two acts, Box gave performances that were jaw-droppingly sexy both from her wheelchair and the ground. As she danced, comments from non-disabled members of society appeared on a screen behind her. Some of the comments included were “You don’t look disabled” and “Have you tried walking around?”. She screamed about her trauma and society’s views on her disability while continuing to dance and strip down. Having a disability myself, I connected with her words as they hit close to home.

Another standout performer was Madam Savage, who spoke of chronic pain and diabetes. Her portrayal showcased how having these disabilities has affected her life, right to the bedroom. She even incorporates her daily diabetic treatment into the act. This was both an interesting and unique twist to the performance.

A must-see performance at the Fringe, Singin’ in the Pain conveys so much emotion and trauma, spreading a message of empowerment to the people with disabilities viewing it. Singin’ in the Pain is a unique, wonderfully crafted burlesque performance.

 


4.5 stars

Words by Cameron Lowe.

To find out more and book tickets, click here.

Greg Byron in Poetic Licence

Poetic Licence starts suddenly, with Greg Byron getting into the show immediately. He greets the audience and interacts with them throughout, aided by the Treasury 1860 front bar’s cosy setting.
The show covers topics as varied as Donald Trump, Margaret Thatcher, gun control, and Brexit – while still finding room to take a brief poetic detour to encompass Doctor Who. Byron tests spoken word limits in a variety of direction as he shows humour and seriousness as needed to discuss important current affairs.
It’s a treat for the audience to be directed through so many topics and engaged so fully. Byron effortlessly communicates with the audience and though audience involvement may be a thing of terror for a great many, here you are in the hands of someone who knows exactly how far to take it and exactly how best to elicit the desired responses.
The performance was fast-paced, kept the audience’s interest, and when it was over left everyone wanting more. With a great variety of subjects and an interesting take on them all, this performance feels too quickly finished, and when that is the only criticism, you know the show is a good one.
Byron shows his talent in wordplay and pushing language to achieve things both insightful and impressive, often at once. He eschews expectation and can take the audience down an unexpected pathway to the delight of all in the audience. He seems to go well beyond simple wordplay and achieve some sort of word experiment that never fails to yield something worthwhile.
If you are interested in trying a spoken word performance and not yet done so, Greg Byron’s Poetic Licence is an excellent place to start.

 


Words by Liam McNally

5 stars

Greg Byron in Poetic Licence is playing at Treasury 1860 until March 17, except Fridays. Tickets available here.

Peter Goers in Look Ma, No Hans!

On an impressively hot day in the middle of Adelaide’s latest heat wave, Peter Goers took to the stage to tell the audience a series of inter-linking stories that prove amusing, moving, and always engaging.
Goers is a master storyteller with an almost unrivalled ability when it comes to stories that feel intrinsically Adelaide-focused. There’s no show at the Adelaide Fringe this year that is more fulfilling of the ‘Adelaide’ part of the name.
The show feels fundamentally like sitting down to hear the yarns of a friend over a coffee or a beer. There’s something very engaging, and very personal about the way Goers goes about his show that feels essentially inviting. It feels more like an hour of sharing than a performance as Goers tells stories of first- and second-hand experiences.
It’s a simple format, built of a number of stories Goers moves effortlessly between and it benefits from that. It doesn’t need anything additional. This is an audience with Peter Goers and if you know anything about Goers’s radio show and other appearances, an additions would an unwelcome distraction.
Anyone who can hold an audience’s interest across one hour in the punishing Adelaide heat is clearly a master of their craft. We’re treated to stories about books, about a swimming pool in Turkey, and he takes time to add a discussion of war and those who have to endure it.
The show skews towards the older generations, as Goers makes mention of, but it never does so in a way that would alienate younger audiences. People of all ages should appreciate this.
At the performance’s conclusion, Goers greeted everyone as they left. It goes further to make clear how much a consummate professional he is. It also reinforces the feeling that we have been treated to an intimate hour of story-telling by a welcome friend. Look Ma, No Hans is a rewarding, generous offering from a very Adelaidean performer.

 


Words by Liam McNally

4.5 stars.

Peter Goers in ‘Look Ma, No Hans’ is playing at the Holden Street Theatres every Saturday and Sunday until the end of the Adelaide Fringe. Tickets available here.

Under the Covers

Under the Covers is presented by our home-grown adult circus school Zigzag Circus. The performers were met with an enthusiastic and supportive audience, contributing to the warm vibe of the Empyrean, a charming circus tent.

I am always truly fascinated by physical theatre and I have a great deal of respect for those with the skills and capabilities to perform in remarkable ways with their bodies. This applies to Under the Covers as students from Zigzag displayed raw talent with dances, ribbon routines, balancing atcs, and aerial arts. The individual showcases of talent were impressive and entertaining, and the students had appeared to be granted artistic license and freedom over their work, resulting in a show full of integrity.

Under the Covers as a title holds double meaning, as it is not only reference to the show’s description as a ‘late night pyjama party’, but it is making comment on the fact that the routines are performed to the best and worst cover songs of our time. This is an appealing idea, but if audiences had not read up on the show and had no prior recognition of the connection between cover songs and performance acts, this cheeky layer of Under the Covers may have been lost. It would have been good to have a reference to the covers within the performance.

As a collective production Under the Covers could have been smoother and more refined as there was the occasional technical hiccup or display of nerves. But credit should be given to the performers’ commitment to their artistic endeavours. This was also the ensembles’ first Fringe show, yet they generally handled themselves with control and composure. I take my hat off to Zigzag Circus; they are made up of a group of performers who rehearse once a week on top of life’s other commitments. We need to keep supporting these local acts as with greater experience and exposure in festivals like the Fringe, these already enjoyable shows with continue to grow, the fine-tuning and polishing will become more prominent, and the professionalism will be enhanced.

Overall, Under the Covers is an amusing show to add to your Fringe calendar.


Three stars

Under the Covers is playing at Gluttony until March 3.

Words by Michelle Wakim

By a Thread

By a Thread is a beautiful acrobatic show that emphasises the importance of teamwork with an elegance that I’ve never seen before. For an hour-long show, the performers captivate the entire audience with just one very long rope and two pulleys. Having the rope suspended with two sides of the rope dangling from the roof, it echoes simple symmetry that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to watch.

I was drawn in by the playful nature of the team, how they all worked together to create such anxiety-inducing acrobatic acts. Fun, sharp and comedic at times, you can see the pleasure and adrenaline on the gymnast’s faces as they fly, scurry, and fall around the stage. I was lucky to be sitting close enough to see the sweat on their backs and the concentration on their faces.

From young to experienced, the seven performers put their lives on the line and in the trust of one another to show off their skills on the rope. The show is an incredible testament to the human body and the feats that it can accomplish.

With music varying from orchestral masterpieces to modern techno along with a mesmerising light show, the seasoned professionals play the rope like second nature.

Overall, an entertaining act nestled back of Gluttony in an airconditioned tent. Absolutely anyone can go and see this wholesome show and leave with a full heart and a smile on your face.

Four stars from me!


Words by Sarah Ingham

By a Thread is showing at Gluttony until March 17.

Mutating Roots

The main performer of Mutating Roots is Japanese Australian circus artist Mayu Muto. She uses dance and acrobatics to weave her story of cultural loss, gendered assumptions, and becoming cross cultural.

Muto’s physical performances are amazing. Her dance and acrobatic skills were mesmerizing. Watching her spin around and descend I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Muto’s performance was complimented by her incorporation of a wooden cage. This cage helped convey feelings of helpless-ness and being trapped.

Dressing up as a Japanese schoolgirl was another highlight, it offered both a comedic relief while also discussing a wider issue in terms of gender stereotype, particularly with Japanese women.

Although kept to a minimum, the dialogue that was used was powerful. They spoke of fear and anger that the performer had encountered. Those few words conveyed so much feeling and emotion while only being extremely short.

While I did find the show enjoyable, I had a lot of trouble with following the overall story. I found myself lost throughout the performance and wasn’t sure I knew what was happening. Unfortunately, I only grasped the story two-thirds the way through which was disappointing.

Mutating Roots is an intriguing performance. Muto has some heart-stoppingly amazing dances and her spoken word section is well done. However, my confusion as to what was happening did dampen my experience.

 


Mutating Roots is playing at Gluttony’s Empire Theatre until March 3, to find out more follow the link.

3.5 Stars

Words by Cameron Lowe

Eurydice

Set in ‘The Sunken Garden’ at Holden Street Theatres, Eurydice is an intimate performance that feels like a story being read only for you. Written by Alexander Wright with music by Phil Grainger, Eurydice shows a modernisation of the Greek mythological tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. The performance is a prequel to their sister-show Orpheus, focusing instead on Eurydice’s side of the story as it intertwines the lives of goddesses, superheroes and everyday people.

Serena Manteghi plays Leni/Eurydice and Casey Jay Andrews rises to the task of playing the remaining ensemble of characters: mother, lovers, old man, goddess. Manteghi and Andrews switch between dialogue and narrative storytelling and become their characters effortlessly. These women deliver a beautiful spoken word performance and act with deep emotion, accompanied by music that perfectly sets the tone and songs that amusingly complement the modern setting of this tale.

Perhaps the most touching part of what is in every aspect a beautiful play, Manteghi and Andrews shared the stage harmoniously and were genuinely thrilled to be performing together. While courtyard is small, the energy is high.

The stripped-down nature of the set allows focus to be placed on the dialogue, which is necessary, as the play reads in a poetic and almost a stream of consciousness manner; in rising and falling waves of emotion – and you wouldn’t want to miss a word.

Eurydice is a wonderfully written story about forging your own path and becoming your own hero. It is a unique and uplifting performance that takes an ancient tale and makes it its own.


Four stars

Eurydice is showing at Holden Street Theatres until March 3, and again from March 12-16, for more information and to purchase tickets follow the link.

Words by Kirsty van de Veer