Eddie Ray – Leader of the Resistance

Do you love The Terminator?  Well this show is perfect for you! Even if your heart doesn’t miss a beat when you think of the time-travelling cyborg, this is still the show for you. A comedy cabaret – Leader of the Resistance is the strange mix of social commentary and silliness that you don’t even realise you’re missing.

Eddie Ray’s preview performance Wednesday night was so much more than I expected. From the first minute he had his audience hooked and hanging onto his every word in spite of the sometimes semi-deranged look in his eye when he talks about being that guy, you know the one, the one who’s crazy enough not to have a mobile phone.

Starting off with an anecdote about childhood and a much simpler time, the show progresses, exploring the growing disconnect irl. We, the collective, are obsessed with our smart-phones; they rule our day-to-day lives and give us an excuse to ignore those around us. It’s no longer appropriate to say “hi” to the person next to you when you’re waiting for a bus and even a polite “is this seat taken?” is often ignored in favour of the screens in our hands.

Eddie gets into just what this show is about with the transformation of his character from that guy without a phone into that guy with a phone – highlighting the reliance many people have on this technology today. Think talking in hashtags, targeted advertising (knowing what you want before you do), and the plain and simple degradation of language.

While the Terminator references certainly make it fun and appealing, it isn’t just this show’s inter-textuality that makes it brilliant. Together with social commentary and the whims of a talented musician, Eddie builds his music with his voice, his guitar, and a loop station. While Eddie proclaimed his show was silliness about a serious topic, this is a showcase of skill and the fun you can have when an idea catches hold and you’re free to play and create.

Having held his audience captive for nearly the entire performance, I’d highly recommend seeing this comedy cabaret during its short run time.

4.5 / 5 stars


Words by Kayla Gaskell

Eddie Ray Leader of the Resistance is playing at The Mill’s The Breakout until March 7
For more information and tickets click here

Right Here, Right Now

Incredibly talented and immensely creative, Josh Belperio is someone I’m privilaged to have seen perform. Despite this show being raw and a little unpolished that only serves to highlight his creativity and ability to improvise on stage.

Having attended Belperio’s show 30,000 Notes last year, I was keen to find out more about this introspective individual. Having produced such an emotive show, I was keen to see one of his more comical shows with Scarred for Life. Instead, shortly before the launch of Fringe, I discovered that Belperio was taking a different route again, turning away from his previous two introspective shows to produce something a little more off-beat. Something to showcase his anger at everything that has occurred across our recent and quite devastating summer. This made me even more intrigued to know what Belperio has been up to and just what kind of show he would produce.

Going to Holden Street Theatres in the evening just after the sun has set is quite a special experience, one I aim to have at least once throughout the Fringe season. With a number of shows on simultaneously, there’s always a vibe of quite anticipation waiting.

We were led into a room much smaller than I’d expected where we found Belperio waiting beside a keyboard with the calm enthusiasm of an experienced performer. Since the previous year where he was presenting his notes and those left behind by his beloved Nonna, Belperio’s character had undergone a transformation. The clean-cut man of yesteryear replaced by someone clear in his rebellion.

Belperio started the show discussing the recent bush-fire crisis in song, moving on to his criticism of PM Scott Morrison (which is available to watch online here), and discussing the link between the bush-fire crisis and how LGBTQIA+ rights have been challenged by the religious discrimination bill.

The show itself was engrossing, breath-taking, even awe-inspiring. Belperio had homed in on his anger in the last few months, distilling it into something resembling cabaret but also a little more. Raw and, in places, improvised, this performance was both authentic and compelling .

While certainly presenting a relevant show, Belperio opens the discussion with his audience about the current political climate and the issues with media scapegoating the LGBTQIA+ community as a way to avoid climate action. It should be a time for us to come together to work on a solution; however, Morrison seems set on creating further division at a time when time is running out.

Drawing in new information to the discussion daily, Belperio’s improvisation for this show is impressive. Part cabaret, part honest discussion, this is a show you need to see to fully grasp. I would highly recommend seeing Belperio perform. He is such a talented person and I look forward to watching his career progress.

5 / 5 stars


 

Words by Kayla Gaskell

Right Here, Right Now is playing at Holden Street Theatres until February 28

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here

DON’T SHOOT! I’m a Vegan

DON’T SHOOT! I’m a Vegan  is a show about being sick of all the same jokes from your omnivorous friends. A cabaret-comedy opening up the conversation about what it means to be vegan. Welcoming vegans, non-vegans, and closet vegans alike, this is a something for everyone to enjoy.

Vegan Smythe is a rambunctious character, eager to share his experience of being vegan in a world which believes the term synonymous with being gluten free. For every vegan reading this, you’ve probably experienced this. Inclusive of soon-to-be-popular music such as “Where Do Your Get Your Protein?” and “Hunters Are Punts”, the show devolves from cabaret-comedy into something a little more thought provoking when we discuss the true purpose of milk and the beautiful hypocrisy of ‘all natural yoghurt’.

Smythe’s show isn’t there to preach pro-vegan messages, more so to get a good laugh out of a diverse crowd and make a mockery of the day-to-day misunderstandings that occur. At the beginning of the show Smythe acknowledges he’s going to overuse the word ‘vegan’, but how else could you present a show with vegan in the title?

A highly charismatic speaker, Smythe quickly sets you at ease. While you might at first question the black tear drop beneath his eye, his stage presence quickly reassures you that this eccentricity is not there to distract from a lack of talent, but to further compliment his character.

Filled with musical numbers, I couldn’t help but wonder: what if it were socially acceptable not only to talk but to sing about the “humane” slaughter of animals and the day-to-day gripes of being a vegan?

With a mixed audience of vegans and non-vegans, Smythe had us all in stitches by the end. Familiar in all the right ways, I think it’s fair to say just about anyone will get a kick out of this almost Peter Combe-esque comedy. I certainly think it’s the perfect-pick-me-up for the end of a long day.

5 stars


 

Words by Kayla Gaskell

Don’t Shoot I’m a Vegan is on at The Jade until March 10

For more information and to book tickets, click here