Femme Fatales – A Dark Fetish Freakshow!

Red Hot Pinups’ Femme Fatales: A Dark Fetish Freakshow brought the thrills of the kink world to a bustling room of attendees at the Duke of Brunswick on Friday night.

I was really taken aback by the performances in this show. The first act, titled Crush does a fantastic job representing that innocence of first crushes. Here, the main character dances with red feathers dressed in black. It is the only performance where there is no removal of clothing, which enhances the innocence. Perhaps the best part is at the end of it, the storyteller then begins to speak of their first forays into the thoughts of dark fetish. It comes so suddenly and is quickly retreated, following that adolescent feeling of trying to “fit in”.

The other performances throughout Femme Fatales only continued to build upon exploring the world of kink further. Members of the audience were invited to take part into the character’s exploration, which is represented through extravagant dances by numerous performers. The costumes were mesmerising and were influenced by pop culture icons like Bettie Page and the Bride of Frankenstein. The choice in music too made the performances even more raunchy and thrilling. A couple of these performances used jazz music, which combined with their 1940s – 1950s clothes, made for a thrilling show.

Perhaps the biggest take-away from this show is the positive messages it conveys. The performers were all different ages and physiques, showing beauty is more than what society claims it to be. The show promotes the idea of positive body image, and for women to embrace themselves for who they truly are.

Other themes explored include consent and respect. This is revealed following the main character’s story. She speaks of how the men whom she’s dated in the past have seen her as a “freak” because of her dark fetishes. There was cheering from the crowd when she says how she leaves them and embraces her inner freak instead. This, as I could only imagine, would have been empowering for many members in the audience.

One of the disadvantages with this particular venue was the absence of a stage, which made it hard to view what was going on at times. This show ran slightly overtime, which saw some people leave before it finished. Fortunately, this did little to dampen the whole experience overall. The performers passion and desire to entertain was clear through their level of professionalism even when things weren’t going to plan.

Femme Fatales: A Dark Fetish Freakshow was a thrilling performance from start to finish. I was captivated by the beauty of the performers and their acts, along with how they delivered the themes of consent and respect. It is an empowering show which allows you to embrace your true self.

4.5 / 5 stars


Words by Cameron Lowe
Femme Fatales – A Dark Fetish Freakshow! is showing until March 14

For more information and to purchase tickets click here

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

Bend and Snap

What drew me to Bend and Snap was the way that it was sold to me. Three words: contortion romantic comedy. What was this strange genre, and how it would meld together to create a Fringe show? It was something I needed to see, and I am very grateful that I did.

I usually do not give out five stars. This show wasn’t Circus Soleil, but it deserves every single star I gave it.

The Café Outside the Square, a small café with a pay it forward program that feeds the homeless, is the perfect venue for the wholesome show. I did get lost on the way there; however, having the venue distanced from the Garden of Unearthly Delights and Gluttony meant that the atmosphere was less distracting and more focussed on the singular show I was there to see. The cosy café venue means that the audience can see just how much fun the actors were having performing and join in on the gleeful cheer. That is the magic of Adelaide at Fringe time, anywhere can be a Fringe venue.

A fun, down to earth comedy, Bend and Snap is a humorous show with amazing talent and stretchy bodies. Incorporating moments from popular film and theatre productions, there are scenes that will have you in giggles, gasping or gaping at great feats. Use your imagination to see the show’s minimalist set, and watch the actors themselves become tables, chairs and even the ocean.

I heard once in a Fringe show, that you should clap if someone on the stage is doing something that you cannot do. With this in mind, I was clapping for the whole hour length of the show.

I have given Bend and Snap five stars for many reasons. If you have a jolly sense of humour, like to see the human body bend into bizarre shapes, or just want to support some local, home-grown entertainment, please go along and see why I rate it so highly.

The sold-out show was so popular that it is returning for a third show on the 7th of March. I would highly recommend going along to support local Adelaide theatre and seeing the only con-rom-com Adelaide has to offer.

5 / 5 stars


Words by Sarah Ingham
For more information and to purchase tickets click here

Floral Peroxide

Alison Paradoxx Presents Floral Peroxide was my favourite Fringe show of 2019. It is intense, captivating narrative, eye appealing costume design and heart pounding techno-style music by 5000AD made this an unforgettable experience. Floral Peroxide has once again returned to the Fringe for 2020 with some changes made to the performance. I attended the opening night on February 16, keen to see how these changes have changed the performance. Like 2019, Floral Peroxide is one of the must-see Fringe shows.

Floral Peroxide is a deeply personal story of poet and performer Alison Paradoxx’s struggles with her numerous disabilities throughout her life. The narrative speaks of the societal desire to “fix” the broken self and the paradoxes of disability. This is portrayed through spoken word poetry, interpretative dance and stunning voice-over visuals.

One of the main changes to Floral Peroxide from last year is the venue. This year, it is being held inside the Nexus Arts Centre, in comparison to the outdoor setting of Libertine by Louis. This change to an interior venue enhanced the audio and lighting experience. I could feel the beating of the heart beats deeper within my chest and the ear shrieking sound of flatline more so than last year.

The revamped performance brought more life and awe to Floral Peroxide. Alison’s dance in the beginning, as she crawls to the wheelchair, while her story was told on screen was more impactful during this performance. Her addition of a scene detailing some of the potential side-effects of her medication made me uncertain if I should laugh or be horrified. Same can be said when Alison speaks of “men in business suits” who try to define one with a disability. It is confronting to hear, yet, I couldn’t help but laugh when she mentioned these had the scent of a particular aftershave. It adds humour to an otherwise terrifying reality.

Some minor changes were made to the costumes which helped enhance Alison’s performance further through their confronting, yet beautiful designs. One of the greatest changes to the costume is Alison’s hair, which is red this year rather than blue. There was beautiful contrast with her hair and the white dress worn in the final scene.

Like last year, I am struggling for words to further describe Floral Peroxide. It is such a powerful and confronting experience which I cannot find the right words for. For someone with a disability myself, this show is so empowering and speaks to me in a way few Fringe shows in the past have. I guess this is down to the main takeaway of the show: to not let outdated societal norms define you.

Alison Paradoxx Presents Floral Peroxide is unlike other Fringe shows I have seen over the years. This is a beautifully crafted performance from start to finish. It is shows like this which is a reason why the Fringe is such an important event for South Australian artists. This is one show that you cannot afford to miss.

Copies of Alison’s poetry book Subtitled Radiology and the Spitting Teeth anthology are available to buy for $7 and $20 respectively too. For more information on Alison Paradoxx, you can read our 2019 feature here.

5 / 5 stars


Words by Cameron Lowe

Floral Peroxide will be shown again on February 25 and March 11

For more information and to purchase tickets please click here.

Confessions Of A 59 Year-Old Fringe Virgin

Hello. My name is WeeStu Campbell and I am a stand-up comedian.

If the rhythm and cadence of that sentence rings familiar, it is no coincidence. Both it, and the more familiar AA introduction, points to a deep-seated addiction.

Stand up comedy is the hard stuff. Once it gets into your system it is hard to shake. For 59 years I was abstinent, sober if you will, from stand up. Until that is, one fateful Monday night in July 2019 when, at the urging of my pushers, I got up on stage at OneMic Stand open mic comedy at the Rhino Room in Adelaide. The stage lights blinded me, the laughter intoxicated me and from that moment I was hooked. Now, if I go more than three days without a fix I am in withdrawal. Believe me, it’s no laughing matter.

Now I’m about to take my addiction to a new, higher level. I’m hitting up new pushers and suppliers, sorry promoters and venues. I’m upping the frequency and intensity of my doses. I’m going to run with a much bigger, far wilder crew of performance addicts. I’m seeking the mainline, the purest shit. I’m about to embark on my first ever Adelaide Fringe as a true user: a registered artist.

I write this on Monday February 10. Opening night still four sleeps away. But, today the journey begins. FringeWorks, the administrative hub of the Fringe is open, in the Fringe Club building on the corner of Frome and Grenfell. That means I can get my hand on the ticket to all my Fringe rushes. The artist’s pass.

For the moment FringeWorks, like any good dealer, is hidden from prying eyes. The club doesn’t open until Friday. No one advertises FringeWorks. It’s a secret for us performance junkies. The Fringe signs aren’t out yet. I enter the building cautiously, surreptitiously. It’s a building site, still being fabricated. There are no signs to guide me. Luckily three magicians come down a staircase, as if floating. They recognize me; I’ve worked with them in numerous variety shows. I’ve found my dealers den.

Upstairs the dealer’s hub that is FringeWorks is also in a state of flux. Workstations, printers the other necessities of an artist’s mobile office, still being put together. Again, I’m recognised. Being called WeeStu and wearing outrageous t-shirts has some advantages. Matt, Supplier, Artist and Venue Coordinator beckons me over. He sees the desperate hunger in my eyes and gives me what I need. The good stuff, the key to magic journeys. The Adelaide Fringe Artist Pass. With one of my aliases, Wee Stu, on it. This will give me access to the 25 nightly hits of stage time I’ve already secured, and hopefully many more.

I leave elated. A little drunk maybe. I pass another comic on the stairs; I recognise the cravings in his eyes.

By evening, however the hunger has returned. I’m back at Rhino Room OneMic stand begging for another hit of five. They give it to me. Third act in the first session. The routine works. The laughter fixes me. Very briefly I own a piece of stage real estate. Now I only have to wait until the next open mic at the Goody Hotel on Tuesday, BRKLYN Bar on Thursday and then, at last, my Fringe debut. Love 2 Laugh, Brompton Hotel Friday 14th February, 9pm.  Come along. Join me for the ride. Share the highs, the lows, the empty rooms, the deaths on stage, the behinds the scenes, the coffee (oh the coffee) and the confessions of a 59 year-old Fringe virgin.


 

Words by Stuart Campbell

The Archive of Educated Hearts

The Archive of Educated Hearts is an exquisitely touching piece of work. This theatre and installation act is tucked away in one of the snug and charming spaces at the Holden Street Theatres. In this half an hour production, Casey Jay Andrews, both writer and performer, shares the true stories of four women and their battles with breast cancer; these women are all influential figures in Andrews’ life.

The intimacy, created by both the physical space and the way the stories are told, was overwhelming. The small audience of only six were seated in a crescent shape around Andrews, allowing her to offer every person eye contact and directed expression, having a remarkable effect on our emotional investment. The performance space was filled with homely treasures – pictures, trinkets, old toys, books – the floor covered with beautifully detailed rugs, and the seats were old sofa chairs that many of us associate with our grandparents’ houses. It felt like a feminine space. It was the perfect place to discuss the long lasting and wide spreading effects of cancer.

Andrews brought together a range of artefacts to tell these stories, with voice recordings from the real-life characters and pictures making for an intensely authentic experience. As the audio played, Andrews sat at a small table laying out pictures under a camera that projected her content onto a screen in front of us.

Between the personal stories and reflections, the audience learnt about the Educated Heart, a concept from Gelett Burgess’ book Have You an Educated Heart? Complimenting her personal stories with the ideals of an Educated Heart – kindness, instincts and relations to others – was a remarkable paring by Andrews, as it added a further layer of sentimentality, allowing us to understand the way we receive and process life’s challenges. Andrews herself opens up to us about her own heart, and inarticulate one.

Andrews’ writing is rich in imagery and delicate in tone, with her use of language allowing audiences to feel a deep connection to her and the experiences at the heart of this piece. In her delivery, Andrews presents a version of herself that reflects genuine kindness and vulnerability, yet great composure and comfort; in summary, her character and narrative voice is a flawless fit for this production.

The Archive of Educated Hearts brings us back to the humble art of storytelling, and the power of shared connection and human experiences, particularly those generated in times of grief. Expect the odd tear, a struck nerve or a lump in your throat. In this homely space listening to Andrews’ gentle recount, you will feel as if you have found the company of an old friend, someone you can sit with for hours and discuss life with a cup of tea in hand.

5 stars


Words by Michelle Wakim

The Archive of Educated Hearts is showing at Holden Street Theatres until the 16th.

Rebel

How do you pay homage to the late David Bowie? How do you put all of his greatness in a box? The answer: with a roller-skating trapeze artist and literal fire, that’s how.

I sincerely hope that you get the absolute pleasure of seeing the ultimate David Bowie tribute show, Rebel. The performance was theatrical beyond words, just like Bowie himself.

With an exceptionally multi-talented cast, you’ll be blown away by the amazing visual effects and beautifully done covers of Bowie’s music. The spectacular performance takes you out of your seat and on a journey through the decades. The stunning costumes range from patterns and elegance to space age and metallic, perfectly capturing the multi-faceted nature of Bowie’s many personas.

Release your inner rebel with the cast and sing along with the iconic Bowie songs throughout the ages. Looking through the crowd, there can be so many generations under one roof. The performance is for people of all ages, and there’s something for everyone to watch and enjoy. Who wouldn’t want to go and see a show so colourful and kaleidoscopic!

With high boots and high spirits, join the crew of Rebel and lose yourself for an hour in good music and good company.

Five stars from me.


Words by Sarah Ingham

You can catch Rebel at Wonderland Spiegeltent at Gluttony up until the 17th of March. Tickets and details here.

Ambispectrous

Eliza Thomas doesn’t even need to introduce herself for you to be able to see the eccentricity and uniqueness in her. You’ll feel immediately at home with the friendliness and relatability of the stories that she tells. Being on three different spectrums, Eliza Thomas is fully qualified to talk about all the things. She’ll tell you all about the great adventures of being autistic, having to encounter doctors who tell her that she isn’t narcoleptic (even though she is very narcoleptic), and if you’re lucky, she’ll tell you how she ‘caught’ the gay.

Ambispectrous caters for people of all mental shapes and sizes. Set in the Ballroom on North Terrace, there’s a choice of elegant seating or a pillow fort for those who would feel more comfortable amongst blankets. Eliza will introduce you to her thoughts, giving the audience a sneak peek into the deep, dark abyss that is the inner workings of her brain.


The show 
Ambispectrous is undoubtedly the best comedy performance that I’ve seen so far at the Fringe Festival, and if I could, I would see it again and again. The 6pm show time and 45-minute running time allows for an early night or the opportunity to see any other Fringe shows afterwards. For anyone who feels comfortable with sexual references and a bit a swearing, this show is a must see.

Absolutely amazing. Five stars from me!


Words by Sarah Ingham

You can find more information on Ambispectrous and buy tickets here.

 

Anya Anastasia and a Decade of Fringe

Late last year I had the opportunity to meet Anya Anastasia, a cabaret performer celebrating a decade of performing in the Adelaide Fringe. Anastasia has a diverse range of skills including riding a unicycle or maintaining perfect pitch while doing a handstand—something not many of us could do, I’m sure.

Since first seeing Anastasia perform in 2015 with Torte-e-Mort: Songs of Cake and Death, I have been eagerly following her career and booking tickets for each of her new shows at the Adelaide Fringe. For the past few years Anastasia has presented two shows: one new and the other back from touring. This year brings the premiere of The Show and the return of The Executioners—both shows that are a departure from her previous work. I was eager to talk to Anastasia about this in her show The Executioners which has a strong environmentalist message.

The Executioners is a collaboration between Anastasia and Gareth Chin, both very socially aware individuals, they want the show to effectively to open up conversation about the power of the individual to contribute to change. Anastasia’s character is presented much in the “millennial fashion” while Chin maintains the humble authenticity of a man who knows not just to take care but repair all of his possessions. The onstage dynamic of these two is described by Anastasia as “the gift that just keeps giving”.

“The show explores the hypocrisy or the dilemma of modern life; where we’re so aware of the damage we’re doing to the planet and the impact of all of our little actions and aware of all the little things we can be doing. But then at the same time we do live in this world where it’s a consumer society. Where there is still a demand to participate and be present in that if you want to thrive.”

While admittedly quite cynical and confronting, Anastasia wanted to showcase these social issues surrounding environmentalism and politics as well as produce music that could be enjoyed. She also wanted to reflect the digital world that we live in and the influence that technology has (both positive and negative) on society.

With a soundtrack of entirely original music, Anastasia and Chin put their musical talents together to present a diverse range of music, from acoustic through to electronic, designed to accompany the performance and their characters. “We wanted everything to be still tied together in a coherent style, even though it goes from acoustic numbers through to a raging fight scene with digital accompaniment.”

Anastasia wants to “create a whole aesthetic and soundscape that did that and reflected how much technology is a part of our lives” through incorporating both traditional and electronic compositions. Chin was responsible for crafting the piano parts and incorporating the accordion, but they also had another collaborator who is based in Berlin and responsible for more of the electronic side of things.

Anastasia’s second show, premiering for the first time at the Adelaide Fringe in 2019, is simply titled The Show. Anastasia told me a little about what we can expect from this new performance—an even greater departure from her previous work. The Show explores some big “what if” ideas about Anastasia’s life as a performer and what she would have left if she quit. She interrogates ideas about what cabaret is and the ridiculous things that make up her life. She says it’s “it’s quite funny, self-deprecating, and very honest.” I for one, am quite keen to see it.

As a fan of Anastasia, I would highly recommend seeing The Executioners and/or The Show while they’re in town!


The Executioners is playing at Gluttony’s Masonic Lodge until March 3 nightly.

The Show is playing at Gluttony’s Masonic Lodge across selected dates from March 5.

Words by Kayla Gaskell.

Worldline Corporations

I take a seat at Worldline Corporations in Bas3ment Studios at City Cross. I am advised that I will be tested for my eligibility to work with the time travelling firm. I am assigned an era, a job, and told what to expect.

In contrast to other Fringe shows I have been to this year, Worldline Corporations is the strangest one yet. It takes you on a time travelling journey but is completely digital. There is no one performing here, it’s all what you see on the screen.

This show delves into your subconsciousness and fears, focusing on loss of reality and fear of the unknown. Conveyed words onscreen, the simulation causes you to question your choice in travelling through time.

I discovered at the end of the show that this was all part of the experience. I don’t wish to spoil the show, but the finale is definitely a conversation starter. I will say that, if I wanted to, I qualify to join Worldline Corporations.

The aesthetics of this show had a very eighties look and feel to them. Everything from the computer on screen to the voices used had me seeing this performance as being inspired by eighties computer tech and time travel. Even though it appeared dated by today’s standards, I really enjoyed this as it complemented the story and gave it a unique style.

The show runs for about 20 minutes, the shortest show I’ve seen this year. Sometimes length isn’t the most important factor in a show but this one is well worth the experience.

Worldwide Corporations was an enjoyable and thought-provoking experience. I found its storytelling methods futuristic and innovative, all the while striking at my subconscious mind. While their run has finished, this is a unique and well-designed experience. Check out their website below for information about future shows.

https://www.worldlinecorp.com/

 


Words by Cameron Lowe

Four Stars.