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.

Alison Paradoxx presents Floral Peroxide

I’m frozen in my seat as I watch Alison Paradoxx presents Floral Peroxide unfold. Tears swell in my eyes as I listen to the poetry and my heart thumps at the pace of the ECG sound effects. There is no word I can speak and I struggle to take my eyes off the performance to write notes for my review. What I have just witnessed is by far the best show I have seen at the 2019 Fringe yet.
Held at the Libertine by Louis, Alison Paradoxx presents Floral Peroxide is a show that is about the life of 2016 Poetry Slam Champion Alison Bennett. Floral Peroxide speaks of her health and disabilities over her life and the pain of silence over the years. It is a poetry performance which incorporated technology and interpretative dance to create a multimedia experience which is accessible to everyone.
I found myself completely consumed right from the moment Alison sat in the wheelchair. This experience only continued as her story appeared in writing on screen. As the words appear, she slowly raises her head from the wheelchair and starts to dance as dramatic music and sounds played. Then when she stood up to read out her poetry, my eyes were fixed on her, listening to her every word.
The poetry Alison spoke to me unlike any other poetry before. Her poetry speaks of identity loss, incredible pain, depersonalisation, discovery, and acceptance. Having a disability myself, her poetry to me was both confronting and empowering, especially the themes of the pain of silence and society’s views on disability. It has empowered me to want to no longer be silent too.
The show structure is nothing short of phenomenal. Alison’s costume design was both stunningly freaky and beautiful. It complements the performance and really brings out the intensity of her disabilities. The sound by 5000AD too was captivating, capturing the emotion of the poems effectively. The lighting and use of screen to tell some of the intense themes of the story were gorgeous. I could feel the pain and the suffering she had gone through as they rolled, taking it all in.
Alison Paradoxx presents Floral Peroxide is the must see show of Fringe 2019. It is captivating from start to finish and is one of the most confronting and beautiful performances I have ever seen. If you still can, stop reading this review and go buy a ticket for this show. It is a show unlike any other at this year’s Fringe.
For more information be sure to check out our In Conversation with: Alison Paradoxx article here. For those attending, you can also buy her chapbook, Subtitled Radiology, for $20 after the show.

 


Words by Cameron Lowe

Five stars.

Alison Paradoxx presents Floral Peroxide is playing at the Libertine by Louis tonight. Tickets available here.