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Showing posts from September, 2019

REVIEW: Just Us Girls (What’s a girl?) – Melbourne Fringe

A woman walks up to a door marked PULL and she pushes. A man tells her that she needs to PULL instead of PUSH. “I know that. I’ve been reading since I was four. It’s a joke,” she says. Can’t he take a joke? The man mansplains how doors work and how much happier she’d be if she’d just PULL. So, the woman pulls off her skin, revealing new layers – she’s an alien – and she destroys the door with her tentacles.
Welcome to Just Us Girls by Ellen Grimshaw, an absurdist avalanche of observations about women and the patriarchy and its changing rules and shifting sands.
Ellen plays an alien, it seems, who meets a man (Dick Shit, played by Alice Stewart), an amalgam of all the worst white cis men Ellen has talked to in real life. Early on, Ellen’s alien repeats everything she says because she’s so used to not being listened to, she thinks she has to say everything twice.
“I’m surprised people are listening now, so it’s a hard habit to break,” she tells The Man, who explains there is really onl…

REVIEW: Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland! – Melbourne Fringe

A group of unnamed people, uniformly dressed in red and pink like a cult, greet each other with “Hail Satan!” – the same way you might say hello or good morning to a stranger when you pass them on your morning walk.
But are they a cult or are they a generation with similar needs and concerns, trying to find connection in an increasingly bizarre world? And what is the best way to form a connection these days? Recount your dreams? Talk about Gilmore Girls? Offer them an Allen’s Snake to eat, even if it’s unethical?
Kirby Medway’s play is a comedic dreamscape that bounces from person to person to Satan, playing out vignettes that are odd and sweet and strange and hilarious. Directors Jean Tong & Lou Wall keep things tight and flowing smoothly, though the transitions between scenes felt a little repetitive as the show went on.
The pineal gland is a part of the brain that regulates sleep, so taking it away would produce restlessness or sleeplessness and increasingly bizarre visions an…

REVIEW: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Cooking For – Melbourne Fringe

Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meals are an effort to get people cooking healthy food even when they think they don’t have the time, with the demands of working a forty-hour week, looking after kids or indulging in extra-curricular activities.
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Cooking For is a concentrated, pressure-cooker of an experience for a different Fringe performer each night. Produced by Stage Mom, it’s like Masterchef, but as the contestant tries to make one of Oliver’s 30-minute, three-course meals, they are interrogated on their personal beliefs and the state of the world they live in.
The night I saw the show it was Lou Walls in the spotlight and she was the perfect first-night contestant. She had to cook a risotto, prepare a salad and serve up four individual cheese cakes. And there was a timer on the wall, counting down every second.
Co-creator Alberto Di Troia (writer of Truly Madly Britney) read the recipe step-by-step and co-creator Hannah Fallowfield fired questions at Lou a…

REVIEW: Happy-Go-Wrong – Melbourne Fringe

Darkness. Pitch black.
Torch light cuts through, swinging wildly into the space.
Out glides Lucky, an angel, who always finds the silver lining because she lives on Cloud Nine. Lucky is a guardian angel, it turns out. Helps human beings while they are being human. And she’s had her eye on one particular human being, Andi Snelling.
Andi plays Lucky and later we hear about all the tiring platitudes she’s heard over the last three years, since her previous Melbourne Fringe show, Déjà vu (and other forms of knowing). “Lucky you don’t have cancer” was a particularly unhelpful bit of wisdom.
Andi suffers from Lyme disease, which has brought on many food intolerances, and bouts of weight loss and weight gain. This has led to an inability to perform, which is her passion and her life. If she can’t eat and is always exhausted, getting onto the stage has been impossible, until now.
Happy-Go-Wrong is the story of her struggle with her invisible disease, with people’s unhelpful suggestions, and w…

REVIEW: Off Off Off Broadway Karaoke – Melbourne Fringe

Come on, admit it. You sing Broadway showtunes in the shower. Or in the car. Or when you’re cleaning the house. You aren’t worried about what the neighbours or the people in the next car think. You are Simba and Javert and Frank’n’Furter and Sandra Dee.
Sometimes you even get drunk and play SingStar or get super drunk and go to karaoke bars. But you have your turn and then you have to listen to all your friends have a go.
Jess McGuire and Emma Smith have curated two weeks of karaoke craziness at the Melbourne Fringe hub starring… the audience. This gives everyone their chance to let their inner diva out, while helping to recreate such Broadway classics as Les Miserables or Jesus Christ Superstar.
Last night, it was The Lion King’s turn. Everyone had a chance to sign up to get involved before the show and there’s opportunities to join in as the show progresses. If you’re shy, you can stay seated and sing your heart out, too. I did the latter.
Jess and Emma keep things moving, with a p…

REVIEW: Boys Taste Better with Nutella – Melbourne Fringe

You’ve probably got a friend like this. She’s young and desperate to fall in love but she hates herself a little so she clings to any guy who will give her attention, when all she really wants is to go home and binge-eat a jar of Nutella. But you’ve never seen that story on stage with dance, musical interludes and actors smeared with the aforementioned Hazelnut spread. Good news, now you can!
Aggy and Frederick are best friends who met in the supermarket. They’ve seen each other fall in and out of bad relationships, Aggy with boys whose traits she takes on, and Frederick with guys online who post shit like “no fats, no femmes”. There’s a lot of flashbacks to flesh out their history of bad habits and you never really forget where you are – past or present – until the audience is put on the spot to answer a question or two.
Aggy tries hard to be loved, but it’s hard when she’s smeared in Nutella. Frederick seems like the life of the party, except he’s really just in his room making Muk…