Fringe in a flash

Feb 15, 2018

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Flesh & Bone

I’ll cut to the chase – if you see one show at the Adelaide Fringe this season, make it the stunningly brilliant Flesh & Bone at the Holden Street Theatres.

Written by one of the starts of the show Elliot Warren, the show is a gritty, painfully real glimpse of what life is like for the downtrodden living on a council estate in East London. It follows the characters interactions with one another and their day-to-day struggles with how to make ends meet, fighting, sexuality and the tyranny of the establishment forcing them out of their dilapidated but homely flat.

The writing and dialogue is utterly beautiful; a mix of Shakespearian iambic pentameter and common East London geezer-colloquialism tells the story in a gripping fashion. The way the five brilliant actors, without use of any props, really take your mind’s eye to the grimy council estate and surrounding settings is beyond compare.

Amidst the grit there is a light-heartedness to this show. The Granddad’s foray on the phone-sex line gets a little…awkward. The enormous Alessandro Babalola, cast as Jamal, the toughest guy on the block, is just a big teddy bear, with a delightfully funny soliloquy to match. The laughs notwithstanding, the story of London’s forgotten, crammed into high-rise eyesores is an important one to tell, especially in the shadow of the awful Grenfell Tower Fire last year, is an important one to tell.

The energy contained within the intimate Holden Street Theatre Studio during Flesh and Bone would be enough to rival the most extravagant and elaborate settings anywhere in Adelaide this Mad March. Go and see it…if you think you’re hard enough!

*****

- Andy Ruzgar

Flesh & Bone

The Studio at Holden Street Theatres

34 Holden Street Hindmarsh

$20.00-28.00

*

BEST OF BRITISH

It feels like ‘best of’ showcase comedy shows held upstairs at the Belgian Beer Café are a staple of every Fringe season. In fact, I can’t think of a year where it hasn’t been a part of my festival season, and that is probably because of the guarantee you’ll have a few laughs over a pint and not spend a fortune in having a thoroughly enjoyable night out.

Best of British delivers this exact tried and tested format to a tee. Adelaide based Yorkshire expat Georgie Carroll presents four experienced English comics who entertain the crowd through four different sets of varying length. The variety in the showcase is refreshing as you’ll enjoy four different comics, who are all in their own ways hugely funny.

Often, antipodean comedy bonanzas can rush to jokes about being British for the sake of telling them and trading on accents alone, but the comics here do well to showcase their unique humour and entice the jovial audience to want to hear more from their solo shows. The entire gamut of what we love about British humour is on display throughout the four sets; wit, sarcasm, deadpan, satire and puns.

You’ll find consistent giggles here and essentially, you’ll know what you’re getting, an essential part of your Fringe month, especially for those wanting a relaxed evening with a few laughs or those at a loose end and not wanting to spend big.

****

- Andy Ruzgar

BEST OF BRITISH

Upstairs at The Belgian Beer Cafe Oostende 8:45pm

Tickets: $15-25

*

Still Emo

"Andrew Hastings is back for another Fringe season to let Adelaide know that he is indeed Still Emo. There’s no doubt about that of course – aside from the obvious ‘emo’ aesthetics (long, straight black hair, skinny jeans, tattoos) he is wearing a t-shirt with the word ‘EMO’ written across the front. The look reflects the feel of most of the show; tales of Hastings’ journey through his mid-twenties as an emotional guy. He tells stories of his family, his friends and girlfriends, and goes into great detail about his love life and sexual exploits.

"Hastings’ keeps the audience chuckling along throughout with his punchy anecdotes and tall tales and when the jokes move a bit too fast for the crowd and the punchline goes overhead, he just demands they laugh anyway and they inevitably do. In fact, it is Hastings’ way of interacting with the audience that is the most pleasing element of the show, especially when a group of four burley blokes walked in, a far cry from the “early 20s female emo chicks” which Hastings’ says is his usual crowd.

"The comedy of the show is broken up by a delightfully slow-burning gag, a reading of Hastings’ journal at different points of the show with emo music staples playing in the background, culminating in a great punchline to round out the show.

"A solid, funny show that anyone who lived through the emo phase 12 years ago would thouroughly enjoy."

***1/2

- Andy Ruzgar

Still Emo

The Nook at The Producers

235 Grenfell St, Adelaide, SA, 5000

$15.00

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