Monday, September 29, 2008

Around the Fringe in 80 Shows (3)


Everyone knows I love Rawcus’ work and most other people who’ve seen them do too. This is their collaboration with Adelaide’s Restless Dance Theatre and the two are just about the best companies around, for sure. I’ve written about this show at length elsewhere and will do so again so I won’t get into the details here. In short, I didn’t have as much of an emotional reaction to this production as I did to previous ones but it was a much more intellectually provocative show. It’s over now, so bad luck. I think it will tour to Adelaide next year, maybe.

Just like I did yesterday. For real. I can’t believe I squeezed an interstate trip into my 80 show schedule. What a moron.


Someone told me they weren’t seeing this show because it looked like an kids’ party show. I suppose it sort of is, but only in the best, best possible way. It’s three smart young ladies boldly venturing into difficult territory – think Mighty Boosh-style post-surrealism with junkyard theatre homemade props. I only make the Boosh comparison because it’s the closest thing I can think of to the tune of Fizzy Train’s narrative (which of course never makes mention of any fizzy train). Wildly digressive, self-referential, sometimes very clever and sometimes consciously stupid. Actually, a lot like Pig Island too now that I think of it so there’s another comparison for ya. Like Pig Island’s Simply Fancy, Fizzy Train follows a quest – this time it’s a girl sent by her iron to save his son (played by a smaller iron) and so on and so forth. Also like Simply Fancy, the plot here is just something to hang a great show on. The trio play it straight, which is what makes it work, and they’ve got some super-sharp comic skills. Even when they’re not being laugh-out-loud funny, they seem very likeable, in that Josie Long/Lawrence Leung kind of way. Wooshers, now the comparisons won’t stop. Borders on the twee if you’re only into the dark stuff, but for anyone else this is a highlight of the fest.


Short (as in ten minutes short) little piece of dance/physical theatre/installation/something on at the Fringe Hub – a fiver will get you into a tiny picket-fence-hemmed pen around which two performers play out a series of scenes. There’s a roaring 20s flapper-vibe to the thing, but the actual scenarios range from jumping rope to shooting up. I’ve seen this twice and I’m still not entirely sure what the thread connecting the different sequences are, but a friend suggested that it’s a physical connection – ie the links are movement-based rather than depending on a more abstract logic. Quite a few centre on the way people have gotten their kicks over the ages, but I think that was me making connections which were incidental. Anyway, very cute show that, given the location, duration and cost, should be seen by everyone.


Community choirs aren’t really for me. Are the Polyester Blenders technically a community choir? Beats the pee out of me. They’re a choir, maybe 40 strong or so, and they do a cappella versions of songs like “Just Can’t Get Enough”. I guess they do them competently, but like I say, the whole genre isn’t for me. ‘Tis what it is, really.


There are few things in this universe more


And that’s my review. I would like to discuss this show with others. It’s very good that way.


This is a play - like a play play. It's very serious and has people acting and is about important themes. Emily survived a car crash that she wasn't supposed to (I don't know what that means but when her sister put it to her that way, I thought it was a little harsh). A few months after the near-death experience she feels like a walking corpse and has trouble communicating with her friends and family. She doesn't eat and can't leave the house. We know these things because people keep telling us. Actually, they keep telling Emily (see sister's comment above) which is what we in the Biz call over-explication. There's a lot of telling rather than showing in this show. And I always worry a little when a character says "Listen to yourself! You sound like a bad soap opera!" This usually ends up as unintentionally ironic. The cast give this script a good bash but it's not really my cup, given the very serious way everything is handled. It might appeal to those looking for some straight up capital-D Drama, though.


Anonymous said...

Wow, interesting reviews... a little difficult (or a lot) to follow and the writing leaves a little to be desired... but very ah, insightful. Actually...

Anonymous said...

I must say I agree with this. For once one can say the script did not to the actors justice...Very Good actors, average script, well executed