Friday, October 03, 2008
Around the Fringe in 80 Shows (6)
I tried to catch Love Letter at Bar Open last night but there were timetabling issues so I had to scoot before it began. It looked promising. Also, a bee had gotten into the upstairs space and one of the performers was allergic to bee stings so a helpful bartender had nicked off to get some insect repellent and flyspray and stuff, which was very considerate. I'll try to see the show later on.
THE LIST OPERATORS
These two guys are already firmly on the "to watch" lists and tear through an excellent hour of witty comedy here. Richard Higgins and Matt Kelly play the eponymous fellows who make lists of things. Pretty simple premise done very well - think "Countries it is ok to be racist about" or "10 Alternative Ways to Start the Show". The list thing is a nice hook that sometimes disappears from view before swimming back into sight unexpectedly, and both guys have great comic timing as well as an obvious understanding of the character dynamics of two-man comedy, Kelly playing the loveable idiot to Higgins' clever bastard. Definitely recommended.
THE LAST BUCKET OF WATER
During the curtain call for this show, Adam McKenzie called out "Go see lots of Fringe! It's an amazing year!" That was pretty heart-warming, hearing performers support others in a general "see everything!" way. This is a fun little number, too - the three comics (McKenzie, Robby Lloyd and Tegan Higginbotham) play themselves in charge of the last bucket of water left in an unspecified future (muddled even more when they keep playing on the fact that they're actually just doing a Fringe show in the North Melbourne Town Hall). It all starts out in a pretty nerdalicious way, with video sequences and gags that require some knowledge of Lost to understand, but the performers are at their best when they go off-script - which is pretty often. McKenzie especially shines in this, and with two relative "straight men" to play off he serves up some hefty belly laughs. The overall concept isn't stunning, but this is a clear crowd-pleaser from beginning to end.
I had to check this out for the name alone and the brief while I was there was worth it. It was a vaguely hip-hoppy night of comedy and dancing and stuff at the Fringe Club, and I caught Nazeem Hussain from Fear of a Brown Planet (I think he was MCing the night) as well as Julz & Dragonfly (Elbow Room) and the krumping guys from Urban AfterShock (I think they're called DC Crew, but I could be wrong). I was especially impressed to see that this last group were proper krumpers - between choreographed ensemble bits to the likes of the Jackson 5 and Grease, they pulled out freestyle solo routines that were completely different to the performances I saw at Urban AfterShock. I wish I could have stuck around longer, but hey. I'm on a schedule.
Meanwhile, with a big night ahead, here's a bit of a musical interlude as we hit mid-Fringe. It's a piece of Italo Disco trash that made me feel like I should be strapped to my chair with my eyes forced open a la Clockwork Orange. Callous murder? Check. Sudden Fat Baby? Inexplicable Tron-Skull? Migraine-Inducing Montages Featuring Spaghetti and The Pope? Triple check. It has to be seen to be believed and don't skip through it. Den Harrow, whoever you are, I salute you with a trembling, post-traumatic paw.