Three Piece Suit with a Sideshow Lining
The Happy Sideshow @ The Umbrella Revolution
8:30pm, Wed 18 Feb 2004
Short Review: Erm… Freaky
I missed the Happy Sideshow in 2002, so I was keen to experience their talents early this time around. And this was a fair eye-opener of a show.
I mean, it’s not every day you see someone insert fish-hooks into their eye sockets and drag a woman riding on a little red wagon along. It’s pretty rare that you see someone ascend a tower of milk crates and perch themselves, swami-like, on top of a tin can, metres from the ground. And you’d be hard pressed to see a woman hack away at her metallic cod-piece with an angle grinder, while men cavort in the resultant pyrotechnic piss-stream.
You’ll stare; you’ll gasp; you’ll join in as those around you mutter “there’s no way he’s turning that drill on”. Oh yes, he does.
Go see the spectacle for yourselves.
Peepolykus @ The Umbrella Revolution
7:00pm, Wed 18 Feb 2004
Short Review: Confused
Opening with a clever bit of mime, UK company Peepolykus promise much in the guise of psychic Michael Santos and his two off-siders. A bit of audience participation by Santos’ audience plant, Raymond, was well handled, with some light humour and neat sight gags.
The whole show takes a turn for the worse with the Python-wannabe death sequence. It seemed that Peepolykus decided to set sail for surrealism, but it all seemed horribly flat and uninspired. The appearance of a bear(!) as Santos tries to reconcile his past was puzzling; the musical finale just plain out-of-place.
There were some highlights with a little trickery after the death sequence; Santos gains “real” psychic powers, which left a few in the audience (me included) wondering how the tricks were performed.
In short, this is a confused production. A shame, really, because the first third of the show offered so much.
Daredevil Opera Company @ The Umbrella Revolution
5:30pm, Wed 18 Feb 2004
Short Review: Slapstick
The first show of my ff2004 assault, I approached The Umbrella Revolution (“the red tent”) with a little trepidation after Adelaide’s recent spell of hot weather. Luckily, it was only a little humid within the tent, not detracting from the physical humour of Cirkus Inferno.
Lucky and Lady, the focus of much of our attention for this piece, emerge from the audience for an amusing descent into the ring (be warned – you will get wet!). The set is bold, surrounded by wacky placards – “can this lunatic make a lunar landing?” – and it’s only a matter of time before the pair are flailing away with comedic aplomb, using roller-skates, pogo-sticks, and a helmet made from a toaster, using almost every trick in the cartoon-humour book.
Presented by Canadian outfit, the Daredevil Opera Company, this is a competent piece of physical comedy – Lucky remains resolutely deadpan throughout, and Lady’s expressions are endearing. There’s also opportunity for a fabulous bit of audience participation, and the closer is quite imaginative. Great for a younger audience, but the old ‘uns amongst us needn’t feel left out, either.