ff2015, Day 18

Opening night of the Festival. Initially thought Blinc was a fizzer, until we actually saw it… pretty! Lots of people at the opening to the Festival & Blinc launch party.

  1. Azimut
  2. Tomás Ford: Electric Cabaret

My Significant Other is in town. We drank lots of champagne. May have been prudent to do that after Azimut.

ff2015, Day 17

Pretty good day today, show-wise.

  1. White Rabbit Red Rabbit
  2. Fake it ’til you Make it by Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn
  3. The Awkward Years
  4. Set List

White Rabbit Red Rabbit, with its unique-script-unique-actor-cold-reading hook, has every opportunity to become one of those shows that you want to see every night. Which is kinda what I expected Set List to be, too, but I wasn’t as grabbed by that.

Anyway: it’s time for a bit of a quieter weekend. My Significant Other is arriving for a fleeting visit tomorrow, and there’s a bit of catching up to do. And there’s also a little thing called the Adelaide Festival of the Arts that kicks off tomorrow…

ff2015, Day 16

What a weird old day. Had another(!) photo shoot(!) in the afternoon, and then my first two shows were bloody great. The last one, though, was one of the worst Fringe experiences I’ve ever had. Ever.

  1. Frank, the Mind-reading Hotdog
  2. Cut by Duncan Graham
  3. Mush and Me by Karla Crome
  4. Karl Redgen: Rapid Fire

I’ve never walked out of a show before, but I seriously considered it this evening.

ff2015, Day 15

A bit of a weird day for me today. Housework. Oh, and a little phone call… but more on that later.

  1. My Life in Boxes
  2. Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes
  4. Best of Adelaide Fringe: Late Show

Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind is a cracking way to spend an hour, even if I did feel a bit ripped off that I didn’t see the thirtieth play in the performance. “Performed later in the double-decker bus” – really? Harrumph.

ff2015, Day 14

Mondays are turning into TuxCat days, which is lovely. Great vibe there tonight, and it looked like good crowds for most shows (including Calypso Nights, which really does deserve huge audiences).

  1. POP POP
  2. Destroyer of Worlds
  3. I Still Call Australia Homo
  4. Lisa-Skye’s Lovely Tea Party

Called up onstage (again) during POP POP. The last line of the script I had to read (which had previously featured a menagerie of animal noises) included a stage direction to kiss performer Penny Greenhalgh… and I know better than to mess with the wishes of the writer. I was expecting a lookaway stage kiss (as I’d experienced in a Dr Brown bit), but… nope.

So that’s a first.

ff2015, Day 13

Day thirteen: unlucky for some!

  1. Smashed
  2. The Bureau of Complaints
  3. Everything Is Under Control
  4. Aunty Donna
  5. Zoe Coombs Marr is DAVE
  6. Tripped

Not me, though. After a visit to the Double Shot! Coffee Fiesta at Unley, I had a cluster of quality shows: DAVE is an amazingly good piece of work, Smashed was fantastic (even within the stifling confines of the Panama Club sauna tent), and – once I realised what it actually was – Everything Is Under Control is another cracking contemporary clown piece (though totally different from the likes of Dr Brown & Trygve’s work).

Mind you, a late start at The Bureau of Complaints meant that I had to jog to make the subsequent show… but whatevs, it was only forty degrees today! ;)

ff2015, Day 12

Another eight-show, forty-degree day. Including two cross-city powerwalks in high temperatures.

  1. Funny Stuff For Happy People
  2. How we stopped the end of the world : The adventures of Broer & Zus (brother & sister)
  3. [title of show]
  4. Kids’ Party Confidential
  6. Nicole Henriksen – Honeycomb Badgers on Acid
  7. My Brain Made Me Do It
  8. Lunatics Beer Garden – Late Show

Bought my first alcohol of the Fringe tonight, too. Christ I’m a cheap drunk.

ff2015, Day 11

And so I scooted past 50 shows for the year… and there wasn’t a dud amongst them today.

  1. The Fifth Horseman
  2. Vanity Bites Back
  4. Jono Wants a Wife
  5. Sunglasses at Night: The 80s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret

The crowd at Geraldine Quinn’s Sunglasses at Night were totally up for a good time this evening. The Deluxe looked pretty full, and there was scarcely a person who wasn’t belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart at full volume. Fantastic fun :)

ff2015, Day 10

Closing in on a milestone.

  1. This Can’t End Well
  2. A Hip Hikers Guide To The Galaxy
  3. Gravity Boots presents: Sassy Monkey and the Black Onion Pudding
  4. Adam Knox – Listen Closely, We Haven’t Much Time
  5. Calypso Nights

Calypso Nights is some properly silly good fun. Totes worth rounding off a night of Fringing with that :)

ff2015, Day 9

Well, I made it to all my shows today. Didn’t miss a second of any of them. The only problem is, it was not a good day for my Fringing…

  1. Media Release
  2. Handle It – A One Woman Show
  3. Marcus Ryan – Love Me Tinder
  4. mix juice
  5. HEX

until, that is, HEX.

HEX is one of those dance pieces that I will start recommending to everyone, such is the beauty in the work. That it can take such dark material and make it legible in a wordless medium (and make it enjoyable to behold) is worthy of more credit than I can bestow upon it. Get it seen, people!

[2015003] Simon Keck: Eating Tiger Dicks

[2015003] Simon Keck: Eating Tiger Dicks

Simon Keck @ Rhino Room – Howling Owl

10:00pm, Tue 10 Feb 2015

Simon Keck’s Nob Happy Sock was one of the best surprises in last year’s Fringe: an absolutely brilliant show, discussing incredibly dark topics, that came almost unannounced and blew my mind. And with Keck only affording his new show a short run in Adelaide (prior to taking it to Fringe World), and the opportunity to create a nice three-show run on the opening night of Festivities, it was a no-brainer to slot this performance in.

Eating Tiger Dicks sees Keck delivering lines via two mouthpieces: Tug DeLabranska, a self-help guru, is the show’s central character, cajoling the audience with ludicrous and conflicting new-age platitudes. Keck himself essentially narrates Tug’s sudden descent from all-conquering guru, through drug episodes and blackmail attempts against him, in a clever script that uses the transition between the two personae effectively. There’s a few accompanying PowerPoint slides – you’d better like your arseholes to be anthropomorphised – and a plot-line that threatens to spiral out of control before coming together for a tight finish.

But this was opening night for the show (a world premiere!), and things… well, things did not go smoothly.

Not only did Keck regularly require line readings – awkward the first time, but genuinely comical and played-for-laughs by the tenth – but his tech at the Howling Owl also struggled: with lighting controls at one end of the bar, the laptop controlling the accompanying PowerPoint at the other, and the light by which he could check the script in the middle, the tech was running a confused track up and back behind the bar all show. Slides came up early, lights dropped late, and… well, it was a little messy.

And then there was a bit of crowd interaction. Which, of course, meant Me.

Initially (I thought) dragged up for a bit of scripted banter, Keck then turned and returned to his monologue with the audience… all but ignoring me onstage. I tried to creep back to my seat, and was roundly admonished; the conclusion of my involvement – which, we were all assured, would be “worth it” – was awkward for pretty much everyone. (Keck asked for feedback at the end of the show; I suggested that the audience participant bit was “too long on stage”. Keck replied that he wanted it to be really awkward for the audience member… Mission accomplished, sir!)

But here’s the thing: even with all the opening night mistakes – the line calls, the missed lighting cues, the premature PowerPoints – Eating Tiger Dicks was still bloody funny. Indeed, some of the line calls and early glimpses at slides made parts of the show seem almost cunningly prescient… like they were part of some elaborate design to subvert the audience’s expectations. Keck’s apologies and requests for feedback at the end of the show scotched that idea, but the fact remains that I had a lot of fun with this performance… even with my incredibly awkward time on stage.

ff2015, Day 8

More Dr Brown! A double dose of Celia Pacquola! It’s all happening!

  1. Pale Face Cold Blood
  2. Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How It All Works Out
  3. Matt Price: A British Bloke’s Guide to Being a Man
  4. Dr. Brown: Bexperiments…with Terry Nameo
  5. Rhino Room Late Show 10th Year Anniversary!

Tomorrow: possibly the dumbest scheduling I’ve ever done. Let’s see if I can pull it off.

ff2015, Day 7

Another day, another show involvement. Or two.

  1. Flying Dreams
  2. Discover Ben Target
  3. Stuart Bowden: Before Us
  4. The Sound of Nazis
  5. Come Heckle Joshua Ladgrove whilst he talks at you for 52 minutes in exchange for some of your money.

Ben Target was an interesting chap – at least I didn’t have to get onstage for that, but he flicked cards at my head in rapid order – but the Josh Ladgrove stage bit was a little weird. After I refused to moan as he stage-fucked me – “I’m not a moaner,” I maintained, “I can’t do it realistically” – some of the audience (a lot of performers in the crowd) turned – “that’s stage rape,” they said only half jokingly.

52 minutes? Try double that.

ff2015, Day 6

Today started out hot. Real hot. The first two shows were almost stifling, and the third was only bearable due to the wonderful performance. But then, sometime during the fourth show, the weather broke; it was a completely different city after 5pm.

  1. Frank’s Survival Guide
  2. The Big Giggle
  3. Zephyr Quartet presents Cult Classics
  4. Golden Phung Go To Hell
  5. Chris Knight is The Difference Between Women And Airline Food
  6. The Show Must Goon
  7. Justin Stone in Who’s the Boss? The Tony Danza Experience
  8. Shotspeare presents Romeo & Juliet

A couple of firsts today: the new Royal Croquet Club seems to have a much friendlier layout than last year, and E For Ethel is a nice smaller venue (with lovely staff and crew).

ff2015, Day 5

It was Valentine’s Day, and my Valentine was on the other side of the country, so I had to make do with the best Fringe day so far.

  1. Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and his Singing Tiger…Again!
  2. Anna Log – The Saboteur
  3. Trygve Wakenshaw’s NAUTILUS – a work in progress
  4. Medicine
  6. Sex Idiot

Dr Brown is still wonderful with kids, and Trygve’s first performance of Nautilus was amazing to watch. Then the return of TJ Dawe to Adelaide and Dawson Nichols’ new pieces (both incredible) before the first of Bryony Kimmings’ two shows. I’ve no idea why I thought Saturday night was the right time to see something called Sex Idiot in the Garden – the audience was full of drunkards and teenage hen’s nights – but the show worked out pretty well.

So… yeah. Great day.