ff2016, Day 18

Well, that was a great day – though all analysis would suggest otherwise. One show was great material with lacklustre presentation, another was great music with maudlin lyrical leanings, and the third was an absolute belter.

  1. Gunslingin’ Game Theory
  2. Sufjan Stevens
  3. Nicole Henriksen is Makin It Rain

Fifty shows for the year! Slowest fifty in years.

ff2016, Day 17

I have to admit, today was a stressor for me. I was paranoid about not being able to stay awake through the eleven hours of theatre that The James Plays presented. Those fears were completely unwarranted: the ‘Plays were utterly compelling viewing.

  1. James I
  2. James II
  3. James III

But the sad fact is that, as I think back to The James Plays now, they became less appealing with each successive episode. That’s not to say that they weren’t worth seeing: James III was still an entertaining piece of theatre. But James I was such a strong start that the other episodes were almost always going to pale in comparison.

ff2016, Day 16

Oops. Didn’t post a day-note about this last night, due to being a little… erm… inebriated.

  1. BARBU Electro Trad Cabaret
  2. À Fleur de Peau

I had, it must be said, a fabulous day today. BARBU was exactly as beardy and sweaty as I was expecting; one of the Festival’s flagship productions, À Fleur de Peau, was such an incredible spectacle that it completely overcame my usual disinterest in fireworks. Add onto that a gorgeous collection of chats, some wonderful bubbles, and an impromptu bike cab home, and I flumped into bed a thoroughly happy man.

ff2016, Day 13

A solid collection of shows today – perhaps only spoiled by the fact that, after the non-stop spectacle of Scotch & Soda, the final show of my evening felt positively pedestrian.

  1. Beowulf: The Blockbuster
  2. Scotch & Soda
  3. Little Thing, Big Thing

I had bumped into some of Company2 (the crew behind Scotch & Soda) last week, and they’d talked about some of the changes they’d made from last year’s rendition. And they were true to their word: the 2016 version is leaner and absolutely unrelenting in its spectacle.

ff2016, Day 12

I managed to work myself into a bit of a weird headspace today; busy preparing for my Significant Other’s arrival, I got distracted from Fringery and, as a result, felt really quite detached when I arrived at The Bakehouse this evening.

  1. The History of the World from Now

One show today. Pity it wasn’t worth leaving the house for.

ff2016, Day 10

‘Twas a nice day for a bit of a wander around a sleepy-feeling Adelaide today; caught a few visual art exhibitions, chatted to a few peeps (Gary from A Gambler’s Guide, the cast of Human Project, Marcel, Ro), and caught a couple of great shows.

  1. The Human Project v1.1
  2. Tessa Waters Over Promises

Further examples of my new-found malaise: it’s a Sunday, on a Fringe night, and I was home by 8:15pm after having seen two shows all day. And I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Also: I actually bought (and ate) some vegan food. What’s wrong with me?

ff2016, Day 9

What a weird old Fringe this is turning out to be. Amiable chats about the sexual assault of a child at 7pm? Yeah, go on, then. Laughing at sociopaths threatening to kill us? Why not. One of the most pointless shows I’ve ever seen performing to a packed-out audience? Sure.

  1. Echoes
  2. The Flanagan Collective – Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis
  3. Strong Female Character
  4. The Gremlins

Despite all that: it was a good, solid day.

ff2016, Day 8

My first trip into the Friday night mega-venues initially left me fuming, wondering how all those people could possibly give a rat’s arse about the shows on offer; (mostly) packed houses all evening had me swallowing my words a little, though.

  1. Dropped
  2. Alice Fraser – The Resistance
  3. Tom Binns: The Club Sets
  4. Poet Against The Machine

That Poet Against The Machine show? Fantastic.

ff2016, Day 7

Three shows today… and, having settled my Schedule for most of the next week, three shows is actually looking like above average. And the scary thing is that I’m actually getting to see most of the shows that I Shortlisted.

  1. Sam Halmarack & the Miserablites
  2. Retrostalgia
  3. The Flanagan Collective – Babylon

A weird old day. One show that was scripted to be short, one show that was short because of tech issues, and one that felt short because of a small audience.

ff2016, Day 6

A short day today, allowing for a trip to visit my aged parents in the country to talk about The Future. You know, Fun Stuff.

But I’m starting to realise how much comedy used to fill out those early evening timeslots. There’s barely anything in the 6pm timeslot that is in my Shortlist; same goes for the late-night spots, too.

  1. Torte e Mort: Songs of Cake and Death
  2. Bruce

Anya Anastasia’s latest show is a glorious bit of comic cabaret (which she insists is not burlesque), and Bruce is an amazing bit of puppetry that is both technically wonderful, as well as a brilliant demonstration of what our imaginations are capable of. Both are totally worth seeing.

ff2016, Day 5

I’ll be totally honest: I was really, really starting to feel super-down about this year’s Fringe. Sure, I was enjoying some shows, but nothing was really grabbing me by the scruff of the neck and giving me a good shake and saying “See? This is why you love this stuff. Remember?”

Today, though… phwoar.

  1. Beautiful Words
  2. Satori
  3. Red Ink
  4. Hotel Tokyo

Satori gave me those anything-is-possible goosebumps, the ones I get when I see someone completely committed to a craft that I love whilst being absolutely unable to imagine the effort required to perform it. That put me on a bit of a high, and I left that show thinking it was my pick of the Fringe thus far… but then came Red Ink.

Now, it probably benefitted from the fact that Shannon whispered “You’ve got the best seat in the house” in my ear just before the show started, leaving me on tenterhooks; but the taut, electric feel of Red Ink was absolutely superb. It crackles with expectant energy, with a perfect cast and a constant feeling of threat, of danger.

ff2016, Day 4

‘Twas a nice day today: very little writing or planning was done, but I had plenty of nice chats and catch-ups this evening.

  1. This Storm
  2. The Last Time I Saw Richard
  3. Sex Depression

A weird trio of shows. All three seemed to want to keep me at arm’s length – by denseness of text, by age, or by style – with varying levels of success. Waiting for the silence to break in Sex Depression was hilarious… confronting, but hilarious.