Adelaide Fringe 2019: various

Friday night 22 Feb

Bennett, Bowtell and Urquhart at Trinity Sessions. The closer you get to blue grass the more musicians don’t like stopping. These guys are alt-country and their current hit is at the expense of their last. To quote: you have to be Keith Urban to have two on the charts at the same time.  Hilarious.

Sweet, engaging and stunning value as they played for 2.5 hours (including interval). Trinity Sessions wasn’t quite full, but close. A great turnout with so much competition for bods in chairs at the Fringe. My companion felt like there needed to be more light and shade than there was, especially in the first half. I was just blissfully lost in their harmonies.

Saturday 23 Feb

The Merger at Holden St Theatres

Hard to oversell this one. Brilliant, both the base show and all the Adelaide-Fringe specific wisecracks in it.  It was so good that Manny thought there must have been plants in the audience, but I don’t believe that. Damian Callinan was on his way to Europe to showcase the recently released movie. Looking forward to making the comparisons.

Blackrock at Holden St Theatres

It’s a real challenge putting something like this on, the Fringe is mostly a laugh a minute, chaps on crazy cycles, cheap tricks. But this is inspired by one of the many horrific acts of violence against females in Australia and is still as relevant as at the time Nick Enright first tried his hand at dramatising it. I haven’t seen the movie and I don’t know if this production changed the play – it was very choppy, scenes rarely got to develop before the stage was emptied and another started. It didn’t bother me, but Manny wasn’t keen on that aspect. The acting was good. There aren’t many opportunities for meaty parts for a whole gang of teenagers and if only from that point of view, this play should continue to be produced. And the other major reason is that nothing changes, nothing changes….nothing changes. So we have to keep watching this and hoping that this isn’t the case forever.

Sunday 24th Feb

Lumina Vocal Ensemble won us over last year with a medieval program in the Barr Smith Reading Room, a beautiful venue for the occasion. This Fringe they provided a program of a range of songs from around the world, Australia to Middle Earth. It disappointed me to find out that a lot of the audience were singers themselves and presumably otherwise often friends/family of the performers. This local choir has a reputation that extends far beyond Australia, with over 1M hits on youtube. Manny and I shouldn’t have been about the only punters there because we are happy to go to music from time to time and don’t have borders on what that music is. But yeah, there were no crazy chaps on cycles or cheap tricks. Sigh.

Great Detectives 2 was one of the many shows Emma Knight had to rehouse at short notice after the Morphett Racecourse became unavailable to her. Great news for us, as The Goodwood Institute is a short walk for us and a far superior venue. It’s intimate, friendly, nice bar area, it’s LOCAL. I guess the Racecourse is local to somewhere, but I’d never think of it that way. We can walk to Goodwood, but otherwise there is excellent public transport (bus, tram and train). And there are cute bars, the Eggless Dessert Cafe, and restaurants in abundance. Oh, and if you are like we were on Sunday night, you can go to a show and then do your shopping at the IGA on your way home.

The show itself? We saw V1 last year at one of the National Wine Centre’s venues. It was a ball, the cast infectiously amused us as they amused themselves. We had little kids watching nearby who were laughing throughout. It was FUN! This year, it was a little underrehearsed and a show like this needs to be sharp. But I think in any case, seeing one performance, whether last year’s or this, was enough. It is rather same, same: okay for a regular radio show in 1950, but as a Fringe show, overall I wish we’d tried something else. This is NOT to discourage you from going! If you missed one, you will have an entertaining time at two watching something really different from the run of the mill…let me see…crazy chaps on cycles? Cheap tricks? You know what I mean.