Sunday, October 01, 2006


Part one of a series of briefs comments about the shows I've seen at this year's Fringe Festival...

Thursday 28th September

Fringe Furniture: the SM bed and chair were definitely highlights. Overall though I can't help but feel the event has lost some of its magic since moving from the Fitzroy Town Hall to the more sterile confines of the Melbourne Museum. This year's theme of 'Go for Baroque' would, I'd hoped, inspire some truly creative entries, but the sensible and slick still dominates...

Friday 29th September

Festival Club Opening Night, North Melbourne Town Hall: a superb night's entertainment at the Festival Hub:
  • I had my photo taken in a booth with a complete stranger, courtesy of the Melbourne Photobooth Project, an awkwardly intimate and unique experience;
  • Admired some excellent artworks created by students from NMIT in Picturesque, including the coolest bowling pins you will ever see, and a series of works reinterpreting Russian dolls;
  • Saw two perfectly formed miniature performance pieces courtesy of the highly recommended Penny Machinations: The Barina of Mystery, performed by Wes Snelling, and Skilltester, performed by Margaret Locke, who sadly had to rate me a D-grade psychic, but assured me that there's always room for improvement. I'm trying, Margaret, I really am!
  • In a tag-team of true Fringe style, drag king Beau Heatrbreaker performed on the main stage before introducing a group of elderly female tap-dancers, whose dynamism really added to the energy of the night.
  • The Wicked Force Breakers then popped, spun, flipped and generally amazed the crowd;
  • And finally, several glasses of champagne and schmoozed sponsors later, it was time for the last hurrah from The Drowsy Drivers' Keating! Oh my GOD, what a show. I knew it was good; people have been raving about this show ever since last year's comedy festival, but I've never quite managed to get around to seeing it. Tonight I whooped, laughed, hissed, and loved every single minute of it. This is absolute gold, people. It's so good that I will seriously consider flying up to Sydney to see it again in its new incarnation at the Belvoir.
"Historically accurate* and independently verified by skimming through Don Watson’s book, KEATING! is the simple and time-honoured tale of an Australian political superhero and his battles against assorted mugs, dummies, dimwits, gutless spivs and scumbags.

Share in the heady rise, tempestuous reign and tragic fall of the Placido Domingo of Australian politics. GASP! as Hawke ignores the Kirribilli agreement! THRILL! as Prime Minister Keating sticks it to the drones opposite! CHEER! as he wins the sweetest victory of all! HISS! as the evil Howard betrays his colleagues in his thirst for power! SCOFF! at the blatant historical revisionism!

KEATING received the Barry Award, the Golden Gibbo and the Age Critic's Award at the 2005 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Best Original Score (Cabaret) 2005 Green Room award, and was nominated for Best Musical at the inaugural Sydney Theatre Awards and Best Original Score at the 2006 Helpmann Awards. It runs for approximately one hour, and folks of all political persuasions are welcome (though some may feel more welcome than others). You'll have the time of your life!*
* non-core promise"

More to come shortly...


ekstasis said...

I can't believe you came and saw Penny Machinations - and you didn't see my booth!!!!

come back next fri and see ME in 'Pick a Chair'!!

richardwatts said...

Sorry babe, and yes I definitely plan to come back and see more Penny Machinations, and you!

ekstasis said...

*grumblegrumble*yeah you better*grumble*