Showing posts with label Sydney Fringe Festival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sydney Fringe Festival. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Way of all Fish - review

This was a very entertaining night in many ways. It is the Fringe Festival and the Way of all Fish by Elaine May is part of the Festival. The production is presented by Lumi Theatre and Sydney Independent Theatre Company playing at the Old Fitzroy.
The play is directed by Kylie Bonaccorso and as she says in her notes she spent quite a bit of her childhood staring into a fish bowl watching the relationships and interactions between her fish. So, when she read this she immediately related to it. The play is about the relationship between two characters, the wealthy well connected employer, Ms Asquith (Sarah Farmer) and her secretary, Miss Riverton (Hailey McQueen).  At the start of the play it is obvious that Ms Asquith is the dominant character. Then slowly you learn that not everything in Ms Asquith's life is as good as the she makes it appear. She maybe well connected but she is divorced and her own son wants little to do with her, leaving her all alone on a Friday night. She invites Miss Riverton to spend the night with her tippifiying her vulnerability. Over a glass or two of wine the tables begin to turn as Miss Riverton reveals her darker side. Ms Asquith is completely spooked and suddenly sees everything in a different light including the music. To round the play off though Elaine May ends the evening with Ms Asquith back to her domineering self but you are still left with just that slight doubt that things in the future could go horribly wrong.
The production itself is very simple. It all takes place in Ms Asquith's office. The only time there is music is during the evening where the most innocent classical pieces take on sinister undertones. Even the lighting is very subtle there is one point where the stages is darken and that is it. The most outstanding part of this production is not only the dialogue but the two actors. Sarah's performance reminded me of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. Her facial expressions told much of the story without Sarah actually having to speak. Hailey also played her role to perfection. The two together seemed very comfortable as if they had really been working together for years.
For the Sydney Fringe this was a quality show and one that I think most people would enjoy.
For more information and tickets head to

Saturday, 10 November 2012

2012 Sydney Fringe Awards Announced

Sydney Fringe Festival 2012 concluded last night with the annual awards for excellence, which this year also included awards for weirdness!
A large crowd of artists and arts enthusiasts packed the Sly Fox in Enmore for the announcements which were hosted by Chris Lego of Treehouse Industries and 2011 ‘Spirit of the Fringe’ winner.
Crowd Favourite award (voted by online public votes) went to The Atheist’s Guide to the Galaxy, a bizarre musical presented by Backstage at Sidetrack Theatre, written and directed by Jake Nielsen & Matt Predny and starring a large cast with live musicians.

Best Musical Theatre act was Alexander Vanderboom’s Acts Of Derring-Do,  Best Circus & Burlesque act was Luminous and the award for Best Dance went to Platform Shorts.

Best Music Act was won by Cowboys in the Amazon, Best Comedy was Mel Buttle’s Stop it You Are!

Lei Hideaway presented by Clockwork Theatre at Venue 505 won Best Theatre Show from a strong field that included Tommy Bradson (Sweet 16) at the Seymour Centre and Pete Malicki’s Room at the Forum.           

Awards for Excellence in Visual arts went to Deborah Keogh, Jacinta Stephenson, Sally Mowbray and Trent van der Jagt. Susannah Williams (“Animalia: A Short Trip Up Ill”) was awarded best individual artist and the best exhibition was Nigel Sense’s “I Work with Tools” at the Sheffer Gallery.

The Free Fringe Awards for events that were free of charge went to Beta Vulgaris (Best of Late night Fringe), Grounded (Special Award for a slamming party), Spoken Turd (Award for excellence in weirdness) and photographer Dave Urquhart (Award for going above and beyond the call of duty).

Stewart Rimes (multiple events at the Sly Fox) was named “Spirit of the Fringe.“

Fringe General Manager Lew Palaitis said the amazing festival this year had proven that the demand for The Sydney Fringe is as strong as ever.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Porphyria's Slumber

Devised and performed by Annabelle McMillan
Where: PACT Centre for emerging Artists 107 Railway Pde, Erskineville
When: Sept 21st-29th
Cost: $24/$18
Reviewed by Lana Hilton

I simply don’t know where to begin to describe what I witnessed whilst sitting on a milk crate, watching Porphyria’s Slumber, on Tuesday night.
A myriad of things happened; some were funny, some were frightening and most were very confusing.An assortment of props was used; garden pots, garden gloves, vegetables, seeds, chocolate cake and a peeler.Images were projected onto a screen; some were of people, some were of flowers blossoming and one was a man’s eye, looking at you, blinking.
The woman who tied it all together was dressed in flowing, white clothes and had three white flowers in her messy hair. She had dirt on her feet and big brown eyes. She was lost and determined and hopeful all at once. At one point she put on the gardening gloves and acted out a naughty little play and her hands had sex.
Porphyria’s Slumber is not a play – so the Directors Notes read - “it is an artist’s self-conscious response to a world laden with the burden of materialism”.
Porphyria’s Slumber is a poem written by Robert Browning who is referenced in the performance by the devisor and actor Annabelle McMillan, in video-blog form; she speaks of his effects on her through the five senses. The poem creates vivid images and tells the tale of a woman and a man, in love, and the man then strangles her with her own hair. Well, that’s what I read into it.
Despite not knowing what I was looking at and not being aware of the artist’s intentions; I really enjoyed the performance. It cleared my mind and was very entertaining. There was mime, slapstick comedy, R-rated puppetry, shadow puppetry, physical theatre and audience participation – and all in 45 minutes!
I would recommend reading the Notes before you watch the performance, to get a better idea of what it’s about. I now understand the ridiculousness of what I was watching was the intention and interpretation of the artist. She highlighted the hopelessness and deterioration of society in a very, very unique way.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Written by Pete Malicki, Directed by Alison Albany
Where: Italian Cultural Forum, Leichhardt
When: 12th-29th of September

Reviewed by Lana Hilton
I have a love/hate relationship with plays that I find a little slow and without a clear purpose to begin with, but then finish on such a high I am left replaying it over in my mind hours later!
This was one of those productions.
“Room” follows the story of five strangers who wake trapped in a room with no recollection of how and why they are there. The stage is minimalistic, the clothing plain and there are no special lighting or sound effects; this gives the realistic impression that this could happen in ordinary life, to ordinary people, like you and me.
Each character has their own very believable insecurities which the actors portray exceedingly well. There is the Gen-Y joker, the horror-movie loving conspiracy theorist, the sensible and caring mother, the ‘has issues’ commander and the young and innocent girl.
Sounds just like someone you know, right?
The first half is a little slow as the characters go through the paces of anger, confusion and sadness. There is lots of yelling which is intermittently interrupted when poisonous gas leaks into the room causing them all to fall asleep.
This somewhat repetitive cycle is broken as soon as the lights go up on the second half. The audience is thrust forward four months and we find the characters healthy, happy and some even taking on different personas. In order to adapt to their messed-up psychological experiment, the two men and three women have decided that expressing themselves creatively is the key to surviving their situation.
In fantastic soap opera style they perform skits, have accents and have the audience in fits of laughter; but beneath it all is a deeper meaning. Look at what they have succumbed to in order to survive. Look at what they have become. It might appear amusing but slowly their mental states are dwindling and soon they can’t remember who they are anymore.
This play explores human reactions to ridiculous circumstances and poses questions as to what might arouse within us if we had no choice. A scary thought.
Go and see it and be prepared to lose sleep over it.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sydney Fringe Festival- Fun Direction

Reviewed by Regina Su 

For a night of great comedy entertainment, the Sydney Fringe Festival hosts Fun Direction; amateur comedy guaranteeing laughs for everyone. The night at the Star Bar in our beautiful city kicks off with Kristin, the first of three acts, whose humourous anecdotes help us to reimagine our society as we know it. With enthusiasm and vibrancy, this first act connects with the audience on issues ranging from foreign politics, to television advertisements. Following Kristin comes Christine, a mum with mid-life crisis humour of domestic life and divorces. As this is most of her material, it is a little difficult for audiences to connect if they don’t relate. However, her left-field view of the world and one-liners contribute to a memorable night, with the final act, Krystal Meth, entertaining audiences in an outrageous and relentless visual treatise.

All in all, the night is a wide variety of entertainment and caters to all types of humour. Grab a few drinks as you go in from the Star Bar. As part of the Sydney Fringe, this night is one of value for money and the light humour helps the audience relax and take a break from society. As with any comedy night, however, please be advised about the attendance of minors, and some viewers may be offended.
For more information, please visit-