Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fringe Recovery

I said I would share with you my thoughts on the shows I went to see as part of the Fringe this year. It was great to get to go see a few shows, rather than just performing and following Morgan around to his shows.

This year was a bit surprising, mostly due to the unseasonably wet and cold weather. So bad that the parade on opening night was cancelled... and severe storm warnings issued for most of the state! It was rescheduled but I for one didn't get to it. By the sounds of things, it was a bit of a flop.

It's rare that the most promoted Fringe show is actually the best. (so promoted there was an advert on the Virgin in flight magazine when I went to Perth earlier this year.) But the highlight for me was definitely Cantina, in the Spiegel Tent. So good in fact that I went to see it twice! Its so hard to categorise the performance, but it was kinda like hanging out in the wee hours of the morning in a Berlin nightclub frequented but acrobats and exhibitionists in 1935. And it seems the reason it was so good may well be the extraordinary production company behind it.

Strut & Fret have been behind such shows as the Kransky Sisters, the Happy Sideshow and the Secret Death of Salvador Dali, with current works include the Tom Tom crew and pyrophone.

Their work is amazing and diverse, working with the artists and venues more than trying to create to a production company bi-line.

Next up was the beautiful and inspiring Amanda Palmer. Once again in the Spiegel Tent, the only thing that this show suffered for was being too short. One hour is just enough time for her to really get going, but luckily she continued the show in the Garden after, with the assistance of Jason Webley.

Sometimes its hard being a mum, I really wanted to go see her the next night too and follow her to Tuxedo Cat for the Ninja gig. But its just not possible at the mo. Can't do everything I guess but the next time I pay money to see AFP will be somewhere like the Gov again, where she can give a 2 1/2 hour show.

Lastly was the Harry James Angus Band. That's Harry from The Cat Empire and man was it smokin! Lots of old school jazz and blues, post war tunes. My favourite by far was 'Just a Gigolo'. 3 of the members of the band were guys Harry has been playing music with since high school. The Cat Empire are back in Adelaide in April.

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