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Fringe 2007

Over The Hill
Maxim’s Wine Bar, 194a The Parade, Norwood, Wed Mar 7

Sometimes moving, often amusing and ultimately enjoyable, Matt Byrne brings “Over the Hill” to The Fringe. Byrne applies a great deal of affection to his portrayal of Benny Hill, and on occasion he executes the comedy legend’s mannerisms and delivery style perfectly. Ably assisted by Samantha Phillis, his own “Hill’s Angel”, Byrne takes us on a journey through Benny’s life from beginning to end, interspersed with glimpses of some of his most famous characters. The venue allows the audience to develop some intimacy with the players, and there’s even the opportunity to sing along now and then. The result is an interesting retrospective; a thoughtful blending of the human being and the superstar.

by David Robinson

Over The Hill continues at Maxim’s Wine Bar, Norwood, until Thu Mar 29.

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Rubeville
The Black Lung Theatre, 151-155 Hindley St, Adelaide, Fri Mar 9

Rubeville is telling us something about making a fast buck, something about celebrity and probably loads more besides … to try and make sense of it however is beyond this writer’s capability. Nevertheless, I thought the show was terrific. The three principles deliver their performance powerfully; the play features gratuitous swearing, George Clooney, bare backsides and a whole lot more. The band – looking like something from one of Dario Argente’s fantasies – plays some beautifully strange music, simultaneously disturbing and soothing. The set looks great; the condemned building that serves as the theatre is perfect for Rubeville.

At just under an hour the show whizzes by – I would have been happy to see more.

Completely weird. Absolutely mental. Great!

by David Robinson

Rubeville continues at The Black Lung Theatre, Adelaide, until Sat Mar 24.

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Johnny Cash Tribute Show
Caos Cafe, 188 Hindley St, Adelaide, Sat Mar 10

The Man in Black is back for Fringe 2007! Billy “T” does a great job of recreating the vocal style of the legendary Johnny Cash. For those songs that require June Carter-style harmonies, Billy is joined by guest vocalist Vicki. The Boundary Riders hold things together well, and create an authentic sound. The basic 4-piece line-up is augmented with brass on occasions. Between songs, the story of Cash’s life is narrated by Sandra Ross.

There is plenty of encouragement to sing along. The show features nearly 20 classic numbers including “Folsom Prison Blues”, “I Walk the Line”, “Jackson”, “A Boy Named Sue” and, of course, “Ring of Fire”. If you ask the band nicely, you might get that last one twice…

 by David Robinson

Johnny Cash Tribute Show continues at Café Caos, Adelaide, until Sun Mar 18.

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[Interrobang]
FAD Gallery, Upstairs 30 Waymouth St, Adelaide, Sat Mar 10

This show comprises five separate pieces, all of which are enjoyable, but I wasn’t sure if there was an overall point being made by Unstoppable Huxtable. Three of the acts are performed by the same two characters; the dialogue is intelligent and interesting. We also get to watch a video, a send up of the evangelical fervour whipped up by (usually) American self-help gurus. It’s hilarious as a stand alone piece. The other instalment of [Interrobang] is a lengthy dance performance. It is very enjoyable and well executed but I wasn’t sure what it was telling me in terms of the overall theme.

This young troupe stages an enjoyable hour-long show; a showcase of different types of performance, each executed well.

by David Robinson

[Interrobang] continues at FAD Gallery, Adelaide, until Fri Mar 30.

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“Aaah!” Celebrity Scenes
Excelsior Hall, 12 Sudholz Place, Adelaide, Sun Mar 11

"Aaah!” Celebrity Scenes gives the audience a glimpse of the fast-moving improvisational fun of Theatre Sports. Four acts from The Fringe provide a sample of their comedy before going “through the white door” and finding themselves in the middle of a scene that they then act out – with the help of a few others. Sound familiar? The show is informal, friendly and the audience are constantly interacting with the players.

“Aaah!” Celebrity Scenes provides a good opportunity for people to see what Theatre Sports is all about, to sample a few of the acts from elsewhere in the Fringe, and to have a good time while doing it!

by David Robinson

“Aaah1” Celebrity Scenes continues at Excelsior Hall, Adelaide, until Sun Mar 25.

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Whimsical Tricycle – Around the World in 80 Hours
PJ O’Brien’s Irish Pub (Upstairs) , 14 East Tce, Adelaide, Tue Mar 13

This show offers to take the audience on a journey “around the world in 80 hours”. It actually only runs for one hour, but I could have happily stayed and listened for quite a while longer. The recently-married Michelle Wilson and Kieran Butler relate tales of their adventures overseas and at home through song and story. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, it is a very engaging performance. The music is enjoyable; Michelle’s violin and Kieran’s guitar proving a very suitable blend for this style of show. Kieran’s songs are well-crafted, intelligent and sensitive. He handles the lead vocals very well, ably assisted by Michelle’s harmonies.

A jolly good show…

by David Robinson

Whimsical Tricycle continues at PJ O’Brien’s, East Tce, until Sat Mar 31.

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Carmen The Musical
Annesley College (Gillingham Hall), 89 Greenhill Road, Wayville, Thu Mar 15

Bizet’s opera is given a few tweaks here and there for Studio 89’s Fringe 2007 production. This version incorporates simple dialogue to make the story easy to follow, and the scenes are punctuated with flamenco-style dancing. The cast seem to be enjoying themselves as they present their performance. The music is performed by a seven-piece band, and the singing is fine – if a little difficult to discern at times. Many of the songs will be familiar - even for folks who have no knowledge of the famous opera.

All in all, this presentation is a fair effort by a young troupe. It has much more in common with a school production than a Fringe show, but it’s here nonetheless!

 by David Robinson

Carmen The Musical continues at Annesley College, Greenhill Rd, until Sat Mar 24.