30 September 2011

FRINGE review: Sweet Child of Mine

Sweet Child of Mine
Bron, Jim and Linda Batten
and The Last Tuesday Society
28 September 2011
Studio 246, Brunswick
to 1 October 2011


I've seen some great shows this Fringe, but I haven't loved any quite as much as Sweet Child of Mine. My heart is still grinning from this show that's made from love – and there's only a couple chances left to for you to be able to say that you there when Jim told his dad jokes.

Jim and Linda Batten have six children; one, Bron, left their Warrnambool home to study contemporary dance and drama.

Jim and Linda love their daughter Bron. Melbourne's independent-cool-arty-farty hipsters (and arty-farty bloggers) love Bron's hilarious and subversive art. Jim and Linda like beautiful art that makes sense and doesn't have nudity or bad language. So what do they make of a daughter who understands post structuralism, danced a chicken abortion in an empty swimming pool and has spent a lot of time in a blue sleeping bag pretending to be a whale?

They perform this show together, on film and on stage.

Jim Batten is the star of this Melbourne Fringe. As scantily-clad Bron swirls around in symbolic white chiffon smock and practical Bonds underwear, Jim tells us what it's like to be the dad of an artist and, on film, Bron asks Jim and Linda to tell her what they think she does.

Apparently contemporary art isn't clear to everyone and artists are known to have unreliable incomes.

Linda and Jim Batten like art that has some emotional kick to it, that's uplifting, that is understood and makes an impression.

So they're pretty lucky to be in a show that ticks every single box. And it has obscure references, a beaver, bad language and blue paint for the rest of us!

Sweet Child of Mine is for anyone whose parents don't understand what they do (yes Mum, I'm still doing "some writing") and for parents who don't know why their artist offspring don't want a steady job.

But is it art?

Fuck* yes! 

(*Sorry Linda.)

PS. Jim and Linda, I'm a bit older than Bron and still supplement my income with that govt arts payment and am heading towards spinsterhood...


A version of this review appears on AussieThearte.com

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