30 September 2014

FRINGE part 7

This is not a love song
28 September 2014
Fringe Hub, Meeting Room
to 4 October 2014

There's something very endearing and sweet about This is not a love song.* 

Greg Fleet is a middle-aged man re-living the memories of his first significant love. His younger self is Shane Adamczak and his love is Tegan Mulvany (who also directed the show). The memories are so close that he can reach out and make them better by having a live 1980s-favourites soundtrack from Michael de Grussa (who was in All Out Of Pride) that all four sing along to.

It needs some help with structure and story-telling technique (conflict isn't people having a tiff), but this doesn't distract from the nostalgic and emotional heart that makes this story so lovely.

*Yep, I called Fleety endearing and sweet.

Angry Sexx
28 September 2014
Fringe Hub, Upstairs at Errols
to 4 October 2014

Angry Sexx, by Rachel Perks and directed by Bridget Balodis, is created by young women who are rightly angry about the barrage of sexism and objectification they face every day. As someone old enough to relate to the songs in Greg Fleet's show, I left sad and angry that young women still have deal with this crap, but thrilled that they are angry and making people see it from their side of the unbalanced picture.

With texts, chats and IRL conversations, two friends fail to see the hell that the other is going through and unknowingly encapsulate everything that contributes to the other's suffering. One doesn't want sex with her boyfriend and starts running; her friend says she needs a good fuck. The other is fucking strangers; her friend thinks she's a slut who's asking for it.

Anger comes from hurt. We don't get angry until the hurt becomes too much to bear. And when the anger's too much to bear, we act without being able see the consequences. This space between anger and consequences makes for great theatre.

And there are futuristic monkeys in holagram plastic tunics. They're funny and enjoyable monkeys who are looking at relics of women from now, but I don't know how the stories work together.

Attic Erratic
28 September 2014
Fringe Hub, Lithuanian Club, The Ballroom
to 4 October 2014

Tripped is Attic Erratic's second show for the Fringe. It became impossible to get a ticket to their The City They Burned

Nick Musgrove's new play was inspired by Alex Buzo's 1968 play Norm and Ahmed, where a middle-aged white guy attacks a "fucking boong" from Pakistan. It looks with shame at socially accepted attitudes of the 1960s when racial hate wasn't seen with the knowledge and horror that we see it with now.

And how I wish that were true. Every time I read a newspaper or watch the news, I am more ashamed at how Australia is hurtling backwards politically and socially and becoming a place that isn't safe and welcoming. It's heartbreaking to know just how relevant Tripped has become in the last week.

This play takes us into a Middle East war zone – who knew Australia would be back in one so soon! – where Norm's an Australian soldier (Angus Brown) and Ahmed's a "rag head" civilian (Ezel Doruk) who studied in Australia and can joke about Cronulla. But the jokes aren't easy when they are in a mine field and both have a foot on a mine. 

Director Celeste Cody seems to be going for a very dark humour, but the tone is inconsistent and at times easy laughs make it easy to ignore the reflection of ourselves and put the story onto bogan soldier boys and mad priests. This isn't helped by uneven performances; there's a chasm between playing for a laugh and letting a script be funny. 

The conflict and the characters are sometimes a bit obvious, but there's enough bubbling below the surface to make us pay attention and this is going to be a show that's talked about.

Some of these are on AussieThearte.com.

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