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Adelaide Fringe 2017 Review:

Super Amazing Giant Girl

*****

With only one more weekend of the Adelaide Fringe, then there’s all the more reason to go and see a show with the kids. This one is super awesome.

Direct from a sold out season in Melbourne, this two woman show is perfect for kids under 10.

It’s fast-faced, funny, quirky, cool and full of fab circus acts and physical theatre. And the premise of the show –   embracing your uniqueness and never giving up – is one the kids will identify. Adults will too.

Super Amazing Giant Girl makes kids laugh, it keeps them entertained and it helps them feel a part of something, rather than just an audience member.  The rollerskating and hula-hooping are highlights and the music is awesome too.

This is a five star. Take your kids. It’s super amazing.

Bianca x

 

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Adelaide Fringe 2017 Review:

Ella Hooper

*****

Ella Hooper is mesmerising. She’s that person who walks into a room and you instantly fall in love. Except in her case she’s standing under a spotlight, holding a guitar and in the company of one of the coolest bands around.

Her voice is sublime, her lyrics relatable, layered and full of enough “adult angst” that your mind wonders to past loves lost and heartache.

The set included her impressive solo work, songs from The Verses and a stunning cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. She also hinted at upcoming shows by Killing Heidi, the band she formed with her brother in 1996.

Ella has won five Arias, written top ten hits and is also the youngest person and first woman to have received APRA’s Songwriter Of The Year award. She has recently released a double EP ‘Venom/New Magic’ which will be on high rotation at my house.

She has always been a stand-out Australian musician, but as she grows older and more comfortable in her skin her songs become richer and even more vibrant than before. Her voice even more nuanced.

If you ever get a chance to see Ella playing live, do it. You will feel lighter for it.

Five out of five stars.

Bianca x

 

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Adelaide Fringe 2017 Review:

Lawrence Mooney

****

Come on, you know Lawrence Mooney, the multiple award winning hilarious comedian who loves to cause a storm. He’s the “★★★★★ jerk”.

That’s how his bio reads. It’s succinct and to the point.

So, here’s my review (because let’s face it Lawrence and reviews have been problematic).

Lawrence Mooney is fucking hilarious. He is a comic genius. Go and hear all about the memoir he doesn’t want to write, but should. You will piss yourself laughing – so wear dark pants.

Four out of five stars.

Bianca x

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Adelaide Fringe 2017 Review:

Renee Geyer

****

When Renee Geyer opens her mouth and sings, her life story pours out. Not that she tells the audience about her journey through the years, you can simply hear the bumps in the road, the loves lost, the wonder, the lessons learned and those she chose to obtusely push aside. Her voice gives you an insight into her soul.

She is an integral, long serving member of Australia’s music scene. Her, at times, belligerent off stage persona has recently been in the spotlight, so too has her commitment to producing a revered body of work. In 2015, she was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. In the same year, she was involved in an incident at a Sydney hotel and was recently placed in a one year good behaviour bond.

You can hear the light and shade in her finely tuned magnificent voice.

The audience was left in awe of the performer as she commanded both the crowd and her backing band.

She told the crowd a circular stand-alone stage, which meant she’d have to move from the cocoon of her band, was not for her and was best left in her Countdown days. Yet, as soon as she ventured onto it she shone, like the spotlight recharged her. So much so, an audience member presented her with some flowers. She seemed uncomfortable in the moment, later commenting that flowers were not “her thing”.

Renee Geyer may not be for everyone, but everyone simply must see her perform. She epitomises vocal mastery. The audience were on their feet dancing during her final song, wanting more. And with a new album in the pipeline, it looks like her ardent fans may get what they wish for – a longer set-list and more time in the presence of a true performer.

Four out of five stars.

Bianca x

 

 

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Adelaide Fringe 2017 Review – Soweto Gospel Choir

*****

This show is joyful. From the very first song to the last.

The Grammy award winning Soweto Gospel Choir brings together some of South Africa’s greatest voices, performing a mix of traditional songs, African Gospel and South African freedom songs. The choir also performs unique reinterpretations of international classics, like Leonard Cohen’s stunning Hallelujah.

Beautiful singing really moves me and there were a number of times I found myself tearing up. The voices of each choir member given a moment to shine and they shone so bright my heart burst. My 10 year old clapped along with the music and was straight to her feet giving a standing ovation with the rest of the crowd.

The energy is unwavering, the accompanying live percussion fantastic and the dancing infectious. The soulfulness fills the room and your heart.

If you want to spend an hour embraced by pure joy, then this is a show for you. Five out of five stars.

bigwords x

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ADELAIDE FRINGE 2017 REVIEW:

DJUKI MALA

****

Since their 2007 clip of Zorba the Greek went viral, this Indigenous dance group from NE Arnhem Land has wowed audiences throughout the world. Djuki Mala perform a fusion of traditional Yolngu and contemporary dance and storytelling. The dance group was Winner Best Dance at Adelaide Fringe in 2015 and was named the Audience Favourite at WOMADELAIDE 2016. I can see why and so should you.

The mix of traditional dance, filmed interviews with elders and performers, and the upbeat dance hits, crossing a range of generations, is lively and enjoyable.

This should be a five star show, but it’s a little tired. It needs to be refreshed somewhat with updated interviews with the dances and some dance performances featuring more current music. Having said that, the compilations were performed with sass, fabulous comedic timing and cheekiness. The crowds’ uproarious reaction is testament to the dancers’ connection to the audience.

It’s also suitable for kids which is welcomed. As my children grow older it’s increasingly difficult to find shows that are both fun for them and not patronising. Kids are highly discerning and very quick judge. My eight year old also gave this show four stars. She found the first part a little slow. Conversely, it was my favourite part. The storytelling – the Yolngu dancing – it was mesmerising.

You will leave smiling, feeling joy and wanting more. It’ll make you laugh, cry and think.

Go see this show. Take your kids. Take your parents. It’s joyful.

bigwords x

 

 

 

 

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Twiggy and I recently celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. We’ve been together for 16 years, have three rad kids, a mortgage and spend much of our time texting each other exciting messages like: “We need milk and bread and do you know why the fucking toilet’s blocked again?”. Marriage is so sexy.

This year, we thought we’d celebrate by going to see Arj Barker. Oh, who am I kidding? Every year we celebrate by going to see Arj Barker. OK, not every year. We have branched out and seen a couple of other comedians (you see our first ever date was a comedy show at the Fringe). Despite testing out some other comedians (who we loved), somehow each wedding anniversary I seem to find myself sitting in the audience with a beer in each hand, snort laughing to Arj Barker.

Does it feel like groundhog day, Bianca? Do you think to yourself, man, we’re old and boring and need to mix it up? Do you ever feel like there’s three people in your marriage – you, Twiggy and Arj? Yes, yes I do!

Is it always loads of fun and do you always laugh so hard you feel a little embarrassed and scan the crowd nervously to realise everyone else is laughing just as hard? Yes, yes I do.

Do you ever wonder why you’re referring to yourself in the third person? Fuck, yes.

Let me explain why we keep going back.

He’s hilarious. Simple as that.

He’s socially aware. His humour is clever, silly and not ego-driven or nasty.

If you ask Twiggy, Arj’s played a big part of our life. “When he walked on stage as the surprise warm-up act at the Flight of the Conchords at the Sydney Opera House, it was one of the best moments of my life,” my husband declared the other night. “What about the birth of our three children and when we got married?”, I replied incredulously. “Well, those moments were good too”.

It’s true, Arj has been there at times when life was overwhelming. We could go to one of his shows, or pop on his dvd (that’s how old we are, now we can stream him on Netflix) and, for an hour or so, lose ourselves in laughter. A great comedian, can take you to faraway places and bring joy when things around you are pulling you down.

Whenever I think of Arj I remember one of our first caravanning trips with our three small children. Twiggy and were feeling run down, old before our time and a bit trapped by the mundane. It was agreed that once the kids fell asleep we’d smoke a joint, pop on an Arj Barker stand-up show and pretend we were anything but middle-aged parents.

The reality of trying to smoke a joint in a caravan park was quickly realised. There are old people everywhere all snooping on each other. I was forced to stand in our port-a-loo and blow smoke out through the tiny mesh window.

Once settled back inside the caravan, Arj dvd playing and adequately surrounded by every junk food ever made, it took minutes for paranoia to set-in. “Someone’s going to complain to the caravan park manager and get us chucked out,” I said, while shoving chips into my mouth. “No they won’t, how will they know we’re stoned?” replied Twiggy, Bundy and Coke can in one hand, chocolate in the other. Luckily, no-one barged into the caravan to discover two hagged parents covered in biscuits crumbs and Twisties, snoring in tandem, while an Arj Barker dvd played loudly in the background.

So, yes, last week I once again found myself sitting at an Arj Barker show alongside my Twiggy. Both of us a little grey, a little chubbier and still very tired. We’ve both changed a lot over the years and experienced so much together, but in some ways it’s really cool to have one constant in our life – Arj Barker, the third person in our marriage.

Trust me, even if you go and see him once you will laugh out loud from the beginning to the end. For that hour, you will forget your work, your worries and your washing. You will simply feel happy. And that’s the mark of a truly brilliant comedian. Every year he delivers a fresh new show and this year’s “Organic” is one of his best.

5/5 stars.

We were given review tickets for this show, but you can purchase them on the Adelaide Fringe website.

And to Arj, if you ever read this, thank you. You’re the best third wheel. I never have to whinge about you leaving your dishes next to the dishwasher, nor imagine creative ways to kill you.

And to Twiggy, Happy Wedding Anniversary. Love you.

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Bianca x