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2016-02-18 02:08 pm

Review: Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes

 Last night we went to see http://www.fringeworld.com.au/program/event/9fe447c8-7005-4612-a6ad-2d7dd25254e6/ - Adventures of The Improvised Sherlock Holmes.  This was pretty dear to my heart, because I'm very fond of Sherlock and of improv - so seeing it all come together was pretty neat.

SIr Arthur Conan Doyle hands out cards to write a title of his unpublished Holmes story on, which they'll then, if drawn, turn into reality. While I was a little disappointed that my suggestion of The Case of the Gabardine Life Preserver wasn't drawn from the hat we were soon drawn into the mysterious case of the Missing Mobile Phone.

The cast was lively and playful, full of esoteric bits of Victoriana trivia and not above trying to trip one another up from time to time. Inviting two characters to dinner when they were played by the same person, for example, all taken in good humour and to audience merriment.

There were bits where an actor would pause, squint and try to work out if something was invented yet, a familiar feeling to anyone rpging or writing in the era. What's clear is that these actors love the stories just as much as we do, and are revelling in the chance to play in Doyle's creation.

Me to "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle' - "I'm a great fan of your work"
'Sir Arthur Conan Doyle' - "Yes, I'm a great fan of myself."

There's shows on tonight, tomorrow and Saturday. I'm surprised it hasn't sold out.

Highly recommended 8.5 and going on a treasure hunt with Dr Joseph Bell on the Sid and Nancy Scale.

The cast of last night's Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes
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2016-02-12 11:58 am

Review: Monroe & Associates


Monroe and Associates is a fully immersive interactive theatrical live action roleplaying experience. It's thoroughly enjoyable, well presented and exciting. You are briefed, enter the caravan, and from then on you're in the world of Monroe and Associates, your only contact with the world outside the caravan the telephone, and various characters who may turn up to knock on your door.

There are puzzles to solve, and decisions to make. The sound and the lighting are controlled by the supporting performer and the whole thing is just great fun. If you've ever wanted to be Travis McGee, Spencer for Hire, Sam Spade or even wanted to leaf through the  Rockford Files or at least his caravan, this would be your chance. Or it would be if it wasn't as usual, sold out, and rightfully so.

I can't tell you anything about the plotline without spoiling it for you, but rest assured, you will make your own entertainment, and you will get your money's worth. You have amnesia, a hat and the key to a caravan. They tell you you're Frankie Monroe.  

This is one of the most well thought out and crafted entertainments I've ever seen.

10/10 outstanding and spending a busy day at the office of The Middleman on the Sid & Nancy scale. 
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2016-02-07 12:00 pm

Sweet Dreams - Songs by Annie Lennox with Michael Griffiths.

Fringe down in Mandurah )

This was Michael's last show for the Perth Fringe this year, he's heading off to Queensland for his next show and try to see him if you're fond of the Eurythmics, because he does a fine and sensitive job.
Hope he comes back next year.

9/10 powerful and moving and finding the briefcase with the two figurines in it from the old Live From Heaven video on the Sid and Nancy Scale.

Outside mer-acrobats, a stilted jellyfish and a huge moray eel entertained passersby. I will definitely be looking into more fringe events in Mandurah. The food vans here have much more gluten free options than the Cultural Centre fringe ones do. 
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2016-02-04 09:45 pm

Aaaand Now for Something Completely Improvised.

 Well Flash in the Can is with us again and treated us to a show of Aaand Now for Something Completely Improvised. These are the people behind Aaand Now For Something Completely Wireless, also an improv masterpiece.  In tonight's show a forgetful old grandfather, prompted by audience members sets the scene for the story to be acted out by these skilled performers. So we had the Story of Boris (whose dark secret was that he had 3 left feet) and The Mashed Banana.

We learned from audience members that it was set in Aberdeen, in the U.K and begins in a library. The cast pulled this all into a dramatic narrative involving Boris the Librarian's plot to translate all of the books in the Aberdeen Library into Scottish as should be right and proper in that place, a childless couple, 7800 babies, Leviticus and quite a lot of mashed banana.  With scene and costume changes too, and a side note from one of the actors, who was born in Aberdeen.

This was all wrapped up in a satisfying and clever conclusion. These stories will be different each night, of course, and the actors all have their own shows as well other Flash in the Can shows so there's a lot of hard work and brains there. 

8.5 (this was the preview, they will get even better) out of 10 super and watching the Radio Prune / Whose Line Is It Anyway Mornington Crescent championship playoffs on the Sid and Nancy Scale.
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2016-02-02 10:00 pm

Nosferatu with Viola Dana the Perth Band

 
Nosferatu with live score composed and played by Viola Dana.

This was an amazing experience down at Scarborough Beach at the Sunset Verandah - Big Top tonight. You unfortunately don't have the chance to see this performance at the rest of the Fringe as it was one night only. Not the usual Fringe 1 hour show. Not something the performers could do over and over - this is intense work.

They played a very good restoration of the classic horror film Nosferatu, and the band provided the score to it - live and with no stops.

This adds true intensity to cinema. For nearly two hours the band played constantly building the sound picture and the soul of the film.

As the band took their bows, it was clear that despite making it look and sound easy, playing to an unremitting conductor was physically and mentally exhausting. But exhilarating too and the audience certainly picked it up.

I never knew anybody was doing this sort of thing locally and I'm going to keep my eye on them.

They will be doing Buster Keaton's The General at the Hyde Park Festival on the 14th and I urge you to go, because it is quite stupendous to have this cinematic experience. More info herehttp://www.vincent.wa.gov.au/Your_Community/Whats_on_in_Vincent/Events/Events_2016/Summer_Concert_14_Feb

Left to right - Tristen Parr on cello, Jozef Grech on guitar, Kathy Corecig on violin, Pete Guazzelli handling MC and percussion. Photo by +Rob Masters 

The Perth Band Viola Dana

10/10 fantastic and being invited to watch Young Frankenstein in company with the original cast.
Show less 
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2016-02-02 07:44 am

Puddles Pity Party



Puddles Pity Party

Some of Rob's photos from last night.
photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPaXSjueoGU81QC81sx8Aimf0DcrTY-B1y_LgdR2L6g9WCDtteSsUnTMY0M5HK29Q

This is an extraordinary performer with a golden voice and great stage presence. A lot of people find clowns confronting or frightening, Puddles isn't like that. Now while I'm not phobic myself he comes across as a very sympathetic fellow so if you're trying to be brave he might be the clown to start with as therapy.

His is a very subtly nuanced performance and I've rarely seen such delicacy  in a clown performance. Unique and sympathetic performance. 

There is audience participation. There is nowhere safe to sit to not be picked but Puddles is lovely.

As Rob Masters says, if you see only one Fringe show this year, you're doing it wrong. But if time or money constrained me, this is the one show I'd see. Actually, let's put it this way - if there was one Fringe show I'd see again, this would be it. In fact I will try to.

There's three more shows, 2nd, 3rd and 4th of February 2016. 

Puddles welcomes you to take a snap during the performance which is super! He lets you take pictures with him after the show too.

10/10 mellifluous and up to the neck in dark chocolate fondue watching the Mirror Scene from Duck Soup on the Sid and Nancy Scale.
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2016-01-31 11:38 am

Tiny Fringe Ferris Wheel

The tiny Fringe Ferris Wheel is worth a ride. The last portable ferris wheel in Western Australia makes for a captivating view of the Cultural Centre and surrounds. A ten to fifteen minute ride with a fairly relaxed crew "Just let us know when you're ready to get off".

7 dollars.

8.5 out of 10 fun and the first time you tasted chocolate covered honeycomb on the Sid and Nancy Scale. The Fringe Ferris Wheel in the Cultural Centre
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2016-01-31 11:30 am

Two Ruby Knockers One Jaded Dick

 We saw this highly amusing show last night. It's the first time I've ever seen a Mentalist in the flesh. Tim Motley plays the detective Dirk Darrow.  In the role of a 1930's detective noir comedy musical mentalist prestidigitator.  And there's not too many of them about. This show is all sold out so you will have to wait until next year for a stream of unending wit, mixed metaphors in a lightning stream of patter and single entendres and audience participation. Tim has great stage presence and isn't at all rattled when an audience member flubs a cue, he makes it part of the act with true professionalism. Great show last night.
"Now - the gentleman wearing the tablecloth - "
Audience laughs
"Be quiet! If a picnic should happen, he's prepared, and you're not."

8.5/10 Great fun and  Spencer for Hire jamming with They Might Be Giants on the Sid and Nancy Scale
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2016-01-30 10:41 am

Impromptunes at the Bok Choy Theatre, Noodle Palace. Fringeworld.

#fringeworld #fringeworld2016 

We saw a performance of this last night at the Bok Choy Theatre in the Noodle Palace. It's on the 2nd floor of Central Tafe. When approaching, if you have your ticket already you'll be directed up the scaffolding stairs to the third floor which is the rooftop series of bars.  

There's a lift for access if requested.

Well Impromptunes don't need me plugging it, it's extraordinarily entertaining and it was a full house last night. The performers are energetic, enthused and very very capable.  The shouted suggestion from the audience was "Lights, Camera, Dead!" and launched us into the musical dramas besetting Andrew and Peter Parker - brothers, one an actor trying to save his career against the dastardly Justin Bieber. Murder, drugs, intrigue and the amazing Jimmy the Mad Snake of debatable nationality and amazing special effects. Improv is challenging at the best of times but to improvise an entire musical with music (think Richard Vranch quality from the guy on keyboard) is just extraordinary. You'll go away sore from laughing and with earworms.  

9/10 Highly Recommended and having your own theme music on the Sid and Nancy Scale.
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2016-01-13 06:57 pm

My Fringe Favourites


Here's what I'm interested in - won't get to them all, but at least I know what's what.

www.fringeworld.com.au/favourites/1506988/

#fringeworld #fringeworld2016