Showtime: Adelaide Fringe

Showtime starts with some weak jokes and good ball-in-the-mouth tricks from the MC, but weak jokes are ok in this case. He endears himself to us fast, with his kooky nature and country homeboy feel, and gets the show on the road quickly.

I keep saying this in my reviews this (and last) Fringe, but the funky circus / music fare just keeps appearing and appearing. It is so in right now! And the audience seriously love this genre. Easy to watch, a wide range of amazing acts and eye opening feats, generally great music. And not much thought involved. It’s total escapism in the ‘see a show’ arena.

Showtime. Image by Brian Harris.
Showtime. Image by Brian Harris.

Showtime is easily as appealing as the best of them. Its comic vaudevillian, carnival flavour is a winner. It’s quite unique in this way and offers plenty of laughs amongst some very classy acts. It pushes offbeat humour to the max and dresses it all up with a hint of the naughty… and we like it, lots. There are only four performers and that is astonishing, for it feels like there must be a big squad – the acts are big, bold and very well done, so we feel like we’ve seen an entire circus troupe.

Ruben the acrobat is sensational with his one arm balances, his ‘up and down the pole’ tricks and his amazing strength – supporting himself on one arm on many occasions, stopping himself in a split second with a grip of legs on pole – before his skull crashes to the ground, smoking a cigarette while oscillating on one arm on a pole… and providing some lovely funny audience involvement in his stunts around drinking spirits, without speaking a word. His great look and body, amazing strength and sheer acrobatic talent is awesome.

The hoop girl is A-grade in the hoop department and like the others dressed up her show with character work which pulled us in – big-time! Her slightly gothic-burlesque flavour kind of took me back to somewhere between the nineteen fifties and the nineteenth century, a delightful touch which actually runs through the entire show. She was so easy to be with and watch!

Charlie the magician knows his stuff wonderfully; there are some magic acts happening on stage that had us all utterly stumped and blown out entirely, as magic acts should. Highly professional work Charlie… and again, like the others… such great stage presence and charm!

Chanteuse-Rose all French with a tacky cabaret and common-as-dirt character, started off slowly but eased into a great segment which got funnier by the moment as she dragged unsuspecting punters onto the stage to beat drums while she sung and wriggled her butt faster and faster. As off-beat as can be, this gal can sing up a veritable storm and her last Edith Piaf (Regret) song really had us all fully experience the quality of her gutsy voice.

This is a great show. It won me over; and yes I’m bit by bit becoming a fan of the modern-circus experience. Why the hell not –its fun and amazement all the way; great work from a small team, which felt so big. You know your stuff Showtime… and do it so well. Loved it!


Stephen House

Stephen is a writer with numerous plays, exhibitions and short films produced. He has been commissioned often and directs and performs his work. He has won two AWGIE Awards from The Australian Writers Guild and an Adelaide Fringe Award (as well as more), and has received several international literature residencies. Stephen has been Artistic Director of many events. He has been performing his acclaimed solo show, “Appalling Behaviour” nationally from 2010 – 2014 (100 shows to date). Stephen has 2 new works in development.

Stephen House

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