The folks over at So What Media return with CabFringe hits Jazz Hop and New Coat of Paint both shows that have proved themselves hits in festivals past. Jazz Hop sees Sam Cherry on vocals lead a band of awesome musicians with compositions of classic hip-hop in awesome jazz stylings. This is beyond a novelty band, they are fantastic arrangements that should have fans and non-fans dancing the night away. New Coat of Paint will make a Tom Waits fan of you (if you’re not already) as Alison Coppe turns Waits’ grinding timbre to angelic tones. Catch them both at the Promethean.
You can catch a taste of this act (and many more!) on Amuse-Bouche this Wednesday, 8:15pm at Gluttony. Their shows start Friday at the Promethean.
Amuse-Bouche runs Monday through Wednesday for the rest of the Fringe.
The Hermitude of Angus, Ecstatic was my favourite Fringe show last year so I could not be more pumped to see what SlowClap’s Vachel Spirason and Steph Brotchie have come up with this year. No doubt another blend of colourful characters and impressive physical comedy.
These guys were guests on Amuse-Bouche and truly impressed me with their blend of song and story-telling while being incredibly funny. I’ve got to hurry along to their show because there’s only a few shows left.
These local favourites are in their third year and they never fail to impress. Can’t wait to check out their awesome brand of sketch comedy that combines so many classic influences from Monty Python to Micallef.
The buzz about this guy’s show has been seriously great so I’m looking forward to seeing what all the fuss in about in Amos’ solo debut. Word has it that audiences young and old are digging his comic stylings.
More to come…!
There’s over 900 events at this year’s Fringe. How could you do your share? How can you see more than a handful of shows?
Might be easy for some who have been saving every dollar in the lead-up to the festival but for the average punter, how can you ever expect to see a dozen shows at the festival and still have enough for beer afterwards? Easy, just sell your possessions! Follow Tyler Durden’s example in Fight Club and get rid of everything you own and suddenly your wallet will have some extra cash in it for a Nutella crepe at the end of your entertainment-filled night. Also keep an eye out for cheap tickets (RushTix, BankSA, Opening Night $5.) There’s plenty of performers out there that whose desperation you can exploit to save on admission. Don’t feel bad about not paying full price, most acts just want to perform to someone - and if you dig the show - tell your full price-paying mates!
It sounds simple, but booking tickets so you’re committed to seeing a show at a certain time is always a good idea. Buy another ticket at the same time and then find a friend to fill it. No friends? No problem! A lot of shows come with at least one fellow audience member that will happily be your friend. A Fringe performer feels a lot less anxious knowing thatthey have sold tickets on the night. You might be responsible for saving someone from a (financial/ spiritual/ mental) meltdown! Even though I’m recommending that you support as many acts as you can, I don’t want to make it sound like Fringe acts are sad charity cases begging for coin, they’re performers looking to put on a friggin’ awesome show. Most of these guys perform for a living. Tumble Circus even named their show after that fact.
3. Make Time
You’ve got cash and you know what you want to go see but there just isn’t enough hours in the day. Well you can do what a lot of Fringe-oholics/ Fringe-Maniacs do and make a timetable or you can take the easier route and quit your day job. You’ll find quitting your 9 to 5 work day really frees up the time required to recover from a big night of seeing shows and hanging at the Fringe Club or one of the Fringe hubs (The Big Slapple, Gluttony, Tuxedo Cat, Shimmering West.) You’ll also discover that you can now get along to matinées like Jason Chong’s Festival Fishbowl at the Rhino Room. Sure, post-festival, you might regret ditching your job but in the meantime you will be distracted by entertaining stuff like bright pretty lights and acrobats.
2. Take a Risk
There’s a lot of great shows at the Fringe that go unnoticed but they could be the show just for you. You don’t even have to wait for the reviews from the Advertiser to come in, after all you can see reviews from the audience members themselves on TalkFringe. Why not try to discover the next Cantina, Tom Tom Club or The Boy With Tape on His Face rather than waiting for 5 star reviews to come along? There’s no such thing as a perfect act and everyone is going to see at least one questionable performance (the guy who can breathe through his eyes?) Take a risk and book something that intrigues you. You can even go outside of the Garden! Check out the Tour of The Unexpected.
1. Don’t Miss Out
People don’t realise how much cheap (and free!) awesome entertainment is on offer during the festival. It really is a case of “If you never never go, you’ll never never know.” Live performance has a knack for leaving a lasting impact. Find a Fringe buddy that won’t be a drag when you present the concept of seeing a second (or maybe even a third) show in the same night. If you don’t make the most of the Fringe then you don’t get to complain about nothing ever happening in Adelaide and you may as well take ‘SA- The Festival State’ off your license plate. There’s so much talent in town from around the world. Between February and March, Adelaide exists.
Don’t know what to see? Amuse-Bouche, Gluttony’s talk-show previews three Fringe acts from different genres every night. Circus, stand-up, cabaret? We’ll point you in the right direction and you can even win tickets to their shows. Amuse-Bouche aims to give you a taste of the Fringe to whet your appetite.
Being involved in Neverender Productions is a fantastic way to have a taste of what it takes to put on a show from the ground up. I still remember the unprecedented amount of work involved in manifesting what was at first an idea my friends and I had into our original show in the 2008 Fringe, 2morro Will Do. It was the first time we had done anything like that without the aid of someone vastly more responsible than any of us were (and I still am). Over the years, my capacity within Never Enders has been as an actor above all else, but in this blog I will attempt to highlight the things that I have learnt, not only as an actor, but also as a member of an amateur production company.
In 2Morro Will Do I was committed to playing the role of Dan, a full-time chef who struggles with the potential loss of his relationship whilst bearing most of the financial responsibility within his household that he shares with a best friend and his partner. In retrospect I realize the irony of playing a responsible character amidst my naivety to the full process of getting a show from Marcel Blanch- de Wilt’s dank shed to a stage at the Fringe, but hey, that’s acting! The point I’m trying to make is that by choosing to be a part of the original show I was forced to learn a lot that I perhaps would not have had the opportunity to otherwise.
Reality first struck me when I realized that putting on Fringe show costs money, lots of money. More money than middle class, binge drinking, eighteen year olds usually have just lying around. Fringe registration costs around three hundred and fifty dollars ($395 now- Ed.), which is quite manageable within a group. But on top of that there is venue hire, the cost of advertising, set and prop design/creation, transport and the cost of keeping Michael Pejins crack cocaine addiction steady so he wouldn’t flip out during rehearsal. All costs that, I am not ashamed to admit I naively hadn’t considered. BUT NOW I KNOW.
Ok so that one is really obvious but I had to learn that shit. Secondly, getting an audience to actually come to your show that consists of more than your mum, and a hobo that looks strangely like Liam Neeson when you have virtually no connections within the industry is really hard. I found myself plugging the show to anyone I spoke to and handing out fliers like a madman. This can be ultimately rewarding as it forces you to talk to people and feel that bizarre concoction of pride and shame that it takes to plug a show to a stranger.
NOTE: Plugging a show can also give you an excuse to often speak to attractive members of the opposite sex during the Fringe Festival without seeming like Phillip Seymour Hoffman attempting to sexually engage Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights.
Finally, there are a lot of surprises along the way. You may walk to the fridge one day during rehearsal and find that someone ate your sandwich. In all seriousness though there can be moments that require an actor to be more flexible than usual. Sometimes a manager at a venue may say that you can bump in or rehearse on a certain day and you rock up energized and eager only to find that another rival acting group is rehearsing their shitty modernization of Macbeth or Hamlet… Great, it’s set in New York in the eighties and you’re all Wall Street executives… amazing. Bullshit aside, it can be frustrating at times but it just makes the cast and crew bond all the more.
The one thing I can confidently say is that every Never Enders show I have seen or been a part of has an acting cast that has bonded. Perhaps it is due to working under the perpetual Stalin-Esque tyranny of director Marcel Blanch- de Wilt or maybe it stems from the satisfaction of overcoming many trivial problems together and through that finding a sense of camaraderie.
When our second show Mache: No news like good news came around in 2009 I felt prepared and perhaps surprisingly a little more daunted because I knew the extent of effort the whole process requires, but due to my experiences in 2morro Will Do I was able to order myself sufficiently so as to party like a true Greek hedonist and still fulfil most of my responsibilities.
Essentially the point of this blog was to explain how truly involving being a part of a Never Enders production could be. If the idea of being part of a team that builds something from the ground up inspires you, then auditioning for one of the shows may be something to consider in the future. I can only speak for myself as an actor but, quite honestly, the experience I received in the facets of amateur theatre, other than performance alone, was always rewarding and usually quite entertainingly attained.
Paul K Stalenhoef
Being a part of NeverEnder Productions is a lot like working in a factory during the time of the industrial revolution. You get filthy, don’t get paid and are treated like dirt. Also, everyone talks in crummy cockney accents. But like the revolutionary and significant paradigm shift that the change in industry brought, so too did Never Ender productions shift my outlook on life. I began to realise that making it as an actor is hard, it’s thankless and you’re just as likely to have to get greased up on account of a fatter and wealthier man.
Still, NeverEnder Productions has also been a thrill, but much in the same way that any haunted house ride you’ve ever been on at a royal show “thrills” you. That guy that jumps out at the end in the skeleton suit and goes “boo!”, leaving you thoroughly unimpressed and downright furious, that’s the realisation that the show you’ve just spent all your time on didn’t even break even. What a jerk!
Also, that overweight, slovenly humanoid manning the ticket kiosk, with the slither of bacon caked to his sweaty wife-beater and the smudge of what appears to be pigeon poop on his bald head, that’s the review that you’re likely to get from Adelaide Theatre Guide, just because someone left a music sheet stand in front of a reviewer, who’s just overly anxious to get home and return to his or her collection of Justin Beiber concert DVD’s to watch and masturbate too.
2012 signifies my 3rd Adelaide Fringe and 5th NeverEnder Productions show. I guess it’s an achievement, but more in the same way that sticking a butt-load of dicks up your arse is an achievement, people will just tell you that Ke$ha has already done it. 2012 sees the concept pioneered in the last Adelaide Fringe with Tonight With Tony scrapped unceremoniously, replaced by a sleeker and more efficient show, Amuse-Bouche, that boasts more breasts, more dicks and less Tony. What more could you want? There actually will be some pretty talented guests, even though Wil Anderson told us to “go fuck ourselves” (citation needed- Ed.) when we requested he be on the show. The show also promises to make you vomit, as Marcel rubs food all over his hairless manatee-like body, all for the sake of art of course.
NeverEnder Productions is a crass, attention-grabbing, self-obsessed ramshackle collective that does whatever it can to dupe a public it has no respect or regard for into coming to shoddy, overly long, insensitive and down-right idiotic shows. There’s not another company I could ever dream of working for.
Oppressed Co-writer and host of Amuse-Bouche