With FRINGE WORLD less than a week away, the anticipation in the Gutter Culture offices is palpable. Here are five shows that we’re really looking forward to seeing at this year’s festival.
Wil Greenway: Either Side of Everything
What we say: Greenway’s silly-sweet-sad-uplifting storytelling shows are amongst the finest we’ve seen. This year, he brings us another tale that is sure to have the audience enraptured from the outset and fondly remembering for a long time afterwards.
From the guide: “Cult storytelling hero and perennial Edinburgh Fringe sell-out, Wil Greenway returns with a show bursting with heart and hurt and hope. A storytelling show about that brief blip in the sprawling boundless ocean of the universe where you exist. That bit where your heart works. And your nose. And your eyes. That bit where music matters and you can smile at a smiling stranger. The brief and beautiful moment when you are alive.”
Last year: “Greenway delivers a master stroke of poignant storytelling that leaves the audience feeling moved and enlightened.”
Woman of the Hour
What we say: Sophie Joske is a remarkable performer who wields exceptional physical comedy, theatrical, and stand up skills. Returning to solo performance after the last two years’ collaborative works, Joske presents an outrageous character study that is sure to delight and, quite possibly, dismay in equal measures. We touched base with Joske to get her thoughts ahead of the festival.
From the guide: “A legendary artist, muse and woman of the stage shares an intimate retrospective of her life in the limelight. She'll be bringing to life her most well-loved roles as well as some personal favourites, and even some pieces that have never before been seen onstage. Can she contain her extravagant glamour in the modest furnishings of a festival show and go for an hour without picking up a bottle of gin? A new work from acclaimed writer and performer Sophie Joske.”
Last year: “Joske is a powerhouse of high-energy physical comedy with a range of facial expressions that has us losing ourselves in laughter within moments.”
El Bizarro: Glamour! Danger! Freaks!
What we say: Danger Cabaret returns with another dose of the disgusting, the dark, and the dangerous with their sideshow extravaganza. It’s a throwback to a time when audiences sat, anticipation clear in their faces, as a parade of freaks was presented in order to astound and amaze.
From the guide: “The all-out spectacle that has audiences fainting, throwing up escaping the front row! Can you handle it? Do you dare join us? Where do YOU draw the line? Get out of your comfort zone with a rollercoaster ride of sideshow, cabaret & variety marvels, sourced from across the globe!”
Last year: “The performers, all immensely skilled in their own right, delivered stunning demonstrations of their talents and we lapped it up like the baying, starving dogs of cabaret that we were.”
Bitch on Heat
What we say: Leah Shelton’s remarkable mashup style, which straddles the line between cabaret and performance theatre, is sensational. Her new show points the psycho-siren’s considerable talents directly at sexual politics with what will undoubtedly be amazing results.
From the guide: “This decadent banquet of lethal lip-synch, dark comedy and anti-burlesque is a pop-fuelled critique of sexual politics in the age of implied consent. Forget your obedience training and come revel in a twisted rehashing of the vintage sexism that drives how we live and love and fight and f*ck. Welcome to the doghouse. Beware. This Bitch bites.”
Last year: “Terror Australis expertly lampoons the terrifying masculinity of Australiana. It's the sort of show that naturally gets the audience into a patriotic fervour at the outset. But it cuts deeply into the rancid meat beneath the leathery, tanned skin of the outback archetype that the nation holds so dear.”
Not Romeo and Juliet
What we say: We’re never adverse to a new take on old art, and Not Romeo and Juliet promises to do just that. Queer clowning will spill out of the starched ruff of the bard’s most oft-adapted work as Twiner and Fish rework the story into a love story, and an inherently stupid one at that. We even had a chat with Lily Fish ahead of the festival, such is our enthusiasm for this show.
From the guide: “Set in a pathetic circus, ringmaster Veronique aspires to the grand spectacle of a bygone era while her long-suffering assistant stumbles upon then falls in love with poetic, Shakespearean text. As the romance of the bard's words possess them, against all the rules, these charming idiots cast themselves as Romeo and Juliet.”