Grand Theater of Flight; IT-ME TIME; Magic Headliners; Just Great; Noemie

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The show carries with it a royal ransom of artistic highlights, but what it gives back is priceless – Grand Theft Theater is a sensitive and intelligent exploration of the vital role memory plays in keeping theater alive.

Carefully crafted and structured performances layer vigorous physical and visual theater with insightful (and often humorous) reflections on the performers’ experience as audience members. It delves into the critical demands of the creative process, extending a generous invitation to viewers to remember what makes theater special to them.

The emerging artists behind Pony Cam – Claire Bird, Ava Campbell, William Strom, Dominic Weintraub and Hugo Williams – have a surprisingly unified post-drama aesthetic.

They have the talent, commitment and technique to make theater as memorable as many of the artists they look up to, and someone should give them money right away so they can get their work across. at the top level.

Meanwhile, Grand Theft Theater offers a great chance to reunite with like-minded souls and rekindle your love for an art that existed only in the mind for several years.
Reviewed by Cameron Woodhead

EXPERIMENTAL
IT-ME TIME Traveler Beta Live x Social Dis Dance ★★½
Runaway Festival Park, until October 15

IT-ME TIME Traveler Beta Live x Social Dis Dance at the Melbourne Fringe.

Taiwan just opened its borders to visitors as COVID-19 restrictions ease after 2.5 years; so it seems fitting that Taiwanese artist Betty Apple is leading some sort of rave. Known for its work that seeks to interrogate the politics of the body as a millennial in postcolonial Taiwan, Apple also tends to appropriate mass-produced objects intended for erotica and entertainment. In IT’S TIME FOR ME, the artist does not deviate from this motif: she is transformed into a “Beta Version Cyborg-Mermaid” of the near future, embellished with fake breasts. The show begins with Apple seemingly trapped in a bunch of inflatable balloons until she becomes the lead singer of industrial techno band Social Dis Dance. This is where the party begins.

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Apple’s character is reminiscent of hologram singer Hakune Mitsune, except the Cyborg-Mermaid is real. Where is she? She prances around the stage, takes sips from a bottle of white wine (which could really be water) and urges the audience to get excited with her like a band would at a concert. “I swim!” the Cyborg-Mermaid chants. “I’m a woman!” Meanwhile, generic techno beats the pump in the background; another member of Betty Apple’s crew follows her with a cell phone camera attached to bright lights. Everything captured ends up being projected onto a big screen behind the performance. No matter where you look: the screen speaks to the ground and vice versa.

The effect is unwieldy. While a more generous take on the show might say it’s a way to dismantle the false dichotomy between “true” and “false,” it simply feels like a drunken dance party clawing to be seen. While the audience-facing element of the performance (Apple invites people to stand or sing along with her, and later amongst themselves) is entertaining enough, there doesn’t seem to be much else going on. The public rushes forward. Towards the end of IT’S TIME FOR ME, Apple has a new song: “Don’t care!” That could be the whole problem.
Reviewed by Cher Tan

MAGIC
Magic Headliners ★★★★
Dom Chambers, Simon Coronel, Vyom Sharma, Lawrence Leung, Trades Hall, Solidarity Hall, until October 23

Not since the days of turning water into wine has a good time been so instantly conjured up as by the Australian turned America’s Got Talent and Broadway star Dom Chambers, who crafts several pints of beer from a seemingly empty brown paper bag.

Clockwise from top: Dom Chambers, Simon Coronel, Lawrence Leung and Vyom Sharma in Headliners of Magic at the Melbourne Fringe.

Clockwise from top: Dom Chambers, Simon Coronel, Lawrence Leung and Vyom Sharma in Headliners of Magic at the Melbourne Fringe.

He joined in this jaw-dropping hour of “How Did They Do That?” power by comedian Lawrence Leung, a helping hand to rip words from our minds with the disarming help of a bingo cup and a deeply unflatteringly named chopstick, as gifted by his brother.

Dr. Vyom Sharma, an occasional ABC guest, can predict numbers using our phone calculators, and Simon Coronel, who twice fooled magician kings Penn and Teller and won the first prize in close magic this year at FISM, the “magic olympics,” works good old-fashioned card tricks. We all know it’s not real, but when misdirection is so charming, who cares? Just take a pint with them in the bar afterwards.
Reviewed by Stephen A Russell

THEATER
Noémie ★★★★½
Patrick Livesey, Hall of trades, Hall of solidarity, until October 23

A terrible silence falls around the devastating act of suicide. But does our collective inability to talk about it exacerbate the insurmountable loneliness felt by far too many Australians?

Naomi at Melbourne Fringe.

Naomi at Melbourne Fringe.Credit:Jack Dixon Gunn

It’s an anguished question posed by one of the many characters whose surprisingly talented skin performer Patrick Livesey assumes, affecting distinctly different voices and physiques during an emotionally raw hour of textual theatre.

Their mother took her own life in 2015, and this powerful calculation involved Livesey conducting more than 30 hours of interviews with family and friends trying to figure out how it happened.

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efficient Noemie must demand a lot from Livesey, as they move relentlessly across a dark stage lit by some sort of glowing triangular shrine.

There are no easy answers, but what we are left with is an incredibly generous act of love and understanding. A call to listen to each other, to speak up and to protect each other.
Reviewed by Stephen A Russell

For help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

THE COMEDY
Just great ★★★
Eddie Pattison, Trades Hall, until October 23

Eddie Pattison is an engaging, vulnerable and sometimes hilarious performer – but the overall theme of just great is authoritative and superfluous.

Just Super by Eddie Pattison at the Melbourne Fringe.

Just Super by Eddie Pattison at the Melbourne Fringe.Credit:Jack Dixon Gunn

Navigating the world of “superforecasters” – those who use statistical analysis to provide predictions of future world events – is far from enough to last an hour together.

Pattison’s memories of growing up in Brisbane, their acknowledgments of their own mental health struggles, and stories of gender and sexuality revelations land well. Not to mention a slightly unsettling recognition of how they got their earrings.

But when brought back to taped interviews with loved ones trying to verify if he is indeed a “superforecaster” – the joy in the room is deflated by meandering conversations and tedious tests.

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Pattison doesn’t need to use such an obscure underlying motive. Their anecdotes carry. With some tightening up in their delivery and confidence in the material, they’ll be ones to watch at next year’s comedy festival.
Reviewed by Tyson Wray

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