March 01, 1999

Comedy and Come Out

Filed under: Archive,Comedy

Murray Bramwell

There may not be a Fringe this year but there is still going to be some Autumn comedy. The Big Laugh festival organised by the Adelaide Festival Centre is bringing back some familiar faces and more than a few toothy smiles.

Running for a couple of weeks is The Complete Works of Shakespeare. All thirty seven plays in ninety seven minutes. Compiled by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, originally known as the Reduced Theatre Company, this show, which has toured the known world, returns to Adelaide in a production directed by John Saunders and features Glynn Nicholas, Russell Fletcher and Sean O’Shea.

Individual stand-up favourites appearing at The Big Laugh include Judith Lucy, back performing The Show for one night only in the Optima Playhouse, and Fringe cult comedians the Scared Little Weird Guys, also for just one gig in the Playhouse. Sue-Ann Post, who manages brilliantly to put surreal comic spin on some fairly unfunny subject matter, plays three nights in the Space. Also, not to be missed, is Hung Le, whose gentle comedy captured many last year when he performed here. His new show is called Noodle Frontity.

Greg Fleet who has been a regular in Adelaide over the past five years with shows such as Thai Die , Ten Years in a Long-Sleeved Shirt and Underwater World , has a new number called Scary which explores horror, terror, Hitchcock and Stephen King. You may never shower again.

Also in the Space is veteran prankster Rod Quantock, who has popped up on Good News Week , and elsewhere, and is a guaranteed good night whenever he has two or three gathered in his name. The season also includes Wil Anderson and Tripod, Merrick and Rosso, a line-up of local funnypersons- and eight nights of Scottish git, Billy Connolly. But guess what ? He’s already sold out.

After a few name changes and some alarming turnover in personnel, Come Out 99 is back with a reduced program but an ever more vital role to play. With the demise of Magpie Theatre and other companies who made visiting schools part of their charter, Come Out is an important, maybe the only, opportunity for young people to experience live performance.

Running over ten days. Come Out will engage students and littlies around South Australia in activities which include music, theatre, storytelling, scripting, painting and dance. There is also ArtsMADD, a vigorous program of creative work in schools.

After the opening parade on Friday March 19 there is a full card of events. The Flying Fruit Fly Circus has a show at Her Majesty’s entitled Impact , directed by Kim Walker. Multitalented performer Linsey Pollak has a new work for three to eight year olds called Playpen which opens up a crazy world of music and digital technology. Spare Parts Puppets, from WA, will present a version of Tim Winton’s The Bugalugs Bum Thief in the Scott Theatre and, at the same venue, Heaps Good Productions are Dancing With Leaves.

A highlight of Come Out promises to be respected local company, Patch Theatre’s Visible Darkness. A collaboration between choreographer Jonathan Taylor and former Handspan wizard and now Patch AD, Ken Evans, Visible Darkness features Sarah Manthey, Aiden Munn, Billie-Joe Cook and the Outrageous youth dance ensemble. They will perform in the Optima Playhouse from 18-22 March. Also on my list to see is The Stones from Zeal Theatre in Victoria. Written and performed by Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou this gritty piece examines the behaviour and motives of two boys throwing stones off a freeway overpass.

The Adelaide Review, March 1999.

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