Drag queen with large yellow wig and bright pink jacket
Cabaret, Calendar, Comedy, Performing arts, September 19

Dragfest: Out Of Office

14 September @ Connections Nightclub ·
Presented by Karen From Finance and inthedark ·

Pack your calculators, save your spreadsheets and set your automatic email replies – because with a whole bunch of annual-leave up her sleeve, Karen From Finance is heading Out of Office. This September she’s hitting the road and she’s hitting it hard. Say goodbye to the 80-hour-work week, and jump on board the Finance express for this one-woman journey of self-discovery – and self-annihilation.

Karen’s debut one-woman show will feature all of her trademark high-camp, spoken-word lip syncs and hilarious mash-ups, plus all the buffoonery and tomfoolery you can poke a presentation pointer at. Think Dolly Parton replacing Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation. Buckle up, it’s going to be one bumpy ride…

More info
W: www.karenfromfinance.com/outofoffice
E:  contact@karenfromfinance.com

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Ursula Martinez performing in a white suit against a red curtain
Comedy, News, Perth Festival, Reviews, Theatre

Brickbats and bouquets

Perth Festival review: Ursula Martinez, Free Admission ·
Studio Underground, February 14 ·
Review by Robert Housely ·

The art of bricklaying, typically, is practised by tanned alpha men in stubbies shorts and blue singlets on dusty building sites.

When a well-manicured gay woman with hair in a neat bun wearing a white business suit does it on stage, the stereotypical world order has been seriously disrupted.

Although this contradiction is extremely unlikely, it is possible, sometimes. Sometimes, anything can happen.

That is precisely the point of acclaimed UK experimental theatre maker and cabaret performer Ursula Martinez – a Perth Festival artist-in-residence – in this one of her several festival offerings.

The starting point for this Mark Whitelaw-directed show was her realisation that “the word sometimes reinforces the idea that there is no absolute truth … that life isn’t fixed … that we are all prone to contradiction and all capable of change.”

Her performance comprises a strategically entangled compendium of personal anecdotes and observations, many of which begin with the word “sometimes”.

All the while she uses small concrete blocks, a trowel and mortar to fill in a cut-away section of a partition wall between her and the audience.

Slowly but surely you see less and less of her as she gradually builds a wall which, in keeping with her intent, is a complete contradiction to her unabashed personal exposé.

Her anecdotes can be bawdy, are frequently topical and – whatever the subject matter – are often hilarious.

“Sometimes”, she says, “the world would be better without penises and religion; and I’m not saying get rid of penises.”

“Sometimes”, she says, “I get jealous of Catherine Tate because I once did a comedy show with her 20 years ago. Sometimes, I’m not ‘bovered’.”

She remembers racist childhood ditties from the 1970s, reciting them as though still in the schoolyard with friends.

She reveals her “obsession with having a clean bum hole” as though intimate personal hygiene was open to public debate.

She mentions her current divorce proceedings with ex-partner “princess mental case”.

Nothing is off the table in what is a smorgasbord of personal admissions.

Her command of multiple accents complements many of her stories whether parodying her Scottish sex-education teacher or channelling her Spanish mother, who has a propensity for “hitting the nail on the head”.

Some playful audience engagement and an outrageous finale contribute to making this thoroughly accessible show well worth the price of admission.

Free Admission is playing at the Studio Underground until  Feb 18.

Pictured top: Ursula Martinez trowels it on.

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Lady holding medical specimen jar in one hand
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Parasites Lost by Alanta Colley

13-16 February @ The Windsor Hotel, South Perth ·
Presented by Alanta Colley ·

After an entirely sold out season at Melbourne International Comedy Fest in 2017, Inspiring Australia isproudly funding Parasites Lost to be part of Fringe World Festival in Perth!

The story of one woman, who has contained multitudes.

You’re never alone, when you’ve got a parasite. Ten years of travelling and working in Asia and Africa, Alanta has seen a few things. And eaten a few things. And yelled her lunch into not an inconsequential number of toilets.

Alanta’s job was to teach people about how to avoid diseases. In the process she contracted most of the world’s least pleasant parasites. Essentially she’s terrible at her job. Come on an adventure, across the globe and through Alanta’s intestine; and learn about some of the world’s cheekiest micro-organisms, and  how Alanta contracted each of them. Not a show for the faint of heart.

Parasites Lost is equal parts scientific, entertaining and comedic. It is a pathos-addled adventure across the globe and under the microscope. Discover brain-controlling fungi, living Hollywood beauty treatments, and parasites living right under your nose. Literally, under your nose. Right now.

Show M15+

“An impressive debut festival show” – Squirrel Comedy

“Colley is a warm, witty and unique performer” – Web Wombat

‘Alanta is an experienced and gifted orator.’ WeekendNotes

More info:
www.facebook.com/events/1915876402040603/

Pictured: Parasites Lost by Alanta Colley, credit Dom Krupinski

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Improv artist singing at a keyboard
Children, Comedy, News, Reviews

The gift of comedy

Fringe World review: Flash in The Can, Did You Hear What I Saw and Aaaand Now for MORE… Kiddo Kaos!
Subiaco Arts Centre, January 31 ⋅
Review by Rosalind Appleby ⋅

Armed with a bundle of improv games and kitted out in waistcoats and sneakers, Flash in The Can’s five-piece cast transformed the Subiaco Arts Centre into a theatre playground. Within minutes the young  audience were in amongst the fray, cheering, jumping on stage, calling out improv suggestions and laughing. So much laughing.

The basic premise of Aaaand Now for MORE… Kiddo Kaos! is the story of a Prince (Tom GK) who is miserable on his birthday. The remaining four cast members (Vicki Hawley, Caitlin Campbell, Tom Skelton and Daniel Nils Roberts) deliver a series of gifts to cheer him up in the form of impromptu stories, songs and skits. Thrown into the mix are crazy twists such as accents, hopping on one leg and other random audience suggestions. Thanks to the talent of the cast the result is immersive, varied and very funny comedy. A highlight was the heartwarming Gift of Love, delivered with the help of a couple from the audience who kindly shared the story of how they met. Within minutes their relationship was immortalised in a sweetly-rhyming song, the audience joining in the refrain. The rap battle was also clever and a favourite with my kids.

Needless to say the performers (derived mostly from Racing Minds, one of the biggest British names on the Fringe improv circuit) operate with seamless team work and impressive singing skills. Importantly they are also respectful; no idea is rejected, there is no pressure to participate and there is immense gentleness with the audience. If I could I would go again multiple times and watch the joyful gift of world class improvised comedy work its magic on an audience.

The cast members are also involved in seven other Fringe shows. We also took in Did You Hear What I Saw where we learned to our surprise that two of the performers have disabilities. Tom GK, quietly spoken and with a penchant for noodling at the keyboard, is in fact hearing impaired. Tom Skelton, loud and larger than life, is visually impaired. Together they shared the story of their friendship in a semi-structured improvisation. Their moving story revealed the ups and downs of living with a disability, interspersed with jokes and songs. We learned the five things NOT to say to a person who is deaf or blind, the five things that are good about having a disability, and the importance of friendship. The references to Brexit or Milton Keynes may have gone over the heads of the 8-12 year olds the show was aimed at. And as is the trap with autobiography the Toms did get bogged down in minutiae. But the content will refine as the season continues and the material is golden.

Aaaand Now for MORE… Kiddo Kaos! continues until February 10. Did You Hear What I Saw continues until February 2. Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes continues until February 9. Tom Skelton’s Macbeth continues until February 4. Tom GK: Hearing Loss, the Musical! runs February 7-10.  Improv Allstars Up Late runs until February 8.

Pictured Top: Tom GK from Did You Hear What I Saw. Photo Rosalind Appleby

 

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Senior Citizen seated at piano, with 2 men and a lady standing alongside
April 19, Calendar, Comedy, Performing arts, Revues

Revue: Senior Moments

10 – 17 April @ Heath Ledger Theatre ·
Presented by Return Fire Productions ·

After sell-out shows around the country, the hilarious comedy revue Senior Moments is back by popular  demand for a new national tour from February 2019, with the legendary John Wood, Max Gillies, Benita Collings and Geoff Harvey returning with a cast of young and old in this senior theatrical smash-hit.

Senior Moments  is a comedy revue about old people and the young people they have to deal with, with sketches and songs  and performers who are old enough to know better, all making wicked fun of the trials and tribulations of  growing old disgracefully. It’s a seriously silly show for otherwise sensible seniors.

Gold Logie winner and veteran actor John Wood (Blue Heelers, Rafferty’s Rules) joins master satirist Max Gillies (The Gillies Report), Play School icon Benita Collings, Kim Lewis (Sons and Daughters,  The Restless Years) and Russell Newman (A Country Practice, Underbelly), with Midday Show Maestro Geoff Harvey on piano.

Senior Moments is a deliciously funny and fresh collection of comic senior moments, scenes and songs,  with hilarious sketches and wonderfully witty songs performed by some legendary show business seniors, coming to a theatre near you in 2019.

Senior Moments: a seriously funny revue for slightly old people. (That’s you. Be honest.)

More info:
www.ptt.wa.gov.au/venues/state-theatre-centre-of-wa/whats-on/senior-moments-a-comedy-revue/

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Comedy, Fringe World, Fringe World Sessions 2019, News, Performing arts

From sex worker to comedian

Bella Green has worked in brothels, strip clubs, peepshows, dungeons, massage parlours and adult shops… and she’s here to tell the tale. Her debut show Bella Green Is Charging for It combines stand up, sketch comedy and storytelling to provide a window into the world of sex work… and she’s got some surprising answers to the questions you didn’t know you had. Seesaw caught up with Green to find out more.

Bella Green on stage.
Bella Green

Seesaw: When did you first know that you wanted to be a comedian?
Bella Green: I’ve wanted to be on stage for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t sure how or why. I didn’t know I wanted to do comedy until I was about 30. I had no idea I was funny, I just knew my Facebook statuses were good.

S: Tell us about your training…
BG: I used to tell jokes to anyone who’d listen at the brothel where I work. When I realised I wanted to be a comic, I took some improv. classes for confidence and then I hit the open mic comedy circuit.

S: Describe your artistic practice…
BG: I don’t know that I have a creative practice! I just scrawl weird joke concepts into a notebook at 3am while eating gnocchi in bed.

S: What do you love most about what you do?
BG: I love destigmatising sex work. Showing audiences that sex workers are just regular people is so fulfilling.

S: Career highlight so far?
BG: Being nominated for Best Comedy at Melbourne Fringe 2018.

S: Funniest career moment so far?
BG: I opened a stand-up set with a joke about roller derby and a nice middle-aged man yelled out that his daughter played derby and did I know her? Turns out I do! I then moved into my sex work material and the poor guy was so horrified. I almost had to reassure him that his daughter isn’t out turning tricks.

S: What made you decide to give Fringe World a whirl?
BG: Perth is my hometown. To quote Kendrick Lamar “I was contemplatin’ gettin’ on stage / just to go back to the hood, see my enemy, and say where you when I was walkin’?”

S: Tell us about your show Bella Green is Charging For It
BG: Bella Green Is Charging For It is a journey of stand-up, storytelling and sketch through the surprisingly mundane but always hilarious world of sex work, where the heels are high, the carpet is sticky and the customer is probably wrong. I’ve worked in brothels and strip clubs, peepshows and dungeons, massage parlours and adult shops, but my most degrading job of all was the three months I spent in a call centre for a “Big Four” bank. The show will answer all the questions you never thought to ask about sex work. Like, why is paying for sex so similar to ordering a salad? What really goes on in a peepshow? And how can you get away with wearing uggs while being a cold, hard dominatrix?

S: Aside from your show, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing at Fringe?
BG: I can’t wait to hit up that silent disco.  I’m also very excited to see Two Girls, One CuckRose, Donna and Nick are all brilliant up-and-coming stand-ups.

S: What is your favourite part of the playground?
BG: The swings! I used to launch myself off the swing set at the park as a kid and pretend to have broken my arm for any stranger that walked past. I was born to be on stage.

Bella Green Is Charging for It plays Deluxe at Yagan Square, 5 – 17 February. 

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Man with bowler hat, braces and bowtie pointing at his ears.
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Tom GK: Hearing Loss, The Musical!

7 – 10 February @ Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den ·
Presented by Flash in the Can ·

Six years ago, Tom GK had his dream job as music reviewer for a national UK paper, reviewing  everyone from: Bob Dylan and Muse to Usher and Britney Spears. Only problem was, Tom had a secret: his hearing was rapidly deteriorating. During a Foo Fighters gig, Tom GK finally accepted he had  to seek help and swapped his life of guitars and notebooks for doctors, MRI scans and hearing tests. Now he’s ready to tell his story … and because every music critic in reality wants to be on stage, he’s written a musical!

A rare disease, a music critic who always dreamt of being on stage, a triumphant premier at Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Tom GK: Hearing Loss, The Musical! is as unlikely as it is compelling. “I’ve had some very hard times – and there’s some harder times undoubtedly ahead,” says Tom. “But finally bringing my story to life has been transformative. What’s been even more amazing is the amount of people who also  suffer hearing loss who come along and want to talk about their experiences too. I’m honoured and excited to bring the show to Perth Fringe World and Adelaide Fringe Festival and take the story global. Hearing  loss is a huge taboo in our society and if I can get audiences singing and dancing about it with me then  it’s a massive step forward.”

Tom GK is a regular contributor to London’s Daily Telegraph and the Guardian and other publications. In his 20s,  he then began losing his hearing and was diagnosed with a genetic disease, neurofibromatosis II. He now writes and  performs about it.

Tom GK and his friend Tom Skelton, who is vision-impaired, are also presenting a family show Did you Hear What I Saw, during Fringe World for three shows at Subiaco Arts Centre.

There will be an AUSLAN Interpreter for shows at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den on Thursday 7 February.

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/tom-gk-hearing-loss-the-musical-fw2019

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Tom Skelton dressed as a king, with crown, cloak and goblet in hand
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Tom Skelton’s Macbeth

30 Jan – 4 Feb @ Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den ·
Presented by Flash in the Can ·

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes …” Shakespeare

Tom Skelton, UK comic and improv star, finally gets the chance to put on his favourite Shakespeare play,  but he only has one actor (himself), who’s registered blind and who might not know all his lines.  A fiercely funny farce ensues, as character comedy maverick Skelton presents his unique Macbeth.

Tom Skelton developed Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (a genetic eye condition that runs in his family) ten years ago, leaving him with 5% vison. He first noticed some loss of vision at the Edinburgh Fringe,  when fellow performers on stage became blurry, and he started to struggle to read the information on  tickets. His sight quickly deteriorated and he was diagnosed weeks later.

Tom’s favourite Shakespeare play is Macbeth and he has always wanted to play him. But after losing his vision, he never thought that he would. Tom Skelton’s Macbeth is a World Premiere at 2019 Fringe World.

Tom is a character comedian and improviser, who happens to be registered blind. He’s had four smash hits  at Edinburgh: Blind Eye Spy, Blind Man’s Bluff, Foolball and 2061. He stars in Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes, works with the BAFTA-winning History Bombs and is a founding member of UK improv comedy  group Racing Minds.

“Inventive and very enjoyable” Mirror, UK
“Deliciously talented,” The Guardian, UK
“Exceptionally funny” Weekend Notes, Australia
“Inventive and very enjoyable” ★★★★ Mirror, UK
“Undoubtedly funny” The West Australian, WA
“An extraordinary performer” ripitup.com.au, SA

Tom Skelton can also be seen at Fringe World in: Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes, Aaaand Now for  MORE Kiddo Kaos!, Improv Allstars Up Late and Did you Hear what I Saw?

More info:
https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/tom-skelton-s-macbeth-fw2019

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4 people lined up one behind the other, police at rear, all looking slightly offbeat.
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes

2 – 9 Feb @ Circus Theatre @ Fringe Central ·
Presented by Flash in the Can ·

Following sold-out Fringe World seasons in 2016 & 2017, Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes returns to Perth in 2019. Starring a rotating cast of the UK’s best comedy improv artists, the story  is new each show, with suggestions from the audience driving a bizarre mystery solved by Sherlock.

The show rotates who plays Sherlock Holmes each day, and takes inspiration from the mystery and intrigue  of the Victorian era – a time when Australia was a land of allure and enchantment to adventurous Brits.  Director Tom Wilkinson says: “The show is completely new every day, prompted by a suggestion slip we pick  out of a silk top hat. Everyone in the queue gets to suggest what the ‘case’ Sherlock will solve that day will be”.

The versatile troupe of: Daniel Nils Roberts (Racing Minds), Tom Skelton (Racing Minds), Vicky Hawley and  Caitlin Campbell will also be seen in the most exciting comedy shows across Perth, with the cast being  involved in seven shows between them, including: Aaaand Now for MORE Kiddo Kaos!, Improv Allstars Up Late and Did you Hear what I Saw?

The cast originally met while studying at Oxford University, where they joined the Oxford Imps, whose spin off group of 2011 graduates formed Racing Minds, now one of the biggest improv names on the international Fringe circuit.

**** “The production is rife with moments of sparkle and intelligence … copious amounts of talent and boundless potential” (Plays To See)

**** “This excellent improvised show is full of laughs, madness and superb deductions … very funny and  beautifully devious” (Fringe Guru)

“Good improvisation is like walking a tightrope; it’s a dangerous form of theatre without a net” (The West Australian)

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/adventures-of-the-improvised-sherlock-holmes-fw2019

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Man in Top Hat and dress suit, woman with plaits holding book
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Improv Allstars Up Late

30 Jan – 8 Feb @ Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den ·
Presented by Flash in the Can ·

Top stars of UK improv get together for Whose Line Is It Anyway-style games, scenes, songs and puns galore, in a unique and whip-smart melee of make-em-ups (with milk and two sugars)! This gag-packed whirlwind of an evening is a unique opportunity to catch award- winning improv talent from across a range of the biggest shows in British improvised comedy.

Tom Skelton, Vicky Hawley, Caitlin Campbell and Daniel Nils Roberts bring combined experience with Fringe World sellout favourites Racing Minds, Edinburgh Fringe  sensations Murder She Didn’t Write, marvellous returning mystery Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes and West End  Austentatious – and now they’re putting you in charge for this unmissable guffaw-fest  based entirely on audience suggestions!

If Brexit is proving anything, it’s that no one makes it up as they go along quite like the British!

“We can’t wait to bring our quick-witted, distinctly British style of silliness to Australia,” says Daniel Nils Roberts. “After all, you might soon be the only trading partner we have left! Like Prince Philip on a statevisit, we really have no idea what we’re going to say, so we need your suggestions to speed us on our way. You know that weird thing you’ve always wanted to see comedy about? Here’s your chance to shout it out and see it performed by some of the fastest, brightest and funniest comics the UK has to offer.”

“Improv at its finest” ★★★★ The Australia Times.
“Fast-paced, inventive, jolly good fun” ★★★★ The West Australian.
The best fun you can have in a confined space with over 50 strangers whilst still having your  clothes on” ★★★★ Fringe Review.

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/improv-allstars-up-late-fw2019

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