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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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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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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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Orange and pink background, white dots and words Kiddo Kaos
Calendar, Children, Fringe World

Children: Aaaand Now For MORE … Kiddo Kaos!!

31 Jan – 2 Feb @ Subiaco Arts Centre ·
9 – 10 February @ De Parel Spiegeltent ·
Presented by Flash in the Can ·

Fringe World favourites, members of British improv comedy superstars Racing Minds and Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes, bring a mad mash of improv games, all with different crazy twists and all driven by suggestions from the young ‘uns.  Runner up: Best Children’s Event Fringe World 2016 with (Aaaand Now For … Kiddo Kaos!),  2019’s show will have MORE Kaos with new cast members: Vicki Hawley, Caitlin Campbell and  Tom GK, joining Racing Minds members Tom Skelton and Daniel Nils Roberts.

Stuffed with hilarious characters and LOTS of daft jokes, this mischievous show is whatever the kids want it to be! Expect improvised mayhem, physical comedy, music and merriment for  ages 7 – 12 and adults too! With the help of their junior conspirators, these dashing adventurers  create a show that is just as entertaining for adults in 2 venues: Subiaco Arts Centre (31 Jan, 1-2 Feb, 2:30pm) and De Parel Spiegeltent, The Woodside Pleasure Garden (9-10 Feb at 1:45pm)

Two shows at Subiaco Arts Centre (31 Jan and 1 Feb ) will be AUSLAN interpreted for the hearing impaired.

“My six-year-old son and I were both in hysterics at the show we attended which was entirely  due to the talent of the ensemble rather than any luck or divine intervention. So, whilst no  two shows could possibly bare the same outcomes, I’d find it impossible to conceive that each performance would be anything less than hilarious (playandgo.com.au Australia)

“Impressive improvisational talent … fast-paced, inventive, jolly good fun” (The West Australian)

“Script-less brilliance, crowd captivated from start to finish” (Three Weeks, Edinburgh)

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/aaaand-now-for-more-kiddo-kaos-fw2019

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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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Calendar, Children, Fringe World, Performing arts, Theatre

Children: Did you Hear what I Saw?

30 Jan – 1 Feb @ Subiaco Arts Centre ·
Presented by Flash in the Can ·

Tom and Tom have been best friends for 9,855 days and counting. They’ve walked miles through blizzards, run amok in city streets and been superheroes of the playground. Their amazing bond  was strengthened as Tom Skelton lost his sight and Tom GK his hearing. This is their unique story of lasting friendship, with songs and silliness along the way.

Tom Skelton 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 and is a member of UK improv comedy group Racing Minds.

Tom Skelton developed Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (a genetic eye condition that runs in his family) ten years ago, leaving him with 5% vision. 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 GK grew up obsessed with music and became a successful music critic for London’s Daily Telegraph. He then began losing his hearing and was diagnosed with a genetic disease, neurofibromatosis.  He now writes and performs about it.

“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

There will be an Auslan Interpreter for shows on 31 January and 1 February.

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/did-you-hear-what-i-saw-fw2019

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History of the World
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Daniel Nils Roberts: The History of the World in 1 Hour

5-9 February @ Mezzanine Bar at Cheeky Sparrow ·
Presented by Daniel Nils Roberts & Flash in the Can ·

An absurd multimedia pelt through the history of everything, as this two-time FRINGE WORLD ‘Best Comedy’ nominee crams the entirety of recorded time into just one show.

Fresh from London’s West End smash-hit Austentatious, will character-peddler Daniel cover it all? Definitely not, but it’ll sure be fun trying.

Daniel Nils Roberts is a comedian, actor, improviser and member of successful UK improv comedy groups: Racing Minds and Austentatious, with whom he has recorded a series for Audible, starred in BBC Radio 4’s improv show, masterminded a podcast with over half a million followers and conquered London’s West End.

‘So funny that it seems like Roberts is just showing off’ ★★★★ BROADWAY BABY
‘Devastatingly funny’ ★★★★ FEST
‘Sheer genius’ ★★★★ THE SCOTSMAN

More info:
http://www.danielnilsroberts.com

 

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