On my final evening in the garden of Unnatural Delights, I started with love-song-circus. The musician Katie Noonan created the work after looking through collections from the National Museum of Australia’s collection Love Tokens of Convicts, as well as conducting extensive research on the first female convicts from Australia. It’s not surprising that sadness is a constant theme throughout the piece. However, Noonan’s ode to these women also allows an opportunity to acknowledge their resilience and joy.
In the show, the trio of other performers who are from Circa is all wonderfully expressive and responsive to the piece even though, at times, the choreographic vocabulary of the direction of Yaron Lifschitz and Ben Knapton feels limited by the necessity to display agility strength and acrobatic abilities. I wondered if the group could have been more effective with some more flaws or ugliness as portrayed in Noonan’s stories.
From convicts to modern females, I watched Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It, which is advertised as an all-female comedy rap that features her female genitals and nothing else. A takedown of the numerous jokes about rape that have been made by US comedians in the last few years, as well also, in part, a stand-up routine on its own The show constantly blurs the line between humorous and uncomfortable and is always a bit smart. You’re not sure what to think of the show, and that’s likely a good thing; however, as a crowd, we left happy and appreciating that, at the very least, it was someone who had the desire to perform this show on the stage.
Looking to squeeze in one more show during Fringe, I went to The Little Palais, one of the smaller venues within the Sideshows section of the Garden, and paid $5 for a 15-minute presentation by Birdman. I found the show amusing; however, its audience truly sold me on the show. I was seated alongside a young gentleman who was visiting Adelaide who was from Geelong and came to Adelaide without being aware that the Fringe festival was even happening. He chuckled, applauded, and mumbled in awe throughout the show, and when it was over after the show, he said this was “the best $5 I’ve ever spent”. It’s a wonderful way to close my Fringe adventure.