Post Fringe and Post-Metaphysics


As my Mum pointed out to me the other night, I haven’t blogged in a while. So if Jo says it’s time then it’s time, dammit. So. The Fringe is finished, poor little Adelaide is all wrecked but I think it would agree, it was worth it. Womad was over the weekend and next weekend is Clipsal (ew), it’s basically the most action Radelaide sees all year. The Festival State put on a good Fringe this year. I saw a lot of amazing shows and some not so good shows, I drank strange beers in amazing venues and generally had super amounts of fun running amok with the other muntbag artists/producers/performers and seeing as much as I could for as little cash as I could haggle down from the promoters out the front of the venues dotted over the city and greater Adelaide.


But it’s different ya know. The Fringe has grown so much that it is easy to get lost in the guide, there are a thousand different things to go and see that are all competing for an audience that would usually just go to the Garden and see something safe that is guaranteed to entertain… with someone ‘famous’ in it. Audiences don’t generally take risks when going to see shows and because of this a lot of shows struggled to maintain half filled houses throughout their seasons. This is a broad statement I know but generally, I was really overwhelmed by how much the Fringe has grown since I was last all up in its grills a couple of years ago. It was a massive flog, putting on a show in the Fringe, and I’m so glad for the experience I gained, along with Alice. It truly was an incredible experience and I am super inspired to go home and make something to take to next year’s festival. But I am happy to have some sort of routine back in my life. Big thanks need to go out to Martha, Sholto, Lauren, Ella and the team at Holden St. Theatres, as well as all the other casts and creative teams who supported us throughout the festival. Thanks also to Trish and the team at the Caravan as well as Eugene and the gang at the Fringe office (we stole your stationary, we used your bathrooms, you guys win). Also, thankyou to Alice Cooper, you are an inspiration and working with you was both pleasurable and covered in Nutella.

We generally got really excellent feedback from the critics for ‘Clown Lights Stage’, below are a couple of reviews we received:

From the ‘Rip It Up’ Website:
By Kate Battersby and Ian Newton

‘Alice Cooper is unable to attend tonight’s performance …enter her alter ego clown. An inquisitive, childlike eye on a breath of fresh air, Clown delves into a series of extraordinary possibilities triggered by found objects whose fantastic usefulness is discovered as the show unfolds. Amazing, amusing and inspiring herself and her audience, Clown takes possession of extra dimensions lurking within these commonplace articles and reshapes forever the meaning of train tickets. Alice Cooper is mobile and articulate, expressive and immaculately nuanced as she engages the observer in bending the shape of our momentarily shared reality. We would love to see her show populated with a larger audience because, if she can maintain such balance and flow in a house of six, the energy exchange in a full house must surely be awesome.
Final word: Many stringed.’

From the ‘Stage Whispers’ Website:
By Daniel G Taylor

‘The first thing that pops into your mind when you think of clowns is probably not, “Gee, clowns are really smart.”

In Clown Lights Stage, the story is that Alice Cooper has had an unfortunate accident on the way to give a lecture, so Penelope is giving it in her place.

The prepared lecture is sophisticated and intellectual. Words such as “intertextualization” are not uncommon. And that’s where the smarts come into play. An astute audience will notice that Cooper does know the stuff that’s up on the PowerPoint slides.

Penelope, however, interprets the bullet-points using everyday objects in uncommon ways — you’ll see teabags and tampons used in unimaginable and quite distasteful ways, you’ll see the human body used in a way that, depending on your sexual preference, is either highly erotic or gag-inducing, and you’ll see bank statements used as poetry in a way that is jawbreakingly hilarious.

Like The Simpsons, the humor is multilayered. Children will love it, older children may need some parental guidance, and adults will laugh at the things the kids miss.

And on the way home, you’ll go, “Gee, clowns are really smart.”‘

Below are some shows that I saw and loved. It they ever pop up again you should totally get all up inside them straight up. Ahem.

From left to right: ‘The Freak and the Showgirl’ or Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas @ The Spiegeltent – some really funny, innovative burlesque and some fantastic vocals by ‘the freak’ (also plenty of full frontal nudity that was horrifying and fantastic – yes, she sang a song with her vagina, yes her vagina was dressed like John Lennon), ‘A Comedy’ by Brown Council @ The Queen’s Theatre – amazing moment where one of the dunces asked the audience to show her how liberated we were and fuck her onstage, I threw a tomato and angered the rehearsal directed who left me feeling angry but ultimately empty in a good way, ‘Bound’ by Bear Trap Theatre Company @ Holden St. – a fantastic, touching, really solid ensemble piece which had me in tears just from the beautiful singing by the lads (congrats on them winning the Fringe Award for best theatrical work!!), ‘Fabulous Abs’l by Abigoliah Schamaun @ Tuxedo Cat’s ‘Red Room’ – the dirtiest bitch I have seen in a while, probs my favourite standup that I saw all festival, she was a yoga teacher and a hilarious, hilarious woman and finally ‘Flhip Flhop’ by Rannel @ Town Hall – an amazing one act comedy show that had some amazing free styling, dance off, record cover off, DJ-ing offs that made us squeal with glee. These are the shows that really made my boat float.

I’m still staying in the hills, waking up on decks, looking through jewels, you know, it’s nice to just mang. I have one more week in S.A and then it’s back to NSW to start working again. In other pleasant news, Ferne Productions and The New What Next were nominated for ‘Best New Theatre Company’ for our short play ‘Shotgun The Balcony’ in Short+Sweet. We didn’t win but were really honoured to have been nominated and recognised by the judges.

Next week I have some auditions, I have some graphic design work. I’m reading this book called ‘Post-Metaphysics and the Paradoxical Teachings of Jesus’. It’s as fun as it sounds. But pretty interesting. I have lots of ideas. I have lots of jewels…


I miss all my Sydney people but I still have one week of Radelaide debauchery. I hope you are all well and bought an Iron Maiden t-shirt for your girlfriend at Soundwave. Back to post-metaphysical Jesus now.

More soon,

Tom x

About T o m C h r i s t o p h e r s e n

Actor. Artist. Atrocity.
This entry was posted in Clown Lights Stage, Fringe 2011, Projects I Help With, Theatre and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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