Fringe review: two out of three ain't bad

Julia Croft in Power Ballad. Photo / Supplied
Julia Croft in Power Ballad. Photo / Supplied

In a Fringe evening, enjoying two out of three short shows ain't bad.

Ironically, nobody says anything in Say Something Nice (entry by koha), the new audience participation work by multiple award-winner Sam Brooks.

Instead we're given pen, paper and typed instructions about what we're to write.

Told to write about others in the room, one wonders, "what are others writing about us?" It's a slight work but enjoyable and pregnant with possibilities.

The show's assumption that we all have one person we love the most is dubious but it echoes Andre Gide's assertion that "to be loved is nothing; what I desire is to be preferred".

Avant-garde retro Power Ballad ($20) is Julia Croft's second self-declared feminist solo work. Admirably, it starts full of noise: Croft, topless in wild wig, dances with microphone, displaying it as phallus, to become man-woman.

But after such uncompromising embodiment, Croft saying "gender" in an enhanced bass voice seems redundant. But she is engaging and confident and the show includes Annie Lennox karaoke.

Alas, Flesh of the Gods doesn't make the most of its deities-at-the-doctor's scenario. Enthusiasm and electronica can't make up for a lack of jokes or polish.

What: Auckland Fringe Festival - Say Something Nice and Flesh of the Gods
Where & when: Samoa House, until Saturday

What: Auckland Fringe Festival - Power Ballad
Where & when: Basement Theatre, until Saturday

- NZ Herald

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