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Grand Theft Theatre; IT-ME TIME; Magic headliners; Just super; Naomi


The show gets rid of a king’s ransom for artistic moments, but what it gets back is priceless – Grand Theft Theater it is a sensitive and intelligent exploration of the vital role of memory in keeping the theater alive.

The thoughtfully structured performance overlays energetic physical and visual theater with insightful (and often humorous) reflections on the performers’ experience as audience members. He delves into the essentials of the creative process, inviting audiences to remember what makes theater special to them.

The new Pony Cam artists – Claire Bird, Ava Campbell, William Strom, Dominique Weintraub and Hugo Williams – have a surprisingly unified post-dramatic aesthetic.

They have the talent, commitment and technique to make theater as memorable as many of the artists they admire, and someone needs to throw some money at them right now so they can take their work to the next level.

meanwhile, Grand Theft Theater offers a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and renew a love for art that existed only in the head for several years.
Review by Cameron Woodhead

IT-ME TIME Traveler Beta Live x Social Dis Dance ★★½
Runaway Festival Park, until October 15

IT-ME TIME Traveler Beta Live x Social Dis Dance at Melbourne Fringe.

Taiwan has just opened its borders to visitors as COVID-19 restrictions eased after 2 1/2 years; it seems fitting, then, that Taiwanese artist Betty Apple is hosting a rave of sorts. Known for his work that seeks to interrogate the politics of the body through what has been a millennium of post-colonial Taiwan, Apple also seeks to appropriate mass-produced objects intended for eroticism and entertainment. U IT’S ME TIME, the artist does not stray far from this motif: she turns into a “beta version of a cyborg mermaid” from the near future with fake tits. The show opens with Apple seemingly trapped in a cluster of balloons until she is the lead singer of the industrial techno band Social Dis Dance. This is where the party starts.


Apple’s persona resembles the hologram singer Hakune Mitsune, except Cyborg Mermaid is real. Or she? She hops around the stage, takes sips from a bottle of white wine (it really could have been water) and invites the audience to spin with her like a band at a concert. “I’m swimming!” singing Cyborg-Mermaid. “I am a woman!” Meanwhile, general techno is pumping in the background; another team member, Betty Apple, follows her with a handheld camera phone attached to a bright light. Everything that is filmed is projected on a big screen behind the performance. It doesn’t matter where you look: the screen talks to the ground and vice versa.

The effect is incredible. While a more generous interpretation of the show could be said to be a way to break down the false dichotomy between ‘real’ and ‘fake’, it just feels like a dance party for drunks who grab themselves to be seen. While the audience-facing element of the performance (Apple invites people to stand up or chant with her and then stands among them) is entertaining enough, it feels like there isn’t much else. The audience jumps. Closer to the end of c IT’S ME TIME, Apple has a new chant: “Don’t Worry!” This may be the whole point.
Review by Sher Tan

Headliners Magic ★★★★
Dom Chambers, Simon Cornell, Viom Sharma, Lawrence Leung, Hall of Commerce, Hall of Solidarity, until 23 October

Not since turning water into wine has a good time been more instantly evoked than an Australian America has talent and Broadway star Dom Chambers conjuring several pints of beer from a seemingly empty brown paper bag.

Clockwise from top: Dom Chambers, Simon Coronel, Lawrence Leung and Viom Sharma in Headliners of Magic at the Melbourne Fringe.

Clockwise from top: Dom Chambers, Simon Coronel, Lawrence Leung and Viom Sharma in Headliners of Magic at the Melbourne Fringe.

He joined this stunning hour of “How did they do it?” the power of comedian Lawrence Leung, expertly plucking the words from our minds with the disarmingly silly help of a bingo glass and a stick with a very unflattering name, gifted to him by his brother.

ABC’s other random guest, Dr. Viom Sharma, can predict numbers with our phone calculators, and Simon Cornell, who has twice fooled magician kings Penn and Teller and won this year’s top prize in close-up magic at FISM, the Olympiad of Magic , works old-fashioned card tricks. We all know it’s unrealistic, but when the misdirection is so blindingly adorable, who cares? Just grab a pint with a bag at the bar afterwards.
Review by Stephen Russell

Naomi ★★★★½
Patrick Livesey, Chamber of Commerce, Solidarity, until 23 October

An eerie silence reigns around the devastating act of suicide. But is our collective failure to talk about it compounding the overwhelming loneliness felt by too many Australians?

Naomi at the Melbourne Fringe.

Naomi at the Melbourne Fringe.credit:Jack Dixon-Gunn

It’s a harrowing question posed by one of the many characters whose skin is stunned by the incredibly talented performer Patrick Livesey, affecting markedly different voices and physicality during an emotionally raw hour of verbatim theater.

Their mother took her own life in 2015, and that heavy reckoning involved Livesey, who spent more than 30 hours interviewing family and friends trying to figure out how it happened.


Execution Naomi must demand a lot from Livesey as they move restlessly across a dark stage illuminated by a triangular, glowing shrine.

There are no easy answers, but we are left with an incredibly generous act of love and understanding. A call to listen, speak and care for one another.
Review by Stephen Russell

Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 for help.

Just super ★★★
Eddie Pattison, Hall of Trade, until 23 October

Eddie Pattison is an engaging, vulnerable and occasionally hilarious performer – but the main subject Just Super is overbearing and redundant.

Just super from Eddie Pattison at the Melbourne Fringe.

Just super from Eddie Pattison at the Melbourne Fringe.credit:Jack Dixon-Gunn

Navigating the world of “super forecasters” – those who use statistical analysis to predict future world events – is nowhere near enough to last an hour together.

Pattison’s recollections of their childhood in Brisbane, their admission of their own mental health issues and stories of gender and sexual discovery are all grounded. Not to mention the slightly disturbing admission of how they acquired their earrings.

But when you go back to taped interviews with loved ones trying to see if they really are “super forecasters,” the hilarity in the room is dampened by meandering conversations and tiresome test scores.


Pattison doesn’t need to use such an obscure underlying motif. They carry their own jokes. With a few boosts in pitch quality and confidence in their material, they’ll be one to watch at next year’s comedy festivals.
Review by Tyson Ray

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