The Party, the new headlining show from Strut & Fret in the Garden of Unearthly Delights at Adelaide Fringe, is full of energy but just doesn’t live up to previous shows Blanc de Blanc and Blanc de Blanc Encore. A show with plenty of dance numbers, lip-synching and sexual references, The Party doesn’t let the performers fully showcase their talents to the audience.
The set presents as a two-story house complete with door, windows, and balconies and these all get lots of use throughout The Party. Brightly coloured with colour-changing neon lights and the word PARTY proudly splashed across it, it’s a visual delight.
While it’s clear that the cast are talented from their dance routines (of which there are several), unfortunately we don’t get to see their full potential. Apart from Swedish singer Amanda, who gets to sing a number or two and Angela Leigh McIlroy-Wagar, who wowed in the second half with her stunning, contortionist aerial performance, we don’t get to see just what the other cast members are capable of. Emma Phillips, the third lady (the long-haired blonde) in The Party, is a New Zealand foot juggler but we don’t get to see any of that in The Party.
The male cast members performing acrobatics didn’t wow us as we hoped they would. There were cleverly choreographed rough and tumble and fight scenes but in terms of actual daring, risky feats, there were few. Again, we don’t feel that we got to see their full potential. There is a pole on stage but it rarely got used and when it did, it wasn’t for jaw-dropping acts.
The developing flirtations between Amanda and Danny, of which we are treated to snippets, remind us a little of a previous Strut & Fret show Life: The Show. Their singing duets were fun.
This is not a show for the prudish with plenty of nudity and sexual references along the way. However, instead of adding to a storyline or an act, they seemed to be there just for nudity or crudeness’ sake. The doorbell which sounded with each new arrival at the party quickly became jarring and the music was way louder than it needed to be, without any reason for it to be.
The show is billed as two hours but we feel it could easily be trimmed down to one. When we attended, it finished at 22:10 rather than the expected 22:30 anyway and there was a 20 minute interval which didn’t feel necessary as there weren’t any set changes. Some parts of the show quickly became repetitive and could be cut. For example, lip-synching to lines from movies was fun at the start but again didn’t need to come back throughout the show.
Overall, The Party is a loud, colourful show with an impressive and varied soundtrack but which lacks the substance of Blanc de Blanc and Blanc de Blanc Encore. We’d like to see more of the performers showcase their talents. If you’re looking for a true variety, circus show at Adelaide Fringe, sadly The Party is not it.
Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of the Garden of Unearthly Delights and Adelaide Fringe
KEY INFO FOR THE PARTY
WHAT: The Party, the new show from Strut & Fret
WHERE: The Spiegeltent, Garden of Unearthly Delights,
WHEN: Nightly (except Mondays) at 8:30pm throughout Adelaide Fringe 2023 plus a 4:30pm show on Saturdays and Sundays
HOW: Purchase your tickets via this link: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/the-party-af2023
HOW MUCH: Ticket prices (exclusive of booking fee) are as follows:
- Booth: $89.00 to $99.00
- Companion Card: $FREE
- Cheap Seats: $59.00
- General Admission: $59.00 to $85.00
- Concession: $69.00 to $79.00
- Premium: $89.00 to $99.00
- Ringside VIP: $119.00 to $129.00
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