The Needle and the Damage Done | Fiona Scott-NormanFiona Scott-Norman is absolutely hilarious, or more appropriately, her record collection is. This show is a side-splitting romp through the history of musical ‘don’ts’, ‘shouldn’t haves’, and downright ‘you’ve got to be jokings’, all captured for posterity on the glorious medium of vinyl. 

By golly has this woman dug out some corkers. Goodness knows where she’s found them, presumably years of hunting through archaic op-shop cupboards, deceased estate auctions, fervent evangelist’s garage sales and, lest we forget, the Internet. Over the course of an hour or so, Ms. Scott-Norman presents her personal selection of the best (read: worst) records across a range of categories. Said categories include titles such as, ‘Music your parents had sex to’ and ‘I’m not a racist but...’. Let’s just say there is ample material here to agitate all ye easily offended and possibly inhibit any under 18’s.

The crowd inside the Garden’s intimate ‘Hive’ venue was small, but this didn’t deter their laughter. The audience would shriek with approval for an outrageous album they knew, or gasp with shock for one they’d previously thought they did. For example, hearing the words to Dean Martin’s famous date rape song came as a real surprise to many. 

Ms. Scott-Norman holds the stage in an easy, relaxed manner. Ipod in hand, she talks us through the projected slides of album covers and plays the songs when necessary. Sometimes the lyrics are projected too, and last night’s crowd couldn’t resist joining in the chorus of some winning Christian extremist tunes. She dances a little, lip-syncs to her faves (how many hours this woman must have spent listening to painfully obscure albums is worthy of merit alone) and even stops for a cup of tea at one point. The whole experience is so easy-going and fun, a simple presentation with material that really speaks for itself. What a welcome respite from some of the convoluted razzle-dazzle we are bombarded with at the Fringe.

Just to whet your appetite further, a couple more highlights include: John Laws’ absurdist love poetry, William Shatner singing Dylan covers layered with Shakespearean spoken word, and Aussie footy players’ karaoke versions of their favourite songs, such as Macho Man (the mind boggles). By the finale, tears were running down faces and stomachs were aching. Fiona Scott-Norman has created a triumph of musical hilarity. If you’ve ever collected vinyl you simply must see this show, or if you haven’t this will no doubt inspire you to start. Fantastic.

Fiona Scott-Norman
The Needle And The Damage Done

Directed by Paul McCarthy

Venue: The Hive
Dates/Times: 12 Feb - 28 Feb (excl. 15, 19 & 27 Feb) at 9.30pm
Tickets: $23 (Conc & Tue $20)
Bookings: FringeTix 1300 FRINGE (1300 374 643) |

Most read Adelaide reviews

The bewildering confusion between dream and reality begins before one takes one’s seat in the...

The cast of one is Robyn Nevin, and it was no surprise that her performance was riveting.

The revelation of this concert to me was that, yes, musicians, like audiences, have been starved...

What a Pulse the acrobats exhibited! What unanimity, what complicity in their formation and...

This long and interesting concert was structured around Schoenberg’s extraordinary setting of 21...

More reviews by Tessa Leon