Billed as a theatre production disguised as a rock concert, the Ladykillers' Based On A True Story interlaces songs from band Hope Diamond with stories about fathers. These stories were told in a variety of different ways: from a series of sentences starting with “My father…”, to the telling of stories, to the cast being fathers themselves. While the songs were good, it was in the telling of stories of fathers that were the heart and power of this production.
All stories presented were collected from anonymous contributors to the website basedonatruestory.com.au (with additional text by Stef Laszczuk), with the production directed by Ingrid Voorendt. Highlights of the evening were Astrid Pill being hopelessly embarrassed on stage, as Vincent Crowley as her father proceeded to embarrass her, as so many do, and Crowley giving a long and powerful “I don’t want to be a father anymore!” speech. Indeed Crowley, as one of five creator/performers, was frequently the highlight, with my eyes constantly travelling to watch his performance above all others.
In the Main Room at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, ambient noise from the DJ and other patrons in the hotel were frequently distracting, particularly as many moments in the production became quieter and more reflective. The odd shape of the room meant patrons sitting towards the back couldn’t see some infrequent action happening to the very side of the stage, and there were some poor sightlines for scenes that took place with the cast sitting on the front of the stage. At the end of the night, however, these were all minor quibbles which took little from the production.
Perhaps the power of Based On A True Story is best reflected in how much a story about fathers made me reflect on my relationship with my own. While he was very rarely reflected in any of the characters presented in the production, I nonetheless found myself almost constantly thinking about him, our relationship and my relationship to his family in general. And it was a very nice thing to be reflecting on, too.
Based On A True Story
A Theatre Production Disguised as a Rock Gig
Venue: Ed Castle. 233 Currie Street, Adelaide
Dates: 23 - 26, 28 February, 2 - 5, 7 March (times vary)
Tickets: Adults $25, Concession $20, Fringe Benefits $18
Bookings: FringeTix on 1300 FRINGE (374 643) or www.adelaidefringe.com.au