What is it with Fringe shows and Guns & Roses music? Jane Austen Is Dead: See You At The Wake as well as Sweet Child of Mine. Are there any more?
In a nutshell, Sweet Child of Mine is a wonky little ball of pure joy. Is it funny? Yes. Is it charming? Yes. Does it have moments of artistic nudity for all the family to enjoy and laugh at? Yes it does!
The show was created by daughter Bron Batten-Performer and her parents James Batten-Performer and Linda Batten-Performer. Silly hyphenated name, I know, but that's what it says in the program.
Bron's career is in The Arts. Her parents aren't quite sure what this means. We know this because Bron has interviewed them on their couch and filmed the interview. We watch footage of the oldies chuckling and speculating about what it is that Bron actually does, as well as what they think of contemporary art generally. And what do they think of it? They seem to find it all a bit baffling and think it must be a generational thing. They think it's jolly good that Bron is happy doing it though, whatever “it” is.
To clear things up for the audience as to what good contemporary art is according to Bron's parents, Bron draws on-stage a list of all the ingredients that combined make art... or interesting entertainment.
Throughout the filmed interview splashed onto the back wall of Studio 246, Bron performs some of her art, I guess to clear things up. Sometimes modern interpretive dance has to involve an eye patch, blue paint squooged bodily across an otherwise uninteresting floor, and an exiting bare bottom.
This is a wonderful show. It gently rips the piss out of pretentious contemporary performance while still holding hands with it, because that's what it is. It's having fun with how seriously art can take itself whilst also doing something a bit different.
Go see it for the laughs. Like me, you'll probably also want to give the Batten-Performer family a big cuddle of thanks.
The Last Tuesday Society presents
Sweet Child of Mine
Performed and Devised by Bron Batten and her Parents
Venue: Studio 246 | 246A Sydney Rd (Entry via Merri St), Brunswick
Dates: 28 Sep – 1 Oct 2011
Tickets: $16 – $14