The Cold Clear Elsewhere | Jennifer Williams

The Cold Clear Elsewhere | Jennifer WilliamsTucked away amongst thousands (literally) of Fringe shows this is a rare Australian gem that transports the audience back to post-war Australia.

Jennifer Williams tells us the story of Grace. A woman. A war bride. A risk-taker. An Australian who wanted more out of life and chose the man with the strong British shoulders and a promise to take her away.

The narrative is predictable but the writing is excellent. Visceral, detailed and subtly laced with a range of constantly humorous, reflective and interrogative moments this in some ways ‘everywoman’ story of Grace readily captures the audience’s attention as they follow her journey from Sydney to Plymouth on board the HMS Victorious.

While Williams’ engaging storytelling manner immediately endears her to the audience the staging is rather clunky. The various backdrops maximized the use of the space but in some ways compromised the intimacy that the piece deserved and occasionally seemed to be more trouble than they were worth.

The music (composed and performed by Chris Williams) however did provide one of the most charming moments (even if it was a tad too long) when Williams and Williams sang It’s Only a Paper Moon to each other across the stage. Unfortunately, and this was heightened further due to the space and acoustics the music often segues abruptly into scenes making its presence at times too obvious and at others simply unnecessary.

Nevertheless, despite these technical flaws Cold Clear Elsewhere is an example of very good storytelling and its delivery, both poetic and endearing, makes this free Fringe show definitely one to put on the list.


The Cold Clear Elsewhere
Jennifer Williams

Venue: Cafe Camino (Venue 65) | Edinburgh UK ​
Dates: Aug 9 – 23, 2014

Part of the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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