Callan introduced the show with mock serious denials that there would be ”no dancing like last year’s Fringe show. None! Because it made him look dumb and people were laughing at him not with him, and he could tell the difference.”
The sound man turned on Britney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time and all bets were off. His hilariously accurate moves were mesmerising, it’s just the incongruity of this shaggy bearded, tousle haired male performing the routines. An effect underscored by the 3 gorgeous backing dancers.
The audience he reminded us was a confluence of 3 elements, which he illustrated on a board. The elements were dance, comedy and Vikings. We were the central overlap of the 3 circles of a Venn diagram. The board behind him doubled as a projector screen and we then enjoyed footage of past dance crazes like Goth dancing which was then speeded up to the theme of The Benny Hill Show and the Monty Python fish slap dance.
After a very funny, risqué segment on misheard lyrics. Callan announced he would be dancing the alphabet backwards from the letter Z. What followed was a high-speed journey through varied dance styles beginning with these letters. Z featured Zorba the Greek, Zumba and ZZ Top.
Y showcased The Village People’s YMCA with keen participants Candice and Brooke volunteering to join in the letter-spelling dance (YMCA) with alacrity.
X equalled The Jingle Bell Rock, for Xmas and Xanadu. W for Wuthering Heights and so on at breakneck speed. Callan’s dance skills, energy and brilliant narrative kept the almost capacity audience cackling, cheering and clapping throughout.
When he arrived at T, Callan called upon male volunteers Edward and Zack and undertook a “Twerkshoppe” to give them the basic and advanced skills of twerking. Like the girls they were both tremendously forthcoming and good humoured. The crowd roared their approval.
Using a jumbled pile of props and the letters projected on the screen behind him Callan lead us a merry dance (sorry) through Line dancing, Kossack steps, Jump On It, Irish dancing, the Hustle, Hula Dancing, Go-Go, disco, the Can-Can. I don’t know what happened to the F dance. I must have been laughing too hard to catch it.
When we arrived at the letter B Callan gave us a choice. “Leave now or stay and identify all the B dances and I’ll finish with an A song in a too small leotard or in the nude if you don’t get all the dances.” Two men actually sidled out. The rest of us were glued to our seats.
Having wriggled into an extremely fitted and abbreviated leotard Callan and the girls danced an array of numbers including the Black Bottom, ballet, breakdance, bus stop and I think Britney Spears was in there somewhere.
Feeling pretty pleased with ourselves we identified them all and were rewarded with an athletic flamboyant finale. Technically it was a tight show with excellent use of video clips and perfectly co-ordinated sound tracks .It was a tremendous effort and received huge applause and hoots of admiration. It is to be hoped Callan will be a regular fixture at the Perth Fringe Festival.
2016 Perth Fringe World
A Little Less Conversation 2
Venue: The Gold Digger, The Courtyard, State Theatre Centre, WA
Dates: 2 – 13 February, 2016
Tickets: $15 – $27.50