Steve Blackshall opened his show Deadly 60 Downunder in Adelaide with 4 shows over two days, Her Majesty’s Theatre packed to the gills.It will finish in Darwin on the 30th February with 17 more shows in between at 16 more venues. If you want to go, book now. It truly is very popular indeed.
The big draw, of course, is his television shows “Deadly 60” and he’s already very well known for his adventure packed wildlife sorties where he does daring things to get the best shots of, and as up close and personal to, the creature on which he’s focussing. His warnings of “don‘t try this at home” such as enticing crocodile mums to get off their eggs are sure to be met with compliance but he enlisted parents’ aid to reinforce that message when handling blue octopus without gloves off Sydney Harbour for instance. For this show is for families if ever there was one and it was terrific to see so many children there – to be educated.
This was no show just to entertain, as indeed it did, but to teach too and the young audience was ready and willing to learn. At the end, BAFTA winning Steve Blackshall asked if anyone had any questions and dozens of little arms shot up. Adelaide should be proud of their kids. The articulate questions were intelligent and interesting and showed that schools, television programmes such as his (vale Steve Irwin) and now, as a new venture on stage, have done a great deal to draw our children’s attention to the wild. He, of course, was up to almost all-comers, except one curly one. How many scales are there on a crocodile?
One wondered how he would do it and it was, of course, with the aid of a big screen but also with rubber look-alikes which, if not convincing replicas of the real thing, gave a very apt view of actually how large Australia’s salt water crocodile is and Gertie, the great white shark is no minnow!
But his entrance on stage was circuitous in that he came down the aisle draped in Olive. She was very friendly indeed and made her way around his body with the utmost intimacy. As Steve said, her name is appropriate for she is an Olive Python. He involved children in the show in many ways leaving memories they will never forget about how they helped Steve Blackshall with the first Deadly 60 Downunder in Australia.
The show lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes with never a dull moment. His interaction with some balloons, which were meant to burst as if by magic, did not faze him. He was in control and they came to a pointy end with a pin. He also included those shots that weren’t supposed to happen and not in Australia such as when a gorilla farted long and loud while being videoed, a pretty frog jumped the wrong way and festooned Steve’s nose and, when being dragged at speed through water by speed boat, his trunks came off. We didn’t see the end of that. One of the most interesting segments was about venom and poison. So what’s the difference? It boils down to this “If it bites you, it’s venom. If you bite it, it’s poison” – with very good demonstrative examples.
Steve Blackshall is a smart entertainer. He has travelled to many parts of the world to get to know the creatures from whom he makes his living as much as anyone can. His delivery is smooth and friendly and Theatre Studies, martial arts, biology and a raft of other learning experiences have made him a first class performer. He never talks down to the children and the show is warmly received and appreciated by adults who obviously enjoyed it very much. The numerous books he has written were a big draw in the foyer of Her Majesty’s and the queues of eager children and adults to get them for their own were impressive.
Andrew Kay and Phil Bathols in association with Adelaide Festival Centre present
Deadly 60 Downunder
Venue: Her Majesty's Theatre | Grote Street, Adelaide
Dates: 6 – 7 Jan 2018
Tickets: $49.90 - $59.90