FringeWorld 2018 is, as ever, full of eclectic performances, even within a single presenter or venue’s program.
Underneath the grandeur of His Majesty’s Theatre lurks a cabaret venue, replete with small round tables, pokey low ceilings and strangely distorted sight lines around pillars. Bring your own beret for an intimate evening of entertainment at Underground at The Maj at any time of year, but for FringeWorld Ace’s Cabaret has its own line up of original musicals, comedy and magicians. In a further trick up its sleeve, Ace’s Cabaret has worked with His Majesty’s Theatre to set up a second subterranean venue, the King’s Lair, also intimate but without any pillars between the tables and the stage. The trek through the hidden corridors under the theatre is lined with over a century’s worth of fascinating and beautiful performance memorabilia from the many acts that have graced the main stage.
The Fringe Gala showcases several of the acts that will be performing at either venue over the festival.
Hosted by the puntastic Louisa Fitzhardinge, the hour flies by with presentations from a diverse range of acts.
Girls Gone Rockin’ – A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll opens with a high energy, full live band performance that is, indeed, a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. With bright smiles, shiny costumes and lots of enthusiasm, Darlene and Wendy are the Girls Gone Rockin’ who know their hits for the jiving and bootscooting crowd.
Trevor Gibson and Alida Chaney present an original musical with Songwriter, a semi-autobiographical tale of Gibson’s life as the eponymous songwriter. Set in 70s Perth, the ensemble cast have tight choreography reminiscent of Hair and similar musical hits of the period. Enthusiastic entertainment for those who don’t mind a bit of pathos and the highs and lows of growing up, falling in love and struggling through the passion of creativity in a nostalgic tribute to the era.
Staying with the original local musicals, Miss Westralia goes back even further in time to 1926, with the story of Geraldton’s own Beryl Mills, the very first Miss Australia. With styling from the roaring 20s, style and verve to match, the story of the small town girl headed for stardom and the bright lights of the USA promises to be an entertaining and fascinating trip through time. Covering the all too familiar Australian tendency of tall poppy syndrome along with hopes and dreams of all the contestants, songs mark the progress of the beauty competition as well as the personal journey of Miss Westralia.
Moving to the Melbourne suburbs of the 1970s, a sheltered Italian girl falls in love with the music of Karen Carpenter. Star struck, and desperate to leave the confines of her rigid upbringing, Angela Giuseppina Lumicisi sings along with the record and passionately covets the glamour of the Carpenters. With beautiful renditions of classic hits, Lumicisi delivers her own take on the lyrical songs as she struggles with her life’s limitations in We’ve Only Just Begun.
A duo from Sweden, Charlie Caper and Malin Nilsson present Minor Miracles, a masterful magic show. Winning awards around the world, with a stint at the Magic Castle, they bring wide-eyed sleight of hand and deliver it with a side of comedy in a full course of entertainment. With kooky costuming and witty asides, the pair engage the audience and stun with some classic tricks, with a twist, and some new takes which give the show its name.
Rounding off the selection, Fitzhardinge presents selections from her own show, Comma Sutra. Replete with punning riffs and grammatical pedantry, she returns with her award winning comedy featuring her quest for true love with someone who shares her passion for correct use of the Oxford comma. Literally laughter-inducing, Fitzhardinge’s demands for the correct use of apostrophes have life lessons for everyone, as captured in her rendition of the “Rational Anthem”.
With a range of styles, gentle audience interaction and table-seated ambience of the unique venue, Ace’s Cabaret offers crowd pleasers for a range of interests on offer through the FringeWorld season.
Ace’s Cabaret presents
2018 FringeWorld Gala
Venue: Downstairs at The Maj
Date: 27 January 2018
Featuring selections from acts at His Majesty’s Theatre:
Girls Gone Rockin’ – A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll
Presented by Brown St Studio
20 – 24 February 2018
Presented by Trevor Gibson and Alida Chaney (ACPC)
30 January – 3 February 2018
Presented by Balloon Head Theatre
20-24 February 2018
We’ve Only Just Begun
Presented by Angela Lumicisi
30 January – 3 February 2018
Presented by Caper & Nilsson
30 January – 10 February 2018
Presented by Louisa Fitzhardinge
20-24 February 2018