It’s easy to imagine self-confessed grammar nerd Fitzhardinge, cleverly accompanied by pianist Greg Lavell, as the odd one out in the popular girls group at school. She is far too clever. So bright and quick linguistically; fluent in sign language, German, French, and as she so deftly displayed, in one audience interaction, Finnish!
The skills learned in her secondary degree, Performing Arts, (after a German degree), were evident. Her elocution is excellent, her singing on note, her comic timing impeccable. In fact, for a non-risqué show, unlike most of the fringe shows, it was surprise to be handed a post-show flyer that was ribald to say the least.
These shows are sold out, so that she has, by popular demand, added an extra 4.30 pm Saturday matinee. This is probably on the back of her past Perth performances, word of mouth and dare I say it, for the intellectual ideas as well as its presumed conservative content.
Fitzhardinge projects a show girl presence. She is “in the room” and her grammatically inscribed stockings were the first clue to her quirky persona.
She commenced by erasing wrongly placed apostrophes on signs, moving on to poorly placed inverted commas and the sad admission that she adores one-liner “Dad jokes” – the sort you get in Christmas crackers, so daggy they are fun.
A brilliant parody of the hit Somebody that I Used to Know was accompanied by a syncopated riff on a tiny xylophone.
There was a wonderful expose of how the German language mixes together compositions of unlikely words to create a unique combination, for example “squirrel = tree + croissant”. Apologies! No more spoilers revealing in-show jokes.
I can hardly begin to describe her multilingual turn where she used audience members to raise cards depicting national flags at random moments. Fitzhardinge slipped from English to French to German to sign language with alacrity and ease while singing a familiar standard. It was a cracker!
I hope she notices all the extra commas that I put in this review.
2019 Perth Fringe World
Venue: Downstairs at the Maj | His Majesty’s Theatre, 825 Hay Street, Perth WA
Dates: 5 – 9 February 2019
Tickets: $36 – $42