Adelaide Fringe

Animals, Opera, Stand-Up Comedy – All Rolled into One.

Adelaide comedian Steve Sheehan has been described as the comedian's comedian, making stand up comedy unpredictable to the delight of his industry peers. He is bringing his highly idiosyncratic A Little Horseplay, involving himself, opera singer Norma Knight and a small horse (yes a real live small horse) called Mousey, back to the Tuxedo Cat venue for the Adelaide Fringe.

With two recent sell out shows as part of the inaugural Festival of Unpopular Culture in October last year, Steve’s unusual production also involves jokes by an ambient comedian character – delivered while playing classical piano.

The show is suitable for people who like their comedy and theatre a bit different and risk-taking. There are three performances only on March 15, 17 and 19 (the final performance being for those who like to fit one more show in after the festival wraps up on March 18).

Things get skewed soon after A Little Horseplay begins when Steve's recording of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde gets interrupted by a horse. A pianist tells long and winding jokes while playing Liszt, Satie and Bach. An opera singer sings Carmen as an assortment of soft toy animals get eaten or eat each other. It all takes place in a dis-used heritage building turned Fringe venue called The Tuxedo Cat on North

“To describe this forty minutes of non-conformist nonsense as incredible feels wrong. Incredible is too tired a word. What you get here is barely credible – and barely resistible as a result. Something about this show grips you, setting one into a trance-like condition of quiet glee and bafflement.” Ben Aitken, Adelaide Theatre Guide

“Hilarious… tinged with an eccentric melancholy.” Herald Sun

“I thought this show was magical. The horse adds something I can’t quite put my finger on, but whatever it is, I want to feel that way again… makes you realise that life is sweet, brilliant and just as it should be!” Talkfringe

A Little Horseplay is a hybrid kind of comedic theatre that is created via a process that blends stand-up comedy, improvisation and European clown techniques with theatrical ideas. It is the second of Steve Sheehan's works created in this way. The first was the multi award winning Stevl Shefn and His Translator Fatima which won the best comedy award at the 2010 Adelaide Fringe.

Steve Sheehan undertook Music Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium before graduating from Flinders Drama Centre in 1992 and later studying clown techniques across the world. Many of his theatre roles have been clowns, playing Vladimir in Waiting for Godot and Feste in Twelfth Night for State Theatre. When he won the national Raw Comedy competition at the 2003 Melbourne Comedy Festival he began combining his acting career with developing little comedy fringe shows. In 2009, he was a Moosehead Award recipient and developed Stevl Shefn and his Translator Fatima, which has won both comedy and theatre awards and toured to Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Steve is joined on stage by singer Norma Knight. From involvement with the Brisbane Children’s Theatre from the age of seven, through 5 years professional employment with The State Opera of South Australia, and many roles in amateur theatre, Norma’s whole life has been about music and theatre. For the past 30 years she has been a private singing teacher and was responsible for setting up the SA Chapter of the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is currently an examiner for the AMEB and frequently adjudicates Eisteddfod in SA and Victoria.

A Little Horseplay is at The Tuxedo Cat, 199 North Terrace Adelaide.
Performances are at 6pm on March 15, 17 and 19.
Tickets are $19 or $15 for concession/Fringe Benefits and may be purchased at FRINGETIX outlets or
by phone on 1300 FRINGE (374643) and online at

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