La Boheme, 36 Grote Street
Reviewed Monday February 22nd 2010 (See Fringe guide for dates, times, etc.)
Presented by Catch Wave Collective.
Bookings: Fringetix & Venuetix outlets
Luc (Daniel O’Leary) is a singer songwriter who, every day, watches a girl waiting at the bus stop. He has convinced himself that her name is Madeleine (Mollie King) but, although he loves her from afar, he cannot bring himself to do anything about it, even though he is goaded by his housemate, Alice (Sarah Hansen), who secretly loves him. One day, to his horror, he sees a strange man approach Madeleine and spirit her away. The stranger turns out to be Bouboule (Michael Cutrupi), a magical clown who transports Luc to Amsterdam, where he is subjected to a series of bizarre episodes that are designed to teach him a number of life lessons to bring him to the point where he has the confidence to approach the girl at the bus stop.
Using the songs of the Belgian singer songwriter, Jacques Brel, including Amsterdam and Madeleine, of course, as well as Carousel and many others, the cast of four weave a complex and haunting tales in this surreal fantasy, directed with a keen eye for the absurd by Felicity Nicol. Singing mainly in English, with a few numbers in the original French, they are accompanied by a fine trio of musicians with Jackie Hansen on piano, Alison Heiki on violin and Dean Newcomb on clarinet, all three being members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
Ideally suited to this intimate cabaret venue, the production is musically rewarding as well as offering a wealth of fine physical theatre. The four performers inject considerable energy and enthusiasm into this intricately constructed narrative, creating a worthwhile and thoroughly enjoyable evening of dark comedy, music and imagination.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, GLAM Adelaide Arts Editor.