Presented by Josh Belperio and the Holden Street Theatre
Reviewed 11th February 2020
Josh Belperio has channelled all his rage and anger at current political and social affairs into a brand new cabaret show, Right Here, Right Now.
Belperio is an award-winning musical performer from Adelaide and graduate from the Elder Conservatorium of Music. He had originally planned a show, entitled Scarred for Life, but a few days out from the opening night switched it out for a raw production that approaches many of the political and activist issues that arose over the summer.
The bushfire crisis, attacks on freedoms under the guise of religious discrimination, and even the actions of the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison come under the gaze of Belperio as a composer and songwriter. There is strong wit and a balanced pace in the mix of spoken word and songs that allowed for an issue approach for darker topics, such as depression and suicide.
Belperio’s simple set up with a keyboard, microphone and minimal staging brought the focus down onto his lyrics and his ability to engage the crowd. The stripped back format added the personal element and deliberate, direct connection with the audience. Belperio was open and honest about the process of the performance, encouraging feedback and discussion throughout the show.
There are many punching lines found within these new songs that demonstrate not just Belperio’s skills as a songwriter but also his passion and awareness for social justice. Aspects of the show are still in the rougher stages, with minor adjustments as the show progressed but was expected with the sudden change in show within the week of the opening night.
The unapologetic approach to the freshness of the show added a layer of grit through the unpolished style and granted Belperio the ability to provide further storytelling, which outlined more about the personal inspirations behind the original songs. There were hints of Tim Minchin and Ben Folds within the work performed in Belperio’s latest show.
Belperio’s Right Here, Right Now is a step away from previous productions but successfully draws upon early cabaret styles to flesh out areas of contemporary activism. It is playing over two weeks as part of the Holden Street Theatres’ incredible and extensive Fringe Festival 2020 program.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 5: 4 Inspiring Rage and Passion
Venue: Judy’s at HST, Holden Street
Theatres, Hindmarsh South Australia.
Season: 11th – 22nd February 2020
Duration: 50 mins