Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: A Hero

What lies behind the mask of a hero? In the vernacular of social media, “it’s complicated”.

Talented West Lakes lad has his own show examining heroes (or not)

Reviewed at the Jade on 4 March 2019

Presented by Walter Buckley

The Jade is a great venue, it’s the perfect place for Walter Buckley to present the world premiere of his one man show A Hero. What lies behind the mask? In the vernacular of social media, “it’s complicated”.

Walter’s a talented boy from Adelaide, West Lakes, if you’re listening. Keep watching, this boy has a big future ahead of him. He knows how to command an audience, he knows how to write really engaging funny material, and whoever writes his PR is brilliant. It sounds like he’s worked all over the world already.

I am reviewing a young man who at the start of his career has more chutzpah than sense – the mark of a good artist. He’s barely out of school but he’s intelligent, his material is engaging, funny, he pushes the boundaries just a bit too far (that’s not a criticism, it’s praise), and generally entertains his audience from the moment he bursts onto the stage, ably accompanied by his saviour Grant Hutchinson on keyboard who made sure Walter was safe as houses in every musical number. It’s not every day your MD can play up to you and enhance your performance.

Walter has put together a fun 45 minutes of cabaret with some original songs and rewrites of the lyrics to every popular hero song you can think of, that work quite brilliantly in the context of the show he has written. How do you find your superhero? Walter attempts some funny, brave and ultimately useless choices of the correct path to follow, but he keeps on trying. From Walter Boy to Alter Boy to Cardinal Smell, his suggestions were hilarious. His impressions of some very famous people including Sean Connery and Hugh Jackman were deft and just enough to make us laugh without wincing.

I was really impressed by this young man’s ability to hold an audience for 45 minutes and make them laugh, listen and make them very happy, with a few reservations.

Delivery at 110%; is not only very tiring for you but if you deliver full tilt all the time at your audience, they don’t get a chance to recover. It’s a big voice, Walter; stop bashing us over the head with it: about three-quarters of the way through you were really pushing that developing voice to edge of its limits threatening to damage your more precious asset. Your laid-back version of Bang Bang gave us, and you, some breathing space, and the acting was excellent. Use every opportunity to give us some breathing space. I see a big future for you – look after the assets.

You don’t list a director. Perhaps an outside eye who doesn’t know you could help to develop these brilliant ideas into a format that takes you to the next level. You can’t develop the ideas fully without an outside eye.

As I said earlier, I really enjoyed your work and I wanted to give you five stars, not four. Next year perhaps, keep up the good work. Walter doesn’t need another hero, he is a hero.

Reviewed by Adrian Barnes

Venue:  The Jade
Season:  March 3rd – March 5th
Duration: 50mins
Tickets:  $19


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