Presented by Pain Solution
Reviewed 16 February 2016
If you’re squeamish about blood, maybe this one isn’t for you. I guess with a company name like “Pain Solution” you can guess what you’re in for, but nothing can really prepare you for such a brutal and exhilarating sideshow experience.
All the way from Oslo, Norway, comes The HeadMaster and his merry band, including The Princess of Scars and The Maniac. No real names are given, because none are needed. On this stage the characters (and the acts) are totally real. Avoiding illusion and tricks, Pain Solution are the “real deal”, taking hammers and nails to noses, laying on beds of nails and even piercing throats… You know, the normal, everyday sort of thing!
The Headmaster began this debut Fringe performance with a bit of an awkward pre-amble, bumbling through jokes and trying really hard to get the audience pumped up. The awful jokes continued all the way through, as did a fair bit of the awkwardness, but those aspects were both completely overshadowed by the death-defying acts the trio perform.
The characters themselves, the flamboyant and devilish Maniac, the grizzled yet seductive Princess of Scars and the eccentric and horrifying HeadMaster, are all incredibly interesting, if not all that unique in the world of the gothic sideshow. The makeup and costuming in this show is absolutely great! It’s like they were given access to The Joker’s wardrobe for a night and told to go wild.
The final aspect of this show to note is its incredibly casual attitude. This doesn’t feel like a show you’d pay to go see in a set venue, but more something you’d find in a bizarre back alley bar in the deepest, weirdest parts of a North European city.
If you’re looking for thrills, chills and a bit of nausea this Fringe, you know where to find them!
Reviewed by James Rudd
Rating (out of 5): 3
Venue: Empyrean – Gluttony, Rymill Park, Murlawirrapurka
Season: 16 – 12 February
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $18 – $33
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)