Glittery, glitzy kids' entertainment that adults will enjoy as well
Reviewed at Bonython Hall on 9 March 2019
Presented by RCC Fringe
From the creators of the very adult show, Briefs, comes the even more awesome kid’s show, Brat Kids Carnival. While this show is silly, mischievous and extremely glittery, it’s also full of wicked talent, pumping seventies and eighties music, and daredevil party tricks. And fear not, parents, you’re allowed in too!
Let me say from the outset that I’ve been reviewing Fringe shows for over a decade, kids’ Fringe shows in particular for the last five years, and this is by far my favourite kids’ Fringe show to date. Probably the reason for this is that while the performers have adapted their adult variety show offering and certainly toned it down to make it suitable for little ‘ladybirds and gentle-beetles’, it’s not dumbed down. Too often I’ve spent a hot afternoon in a small tent while perhaps two to four mediocre performers perform mediocre tricks that only impress those under five.
Brat Kids Carnival is not that show.
Audience members entering the (thank goodness) airconditioned Bonython Hall were greeted by emcee for the afternoon, Fez. Mr Bugs in his OTT Alice in Wonderland inspired white rabbit outfit (he had four wrist-watches on one arm alone!) and Fez set the tone for the afternoon. At point of entry, they bonded with the kids and teased the adults (no, Fez, my glittery eyeshadow is not reserved for weekends only). It was the type of bawdy hilarity you’d expect at an adult variety show but worked wonders with this young crowd too.
What followed was an hour of high-energy acts and pumping tunes. Marjorie Stuart Baxter was a fan-dancer from another universe, covered from the tips of her antennae to the hem of her floor swishing skirts in neon pink sequins. Captain Kid channelled the eighties which, according to most youngsters in the audience, was ‘thousands of years ago’. His green fluoro leg warmers and metallic leopard print bike shorts were straight from the Mardi Gras, his talent with hula hoops a Las Vegas award winner. Kids even had a chance to get up on stage and try out their own hula hoop prowess.
In the second part of the show, there was hat juggling, hand balancing, energetic backflips and aerial splits. Mr Bugs joined in with his magical alarm clocks and impressive baton work and graduates of the Flying Fruitfly Circus performed graceful aerial acrobatics. The last act saw impressive hoop work that was as graceful as ballet and even involved swinging out over the first few rows of the audience.
There were a few minor trick malfunctions (juggling hat hit the stage a few too many times), but overall, this show was simply delightful. My five dates for the afternoon ranged from three to seven years. Most of the kids were transfixed, however, my easily embarrassed six-year-old commented that the spandex pants were a bit much for her, (‘Mummy, I could see his undies!’).
I still award this show five stars for being brave enough to give kids a real Fringe variety show. Performers did their best to reign in the sexual innuendo, though a smidge still made it through. Use your own judgement about whether your children will be upset by the ‘undies’, but I simply loved it all.
Reviewed by Samantha Bond
Venue: Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide
Season: 9 & 16 March 2019
Duration: 45 minutes
Tickets: $15 – 20