Presented by The Dollar Bin Darlings
Reviewed 15 February 2020
Grab your most outrageous outfit and lather yourself in body glitter – it’s time to bogey the night away to classic Disco tunes while learning about the fascinating and largely-unknown history of this genre.
Utilising a crate of old, dusty records, these ‘dancefloor anthropologists’ will take you on a musical journey to discover the true, women-liberating, queer-promoting, anti-capitalist story of capital-D Disco. Disco Conversion Therapy will bring the tunes (from Donna Sumers, Barry White, MFSB and Anita Ward to name a few), alongside an enjoyably grooving history lesson filled with head-bopping lectures which will have you appreciating the genre of disco like never-before (there’s that conversion).
Having reached back in time via old archives of records resting amongst cobwebs and dust, they’ve pulled these discarded tunes free and given them a new life at this Disco Conversion Therapy party! As enthusiastic lead therapist, Aunty Jonny (wrapped in a pastel pink jumpsuit and layers of glittering jewels), takes us back to the very first hints of disco. The audience begins an incredible journey through the highs and lows, the triumphs and tragedies of this colourful genre. There are gasps, there are laughs, there are boos (towards the heathens who tried to kill disco) and there are, of course, tunes throughout this vibing history lesson. Studio 54 will be critiqued alongside Saturday Night Fever, while the anti-Disco movement and Disco’s promotion of the female orgasm will also be investigated.
The group behind this disco extravaganza, The Dollar Bin Darlings, are said to put the ‘Disco’ in ‘Discount’ (hence their name). The group utilises cheap records found in the dollar bin outside record shops, shoved to the back of second-hand stores, hiding in the corner of gran’s cobweb-filled shed or scored during council pick up. There’s always a hero tune to found among these forgotten records that will make you believe in miracles, but it MUST be disco or a straight-up banger to be considered a ‘dollar bin darling’. They then utilise these forgotten classics to help sell their passionate and soulful music lecture about the mighty Disco genre and, in the process, have created the most enjoyable history lesson EVER.
Throughout their season at the Adelaide Fringe, you’ll discover that one night will never be the same as another with guest DJ’s and Fringe performers popping into the line-up constantly. There are locals we know well like Night Call and Australian performer Zoë Badwi (“I’m free faaaaalllingggggg”), plus international acts like DJ Kitty Glitter and Dorian Electra. Bonuses include Fringe royalty Kween Kong and powerhouse Melbourne drag group, Yummy.
Disco Conversion Therapy is for anyone and everyone so if you’re looking for a fun way to kill an hour with groovy tunes, outrageously colourful DJ decks, giant disco balls and blinging accessories – do yourself a musical-flavour favour and book yourself in for some disco conversion!
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 5: 5 History made groovy
Venue: The Attic at RCC, The University of Adelaide, North Tce, Adelaide, SA, 5005
Season: 15 – 23 February 2020
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $24.50 – $35