Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Fat Witch


Presented by Sarah Valle
Reviewed 9 March 2021

In Sarah Valle’s show she did regale the audience with stories of how she was treated – both as a child and an adult – for being fat. But although we were warned about bad jokes, I didn’t expect them to be quite so unfunny.

I could identify with her initially refusing to play/sing Adele’s music when it was requested, due to the assumption Valle must like her music because Adele was also fat. Fat women often give up things they like and enjoy because of how others react to them. I was glad to hear that she overcame this hurdle and challenged those who said Adele was beautiful only when she was thin – she was always beautiful.

As someone who has a whole life of experience of being fat shamed, I was disappointed that most of her stories did not seem to go anywhere. Her rambling tale of being invited to a birthday party by a precocious 8 year old, who oddly had a similar interest to her in Japanese history, did not have a point as far as I could see. What did she want us to know, feel or do?

Some of Valle’s musical selections also struck a ‘bum note’. Her instrumental version of Cher’s Strong Enough at least had a tangential relevance to being resilient and managing alone but what was the Nancy Sinatra version of Bang Bang or Yoshi’s Island themetrying to say?

I admire Sarah Valle for speaking out as a Fat Witch and challenging the all too familiar media tropes and stereotypes of how women should look, be or behave. Nonetheless, I think a more polished performance would have a much greater impact.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Venue: Hidden Brew Taphouse at The Laneway on Ebenezer Cafe-Bar
Season:  March 10, 11 at 8pm
Duration:  60 mins
Tickets:  $20 Conc $17

Rating out of 5: 3

Cabaret, Adelaide Fringe, Hidden Brew Taphouse, The Laneway on Ebenezer Café-Bar, Sarah Valle



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