Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Fool’s Paradise

Fans of rom-coms will love this Adelaide Fringe-take on classic and fairytale love stories, and will fall for Britt’s authenticity and rawness

Fans of rom-coms will love this Adelaide Fringe-take on classic and fairytale love stories, and will fall for Britt’s authenticity and rawness

Presented by: FRANK.
Reviewed: 26 February, 2023

The one-woman show, Fool’s Paradise tells the real-life story of an Adelaide Fringe-born romance that charmingly blossoms between two talented Fringe performers, but, with obstacles in the way like a world-wide pandemic and having homes on different sides of the planet, will it survive?

As the lights go up and wedding music plays, the show’s protagonist Britt’s voice can be heard anxiously saying “Stall! – He’s not here yet”, as she enters the stage in a white robe with the word ‘bride’ on the back, attempting to re-assure the audience that the groom will be here, but the assurance feels more like it’s for her than for us. This is where we begin to learn about the background of the two set to be wed – their exciting and flirtatious meeting, their joyful journey to falling in love, and… well you’ll find out.

The physical theatre and comedy show Fool’s Paradise – not to be confused with the new venue ‘Fool’s Paradise’ in Victoria Square – blesses its audience with the blossoming of a new, passionate and real relationship, with glorious future plans of travelling the world performing and performing together – the artist’s dream. The audience witnesses the growth with scenes of romantic dinners, nights of passionate sex, bonding over corny films, and sad and dramatic airport goodbyes.

But, as the pressures of the world start to build, including lockdowns, isolation, Visa-dependent travel time and page-long Visa-applications, plus homes in countries on opposite sides of the world, cracks begin to appear. Britt’s use of a groom’s suit and bridal dress hanging in the background of the stage are not only for costume-changing logistics, but also provide an ominous feeling throughout.

Britt nails the utilisation of props in her physical theatre to provide comedic relief, and to also portray trickier situations. These include a tall shaggy mop representing her long, blonde haired Swedish boyfriend throughout the show, and the talented Britt uses this mop (with an added suit) to act out scenes that require both of their presences (with humorous results). Her clever props also include coffee cups with adorable eyes flirting when meeting and making love, but, scandalously, a clear takeaway iced coffee cup also appears, causing plenty of drama.

The show is poignant, stirring the audience’s emotions in Britt’s recreations of hurtful past memories, which are emphasised through music like Joni Mitchell’s heartbreaking song, Both Sides Now. As the relationship blossoms, Britt also blossoms, and you can feel her genuine eagerness for this connection to work, but, bit by bit, things get harder and the emotional toll of this connection becomes clear thanks to Britt’s skillful embodiment of a broken heart.

The show is perfectly suited to its 2023 Fringe home in the smaller, intimate space of The Yurt, allowing a deeper connection between the audience members and Britt, as they are only metres away from each other, and sometimes even closer. A disco ball made of a broken love-heart hangs over the audience, also hinting at impending doom.

The sanitisation on the plane scene felt like it could have been a tad shorter as the point about how over-the-top we had to be with masks, hand sanitiser, wipes and more was clear shortly in, but this is a minor nitpick.

Britt not only wears her heart on her sleeve, but also speaks poignant words of raw emotion and recounts painful memories for her audience, an intimacy that, in today’s more surface-level human interactions, is rare to genuinely experience. Love makes us all feel like a fool sometimes, but it also offers us an indulgent paradise of positive exciting emotions that are akin to nothing as glorious.

Fans of rom-coms will love this Adelaide Fringe-take on classic and fairytale love stories, and will fall for the authenticity and rawness that Britt intimately gives the audience. There’s also plenty of humour, physical theatre and the clever utilization of props, all situated in the perfect intimate venue.

Reviewed by Georgina Smerd

Venue: The Yurt at Migration Museum
Season: 28 February – 19 March, 2023
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $19.50 – $26

More News

To Top