Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Hamlet at the Bottle-O

Hamlet at the Bottle-O: Booze, bants and bang on impersonations.

Presented by Tongue In Cheek Voices
Reviewed 21 Feb 2018

Flashback a few weeks ago and I was coming out of the bottle shop on Australia day. My public holiday essentials in hand, I was laughing at the battle the poor sales assistant was waging with the loyalty system while a manager was challenging a group of teenagers to produce some ID. While not an uncommon experience, I wasn’t expecting to see it again so soon, and certainly not in the first scene of a Fringe show…

Hamlet at the Bottle-O is the tale of Nick, an aspiring actor trying to balance auditions, monologue prep, holiday sales and marketing slogan t shirts, not to mention customers or worse, his colleagues.

If you’ve ever worked in retail, you’ll spot some familiar personalities. The stress head boss, the charming but kind of useless older employee, the totally irritating and entirely unhelpful regional sales lead – they’re all there.

In the lead, and indeed only role, the obviously talented Nick Mercer brings them all to life to perfection, give or take a few accents…

Its not surprising that Nick is able to nail the characters, drawing on his previous experience as a “premium beverage consultant”. From this inspiration veteran director Adrian Barnes helped to come up with the concept of the show, which was expertly pieced together by jack-of-all-trade theatre guru, Pat Wilson.

While the humour is obvious and the characters exaggerated, it’s the little details that makes Hamlet at the Bottle-O so whimsically enjoyable. The minimalist set is styled by four distinctly attired wombats to showcase the changing seasons from Australia Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day to Christmas and New Years Eve.

The minimal set leaves all the attention on Nick and he doesn’t disappoint. The break out ‘audition’ moments reveal his serious chops as an actor, while his complete openness with audience means that you’re laughing along and sharing the ride with him.

Booze, bants and bang on impersonations, Hamlet at the Bottle-O delivers exactly what its says on the tin with some cuttingly hilarious comments that hit very close to home.

Reviewed by Jenna Woods.

Rating out of 5: 4

Venue: Goodwood Institute, 166 Goodwood Rd, Goodwood, SA, 5034
Season: Until 3 March 2018
Duration: 50 minutes
Tickets:  Full Price: $25.00 HalfTIX: $12:50

Disclaimer: Pat Wilson is an Arts reviewer for Glam Adelaide

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