Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Laser Kiwi – Rise of the Olive

After you’ve had a drink and wandered around the Garden, make sure you experience something a bit different and weird thanks to Laser Kiwi – Rise of the Olive with its unpredictable collection of impressive acrobatics, experimental comedy and plenty of New Zealand accents.

After you’ve had a drink and wandered around the Garden, make sure you experience something a bit different and weird thanks to Laser Kiwi - Rise of the Olive with its unpredictable collection of impressive acrobatics, experimental comedy and plenty of New Zealand accents.
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Presented by: COLOSSAL
Reviewed: 19 February, 2023

If you’re looking for something weird, but still entertaining this Fringe, this unpredictable collection of impressive acrobatics, experimental comedy, plenty of New Zealand accents, and (of course) olives is one to get tickets to.

You know you’re in for a weird time when the opening of a show focuses entirely on a rotating stand presenting a large jar filled with stuffed green olives as theatrical background music plays, with one olive melodramatically rising from the open jar. As the performers themselves acknowledge, the show is very much “throwing shit/comedy at the wall to see what sticks”, and is an apt summary for the bizarre, variety-like routines that happen within the hour.

Random acrobatic elements include upside-down trapeze-hanging ping pong ball juggling, corde lisse (acrobatics on a vertical hanging rope) uniquely paired with a variety of popular rap songs (think Anaconda, Be Humble and A Milli), and a very daring – almost to the point of audience members not being able to watch – balancing act involving unstable towers of Jenga blocks. One of the most comedic acrobatic balancing routines is saved for the end of the show, and brings the audience together in a roaring cheer when pulled off successfully.

The comedic styles vary throughout, including self-deprecating monologues, utilisation of dramatic Enya songs to emphasise ridiculousness, absurdist comedic bits about singing ants, with some occasional clever improvisations thrown in, and darker humour concerning love and incest. Occasionally, some jokes fall flat, but that can be the case with experimental comedy, and doesn’t seriously detract from the show.

Rise of the Olive provides some great examples of how audience interaction can go really well and be a successful addition to a show, but this depends on the enthusiasm and confidence of random audience members near the stage. If you’re not one for energetic show participation, stick to the seats further back and watch the chaotic humour unfold.

After you’ve had a drink or two and wandered around the Garden, make sure you stop by the Umbrella Revolution tent for something a bit different and weird thanks to Laser Kiwi – Rise of the Olive – you can’t say that you’ve seen any other Fringe show end with a live, flying stuffed olive!

Reviewed by Georgina Smerd

Venue: Umbrella Revolution at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Season: 21 February – 19 March 2023
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $24 – $32
Bookings: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/laser-kiwi-rise-of-the-olive-af2023

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