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Fringe Review: Naughty Hands: Signs of Love, Lust and Insults

A very funny hour of adults-only entertainment, learning how to swear, insult and discuss body parts (and what to do with them) in Australian Sign Language.

Presented by Sign Language Australia
Reviewed 19 February 2017

If you’ve ever been slapped on the wrist for being naughty, it wasn’t worth it… until now.

If you’ve ever given someone ‘the finger’, you’re nothing but an amateur.

Barry Priori, a Deaf teacher for 26 years, has finally acquiesced after almost 3 decades of being asked by students how to say the rude stuff in sign language, and developed the cheekiest and most unique adults-only entertainment this Fringe.

Naughty Hands: Signs of Love, Lust and Insults is exactly what is promised and it doesn’t hold back on any word or phrase. Priori is quick-witted and a natural teacher, instantly building a rapport with the audience and making them laugh. By using his daughter as his interpreter, it adds to the hilarity as she becomes horrified at having to translate some of the words her Dad is asked to teach the audience.

From insults and swearing to body parts and what you do with them, these are the things that usually aren’t discussed in public. Priori also involves the audience by getting them to pull a string of offending words from a ‘swear jar’, then teaching everyone how to say those in Auslan (Australian Sign Language). He imparts some additional cultural and linguistic knowledge when needed, such as the importance of using facial expressions and body language to get your message across but, for the most part, he’s expounding the many ways to say expletives, insults and sexual acts – when he’s not teaching you the few tamer options like ‘I love you’, ‘French kiss’ or ‘pole dancing’.

His game of Chinese Whispers with the audience is particularly funny, as those not participating observe the signed words change as it is passed from person to person down the line.

The show was opened by comedian Loc Tran who, ironically, told a string of puns, which play on the sound of a word so don’t translate into sign language very well! We’ll never know if that was deliberate or not…

There’s so much to see and do in the Adelaide Fringe that it’s hard to decide where to spend  your cash but for an extremely unique, practical and funny adult experience (with no nudity), it’s a metaphorical high five for Naughty Hands. Now you can insult your friends or woo your lover without ever offending most people around you.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Rating out of 5:  4

Venue:  Minnesota Fats, 192 Pirie St, Adelaide
Season:  until 18 March 2017
Duration:  1 hour
Tickets:  $18 – $20
Bookings:  FringeTix, or tickets at the door if not sold out (cash only)

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