Presented by:Motley and Mac
Reviewed: 18 February 2020
America in the 1930’s was slowly climbing out of the Great Depression slump. The years between the roaring ‘20’s and the wartime 40’s saw the likes of Hollywood retreat further into the realms of fantasy and glamour. As it ended that decade with Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz amongst others, it reaped the benefits of audiences wanting to escape reality. Prohibition embraces this cinematic ethos with a 1930’s set show full of escapist delights. Tied together with a light hearted crime tale, Prohibition features an array of acrobats, singers, and others in between. It’s a place where anything can and does happen. Audiences also love being shocked no matter their protestations, with this Fringe show pulling no punches in offering vivacious entertainment.
Within the confines of the Parasol Lounge at Gluttony, Prohibition tries to be a feast for all senses. An old fashioned variety show with a modern twist, it makes great use of its cast. Hosted by the shadily charming Johnny (looking and performing like an eerily reincarnated Rik Mayall), he swiftly introduced the acts and performed some fine tricks of his own. It would be unfair to go into great detail on what he or anyone else does, except their performances add colour and humour which isn’t an easy thing to do. Interwoven with spry interludes featuring Yank detective Dirk Darrow, the show provides a consistently good time which the audience appreciated.
As with most shows of this type, it relied heavily on audience participation. The performers clearly thrived on their energy and went as far as they could in all areas. The only things letting down the whole production was the non-existent set design and occasionally too loud soundtrack. Prohibition looked like it was made on a certain budget, although a few red drapes and 1930’s style set design would have gone a long way to truly create the era’s ambiance. But none of this detracts from the performer’s skills, which were all first rate. There were a few times during the acrobatic acts that fingers over the eyes were seen with the ‘how will they do that?’ motif in overdrive.
Prohibition is a fast moving production filled with rapid fire quips and equally pacy and racy antics. You pay to see a certain type of entertainment and it succeeds admirably. Whilst surface elements such as the look of the show didn’t mirror the quality of the acts on display, in the end it didn’t matter due to the high enjoyment factor. The hour went by as breezily as the performer’s charms and it’s worth anyone’s time to travel back in time to experience a taste of 1930’s style mischief.
Reviewed by: Patrick Moore
Rating out of 5: 4
Venue 1: Parasol Lounge at Gluttony – Rymill Park from 14 February – 1 March
Venue 2: Ukiyo at Gluttony – Rymill Park from 3 March – 15 March
Season: 14 February – 15 March 2020.
Duration: 1 hr.
Tickets: $20 – $35
Bookings: Book online at www.bass.net.au, https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix or phone BASS on 131 246