Presented by Penny Ashton
Reviewed 18th February 2020
Penny Ashton returns to the Adelaide Fringe once again to delight and entertain audiences with her charming wit, hilarious facials and first rate humour. Ashton’s Award Winning Promise and Promiscuity has amused audiences since 2013.
Starting strong, in its first year it won Best Female Solo at the Victoria Fringe Festival and, Patron’s Pick at the Winnipeg Fringe. As for its past successes in Adelaide, in 2015 it took out the Adelaide Fringe’s Weekly Award for Best Theatre; furthermore, it was a sellout show at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Judging by today’s performance it is obvious her energy, performance and stamina have not slowed. For the full hour she is talking most of the time, skilfully impersonating the roles of all characters in her story. As she uses only a low key set with few adornments to differentiate characters; her ability to alternate between these characters instantly using her voice, facials and body postures is notable.
The musical is based on the Jane Austen classics – most notably Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility however there are many lines from Austen’s other works. Miss Elspeth as the main character addresses the key themes from the Austen books on which they are based, that of spinsterhood, the worth of a woman being tied to a man, the difficulty of financial independence, class snobbery and judgement, etiquette and, literature.
As a performer Penny Ashton has been on the world stage for almost two decades. New Zealand born and bred, her talents are multi-faceted and have included roles such as a TV Host, Social commentator, comedienne, radio broadcaster, actress, comedy poetry slammer and more recently, that of a wedding celebrant. Promise and Promiscuity is a delightful mix of classic text interspersed with modern references like the Kardashians.
Reviewed by Rebecca Wu
Rating out of 5: 4
Venue: Masonic – Owl Room at Gluttony – Masonic
Lodge North Terrace
Season: Friday 14th February – Sunday 1st March 2020
Duration: 70 minutes