Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Safety Nets

A serious message with some not so serious bits.


Presented by ARTSLAB
Reviewed 8 March 2022

This production makes a serious attempt to raise the subject of homelessness using humour and distraction. The opening is unclear as a solo woman is humming and chatting to herself on a stage that is blank except for a trunk and what appears to be rubbish. A second woman appears and questions who these people are who are watching and offers stories and beans.

The dialogue, aimed mostly at the audience, is peppered with anecdotes and comments on the number of people, in particular older women, who are seeking a home. The character describes the many types of homes she has known, from a comfortable weatherboard house with her Nan to a corner in a derelict building. All are home, a place to belong. She tells the story of how the establishment makes promises that don’t deliver or make the applications and limitations so hard that so many lose hope.

The stories touch on the problems that cause the situations that so many fail to rise themselves out of; drink, drugs and just plain loneliness. The stories, the songs and the whimsy they retreat to all centre on the need for security, a home, a safety net. The songs, by Jillian O’Dowd convey the message well and the performances by Sarah Butler and O’Dowd give insight to the problems but some of the whimsy was lost on this reviewer.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue:  Studio at the Bakehouse
Season:  21-26 Feb 2022
Duration:  60 mins
Tickets:  $26-31

Rating out of 5: 3.5

#Adelaide #ADLFringe

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