Sarah Bennetto in The Storyteller's Club. Photo by Isabelle Adam

Fringe Review: Storytellers’ Club on the Popeye

Everyone loves a good story and The Popeye boat floating on the River Torrens , so what could be better than The Storytellers’ Club on board The Popeye?

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Sarah Bennetto in The Storyteller's Club. Photo by Isabelle Adam
Sarah Bennetto in The Storyteller’s Club. Photo by Isabelle Adam.

Presented by Wit Large
Reviewed 28 February 2014

Everyone loves the Popeye boat and a good story, so what could be better than The Storytellers’ Club on board the Popeye? From the sold out show on Friday night, it appears not much.

Suffice to say, what makes this Fringe comedy show unique is the floating venue (even if it’s open air nature makes it one of the nippier venues).  The ninety minute trip down the River Torrens is spectacular, even at night, and it features a different line-up of guest comedians each time. There was some noise competition from the opening of the Adelaide Festival on the banks of the Torrens, but this won’t be a problem going forward.

Friday’s line up included host Sarah Benetto, Adelaide regular Dave Bloustien, and Melbourne comedians Lana Schwartz, Geraldine Hickey and Nick Johnson. The nature of the show involved comedians telling stories (hence the show’s name) rather than straight stand-up. This worked well for some performers, not so well for others. Host Sarah Benetto had a bubbly and charismatic personality, but some of her stories dragged and weren’t that entertaining. Dave Bloustien’s appearance was short and sweet, regaling us with stories of Fringe’s past, and his young daughter’s interactions with the Tooth Fairy. Lana Schwartz was the real disappointment of the evening, and while I felt bad for the poor woman when a heckler feigned snoring, I can’t in good conscience recommend anyone attend her show.

The two standouts of the evening were Geraldine Hickey and Nick Johnson. Some people are just funny, and Geraldine Hickey is one of them. Her deadpan delivery and in-depth analysis of the composition of a Bubblo Bill ice-cream were hilarious. She is appearing in Up Late & Loose at Producers Bar this Thursday and Friday for those who want to see her. Likewise, Nick Johnson was fab. The exact opposite to Geraldine, his OTT and out of breath comedic style had the audience in stitches. He is appearing in Pyjama Party at Gluttony this Saturday and Sunday night.

While the line-up does change regularly, making it difficult to predict the quality of performers on any given night, it’s still good value for money given the number of comedians included on the bill. It’s also worth it just to cruise down the Torrens, see the out-of-the-way waterfalls I didn’t even know were there, glide alongside the swans and wave hello to bystanders peeing in the river.

Reviewed by Samantha Bond

Venue: The Popeye (meet at the Elder Park Rotunda)
Season:  27 February – 15 March 2014
Duration: 90 minutes
Tickets: $22.00 – $25.00
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or phone 1300 621 255

 

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