LoveBirds – 2012 Adelaide Fringe

Presented by Strut & Fret
Reviewed Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Feathers, Sequins and Song…and it’s not a drag show. The girls are girls and the boys are boys, albeit highly decorated.

The petite Simone Page Jones, who wrote and devised the show, is the first voice the audience hears as they look for where the wondrous tones are wafting from. I’m not going to give it away.

Jones, in an expansive peacock feather headdress and black feather trimmed wrap, is joined by Samantha Young, Akos Armont and Aaron Tsindos, the other 3 LoveBirds, each with a unique headdress and makeup but cloaked in a similar black wrap.

The troupe tell tales of looking for love through the characters, which are revealed to be highly ornate birds once the black wraps are dropped. There are some great lines through the show, playing on people’s understandings of the different types of birds referred to in song. The costuming however does not relate directly to any of the birds mentioned in the music.

The performance centres on the stage with some of the opening sequence being low to the ground and a bit hard for those seated in the centre flat of the Idolize Spiegeltent to see, but action does venture into the centre aisle and into the outer aisles and the booths.  Whilst it is expected that the first row is never safe in cabaret, any seat with access to the aisle is likely to attract attention from the performers.

The range of songs includes opera, waltz, rap and 1920’s swing, all sung live and accompanied by musical director Matthew Carey on keys, Lyndon Gray on bass, Chris Soole on saxophone and Josh Baldwin on drums.

The show tells stories of  the desire for love, a universal emotion. These are not new concepts by any means, but are presented using the sparkle and shine of the LoveBirds with references to the caged monotony of the real world book-ending the show. The emotional connection sits with examining a world where you may feel caged and restricted from seeking the love and freedom your heart desires.

Whilst the sound levels at my seat in the middle of the Spiegeltent appeared suitable, I did hear comments that some locations found the levels too high. It is understandable that sound design may be difficult in such a venue as the tents, made in Belgium in the early 20th century, were possibly not designed to require the level of amplification of sound used in modern productions.

For those coming along, just a note for lining up, I’m not sure if it’s specifically for The LoveBirds or if it’s part of the Idolize Spiegeltent management, but there are two lines, one for those holding tickets and another for those that have not collected tickets and have their name at the door. It’s best to try to get your name checked off early then move to the ticket holders’ line so that you have a chance to get a good seat.

Reviewed by Jade Kops, special guest Fringe Critic, Glam Adelaide

Adelaide Fringe – LoveBirds
Garden of Unearthly Delights – The LoveBirds

Venue: Idolize Spiegeltent, The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Rundle Park/Kadlitpinna Cnr East Tce & Rundle Rd Adelaide
Season: 8:30pm until Sun 18 Mar 2012
Tickets: $37 to $42
Duration: 60 min
Bookings: Fringetix 1300-FRINGE (1300-374643), their outlets or online

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