Adelaide Fringe

Partners in Crime – Adelaide Fringe 2011

Presented by Promptside Productions
Reviewed Saturday 5 February 2011

Venue: La Boheme, 36 Grote Street, Adelaide
Season: 26 February at 5pm
Venue: The Whitmore Hotel, Whitmore Square, Adelaide
Season: 27 February (show only), or 5 & 12 March at 7.30pm (dinner & show)
Duration: 90mins
Tickets: $22/conc $15 (show only) or $50 (dinner & show)
Bookings: FringeTix: 1300 374643 or The Whitmore Hotel: 8231 5533

Partners in Crime made its Adelaide debut in the 2010 Cabaret Fringe, returning now for the 2011 Adelaide Fringe in an expanded format after touring to the UK.

Brigitte Baden-Rennie’s examination of love and its complications is a comical, sexy, infectious romp into that four letter word we all crave. It begins with the revelation that she ran away the night before her wedding then invites the audience to consider the choices we make in the never-ending roundabout of romance.

Whether the topic is addiction, the regrets we all carry, or the biology of love, one thing is made clear; there are countless things that go hand-in-hand with love, including jealousy, passion and revenge.

The show works because of Baden-Rennie’s affable nature. Her casual interactions with the audience, punctuated by a sly smile, the raise of an eyebrow or a hearty laugh are what make this piece work so well. It’s like workshopping with a friend. She uses a flip-board to brainstorm ideas and strings it all together with more than a baker’s dozen of well-chosen jazz songs.

Accompanied by the talented Chris Martin on piano, Baden-Rennie’s extensive vocal range slides effortlessly between songs as she acts out each number, from the dramatic to the drunken. There are laughs galore in every aspect of this unique show, from her choice of songs to the sometimes surprising responses from the audience. Only a brave, competent performer can control a crowd so masterfully to keep the show on track.

This expanded version, running 40 minutes longer with interval, offers more stories, more interaction and more songs. In retrospect, last year’s 50-minute production now seems little more than a taste test of this fuller presentation. The additional time allows Baden-Rennie to showcase her talents more completely, and it is well worth revisiting just for the pleasure of spending more time with her.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.

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