The Foxy Morons present: I love a sunburnt c*ntry
Starring Xanthe Jones and Phoebe Ballard
Shows May 13, 17, 18 and 20 at 7pm and May 15 at 1pm.
LA Hotel, Corner of Caxton St and Petrie Tce
Review by Josh Lyons
Jamie-Lee (Jones) and Shazza (Ballard) are Aussie to their bone(r)s, and they’re taking us on a nostalgic musical comedy tour of the dos and don’ts, ins and outs of our magnificent* country. A multi-disciplinary piss-take, this cabaret is effortless in its dismantling of some of the more notorious facets of Australian culture, and it’s pure genius.
Very few holes were barred in this intelligent, sexy, and confronting cabaret. It comfortably danced between laugh out loud comedy, great music, and cutting social commentary, and the ease with which it tackled these things is highly commendable. As we were barrelled through some of Australia’s bigger cultural faux pas, which included tampon taxes, alcoholism, misogyny and racism, we were greeted with relatable and honest approaches to these issues.
The show began as a 10 minute cabaret performed as part of the Short+Sweet Festival QLD last year. It’s no surprise that it absolutely crushed that season, taking out some of the highest accolades the festival has to offer, including “Best Overall Production”. Extending the show to its 70 odd minute run-time for Anywhere, and still retaining what made it special at 10, is a massive feat, and, while I can’t comment with certainty on that journey, the product that I had the pleasure of viewing was more than capable of holding its own.
It’s extremely hard to be critical of a show as charming, entertaining, and thoughtful as this one. Still, on opening night the performance was somewhat under-rehearsed, with multiple performance and tech issues disrupting the show. All of the people involved are to be credited for their ability to manage the issues however, and comfortably deal with them as they arose. And while it would have been nice to see this show executed perfectly, there was something to be said for the accessibility of a show that can just screw up, acknowledge it, and confidently move on. Mostly though, it was just seemingly impossible to lose the quality of the show to the mistakes. Ten times as many complications wouldn’t disrupt the fact that the openness of the performers, and the calibre of the writing is more than enough to carry it. It did seem a strange choice to have an interval in such a short show, and while I can appreciate the ways that it added to the casual atmosphere, and was good for the venue, I might have preferred if it rolled straight through.
The show is unapologetically feminist, and plants its flag firmly in the sand of tackling the rampant disrespect of women and minorities in our country. If these themes are something you dig, then you will dig this show, and should probably see it. If you are uncomfortable with feminist themes and coming face to face with some of the darker sides of the silent struggles of our communities, then you might not be as congenial to the experience, which is exactly the idea, so you should DEFINITELY see this show.
My only regret in experiencing this spectacular production is that I enjoyed it alone, and without enough cash in my wallet to buy myself a drink (but don’t worry, I just bought two to make the eftpos minimum). This is a show to be enjoyed with friends at your table, food on your plate, and a drink in your hand. But even without, your tour guides will make sure you have an absolute bloody cracker of a time.
Tickets available at: http://anywherefest.com/event/the-foxy-morons-present-i-%E2%99%A5-a-sunburnt-cntry/all/