Adelaide Fringe: Papillon

Papillon. Photo by Brig Bee Photography
Papillon. Photo by Brig Bee Photography

Papillon was a big Fringe winner last year. And looking at the massive line up at the door and packed to the brim house at the show I was at, it could be a big winner with audiences this year too.

While this show is not the most polished of the cool circus type physical gigs getting around this Fringe (and there seems to be more each year), it is the slightly loose and quirky attitude upon the stage which gives this show its shine. It’s got a messy carnival feel about it, and the performers carry a hint of naughtiness with it. And it works. It’s fun, all of the time. And so are they.

One of our (kind of) MC gals, sings here and there and does so very well ‘Lick My Pussy and My Crack’ the biggest cackle for all of us; and she introduces and comments along the way too.

One of our balancing guys does some remarkable stuff with glasses, eggs and the (well-worn) spinning plates on the sticks trick. He has just the right character and stage presence. He’s an amusing boy and we can’t get enough of him. And his song ‘The Piano Man’ singing while he sets off mouse traps and eventually a rabbit trap with his hands and arms, is a riot.

There is some awesome acrobatic work in the show, particularly when the two ladies in beaut blue outfits get going. Some of the shapes they make and hold together are out of this world, really! And the strength involved is a credit to their forms. With the top soulful music and in perfect sync with each other they bought a deeply emotional and feminine edge to their presentation.

But the bit that really caused quiet and gasps in the house was our terrific chair stacking and balancing man. Wow! On a tall chimney of chairs he walks the bottom chair on two legs! It is slightly scary and incredible stuff, indeed. Amazing concentration too!

There is a wonderful man in the hoop segment (which I’ve never seen anything like before), and great trapeze work from one of the ladies while bubbles flow into the air of the space.

Some audience involvement with a risky axe stunt takes us into the Carnival feel even more.

We have seen lots of this stuff before; but the show does have enough interesting stray cards in it and a nice hint of the eccentric from the team to make this one a good fun one to see. Great work!

Stephen House

Stephen is a writer with numerous plays, exhibitions and short films produced. He has been commissioned often and directs and performs his work. He has won two AWGIE Awards from The Australian Writers Guild and an Adelaide Fringe Award (as well as more), and has received several international literature residencies. Stephen has been Artistic Director of many events. He has been performing his acclaimed solo show, “Appalling Behaviour” nationally from 2010 – 2014 (100 shows to date). Stephen has 2 new works in development.

Stephen House

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