Back Out from the Outback

The Edinburgh Fringe is brimming with acts from Down Under, but you probably won’t witness any more authentic than Susie and Mel in their storytelling show Back Out From The Outback. The pair and their cat have been travelling Australia in a bus that doubles as a library for years and have gathered many a story along the way. Join Susie and Mel down at the Cellar Monkey for some harmless, though stereotypical fun.

What might be regarded as easy subject matter however comes off remarkably well as the pair deliver their show with good humour, friendliness and charm.

Mel and Susie use and abuse expressions like ‘arvo’ ‘fair dinkum’ and ‘smoko’. With a blow up kangaroo, a tube of vegemite and a pair of flip flops (or should I say ‘thongs’) as props, they embrace every stereotype well-known enough to summon up a chuckle of recognition from the audience. What might be regarded as easy subject matter however comes off remarkably well as the pair deliver their show with good humour, friendliness and charm.

What truly stands out is the pair’s talent for writing. Beneath the akubras stand two bush poets, skilled at storytelling, composition and delivery. They touch upon the storytelling tradition of their country and bring it to life in dialogue and rhyme. Particularly enjoyable is a poem rich in aussie slang recited by Mel and simultaneously ‘translated’ into Scottish slang by Susie. This has the audience laughing, and the show moves on to explore Scottish stereotypes as Susie reveals that she is infact Scotland-born.

Although they rely a little too heavily on trope, Susie and Mel’s performance is well worth your time. They are loveably genuine women that take an interest in their audience and just seem blissfully happy to be here. Their poetry is compelling and their show enjoyable, giving the audience an exotic taste of the dangers and golden beauty of the Australian outback. 

Reviews by Maria Hagan

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The Blurb

Flies, pies and bindi-eyes, Outback Sheilas tell you lies. Australian champion bush poetry duo Melanie Hall and Susan Carcary present their two-woman variety show. A little bit of Queensland, fair-dinkum stand-up bush poetry combining original comic and serious verse, musical monologues and yarn-spinning (ridgey-didge Aussie storytelling). This is cabaret poetry with a lot of laughs and a few tears. Featuring traditional and original verse in both solo and duo voice. The poems are off by heart. The duo work is tight. And did we mention Aussie Elvis? This show is a little ripper.

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