Dingos and wombats and kookaburras, oh my! The Olympics are coming to Oz!
One of the best original musicals at the Fringe this year.
The year, 1939. The location, Outback. With rumours of the Tokyo 1940 being cancelled due to the war, naive star swimmer Freckle won’t take no for an answer. The games will happen and if they can’t go ahead in Japan they will in Australia. With the help of her amateur dramatic company, can anything stand in her way? This was one of the most fun shows I’ve seen so far and the cast thoroughly enjoy themselves. There are some priceless moments, one being the opening sequence which told the history of the Olympic Games through song and interpretive dance. The writing was very funny and considering it is set over seventy years ago, surprisingly topical. With the Commonwealth Games wrapped up in Glasgow, it seems fitting that we have our own rebel games here at the Fringe.
This show has one of the tightest and funniest ensembles up at the fringe. What’s more, I was shocked to discover that they were predominantly UK based actors as their accents are flawless. Jessica Hern leads as the comically determined Freckle and plays the role with incredible gusto and lovely degrees of subtlety. Rhiannon Moushall, who plays wannabe starlet Stella, wins several laughs for her performance which is intelligent, glamorous and rather foxy. Leon Kay and Matthew Hobbs, locals Dave and Bob respectively, make an incredible double act and play their blokes with appropriate blokeishness. Finally, Natalie Viccars acts as Margaret Cardoso, the grounded director who holds everything together, with depth, heart and with a lovely dollop of dry humour.
The direction is strong, the choreography is slick and the music and set beautifully fit within the time frame in which the play is set. The Outback Games is one of the best original musicals at the Fringe this year, so make sure you grab a ticket before they’re all a-didgeri-gone!