Fringe World Review: Kitsch at the Canton Bar

Perth based theatre company Nicole in Red present Kitsch for this year’s Fringe World in Perth. Performed at the CantonKitsch Bar, the atmosphere of the venue is excellent and turning up early to grab a cocktail and some eats is a really good idea.

The show itself is an odd little mix of ‘bite sized’ performances all strung together by the narrator character. The show’s story is basically about the bitter reality of being a pretty lady, who lives only to be loved and to please her man. It isn’t an original story, but the format is original.

Six performers, dressed almost identically with tumbling blonde locks (wigs) animal print dresses, fishnet stockings and pink cocktails in hand, each perform their parts separately. Each performance bite represents a portion of one woman’s life, beginning with the naïve and edging ever nearer to the extreme vitriol of the final monologue.

The concept is truly brilliant, however while some of the performances shone, others were lacklustre. Standouts included an aerial rope routine effortlessly executed as the performer delivered a stinging monologue, a pregnant contortionist act and a cute little monologue about lists and cherries.

The narrator character had some great moments but, ultimately, wasn’t able to fully draw the audience in. Kitsch’s downfall was in its inability to suspend the disbelief of its audience. While individual performances worked well, the narrative wasn’t convincing because no one is going to buy the ’20 years of my fucking life wasted’ relationship bitterness of a middle-aged woman played by a slim, attractive, twenty-something actress. It just doesn’t ring.

Overall, Kitsch has some great individual performances and, though it has some flat moments, it is still an interesting show, and certainly worthwhile for the cocktails.

Kitsch is showing at the Canton Bar in Perth, February 5-7

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