Fringe Review: Ah…Art of the Tongue

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By Steve Amery

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If improv, poems, and lifting stories are your thing then Ahh…Art of the Tongue is for you. Conveniently nestled in the Public Speaking Rooms in Gawler Place you enter an underworld of lyrical overload.

Audience participation was highly encouraged so if you are like me and a bit of a shrinking violet and shy away from suddenly being the center of attention then head to the back of the seating area. The audience was encouraged to come up with themes for the improv session and also get up and perform their own take on whatever the subject matter was.

A rousing poem on long-distance love was stirring and obviously drawn from the deep depths of lived experience. The audience was quickly shuffled onto a rousing story about carnival workers and how the stigma of their practices being a little shady was in fact true. Well, from this orator’s perspective at least.  The story was meant to end with an allegory about courage and persistence but it didn’t hit the mark for me.

The improv reminded me of my mates gathered around a campfire imbued to the gills telling nonsensical stories. It was all a bit haphazard and at times a bit cringy. Most of the audience seemed to enjoy the spontaneity of it all, but again it just didn’t reach its full potential.

The two hosts exuded energy and did their best to generate a positive vibe but again the chemistry just wasn’t working and fell a little flat in its delivery.

Overall, it was obvious there was a tremendous amount of work and planning that went into this production and I give huge kudos to those who dared to get up in front of people and be vulnerable, however, it didn’t flow well, and while the presentations had the right intentions they just were not polished. Having said that I highly encourage all the performers to stick at it and keep going because there is a huge diamond in there, it just needs a bit of polish. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it for next year.

3 Stars

To book tickets to this show, go here.

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