fringe: undertone

adelaide fringe: undertone
Going in Undertone sounded like it might be something like Cadence from last year's Fringe... however it turns out to be much more circus than it was about the sounds.

Don't get me wrong, the sounds were there, but really with the exception of three sections they didn't feel like they were featured as strongly as they could have been.

Undertone is an interesting circus act though.

Performers Alyssa Moore, Tomek Wiwatowski, Avan Whaite and Thomas McDonald have put together an entertaining show, but there was just something about it that didn't quite hit the level I was expecting.

It may just have been that the transitions between various sequences weren't as smooth or as sharp (weirdly enough, occasionally both) as they've been in other things I've seen.

And while the three sequences where McDonald strips down to his black Bonds trunks and then gets dressed as a table tennis pro were fun and quirky (even if he wasn't the one I really wanted to see strip down) they did have a tendency to make the whole show grind to a halt while he got undressed and then dressed again. I also feel like the idea didn't quite go far enough at times. But even having said that it was incredibly entertaining.

Most impressive was Wiwatowski on the aerial straps, and not just because he was my favourite (and gorgeous)... he's the third performer we've seen on the straps this year and he was the first one who did these wonderfully controlled descents. The death drop stuff that other people was great, but the control it takes to do that stuff slowly is incredible.

Likewise McDonald on the corde lisse and Whaite (all of them really, but Whaite most of all) on the pole at the end were amazing, especially when they made hanging on with one arm and the pressure of an leg enough to keep them in place so that they were hanging upside down seemingly floating and appearing to sit next to the pole respectively.

There are some lovely moments of personality, and not just in the table tennis sequences... the juggling sequence springs to mind.

It's also the first circus act I've been to where I got hit squarely in the face with a ping pong ball hit incredibly hard by McDonald... I mean it was hard, but it's also a ping pong ball, so it stung briefly and then I got over it. Plus it was totally an accident, and he came and kissed it better, so I'm not overly complaining.

While it's not the most mindblowing circus act I've ever seen, it had a number of positive elements and it's worth a look.

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