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March 5, 2010 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Worldwide Wellington Tour


BATS was not the place to see The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Worldwide Wellington Tour. The show has been making a tour of Wellington suburb community halls and one can only assume that the wide open, communal vibe of such locations would have been much more conducive to the atmosphere the makers wanted.

BATS’ tight, dense little black box has a slightly more formal and segregated audience–performer relationship than the show wants. The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Worldwide Wellington Tour is an evening out, not a single stop on the three-trip ticket of theatre that is BATS during the Fringe. This makes it somewhat hard to judge as a work, so out of place as it is.

The Crimson Club are Shona, Janet and Melissa. Three talented musicians who noodle their way through a number of crowd-pleasing songs (occasionally kicking a snarl when they hit their weaker material) interlinked by quippy riffs between the three of them playing on many of the deeper themes endemic to comedy. Well, when I say themes I mean theme. And when I say theme I mean love.

This is not to say that all the material of The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Worldwide Wellington Tour is soppy heart belters about l’amour. Far from it—they run the gamut from that classic comedy song trope, the romance-turned-violent-stalker ditty, to rather fun explorations of the endemic self-centredness of being single.

The songs are more often than not very good, though they are hardly the strongest singers, with only a dud few peppering the evening’s entertainment. The biggest and realist issue of the show is how awkward some of the connective tissue is. There is a damp vein of desperation running through their links, there are many awkwardly staged moments of wackiness and zaniness that do not speak so much of fun as a fevered need to please the audience. They just really needed to relax.

When considered as a fun musical night out, The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Worldwide Wellington Tour is a success. When considered on any terms of theatre or performance, not so much.

The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Worldwide Wellington Tour

At Various Places (see website)

Part of the 2010 Fringe Festival.


About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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