Reviewed by: Glam Adelaide
Review by Samantha Bond | 20 February 2024
London Calling features some of the best British talent in a gala ‘taster’ show of comedy, circus, magic and physical theatre. Host Paul Dabeck has brought together an amazing and eclectic group of professional performers, all while keeping up the energy with great audience banter (poor Mark was told his name was more of a ‘smudge’ than a name!) and impressive tricks. His ode to Old London Town featured a backing screen with iconic London scenery that helped audience members buy into the Old Blighty atmosphere, changing between sets to suit each act. First up was a circus performer who lay on a pile of old fashioned suitcases and juggled one with her feet. Not content with this awesome display of coordination, she added juggling with her hands, then multiple suitcases and finally she made a mannequin dance, all while dressed as demurely as one would expect of a good Brit. Not so demurely dressed was Sam, awakening in his nightshirt and cap, ready for a busy work day. Sam’s idea of morning ablutions is, though, perhaps a little difficult for the likes of us who cannot ride a unicycle. With great comedic timing, he proceeded to don his work clothes all whilst riding his unicycle, being chased by a cop and even riding a high-wire. Fun, crazy, insanity! Charlie Caper, winner of ‘Sweden’s Got Talent’, showcased his amazing sleight-of-hand and penchant for bowties. Both a highly talented magician and very funny man (“if the kids get the jokes, I don’t think that’s my fault”), Caper is so good that it was possible to believe he actually was magic. Travel back to 1969 with London Airways and the soundtrack to Austin Powers. Chelsea Angel demonstrated her unbelievable talents with hula hoops, at one stage stacking so many around her body that she appeared to be a human slinky. With his hand shadow puppetry, host Paul Dabeck demonstrated disturbingly effective jungle creatures to the soundtrack of The Lion King. And to finally underline the British theme, the finale featured the late, great Queen Liz, who morphed into the other legendary Queen, front man Freddie Mercury, and let fly on the aerial ribbons. London Calling is one of the bigger shows of Fringe with the large Peacock tent packed on Saturday night. Air-conditioning wasn’t fabulous, so sit near the front if you can but other than this, it was an absolutely brilliant show. All performers were top notch, the variety of acts kept audience interest high and it was just utterly good fun. But for the humidity, I could have happily sat through hours more of this wonderful show. Until the shadow puppetry, I would have said this was suitable for all ages, however, there were a few risqué bits with rabbits, ahem, doing what rabbits do, and a wolf then doing what it does with rabbits. For parents thinking of taking kids, use your discretion here, but other than these very brief snippets, all other aspects make it the perfect show for all ages.