Reviewed by: How to Girl
Review by Stephanie Babiak | 11 March 2024
Sometimes, one of the difficult things about choosing a show to see among the myriad of offerings during Adelaide Fringe is figuring out what the show is actually going to be about. It kind of goes hand in hand with the Arts scene in general, but some shows defy explanation or omit details for the sake of spoilers, so you’re not always sure what exactly you’re signing up for. If this is the kind of thing that deters you from committing to the cost of a ticket, then rest assured that there are exceptions to this rule that will nonetheless deliver. True Crime Walking Tour – A comedians guide to Adelaide’s dark past is one such example. The title pretty much tells you everything you need to know, and it provides exactly what’s written on the tin, making it a great option for a night out with mates. Comedian Shayne Hunter is your guide for the evening, and he typifies the deadpan Australian humour you’d probably expect from someone with the knowledge necessary for a show with this kind of local focus. The tour starts outside of the Rhino Room and ends down by the Torrens, so it’s by no means a walk that requires outstanding fitness levels to be enjoyed, but worth bringing a bottle of water along in the current mind-melting temperatures. Hunter takes you through the streets of Adelaide, stopping at several different locations to tell a true-crime story that links to the area either directly or tangentially. His delivery is entertaining, and he’s in his best form when he’s on-script and easing the blow of the horrors that naturally go along with true crime with some fantastic one-liners and genuinely hilarious observations. He does well to balance a healthy respect for the victims and still being able to take the piss out of the whole situation. The show leans more to the comedy aspect than the informative side of things, so while the stories are interesting and engaging, Hunter isn’t out here to deliver detailed recounts of the cases that cover all the nitty-gritty. This makes sense for the show’s runtime and distance covered, but it does mean it’s probably a better pick as a show to see with friends either after a dinner gathering or before (or during) some drinks at the pub rather than if you’re a true crime fanatic seeking to learn something new. For this purpose, the show is great. It’s fun and easy-going, despite the serious subject matter, and Hunter feels like the bloke you’d be chatting to at your local with a beer in a hand as he spins you a good yarn. It’s not without its flaws. Hunter is adept at keeping the crowd engaged, but he’s not necessarily the fastest on his feet with audience banter, which can occasionally feel a little jarring to the flow of the show. He’s clearly a confident and well-practiced comedian, but he doesn’t always come across as equally comfortable in handling more direct contact with the huge variety of people he’s inevitably going to have to try to make small talk with on a tour like this. It’s a very minor point though, and probably not something you’d notice unless you’ve been on enough tours to note the difference between a performer and your typical hospitality-based tour guide. It also doesn’t detract from the effectiveness of his delivery in the actual true-crime stories, so in the end you’re likely to have a great time regardless. In short, if you’re after a good night with some good laughs, then True Crime Walking Tour – A comedian’s guide to Adelaide’s dark past is a safe bet. Despite the dark subject matter, it’s playful and fun, and well worth the walk.