2019 Fringe Festival Review: The Marvellous Snake Boy

Photo courtesy of the Adelaide Fringe

What: The Marvellous Snake Boy

Who: Alexander Richmond

Where: The Third Space, Tandanya

When: 23rd – 24th February

How much: $8-$10

A young man, raised by red-belly snakes of the Aussie outback, has been brought back into society and must now be introduced to the ways of human existence. It is up to you, as an audience, to teach the loose-limbed and innocent Snake Boy, the intricacies of life, love and gross motor skills.

From a helpless creature pushing himself along the ground, he must be assisted to stand by those in the front row. His audience, being gawped at by the wide-eyed Snake Boy, now has the task of encouraging him to develop an understanding of the function of language and emotion. Snake Boy begins to learn through mimicry and becomes increasingly cheeky as the performance goes along. A highlight of the show would definitely be solving Snake Boy’s paternal angst with an enthusiastic round of musical chairs.

As active participants involved in the show, it is interesting to see how the audience will interact with their subject, guaranteeing each performance to be varied from the next. Will the audience be responsive? Will they be willing to participate in increasingly absurd rounds of karaoke? Will Snake Boy be helped or hindered by the audience if they decide to sabotage the trust he has built with them?

This intensely interactive performance is a joy to watch and participate, Richmond’s terrific timing, physical comedy and self-awareness accompanied with this inventive concept, keep his audience enraptured throughout.

This performance was a delightful surprise and I would encourage going along with your mates to see the unique Marvellous Snake Boy tonight or tomorrow night’s performance at Tandanya.

4/5 stars

Milly Farmer

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