Adelaide Fringe 2021 Review: Talk Dirty, Stay Classy

Who: Host Arnault, presented by Sips & Giggles

What: Comedy, educational workshop

When: Last show Sunday 20th March

Where: The Library at Ayers House

Tickets for this show have sold out! Follow Sips & Giggles for similar events throughout the year.

Talk Dirty, Stay Classy does what it says on the can: it’s an hour-long lesson on swearing in French. Known as the language of love, the French tongue also has its fair share of vulgarities, just as satisfying to hear and say as their romantic counterparts. Talk Dirty, Stay Classy provides a comprehensive guide to the biggest French swear words in an engaging setting.

The historical Ayers House is an elegant, romantic venue, one of my favourites I’ve visited at the Fringe this year. The Library itself is cosy and dimly-lit, a perfect setting for this show, had it not been for the raucous applause and laughter spilling in from the room next door – but it is Fringe after all, and it was nice to hear people enjoying themselves, even if it inhibited our immersion now and then.  

Most of the magic in Talk Dirty, Stay Classy comes from our host and teacher, Arnault. Contagiously passionate with a talent for comedic timing and mimicking, his sassy, gung ho style communicated his obvious adoration of the language. Arnault is warm, funny and a quintessential Frenchman without being arrogant or intimidating. He was firm yet fair with the audience, cheekily encouraging the shyer among us while cheering on those who delivered phrases with gusto. The alternation between getting the whole group to repeat phrases and picking on individual audience members kept us all on our toes. Arnault’s presentation and accompanying PowerPoint was logical and info-packed: we learned of etymology, combinations of words and phrases, the importance of context and tone and even polite alternatives to the standards. We started with the basics which prepared us for ‘les interdits’ right at the end, their translations producing audible gasps from the audience!

Cultural references further deepened the content of the workshop and we finished by singing along to a few very dirty ditties which even made me squirm! Unfortunately, the remainder of this year’s shows have sold out, but given the popularity of Talk Dirty, Stay Classy, I’m sure we’ll be seeing similar events in the near future set to satisfy Adelaide’s Francophiles.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Katerina Grypma  

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