The whirlwind that was the Adelaide Fringe Festival has come to an end. The ITI team have packed up the curlers and scissors, Sybil wigs and dinner trays and made their way to Melbourne to rehearse for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
A Very Faulty Fringe
This year, ITI had two shows in the heart of the action in Adelaide: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience and Pamela’s Palace. Opening on 15 February at the Stamford Plaza Adelaide, Faulty Towers took the Fringe by storm with their own distinct version of madness.
Actress Rebecca Fortuna celebrated her birthday performing as Sybil, and after an evening spent making people laugh she was surprised with flowers and an audience sing-a-long of Happy Birthday! Rebecca’s favourite compliment was from an audience member who, after watching the show for the 6th time, said this was the best one they’ve seen yet – highlighting how enjoyable the show is, and that each show is completely different thanks to the amazing improvisational skills of our performers!
Sybil, Basil and Manuel threw themselves into all the fun of the Fringe – heading to Gluttony and the Garden of Unearthly Delights most nights for a drink and a late-night show. They loved the cocktails so much that Rob Langston (Basil) and Nicholas Richard (Manuel) bought all the ingredients for a toffee desert cocktail and replicated the recipe at their digs. We can only hope Rob and Nick are better mixologists than Basil and Manuel! According to Rebecca they “lived like the characters as well. Washing Basil’s dirty laundry with mine at our house, putting Manuel in the room next to the laundry so he could do the house work!” We’ll just call it ‘cast bonding’.
After an interview with Today Tonight Adelaide the cast were ready for a break and headed to the mountains were Rebecca saw her first ever Koala in the wild!
Over their time at the Fringe the Faulty trio got rave reviews across the board with five-stars from the likes of Adelaide Mail, The Daisy Telegraph, Everything Adelaide and Barefoot Review. They also won four shining stars from The Advertiser and All over Adelaide – finishing off with a 4.5-star rating from Adelaide Theatre Guide. Accolades like those are nothing to be sniffed at!
The team returned home from a successful Fringe to find they had also won The Advertiser’s BEST COMPLETELY INDESTRUCTIBLE SHOW AWARD! Who could ask for a better finish?!
While Faulty Towers The Dining Experience earned five stars from an abundance of different publications, Pamela’s Palace also got their fair share of 5-studded stars in their reviews! Launching at Adelaide Fringe on 1 March the Pamela’s Palace team wowed audiences with their comic creation about female friendship, inner beauty and personal empowerment; with an especially poignant performance on International Women’s Day. And as if jumping into splits on stage while sporting a camel toe isn’t exhausting enough, Pamela and the girls jumped into all the fun of the festival too. Donna Gray (who plays Pamela) describes her fringe experience:
“We were exhausted after a long day of promos, meetings and performing. By 11.30pm we were fit for nothing more than our beds, but instead we layered on more make up, threw our salon chairs into the back of an Uber and strutted out on stage to perform our ‘Dante Alicante’ number at ten past midnight at The Fringe Promo Club. The crowd were young artistes and friends of the fringe. They went crazy for us! It was such a huge buzz.”
Layering on more make up and powering on in promoting the show (with great hair) kept the three very busy indeed. They met a favourite Pam Hair Award Nominee (with amazing yellow hair) at the Weymouth Street Party where they were dancing and mingling before a performance. Donna comments: “She was very unsure of the 3 big personalities with big hair approaching her in the street, but ended up having a fantastic night at Pamela’s Palace.”
(Check out our Instagram account for a photo of her and her Pam Hair Award nominated hair at @pamelaspalace)!
The trio even entered Adelaide Fringe’s answer to Eurovision, Eurowision, and it was an absolute highlight. Egged on by the A Club’s amazing venue manager, Kerry, the cast created and rehearsed new choreography especially for the 400 strong audience at the Vagabond Tent. It was truly a night to remember as Kerry and the Pamela’s Palace techie, Drew, joined the women on stage wearing green trunks and pink bow ties!
But the three did take the occasional break from the hair, make-up and false lashes –with a quick escape to Glenelg marina to swim in the sea with wild dolphins is a memory they all agree they’ll treasure.
The Adelaide Advertiser gave Pamela’s Palace 5-stars, yet another glowing accolade for this new internationally acclaimed show, describing Pamela and the girls as ‘Cut-throat cutters [who] tease out hair-larity’. Sam About Town called it a ‘Hilarious interactive sketch,’ handing out another 5-star review to our team!
Melbourne International Comedy Festival – Here We Come!
We think the Adelaide Mail said it best when, in their review of Faulty Towers, they remarked ‘the only thing faulty about this production, is that it is only a once a year season’. If you share those sentiments then do not despair! Both shows will be open again soon at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We’ll be there to blow (dry) you away with more comedy from the Queens of the Salon, and serve you up a riot with our favourite Faulty meal. If you are ready to come and share in the fun with these 5-star shows details can be found below.
Pamela’s Palace opens in a mere week, 27 March – 6 April 2019 at The 86 Club, Smith Street. 7:30pm every night (except Sunday). Tickets for this hairspray spectacular can be found here.
Whereas our treasured Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is making an appearance too at the Stamford Plaza Melbourne (111 Little Collins Street) between 9 – 14 April. Dinner and lunch shows both running (except Monday)! Tickets and further information can be found here.