I like Neil Thornton. His aging bear, angry-confused dad thing is funny, plus I like how he talks so much about the fun non-monogamous gay sex he has.
Anyway. I also like Thornton because he runs (and emcees) shows like these; ones that might not make a lot of profit, but that are very useful to the arts community in a couple of different ways. First, they’re usually very diverse. Second, they allow artists to promote their work to an audience who might not have otherwise heard of them.
This opening night iteration of 100% Wrong featured a lot of comedy. Local stand-up performers like Lucy Roche and Severin Gourley were great, as was the delightfully proud weirdo and show opener, Susan Williams.
However, the most polished slots both belonged to (for shame!) Aussies. A very cute pair of performers from Oddacity sang about f*cking the system, while Cockroach writer-director Melita Rowston stopped the room with her angry feminist poetry. When she read an ode to women in Australia who had been murdered in the past year, my heart stopped at the phrase ‘burnt-out car’ (a recent addition, I suppose, after the murder of Hannah Clarke and her three children)..
As some performers themselves mentioned, the crowd didn’t seem quite primed for the 100% Wrong premise - see the blank faces after Gourley’s Anne Frank bit. And while I enjoyed the punchiness of the show, I did feel like we barely got to know one performer because another bounced on stage. Perhaps fewer performers, longer sets would be more effective at building the laughs.
The line-up of 100% Wrong changes nightly, so be warned that some of the performers I mention here may not reappear on The Fringe Bar stage. But that’s kind of the point; it’s a lucky dip of Fringe scenes, and it doesn’t try to be anything more than that. Lovely.