Who would have thought the re-imagining of a literary fairytale could end up as a pop encrusted cabaret frolic? This ugly duckling finds herself adopted into the glamorous 90210 zip code set, but is unfortunately the quintessential square peg.
As audience ornithologists, we are given a look at the sad state of affairs in which our society has spiraled into, a social media pit where your Instagram and Facebook friend count equates to cultural capital.
Duckie’s sisters have the popularity she so desperately desires and this sets her off on a quest for solace with her journey accumulating interactions with several b-grade influencers. Each step of this expedition leaves Duckie shell shocked and disillusioned and it is only a visit from her ethereal country music idol that can help her back towards a path of happiness.
Duckie is Karla Hillam who brilliantly overplays this tormented fowl. The show is cleverly laced with music befitting the various states of the manic emotions her character endures. The cleverly interjected movie quotes and #popularhashtags clearly indicate the writing skills of director and writer, Spanky.
Hillam’s clockwork timing and strong vocals are only enhanced by her supporting musician and vocalist (one in the same) Andrew Kroenert and, if not for the accompanying story, I would gladly have sat and listened to an hour of the two simply duetting my favourite playlist.
This “careful what you wish for” story will show you that only when you can learn to love yourself will you discover your own plumage. This is a sharp, clever show that I am sure will not be Hillam’s swan song.
A Space Called Thelma – Raj House, 54 Hyde Street, Adelaide
Performance: Wednesday 14 March 2018 – 7.45pm
Season continues to 18 March 2018
Information and Bookings: www.adelaidefringe.com.au
Image: Karla Hillam in Ugly Duckling (supplied)
Review: Jeff Lang – courtesy of All About Entertainment