Until 21 Mar 2021

Review by Lance Jones

When two performers combine their extraordinary talents, you can’t help but end up with something special. So, when Adelaide’s local “Friendly Feminist” Millicent Sarre joined forces with the renowned note-taking, Prime Minister-baiting Joshie Belle, one would expect to see a polished, soaring performance from these two award winning activists.

It certainly was that for a large part of the show.

Millicent has an impressive voice that soars. She is very amusing and has a great way of telling a story that endears her to all watching and listening. Joshie is also an excellent vocalist, and their keyboard accompaniment was gold standard. The way in which they bounced off each other in both the narrative and the harmonies demonstrated that these two have a wonderful synergy between them that permeated into the audience. The crowd loved it.

It seems these two charming performers have stumbled onto a formula. They have social commentary to deliver and they do it in a wonderfully fresh, non-threatening and not-quite-but-almost angry manner. They self-deprecate at the beginning, making the crowd feel at ease that they do indeed possess human foibles just like them. Then there’s some more humour to hone the comfort, followed by some wonderful original songs and cleverly delivered anecdotes. When the audience finally falls in love with them, our not-so-awkward activists delicately use the new-found trust they have forged with the audience to hit home the hard stuff. The audience is heavily emotionally invested and take in the difficult social justice messages with non-threatened ease. The sheer craft of the manner in which they engage and get people to invest in what they are saying was a treat to watch.

There were certainly some opening night glitches. Joshie stumbled on their lyrics a few times and was admirably rescued by Millicent’s stomping feet during the delivery of a beat poem. There were some amusing costume failures involving buttons that really didn’t matter. The sound bleed from other venues is always irritating – obviously not a criticism of the performers, but it is noteworthy that some of the delicately pursued points had the mood slightly ruined by the thumping of the bass next door. A quick, opportunistic “party political” remark by Joshie seemed unnecessary as this show sells its important agenda without endorsing a particular “how to vote” card. The COVID seating was not fully enforced. Small, but important criticisms that will surely be sorted as the show progresses through its Fringe season.

That said, these two talented performers are a joy to watch and listen to. The show carries some crucial disclosures that were sensitively predicated by a carefully managed “trigger warning”. Millicent and Joshie enlightened us with their wisdom gained from their personal experiences, and they did this in a kind and wonderfully gentle manner.

In fact, there is nothing “awkward” about this show at all. It is polished and professional, presented in a caring and kind manner by two well-established Fringe stars. This show will lift your heart and enlighten your sense of justice.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)