Bite-sized Reviews: Auckland Fringe 2020 Week Two
Our crack team of Auckland Fringe reviewers, India Essuah, Kate Prior, Amanda Jane Robinson and Vanessa Crofskey, will be experiencing as much fresh Fringe work as they can and writing bite-size reviews right here. Week one was a blast and now we’re hitting our stride, we’ll keep adding to this page during week two! Check out our reviews of New Zealand Fringe, too.
A parody of UK reality television show Love Island, Lust Island is an hour-long improv show from the core cast behind The Salem Bitch Trials and Mackenzie’s Daughters of Fringe Festivals past.
With a rotating cast and a loose plot, the show begins on the ‘set’ of Lust Peninsula, with host Brynley Stent giving each of the competing cast members a characteristic, submitted by an audience member, to guide their performance. While some of the characteristics offered – “polyamorous”, “always picking their nose and eating it” – were disappointingly under-explored, there were enough other prompts – “the word ‘island’ turns them on” being my personal favourite – that meant performers had plenty to play with, making for an hour of brilliant comedy.
Kura Forrester was the show’s standout as fire warden DeMarcus, the only character who seemed to care when one of the women on the island ‘went missing’. Freya Finch as Scottish knife collector/library enthusiast John Campbell was also excellent, continually calling back earlier jokes at exactly the right moment. Lana Walters, too, deserves a mention, note-perfect as Trent, ‘the asshole’. It surprised me how much I enjoyed watching an improv show where the performers stayed as one character for the full hour!
It’s hard to predict what the show might look like on any given night, but I suppose that’s the nature of improv. All I know is that this cast made me laugh and forget about everything else for an hour, and for that I’m grateful. – AJR
Tuesday 3 to Saturday 7 March, Basement Theatre
Buy tickets here