EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: ABORIGINAL COMEDY ALLSTARS, Assembly George Square Studios
'Deadly': Excellent/amazing/really good in Aboriginal terms.
MC Kevin Kropinyeri explains this definition at the top of the show, and also the damming impact it had on a "Say no to drugs" type campaign when used incorrectly. "You're in for a deadly show, ladies and gentlemen," Kropinyeri promises when he comes on stage. And you know what, he's not wrong.
The Allstars gig in a comedy club format - Kropinyeri introducing Steph Tisdell and Andy Saunders to the stage in turn. Initially, this style seems a little unusual on the paid Fringe at 3.55pm, but they play their time slot very well. This is pretty gentle, kind-hearted comedy - Kropinyeri's children were even in the audience.
But these three comedians are also aware of the platform the festival gives them, and they're not going to miss the opportunity to shine a light on the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia. To be able to blend light, easy-going jokes with a piece of political protest is an incredible skill.
Each of the comedians comes at the subject in their own way. Kropinyeri is this big-hearted, open comic who gives you a slice of life in his hometown, alongside some exquisite dance moves. Saunders has insane beatbox skills, that he lovingly puts to use in a song about his wife. And Tisdell is so brilliantly cutting as she educates hipsters at breakfast and the Government on their white whale.
It was a bit of a fangirl moment seeing Tisdell gig live. She was a roaring success at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and appeared on MICF's The Gala, "Australia's comedy night of nights". Tisdell's become somewhat of a social media sensation, and I love that the Fringe can bring your favourites to the other side of the world to perform.
This is warm, genuine comedy but with an underlying message that you'll carry with you after the Fringe. How's about that for deadly?