Review: 40 Year Old Popstar at Emerging Artists Sharehouse – The Boom Boom Room - Syd Fringe

Review By Lauren Donikian


Alli Butler has taken on many roles in her life. She is a nurse, wife, mother and now a Popstar! At 40 years old, Alli is holding nothing back. In her 60-minute one woman show, Alli tackles the big issues, where are all the bushrangers? What happened to stranger danger? As well as my favourite, what is the right way to wear a G-string?


Standing amongst her guitars and looper peddle ‘Beryl’, Alli captivates the audience. In her very 80’s aqua taffeta dress Alli is witty, interactive with the crowd and doesn’t shy away from saucy material. Her crowd work is masterfully done, encouraging the audience to be her back-up vocalists, back-up dancers and G-string wearing trend setters on Tik Tok. At one point, the audience is taught some choreography for the chorus of one of Allis’ unfinished songs. It is ridiculous in the best way and gets the audience on her side. Whilst there is a DJ for support, Allie is in total control as she strums her guitars and sings songs that are wacky and clever, as well as touching, and honest. With the help of ‘Beryl’ the looper peddle, Alli can transition smoothly from song to song. At times ‘Beryl’ tried to take the spotlight, but that was not possible. Alli is the clear star of the show, with her genre hopping vocals and song writing skills impressing everyone in the room.


The Boom Boom Room is one of the many rooms in the Emerging Artists Sharehouse in Erskineville. On its own, it is quite an ordinary room, with mismatched chairs, white walls, and stark white lighting. However, once Alli hits the floor (she apologizes that there isn’t a stage, as it means she can’t stage dive) the lights help to tell her story. White lighting when she is performing the stand-up part of her show, pink lighting when she is singing a pop/rock song and blue lighting when she sings ballads with her acoustic guitar. The songs feel like dream sequences, which becomes more evident when she closes with the song ‘Don’t Let Reality Get in The Way’.


40 Year Old Popstar is an honest and a fresh take of ageism in today’s world. With women especially expected to fill a certain role, this show proves that you can fulfill that role and still take time out for yourself, and you can follow your dreams. Age is just a number, and whilst we yearn to look and feel younger there is a gratefulness in being wiser. Alli acknowledges that times are changing and although some things appear different, they are like her experiences in the past. For example, Tinder is the ‘new’ blind dating, instead of friends ‘setting you up’ it’s an app that does it. Based on proximity of course!


I thoroughly enjoyed this show, it was funny, relatable and the songs were catchy as hell! At the end of the day, I think we all have a little popstar inside of us, and occasionally we should let them out for the world to see. Until then, take Alli’s advice, that being you is the most important thing to do.


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