Review by Tatum Stafford
Fringe World Perth opened on Friday night, and it was a pleasure to spend an hour with the talented cast of Sh*t We Like To Sing: Unfiltered to kick off this year’s Fringe festival.
Similar to previous ‘Sh*t’ performances from Broken Crayon Productions, the premise of the show is simple: a group of talented local performers (and friends) have joined forces to sing songs they like to perform. This particular rendition had a twist: It featured five female-identifying performers (with a few extra special guests, more on that later) with the premise of a slumber party where they can get in-their-feelings about a range of topics, including men, sexuality, and heavier themes like mental illness.
The cast is stacked with talent, featuring Dani McDonald, Grace Johnson, Charlotte Williams, Shannon Rogers and Dylan Dorotich. Each have plenty of moments to shine in the diverse, well-plotted song list, but clear audience favourites on the night included the tongue-in-cheek “Let’s Generalise About Men” from the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, performed with plenty of sass and sarcasm by Dylan, Dani, Charlotte and Shannon, Dani’s animated enthusiasm in her rendition of “Toucha Toucha Toucha Touch Me” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shannon’s tender storytelling in “Changing My Major” from Fun Home, and Grace’s effortless and powerful vocals in “She Used To Be Mine” from Waitress. “Before the Breakdown” from We Are The Tigers was another highlight, and utilised the entire ensemble really effectively.
The creative team should be commended for this very slick and well-staged production that made great use of the performance space. Shannon Rogers’ choreography was fiercely powerful in the opening, “Lady Marmalade” from Moulin Rouge, and also helped convey more dramatic and still moments in slower numbers like “Flight” by Craig Carnelia, performed by Dylan and Charlotte. Grace Johnson’s vocal direction was excellent, and direction from Dylan Dorotich provided plenty of memorable and effective moments between this obviously tight-knit and bonded cast.
It’d be remiss not to mention the evening’s very special guests – to the audience’s clear delight, local drag performers Jolene Quisine and Katya Kokov stole a large portion of the show with their rousing lip sync to the finale from Chicago, complete with prop confetti guns and Charleston choreography. Welcoming these guests into the fray halfway through the performance injected plenty of energy and fun into the room, and I think it’s a really smart tactic for the Broken Crayon team to utilise in future ‘Sh*t’ performances.
Broken Crayon Productions have clearly made a splash in the Perth theatre scene, and I’d encourage you to attend one of their shows. Sit back, because you’ll be in great hands, and may learn a new musical theatre number or two while you’re at it.