Cabaret Fringe Festival Review: Grow Old Disgracefully – with Pat Wilson & Adrian Barnes


Presented by Pat Wilson & Adrian Barnes
Reviewed 15 June 2018

If ‘Old Pros’ (in the theatrical sense) Pat Wilson and Adrian Barnes invite you to Grow Old Disgracefully with them, throw away your walking frame and do it! They are not just delightfully disgraceful but witty, charming, talented and very entertaining.

Wilson is a satirist/songwriter very much embedded in the style of the late, great Tom Lehrer and in fact opens the show with his song Smut – but all the rest are hers. Nothing is sacred for Wilson, tackling everything from the Murdoch media monopoly (Wapping Lies) through to blow-up sex dolls (Rubber Truckie) and (wait for it!), Chlamydia. She can also be very serious and thought-inducing with such songs as the well argued Endangered Species. The audience are also treated to her latest composition, written only this year, about our great National walled-in Parliament, the aptly named Fortress Australia.

As for Wilson’s cohort, Barnes; well, he’s a cheeky chappie who is just a bundle of fun on a plate. He shows off his extensive singing and acting talents at every opportunity – from dazzling us with his clear diction in the very fast Gilbert and Sullivan styled Yellow Rag to being the cutest little condom-headed sperm one could ever imagine, when he tells us about The Sperm Wail.

It’s always good to be able to laugh at ourselves, and what better company to do it with than Pat Wilson and Adrian Barnes. May we all grow old as disgracefully as they have!

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Twitter: @briangods

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