Fringe Review: Make Believe

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Presented by Verendus Theatrical
Reviewed 15th March 2018

Well away from the chaos of The Garden of Unearthly Delight and Gluttony is the beautiful Stirling Community Theatre. At 10pm on a Thursday night, David Salter’s one-man cabaret Make Believe established itself as a highlight of the Adelaide Fringe.

Make Believe is a children’s show for adults. Salter sings a variety of children’s songs, including Kiss The Girl, Rubber Duckie, and Newspaper Mama; all re-worked to encompass a darker, more cynical style in an affectionate and respectful way. No song is safe! He also reflects on his experiences growing up: primary school, his first Wiggles concert, and learning about the birds and the bees.

David Salter is brilliant. Dressed in high ridden, blue overalls, with a glass of red in hand, he demonstrates his skills as a performer: singing, playing the piano, playing the ukulele, with a ventriloquist act thrown in as well! His script tight, humorous and completely personalised, and his comedic timing, hilarious facial expressions and crass jokes make him a natural cabaret performer.

Opening night came with a few technical glitches, with the piano amlipfication cutting in and out and an occasional haphazard lighting plot, but these should be rectified as the season continues.

An hilarious show with an important message; don’t lose your inner child, and remember the impornant qualities we learnt as children.

Reviewed by Ben Francis

Rating out of 5: 4.5

Season ended

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About Author

At 18 years old, Ben’s training has taken him around Australia, and to Hong Kong, Paris and London, including on the West End and in The Royal Albert Hall. In 2016, Ben performed as a supporting lead in the State Opera of South Australia’s world premiere production of Cloudstreet!, under the direction of internationally-acclaimed director, Gale Edwards. Other credits include: You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Snoopy), The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric), Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow), Pirates of Penzance (Frederic) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus), for which he earned a nomination for ‘Best Young Performer’ in the Adelaide Theatre Guide 2015/16 ‘Curtain Call’ Awards. Ben also performs regularly with Independent Theatre, with roles including Peter Pan in Peter and Alice, Mozart in Amadeus, and Sebastien in Brideshead Revisited. Ben is also the producer and lead vocalist of The 60 Four scaling the falsetto heights of Frankie Valli, Brian Wilson and other vocal groups of the 60’s. A skilled musician, Ben also enjoys musically directing and orchestrally conducting local productions, including: Bugsy Malone and 13! The Musical with Adelaide Youth Theatre.  Ben is a recent graduate of Scotch College, where he was Captain of Performing Arts, and achieved Dux of Combined Studies. Since establishing Promise Adelaide in 2014, he has provided opportunities for over 100 young performers whilst raising in excess of $19,000 for charity.

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