★★★★★ - What the hell did we just watch?!
COLD WAR | Review
Once upon a time, the Adelaide Fringe grew out of frustration that local artists and less well known performers were being excluded from the Adelaide Festival, in a kind of ‘middle finger’ to the gatekeepers of the art establishment. Since then, the fame and attendance of the festival has grown to second largest arts festival in the world, after Edinburgh. And while you still can find locals and newbies performing in 2020, there’s a lot of well known names and safe bets on the bill rather than the ‘fringe’ edge that the festival was made famous for.
So – it’s always really exciting to find one of those gems that really does sit at the edges of fresh and experimental theatre, and that’s where you’ll find Cold War.
Ostensibly a commentary on climate change, it’s nonetheless the kind of production that will have each audience member walking away with their own interpretation on how Cold War delivers that message -and in some cases it will be ‘what the hell did we just watch?!’.
A stark black and white palette, a semi-darkened room, and an uncomfortably resonating low hum from the speakers greets you, as is a handful of ice which presumably is a metaphor for the melting polar icecaps. The two characters engage in unsettling conversations revolving around the environment, the worst of human behaviour, and blasting punk interludes featuring the music of Jules Pascoe. They invite you to dance wildly with each track, and if you’re lucky you’ll be served a bowl of freshly shaved ice and coconut water.
Reminding me of the conversations in my brain wanders when I’m suffering insomnia at 3am, Cold War is a wild ride that shakes you by the shoulders and asks you why you aren’t living with more grrr and fighting for the environment we all share with more desperation.
A must see for anyone who’s searching for the true edges of the Fringe,