Melbourne Fringe 2012

The Super Normal Life of Aiden Allcock

0 Comments 30 September 2012

Dan Nixon is clearly a man of many talents, and the opening night of The Super Normal Life of Aiden Allcock left this reviewer eager to see what he comes up with next. Written and created by Nixon, this mini-musical about superheroes, comic books, friendship, underwear and kick-arse fight training sequences is the theatrical equivalent to cuddling up with your favourite book.

The best kind of cheesiness abounds in the cleanest fun you’re likely to find at the Fringe. Plenty of tongue-in-cheek dialogue and a few sneaky ball jokes – too subtle to attract the attention of younger audience members – ensure this production is never boring. The sheer energy poured into the performance by the actors (in particular Jon Christie as the titular Aiden) makes you want to leap up and run around in a cape and a mask with them. The characterisation is endearingly enthusiastic and earnest in equal parts, ensuring no awkward moments ever, just an abundance of warm fuzzies.

The choreography is brilliant. While showing off the talents of what are clearly very accomplished dancers, the numbers are comical and energetic, with a kind of carefree charm that negates the need for rigidity or too-tight movements. Coupled with lyrics reminiscent of Flight of the Conchords and a wonderful sense of spontaneity (“I’m gonna march, I think it’ll help get my point across”) this is a show that embraces its casualness and makes the audience feel like they’re mucking around with a group of friends.

The scene changes bordered on too long, but this opportunity was taken to use both film and photography to continue the story in the meantime, providing some of the most solid comedy of the show. If budget had allowed, the show could have benefited from giving the actors microphones, as occasionally lyrics were lost beneath the volume of the music.

This feel-good and incredibly funny show is suitable for all ages. If you squint there is morality and somewhat of a coming-of-age theme running through it that just add to its distinction. Do yourself a favour and take in the sweetest, most heart-warming show to grace the Fringe in recent years.

The Super Normal Life of Aiden Allcock runs at the Portland Hotel. Some times and dates have been changed so check the Fringe Festival website for details.

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