Melbourne Fringe 2012

Pinky Beecroft: Mainstream Freak

0 Comments 12 October 2012

On the left of the stage is a raffle wheel, the type you find in an RSL, which has been redecorated to fit 16 categories ranging from ‘MGF’ and ‘Song’ to ‘Crazy Fans’ and ‘Toast’. On the right of stage is a keyboard and microphone. Between them stands Pinky Beecroft.

Beecroft most notably fronted Machine Gun Fellatio, one of his many “disastrously named” bands who were “more interested in rock ‘n’ roll but better at sex and drugs”. He is dressed in jeans and a suit jacket. He’s propped up by a cane and he routinely breaks eye contact with the audience in favour of the floor.

We learn early on that he is suffering from two incurable diseases. He never identifies what they are, but he frames the situation thusly: “In terms of personal life stuff it’s kind of shit, but in terms of comedy it’s gold.” He says after a trip to the Melbourne Comedy Festival his friend called his bluff on an off-the-cuff remark that he could be a stand up. That conversation has led to this show.

Beecroft, or an audience member in the front row, spins the wheel and when it stops on a category a Pinky tale begins. That is the format for tonight’s performance – a bold format indeed, as this is his debut stand up show and he isn’t working off a script.

This format succeeds for two reasons: firstly, he is an exceptional storyteller; secondly, he has exceptional stories. Anyone who remembers his appearances on ABC’s The Glass House, or his lyrics with MGF, knows that there is nothing conventional about his worldview or delivery. His more perverted or depraved stories become endearing, delivered as if the stories are playing out for the first time as he recalls them.

He frequently goes off on tangents; for example, a story about a New Year’s Eve performance in Byron Bay ends with a cyclone in WA, by way of Serena Williams in North Korea, nanotechnology, and crying during the romantic comedy Wimbledon. (The drug-induced Beecroft was utterly bemused by the fact Kirsten Dunst is such a talented tennis player.)

His anecdotes routinely feature drugs, sex, and bizarre attire. We are treated to one song, composed for a friend explaining the merits of spooning your loved one with a “soft cock” on a Sunday. “I’ll send that to Kingsmill,” he says. “He won’t know what to do with it.”

At one point during the song he sings about nuts and anchovies – breaking from the lyrics, he admits he has no idea what the fuck he’s talking about. At some points during the night I don’t either, but it’s still very enjoyable.

Beecroft’s life is the type an audience loves to hear about but probably wouldn’t want to live. As the show ends, Pinky, aided by his cane, opens the door for us to leave and thanks everyone for coming out.

In terms of his personal life things might be kind of shit, but in terms of comedy it’s gold.

Pinky Beecroft: Mainstream Freak has finished its run at the Fringe Festival. For more information on Pinky Beecroft’s newest project, The White Russians, visit the band’s website.

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