Adelaide Fringe. Presented by Harry Thompson. The Adina Treasury Tunnels: Square Room at Treasury 1860, 144 King William Street, Adelaide. 7-15 March, 2020.

Just to be clear, there is no direct connection between this show and the (differently-spelled) notorious Network Ten children’s entertainment that was an unforgettable part of a certain Australian generation’s upbringing - and in the end, any tangential significance of the title is fairly thin.

For about thirty minutes, this two-hander (starring Harry Thompson and Leah Filley) feels less like a traditionally dramatic/comedic experience than simply spending an enforced and extended period of time in the act of eavesdropping on two young adults whose sharp, enquiring minds and mutual creative impulses go hand-in-hand with their neurosis and uncertainty.

They attempt to find solace in each other’s friendship while at a party together, sequestering themselves away from the crowd and coming face-to-face with their fears for the future, tempered with joyful memories of their mutual past.

Thompson and (especially) Filley give commendable performances playing people who may initially seem a mite too self-absorbed for our interest in them to be justified – but Mullygrubs has a serious surprise in store for us…

Not every cultural/political/social reference in this script will hit the mark with every audience member, but its overarching themes really do strike an effective blow by the end.

The bottom line: this is well-intentioned, exuberantly-performed theatre of above-average intelligence, with a structure that may test your patience but will also most definitely reward it.

Anthony Vawser

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