Peter Goers in Joyful Strains

Peter Goers in Joyful Strains
Adelaide Fringe Festival 2021. Holden Street Theatres. Feb 20 – Mar 21, 2021.

Peter Goers OAM has been gracing us with his presence on several mediums for over 40 years. Starting out in theatre as a youngster, he studied at Flinders University, before migrating to writing reviews for The Advertiser and in later years filling the airwaves at ABC radio with his unique style of banter.

Warmly greeting the audience, he makes his way to centre stage. Acknowledging the older gathering he quickly apologises, remarking ‘that you can’t say that anymore, political correctness has taken over'. He quickly dubs the crowd the ‘pre-dead’. The laughter signalled the continuation of what was to be an hour of fun and frivolity.

Always the patriarchal South Australian, he has been invited to many openings and gatherings, culminating in many years of social interaction. Lucky for us he had the foresight to write these memories down. He calls it his ‘day-book’ and highly recommends we think about keeping one ourselves. Filled with tales, anecdotes and the occasional bumper sticker that tickled his funny bone, he injects his customary humour and pathos into an afternoon full of recollection and laughs.

Regaling us with stories of Peter O’Toole, Robert Helpmann, Keith Michell, Judi Dench and his ‘floppy toe’, you got the sense that he could fill many afternoons’ with his observations.

Just as you think the performance is winding up, he surprises us with two musical performances, by Australia’s own Ann Wills ‘Willsy’ OAM and local performer Robin Schmelzkopf. Looking like a maraschino cherry, ‘Willsy’ - draped in red sequins - delighted us with her rendition of ‘Broadway Baby’. Schmelzkopf was equally entertaining singing ‘Is this the way to Amarillo’.

This reviewer had a blast, but I fear that anyone born post 1990 may get lost in the merriment.

Kerry Cooper

Click here to read more Adelaide Fringe 2021 reviews.

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