Wonderfully Terrible Things

Wonderfully Terrible Things
Cirque Songstress Productions. Ukiyo at Gluttony (Adelaide Fringe). Tue 20 Feb - Sun 25 Feb, 2024.

‘Cirque Songstress’ Christine Ibrahim is one hell of a vocalist.  Not content with simply writing and performing original songs, Ibrahim sings opera while exhibiting breathtaking aerial skills.  This mesmerising storyteller weaves elements of their intriguing life into a daring and highly addictive, dark, dangerous and entertaining physical cabaret.  Throughout, the audience are charmed (or possibly alarmed) by her prodigious Mistress of Ceremonies panache and mischievous but adroit audience interactions.

In this incarnation of the show, three other fine artists share the stage to dazzle and astound:  Bede Nash executing astonishing hand balancing feats; Captain Finhead (Nellie Collins) balancing swords, playing with fire, and showing superb physicality atop a bed of nails; plus the powerhouse that is Jazida dancing, flexing, flirting, and ‘playing’ with fire.  While each performer is skilled in their own right, and also appearing elsewhere during Fringe, their ensemble camaraderie was a winning feature of Wonderfully Terrible Things

Do take note of the appropriate warnings that accompany this show, including the ‘safe word’ we all learn at the top.  There are drug references, deliciously revealing costumes, and quite the ‘sweary’ lexicon to contend with.  Beside the language content, refreshingly ‘out loud’ and rightfully proud themes of gender diversity, sexual adventure, and a hint of decadence are at the fore.  There is also an endearing honesty in the revelations and comic one liners within a created culture that safely invites us to explore a more liberated world than we might usually inhabit, all guided by the eloquent but mischievous Ibrahim.

For all the laughter, shock and awe, serious talent forms the base of this offering.  Christine Ibrahim is a force to be reckoned with - a song-writing and multi-disciplinary wonder with a soaring, engaging voice who should write and star in a full-scale, edgy, and relevant musical theatre production. 

Lisa Lanzi

To check out or round-up of Adelaide Fringe reviews, click here.

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