Upstairs at RHINO ROOM, Sat 11 Mar & Sun 12 Mar, 2023
The Rhino Room Late Show is the stuff of legends. The Fringe’s longest running show (twenty six years) it’s a sort of tasting plate for audiences and a showcase for the comedians from all over the Fringe. Rhino is spiritual home of comedy in Adelaide all year long, Not just for audiences but for performers it is a base, a home away from home, a place to hang and catch up with their fellow comedians and The Late Show has become for many a break from their actual show that they have toiled and sweated and rehearsed before they get here, often the more relaxed atmosphere means very established acts cut loose and anything can happen. Especially on closing night where I have seen some bonkers stuff go down.
What kind of acts turn up? Well generally speaking the acts are not announced in advance, so it’s a lucky dip. But Wil Anderson has been a regular, Eddie Ifft, Ross Noble, Paul McDermott, Randy Feltface, Justin Hamilton, Daniel Kitson, basically EVERYBODY has played the Late Show.
This last weekend was a brilliant example of the format. Over two Late shows featuring eighteen acts, some I knew, some I did not and everybody was killer and there are at least six shows that were not previously on my list that now very much are. Saturday night was hosted by ex-Adelaide local Thomas Green, now living and working in the UK. He is an excellent MC and host – great crowd work and material. His show End of Daze starts on Tuesday. Saturday night the line-up was two Kiwi’s Chris Parker and Cal Wilson, one American in the sarcastic John Hastings, the deadpan hilarity of Luke Heggie, Adelaide’s favourite comic son Mickey D and the fantastic Nikki Britton. The other act was UK comic Rob Mulholland, who had the whole room in stitches. His show Born Ready on The Austral Balcony Rooms is a 100% solid recommendation.
Sunday our host was the award-winning Granny Flaps / Lori Bell absolutely slayed (so no surprises there). Festival favourites Greg Fleet, Lawrence Mooney and Dave O’Neill all turned in ace sets. Innes Lloyd appeared to promote their excellent show that had already finished “This is the only promo we could get!’ and proceed to perform all of the movie, Titanic, in just 60 side splitting seconds and it is glorious. But it’s the three newer acts that were the surprises in the smorgasbord of laughter. Gillian English did part of her 2 Weddings & a Baby show and was terrific fun and her material and delivery all top notch. Reuben Solo has natural on stage charisma, deadpan, and extremely funny. And finally, UK’s Markus Birdman had sides splitting with his frank and astounding stories of losing half his eye sight after a second stroke (during Covid lockdowns). Now that might not sound like a basis for a comedy show, but the combination of deft stagework, and whip smart material, left us yearning for more (his show The Bearable Heaviness of Nearly Not Be-ing – is on until Sunday).
If you can even still get a ticket to the remaining Rhino Late Show shows. Do it.
RHINO ROOM LATE SHOW continues at Upstairs at RHINO ROOM from 11pm until Sat 18 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.