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The Age of Stephen - Fringe World Review

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
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Long live the mullet
It is entirely possible that musician and comic Stephen Valeri may just be John (Farnsey) Farnham's biggest fan.

Certainly he knows a hell of a lot about his idol, including where his father worked and a host on minor details, but more of that later.

The Age of Stephen, Stephen Valeri, Perth Fringe World 2019, His Majesty's Theatre
Stephen Valeri is (almost) John Farnham. (Photograph courtesy of Perth Fringe World)

The Fringe World show, Age of Stephen, takes place in the intimate, subterranean, Lion's Lair situated in the basement of His Majesty's Theatre. One gets there via the stage door entrance and going down (and down) several flights of stairs (Disabled access? Not hardly) past lots of memorabilia of stars and shows long gone to the intimate performance space.

The show opens with Stephen bursting onto the stage belting out one of Farnham's best wearing a blond, slightly unconvincing, mullet. Backed by a guitarist and a keyboardist Stephen has a really nice voice and a most professional style and a wry comic timing.

The Age of Stephen, Stephen Valeri, Perth Fringe World 2019, His Majesty's Theatre
John Farnham - Image courtesy Australia Post

Stephen soon admits he's not really John Farnham, the wig falling off was a clue, but maintains that he and John have a spiritual connection and takes us through a list of similarities, some fairly tenuous – both Stephen's and John's father worked for Ford – admittedly on different continents and in different departments – but still …

The facts are interspersed with some of John's finest songs from Sadie, the Cleaning Lady right up to The Voice. There was quite a lot of audience participation from the almost capacity crowd and a thoroughly good time was had by all.

Very Highly Recommended.

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Why? If you love John Farnham, you'll love Stephen
Where: King's Lair, His Majesty's Theatre, 825 Hay Street, Perth, WA
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