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The Marvellous Snake Boy - Adelaide Fringe Review

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by Tayla Giles (subscribe)
Tayla Giles
Event: -

Overall rating: ★★★1/2

Date attended: 21/02/2019

The Marvellous Snake Boy experiments with interactive comedy.

If it's an immersive, interactive and inclusive audience experience that you are seeking this Adelaide Fringe season, then look no further than the experimental comedy that is The Marvellous Snake Boy.

Held in The Third Space at Live From Tandanya, The Marvellous Snake Boy sees audiences teach main character Snake Boy how human language and movement work through a variety of musical and interactive sketches.

Snake Boy, played by aspiring comedian and writer Alexander Richmond, was raised for the first eighteen years of his life by a family of Red-Bellied Black Snakes in the rugged Australian Outback. After being adopted by Dr Claire, Snake Boy now wants to learn how to be a 'boy' rather than a 'snake' in order to integrate into society.

From the moment Snake Boy enters the room by slithering under everyone's chairs and flopping onto the stage, audiences are constantly kept on edge and forever guessing at where the storyline will lead them next.

Image sourced from the Adelaide Fringe website


Snake Boy begins the performance with little knowledge of the human language, copying cheers and phrases shouted out by the audience and making strange, alien-like sounds paired with facial expressions that elicit uncontrollable giggles.

After mind-melding with a front-row viewer to absorb her knowledge of language and humour, the audience then teaches Snake Boy how to use his hands in order to brush his teeth and eat a cream pie both with hilarious consequences!

Audience members are coaxed on stage for several karaoke sessions scattered throughout the performance, however, Snake Boy has sneakily changed the lyrics to well-known songs to include things like repetitive choruses and the entirety of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

The talented Alexander Richmond and the creative team behind the popular production Holt! The Musical have brought their unique version of interactive comedy all the way from The Seymour Performing Arts Centre at the University of Sydney.

The Marvellous Snake Boy is playing its last two performances this weekend on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February in The Third Space at Live From Tandanya, so be sure to snap up tickets on the Adelaide Fringe website or at a box office near you.
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When: Until 24 Feb
Where: The Third Space at Live From Tandanya 253 Grenfell St, Adelaide, SA, 5001
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