If you haven't picked up a copy of the Adelaide Fringe 2019 Guide, then it's time to do so! With less than 6 weeks to go for the much-anticipated performing arts season, the Adelaide Fringe line-up of shows and exhibitions is looking bigger and better than ever.
One such show that has forever stood out for its quirkiness and unique style of performances is The Talents of Darkness. With an eclectic crew of performers that bring a high quality of substance and magic to the show, spectators can expect to enjoy 60 minutes of a variety cabaret freak show, including fire spinning, fire eating, sideshow, drag, and magic.
I was fortunate enough to score an e-interview with Bebe Tricx, who is part of the charming crew that is The Talents of Darkness. Have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Who are the faces behind The Talents of Darkness? Bebe: This year, we are welcoming two new performers, Abyss and Phoenix along with the usual Murderclown the Sane and myself (Bebe Tricx). Our stage Kitty Sherida will also be performing an act for the first time.
Bebe Tricx is one of Adelaide's best drag queens but differs from any other queen you have seen before. She combines magic and sideshow, with the art of drag, to create a performance like no other. She captures her audience with her quick wit and impish yet enchanting sense of humour.
Murderclown the Sane is one of the very few performers claiming to be sane. His hobbies include playing with fire and touching himself while you sleep. As well as his world-class fire eating, he also performs whip cracking, glass eating, mediocre joke telling and shitty escape artistry.
Abyss is Australia's most technically skilled fan performer. Their mysterious yet playful personality, matched with their awe-inspiring acts, will leave a resonating empowerment in the room. They will leave a shining impression in your mind and show you why the darkness can behold wonders.
Phoenix combines fire art with dance and cabaret to encapsulate her audience into the ancient discovery of fire. She captures the element and manipulates it in a passionate expression of beauty and wonder. It was her desire for the wild and creative, which lured her into the fire arts. Find yourself lost in a world where the old meets the new, as she brings fantasy to the stage.
Tema: How did you come up with the name of your show The Talents of Darkness? Bebe: The name came from a past performer in the show, Justin Thyme. I was asked to run a dark circus night at (the now closed) Venue 63 and we needed a name. Justin came up with the name for the dark circus night, but at the same time the venue came up with their own name and put it on all the posters. The show at Venue 63 ended up being called Fire and Nice. So, when Justin joined the show for the Fringe season, we knew exactly what to call the show.
Tema: How long have you been performing with the Adelaide Fringe? How has that experience been for you all, so far? Bebe: Murderclown, Sherida, our stage manager Brad, and I have been performing at the Adelaide Fringe with The Talents of Darkness for the last 2 years. Before that Brad, Justin and I worked on another Fringe show called #nofilter, which went to France. In between breaks, Justin helped come up with my drag name Bebe Tricx. I had always wanted to do a Fringe show, so I asked a few more friends, including Murderclown the Sane, Blazin Baden and Tammi Mortem, if they were interested and we joined together for the Fringe season.
The experience has been really challenging. As a small independent Adelaide-based team, it's really hard to compete with the larger international shows at the Fringe. This is largely because they have large budgets for advertising, venues, etc. Being an independent show, I organize everything, which is very hard to juggle at times. But on opening night it all feels worth it to bring something weird and wonderful to the stage that no one else has seen before.
Tema: What do you do with your show outside Adelaide Fringe season - do you tend to take it interstate / overseas, do you work on the creative process to add / change bits of the show, etc? Bebe: The Talents of Darkness has only ever performed inside Adelaide Fringe, which is why the preview show in December was a huge deal. Normally, outside of the Fringe mode, all the artists do their own things, until we come together closer to Fringe period. I spent the last year working on a few new acts, including one that revolves around stapling a card to myself. Abyss went to the Dali Flow Fest in China and headlined the festival.
Tema: For someone who is new to your show, what is The Talents of Darkness about? How would you describe the concept of your show? Bebe: It's a cabaret circus freakshow with fire, drag, magic, sideshow and circus. I try to make it different to all the other circus shows at Fringe. A lot of circus at the moment is "watch me do this fancy thing that you can't do" and it's amazing, but once you get past that, it isn't actually that entertaining. So, I try to get all the performers in the show to make their acts more engaging and interesting to entertain the audience in a different way, than just go for the 'amazement' factor.
Tema: What do you hope for your viewers to experience by watching The Talents of Darkness? Bebe: I want them to have an unforgettable experience of the unusual, to hopefully entertain them for an hour, and to make them forget all of the bad things happening in their lives, even if it's only for an hour.
Tema: Has The Talents of Darkness performed outside Adelaide / Australia? If not, where would you like to take your show? If yes, where has The Talents of Darkness made an appearance? Bebe: The Talents of Darkness hasn't performed outside of Adelaide yet. It's something I would love to do in the future as we get more of a following. I have always wanted to perform at Fringe World in Perth, so hopefully, sometime in the future, we can make that happen.
Tema: Since the Adelaide Fringe 2018, what can returning viewers expect from your show in 2019? Bebe: Every year, we make a new show with 85% of the show being new acts and others being improved acts from previous years. With two new performers, it's going to be a very different show. For example, Abyss is doing an amazing act as a wind-up doll with fans. I have never seen anything like it.
Tema: How did you score the A Club as a venue for your show? What drew you to this venue? Bebe: It takes a lot of planning for our show to find a venue, since we use a lot of fire. Most venues aren't built to have people playing with fire inside and don't have high enough ceilings and enough ventilation. Even those that fit the criteria to be safe for using fire don't want fire in their venue, due to the danger it can bring when done wrong. After talking to the Venue manager during the Fringe season (Kerry Marsh), the place seemed perfect. It was also cheaper than a few other places we looked at, which meant that we could drop our ticket prices to about $20.
Tema: What made you decide to have a preview screening of The Talents of Darkness in December at the A Club? Bebe: It can be really hard for a small show to stand out and compete with all the other shows at the Adelaide Fringe. So, we thought we would run a preview show to give audiences a taste of our show and create some word of mouth before the Fringe season kicks in.
Tema: What are you hoping to expect and anticipate from the upcoming Adelaide Fringe (2019)? Bebe: I'm really hoping for another sold-out show. It's such an odd feeling to be in a room where everyone is there because of you! I'm really excited to be sharing the new acts all the performers have been working so hard on and hope audiences like them as much as we do.
Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like our readers and your viewers to know about The Talents of Darkness? Bebe: All our artists and crew are from South Australia and I think it's really important that we support our local artists before they disappear behind all the larger, bigger-budget shows. There are so many amazing local shows this year, including #nofilter, Red Head Cabaret, and Magic McMagicface. Go out and take a chance on a smaller local show. I honestly feel they put in so much more work and end up getting quite small audiences, due to the other larger shows drawing crowds. It's all the small shows that make the Fringe festival so much more special.
The Talents of Darkness will be performing at The A Club from February 27 - March 3.