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Woolly: The Morose Merino at Adelaide Fringe 2017 - Review

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by Jonathon Tonkin (subscribe)
I'm a 26 year old male Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Communication) at UniSA in 2014. As well as writing for WN I have also done pieces for the Adelaide 36s and Mawson Lakes Living.
Event: -
Will have ewe laughing
Alexander Cofield delivers a delightful if not intriguing character piece as Woolly. A Merino sheep from the paddocks of Yorkshire that has found himself working in a shearing shed in South Australia. Having lost out in love at home he has come down to Oz to find himself and a lady and purpose in life. His trials and travails are recounted to you by Woolly as he describes he ordeals. From rejection in Yorkshire to awkward plane flights and intrusive visits to the Vet/Psychiatrist. Woolly bares all in ways you wouldn't expect.

Woolly Cofield Fringe Comedy
Wooly: The Morose Merino - Photo provided by Alexander Cofield

Cofield is a British artist who specialises in clowning and visual art which is very much on display in this piece. Anything and everything that could be tied into the subject matter has been with Cofield expressing an expertise in props, drama, wordplay and audience engagement. Cofield brings to the Adelaide Fringe, Woolly: The Morose Merino, his first solo show which recently debuted at the Melbourne Fringe 2016 earning a nomination for Best Comedy.

The show is taking place in The Garden of Unearthly Delights in the Spare Room. A smaller venue but fits Cofield's style well. The show has a pressing need to interact with the audience and embrace the crowd in an intimate affair. Woolly is a deeply personal show from the character's perspective and that vibe is built strongly within the confines of the room. It's here that you can truly attach and have sympathy for Woolly's story.

Woolly Cofield Fringe Comedy
Photo provided by Alexander Cofield

Woolly can best be described as a variety show. Cofield demonstrates his knowledge in a number of comedic and entertainment areas by switching up the styling of the show from scene to scene. This show ranges from light burlesque as Woolly shears off his coat to the cheers from the crowd to anecdotes and slam poetry. Woolly has a bit something for everyone. No one is to felt left out in this show as Woolly shares with you his own story of being left out.

Woolly has a number of themes which expresses an emotional range. First in point, morose. That is without a doubt as Woolly is a very troubled sheep. Dealing with issues of image, rejection and finding a purpose. Woolly approaches this with sarcasm, self-deprecation and a whole host of sheep puns. Be prepared because Woolly may mount you and take you for a ride. (This is not a joke!)

The show is itself a journey. One of insight into the mind of a sheep trying to find his way in a cold world. A world that turns its back on Woolly whether that be his crush, Dolly the ewe, Sharon from Mount Gambier or random strangers on planes. No one loves Woolly but he loves all of you. He engages the crowd with the fervour of a ram. He happily banters with the audience, getting them involved with the show and bringing them into his world and no one is safe. Crowd participation is a big part of this show with Woolly encouraging energy in his crowd. Everyone is included in the experience.

Not only does Woolly include everyone but he also includes every inch into his show. The entirety of the Spare Room is his stage setting out various scenes amongst the people and across the stage. You will feel engrossed in Woolly's tales as you imagine the room as the inside of an airplane. Woolly madly pacing up and down the aisle in an agonising need to urinate. For a one man show, this one is immersive. Woolly paints each scene using the venue and a variety of props. He describes the environments clearly yet humorously. You travel alongside Woolly deeply entertained with his stories.

Woolly Cofield Fringe Comedy
Come see Woolly at the Adelaide Fringe 2017 - Photo provided by Alexander Cofield

It is easy to see that Alexander Cofield has put a great amount of love into this show. As his first solo show, Woolly is still finding his feet but he's more than happy to bring you along and have you laughing along the way. For a show that is definitely an experience, this is one I can recommend. Come and feel the highs and lows that is Woolly and you'll be bleating like a sheep.

Woolly: The Morose Merino is playing every day until the 5th of March. At the Spare Room in The Garden of Unearthly Delights. Shows go for 60 minutes and start at 7pm. Full price tickets are $30
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When: 7:00 PM
Where: The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Cost: $30
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