FRINGEWORLD: Penny Greenhalgh – POP POP (3.5 stars)

‘Dropping her debut show POP POP like it’s hot,’ Penny Greenhalgh wants to give you an arena spectacular! However, due to budget constraints, lack of FRINGEWORLD endorsement, and probably lack of recognition – she can’t book the WACA quite yet. In the somewhat smaller setting of the Big Top in Perth’s Pleasure Garden, the audience files in to what appears to be an undressed stage. If anything, it looks ready for circus or burlesque. Greenhalgh provides so much more than that.

Instead of putting on a show, as such, Greehalgh outlines what her arena show will consist of – providing hilarious demonstrations and brilliantly awkward dance routines. The crowd are all given pieces of paper to make paper planes and it just gets better from there! Greenhalgh doesn’t steal the spotlight in her arena spectacular, however, allowing an English guest to warm-up the crowd. You know Jacinta, right? A set of novelty teeth and a perfect chav accent transform Geenhalgh into a great parody of stand up comedy, while cheekily having a go at other comics for having warm up acts in the first place.

Then comes the big bit – the ice dance. Greenhalgh has a rough and ready spirit that is highly encouraging to the audience. So encouraging that several of them are willing (well, they seem willing) to get up on stage with her to help flesh out the bits. Greenhalgh nails the ice dance in a hilariously awkward sequence that will cause you to question your guilty pleasure love of Torville and Dean! After the half-time entertainment from another of Greenhalgh’s characters, and more audience participation, comes the grand finale. This is bigger than Ben Hur and Greenhalgh wastes no time in getting the whole tent involved – if you ever wanted to be in a FRINGEWORLD show, head to this one!

Quirky and fun, POP POP provides the makeshift hipster vibe that FRINGEWORLD so lovingly embraces – and does it well.

When: 3 – 8 February 2016 (8:45pm)

Where: Big Top, Pleasure Garden, PERTH

Tickets: $20

Info: Duration 50 minutes, suitable for all ages