FRINGEWORLD 2017 – Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong (4 stars)

The FRINGEWORLD 2017 guide says that Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong is ‘real, live anger performed on stage by an authentic, anti-social Barbarian’ and that is exactly what you get! Onstage sits a piano, a chair and a warning sign: ‘This show contains – Swearing, Drinking, Violent Outbursts of Anger.’ From backstage there is shouting and two voices engage in a heated argument. The Barbarian is thrust unceremoniously into the spotlight. She is as mad as a cut snake and proceeds to spit wine all over herself and a few unlucky audience members.

Jo Randerson has cultivated a great character – face full of garish makeup, punk-style clothing complete with mismatched boots and hole-riddled fishnet stockings, alcohol bottle not so discretely hidden in a brown paper bag. She is a proud Barbarian, and is looking for a spark of recognition – a sign that there is life in the crowd. After opening with a huge swear-session and drinking, Randerson goes to the warning chart and ticks off a few boxes. Throughout the show she adds to the criteria with a laconic and calmly challenging manner.

Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong is full of anger and rage, yet exudes a spirit that channels that anger into something worth fighting for: love. Randerson is an accomplished pianist and delights in picking the aggressive note persistent in a Chopin piece. She reads Robert Frost and explains what the work means to her and her family. The show takes an unexpected turn as we see how fiercely Barbarians fight, live and love. Whatever you think this show is going to be – you’re wrong. It is beautiful and touching and reminds us all that where there is a spark, there is a fire that can never be extinguished.


When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 8:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+