FRINGEWORLD 2017 – The Ballad of Electro Ape (1.5 Stars)

Review by Kieran Eaton

Two men in ape suits stand to attention in an attempt to stun the audience – I guess anything is possible these days. This young duo manage to elicit a sense of wonder in the audience at least – wondering what it is they are trying to achieve. It’s childish comedy that fuses techno music with comedic acting to create a very loose plot line – opening us up to the madness.

The show starts with the young men dancing in their ape suits. It comes across as a hugely self-indulgent display with no strong theme, just an unrealistic story about how an ape becomes a famous electro musician.  The absurdist theme is not absurd enough (certainly not as Brecht-like as they think) and so it just comes across as stupid. Their playful nature does get the audience going, though, in this curious journey of self-discovery.  It’s as if the audience is hypnotised by their silliness.

The Ballad of Electro Ape feels like a male bonding ritual. These two performers have a good chemistry as they mess with each other like old friends. There is plenty of playfulness as they dress as a mum ape and sing 90s and 2000s pop culture songs in a daggy manner. They try to elicit crowd participation with mixed success. Attempts are made at being provocative by implying that the lead singer of Blur only created the band Gorillaz from the singer copying a song sample of the ape. It is hard to find a highlight in this shambolic performance but their occasional ad-libbing made the show feel more natural.

If you want to see a daggy muck-about show go check out The Ballad of Electro Ape.


When: 3rd – 18th February 2017 | 10:40pm

Where: Noodle Palace | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $9 – $11

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Recommended 18+