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Playing to Win with AshFlanders

A performance artist garnering quotes by a publication like The Age should be enough to get my attention, when those include statements like “★★★★*Ash Flanders* can do anything… see him before he really is too famous for a small room.”- The Age” well you’d think it’d peak my interest.

Alas, prior to this evening I didn’t know his work at all, not one skerrick and Ash appears to have sprung into the spotlight at a time when I switched off.

Being frank, a production needs to come heavily recommended with a list of trusted referee’s, as my show mum days are well and truly over, no more happy clapping in the front row. A quick google says I hadn’t switch off but rather crawled under a rock somewhere far out of internet range.

The only exception to this rule is Daniel Clarke; any involvement be it to program, produce or direct; big or small, means there is no other place I would rather be and tonight was no exception.

Ash Flanders; Playing to Win running its season at the Fairfax Studio Arts Centre Melbourne was a dark horse in a pussy print wrestling unitard. Confession is, over festival season I had a brief encounter with Ash; his off-stage persona, a softly spoken and genteel character, he assured me he couldn’t hold a note. Thick skinned and not my first rodeo, I will admit I was somewhat shocked when this presence hit the stage and belted out his first highly rehearsed tune – I had been duped in the most delightful way.

Returning after its successful run in the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Flanders blends together song and story, pop culture and personal tragedy, with his unrivalled brand of acerbic humour.

While I suspect, I may be preaching to the choir and the last one alive to discover this talented gem, even if there are five people left – you need this show! Who wouldn’t want a sing-a-long where no one knows the words, powerful life lessons straight from the stage of a world music Aussie rock diva, there were poignant moments and puns aplenty amongst jokes that’ll make your face hurt, pure gold. This boy really knows how to belt out a toe tapping tragedy!

Catch Ash Flanders Playing to Win this Midsumma at the arts Centre until Sunday 29th January – click here for details.


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