Adelaide Fringe 2023: ‘The Purple Rabbit Rides Again’

Words by Stephanie Babiak

Sometimes in life, what you really need is a little magic. If you can combine that with some good comedy and good company, then you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time. ‘The Purple Rabbit Rides Again’ is a perfect example of this, setting itself apart as a Fringe show well-worth adding to your ‘to see’ list.

Produced by the incredible team of Strut & Fret, ‘The Purple Rabbit Rides Again’ is a new take on their popular 2022 show. Fans of the previous iteration, as well as the company itself, will not be disappointed, with great performers delivering all the fun they’ve come to expect from this group.

The show brings together five talented individuals who each have their own unique approach to ‘magic’. This makes for some excellent built-in variety, meaning audiences get to experience classics including card tricks and various sleight of hand feats, along with some novel twists including cheeky burlesque interludes, foot juggling (it’s exactly what it sounds like) and readings from a certified sex-psychic (also exactly what it sounds like).

As with any show that incorporates a range of different acts, however, the success of the performance as a whole depends partly on how seamlessly these elements flow together. This is the one area where ‘The Purple Rabbit Rides Again’ may have benefitted from some tweaks. While each act was entertaining in its own right, the energy shifts between the more interactive performances and those which were more physical (and thus more detached by default) sometimes felt a bit awkward. When going from the raunchy fast-paced delivery of some of the magicians to something more visual like the burlesque interludes, the audience often didn’t seem to have enough time to fully settle back into awe and admiration as opposed to laughter and free-flowing conversation. In both cases, the acts themselves were great, but the order tended to take you ‘out of the moment’.

This minor criticism aside, ‘The Purple Rabbit Rides Again’ is nonetheless a great time. Thoroughly entertaining, properly funny and genuinely impressive, there’s plenty to love.

**** 1/2 – 4.5 stars.

Tickets provided free of charge for media review purposes.

Adelaide Fringe 2023: ‘The Party’

Words by Stephanie Babiak

Choosing a title for your latest Fringe show is tricky business. In the quest to catch the audience’s attention, it’s not unheard of for a production to pick something that promises more than it can deliver. With that in mind, ‘The Party’ was a bold choice, but the team of Strut & Fret knew exactly what they were doing and delivered every good thing the name implied, and then some.

A combination of burlesque, circus, dance, and comedy, the show loosely follows a group of raunchy and hilarious characters as they, well, party. It’s the kind of show that’s hard to explain on paper for the simple reason that words don’t really do it justice, and you kind of feel like you’d be spoiling it for people if you gave too much away. It strings together a range of acts that are each unique, entertaining and impressive in their own right, but when brought together feel like fun personified. Whether it’s the hilarious physical comedy and back-and-forth of two party-goers seemingly destined to spend a steamy night together, or the magical high-flying trapeze artist swinging gracefully above your head, there’s always something going on. One of the things that makes this show such a standout is not only how jam-packed it is, but also how flawlessly it manages to execute this potential chaos. No detail has been overlooked – the visuals, including a colour scheme and costume style that could perhaps best be described as the equivalent of a bag of skittles to the face, work seamlessly with a kick-ass soundtrack that will have you dancing in your seat. This is a show which is polished and perfected but flows so naturally that you’re too engaged with what’s going on to even realise you’re watching something staged.

The performers are beyond exceptional. Not only are they ridiculously talented in their various physical feats (whether that’s in dance, acrobatics, singing, or anything in between), but their seamless interaction with the audience adds a level of laughter and engagement that only the very best can pull off. This is a show where spending the extra money for a VIP ring-side seat is worth the splurge as the crew are outstanding at making you feel like a fellow guest at the party, even if you’re usually the type to studiously avoid eye contact when the call for volunteers goes up. The fun is so infectious that the most introverted among us will still find themselves keen to get up and dance – you just can’t help it. This sense of fun is what sets ‘The Party’ apart as unique. Seeing it play out is an absolute blast – you’ll find yourself grinning from ear to ear from start to finish. It’s the kind of show that’s an absolute joy to watch.

It’s not often that a production manages to juggle so many moving parts (both literally and figuratively) to deliver the kind of outstanding one-of-a-kind show that ‘The Party’ proved to be. Strut & Fret had already set a high bar for themselves with previous successful shows at earlier Fringe Festivals, but somehow they still managed to exceed expectations with ‘The Party’. If this is the kind of performance we can expect from them, then I’d highly suggest making their next offering the absolute top of your list for future Fringe fun.

***** – five stars

Tickets were provided free of charge for media review purposes

Blogging Made Me Broke – How the Instagram lifestyle can mess up your finances

Think of any given Instagram page and you’ll likely imagine some perfectly curated spread of photos that make the life of the person running it look unobtainable in some way. It might be a barrage of travel photos, make up, outfits, restaurant meals, whatever it is you’re into and using to cram up your feed. Recently, between binge-watching the YouTube channel “The Financial Diet” and speed-reading pretty much the entire finance and business section of Dymocks, I’ve been looking at my own Instagram feed with a critical eye. Blogging makes acquiring these kinds of lifestyles look easy and obtainable, but the simple truth is that they aren’t for most people. If you’re what I would call a “business blogger”, that is to say a savvy individual whose blog is run as a business who is consequently receiving either PR or sponsorships regularly, then living this way probably isn’t driving you into financial ruin because you’ve been clever and monetised appropriately. If, however, you’re more of a “hobbyist”, your situation might look very different. With that in mind, I wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned about the financial truth of “keeping up with the Joneses” on Instagram over the past few years.


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Review: Ella Baché Australia Summer Range

So it’s another Australian Summer and two things are on my mind. One of those things is how to prevent myself from turning into a bright red tomato by inevitably getting burnt from three seconds of incidental (and accidental) sun exposure. Another is how I’m going to prevent my pasty white legs from blinding people when I wear shorts because it’s just too hot to be considerate of the retinas of others. Consequently, I was pretty stoked when the summer range from Ella Baché turned up on my doorstep. Today I’ll be reviewing their Active Lotion Great SPF50+ sunscreen, their Great SPF30+ Sunbase Foundation, the Great Tan Without Sun and Great Tanning Mitt. As a hint, these products are pretty aptly named.


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Spring Makeup for the Professional Girl (who needs time for coffee) plus Everyday Makeup Review

It’s no secret that I love makeup, but I’m the kind of person who loves makeup when I have the time to stuff around and play with it at my leisure. I’m decidedly less of a fan of the chore of putting on makeup before I go to work. My last post was all about the super-fast lazy approach I use when I hit the snooze button one too many times, but sometimes I want to look a little bit more like I put an effort in (without really putting an effort in). With that in mind, I thought I’d take you through my current daily routine and review a bunch of products along the way – think tutorial turns review turns rambling. Personally, I’m a busy-body and I love seeing which products people actually use on a regular basis, so I thought some of you might enjoy that peek into my routine for the spring season.

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Five-Minute Makeup in Five Products

Let’s be honest: most of the time, doing a full face of makeup is a pain in the butt. It’s all fun and games when you have the time to sit there blending eye shadow for twenty minutes, but when it’s 5:30 in the morning and you’re getting ready for work it’s a different story. Worse still, sometimes it’s 7:34 in the morning and you were meant to leave for work half an hour ago. Most of the time, you need something quick that will hide the fact that you haven’t had coffee this morning but without going too far over the top. With that in mind, today I’m going to share the five products you need for a super fast makeup when you’re on the go. Added bonus? These types of products are also what I recommend throwing in a gym bag to redo a quick face after a sweaty workout.

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Current Handbag Hangouts

I tend to carry handbags so giant that they can fit everything including the kitchen sink and a small bathroom renovation. I have, however, been trying to mend this habit slowly and I’ve consequently downsized my bag in the last couple of weeks. Alas, gone are the days where I can let twenty-plus lipsticks/glosses/balms accumulate in the depths of my bag (and no, that isn’t an exaggeration – that happened quite a lot). With this in mind, I’ve had to vastly cut back on the beauty essentials I keep on hand. I thought it might be nice to share the six products I felt I couldn’t go without – though honestly I’m still a bit nervous about no longer having that kitchen sink in there. You just never know…

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Review: LUSH Christmas Range 2017

Two words: LUSH. Christmas.
Are there any two better words in the English language? Well, probably, but not to me right now. LUSH Christmas is always my favourite limited edition run of the year as it usually involves an increase in Twilight scented products, and we all know how I feel about that. It seems like it gets bigger and better every year, so the LUSH Christmas Collection for 2017 is unsurprisingly stepping up to new levels. In saying that, there’s a reason that LUSH products always make it to my list of products to actually write up, and it comes down to two things: practices and products. The 2017 range is a perfect embodiment of everything right with the LUSH world.

I’ve mentioned it in passing before, but part of the reason I’m a fan of LUSH is because of the way they approach business. As I get more and more involved in beauty products, I become more and more conscious of how my buying choices impact the world around me. LUSH’s new Christmas range reflects their push towards trying to offer more “naked” products – that is to say, products which don’t require packaging and thus minimise our impact on the environment. Now, the Christmas body conditioners and shower gels are available in solid forms for the environmentally conscious among us. With the recent addition of solid lip scrubs and lip tints, as well as their already existing solid shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes and bubble bars, it’s clear that LUSH is making this a key tenement of their business and I couldn’t be happier.

I was kindly sent some of the range to review. Whilst the only naked products in the mix are the bubble bars, the scent family is the exact same of their solid counterparts (which I’ll be picking up myself next time I’m in Rundle Mall!).

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Review: LUSH Halloween Collection 2017

Halloween is one of the things I miss most about Canada. Here in Australia, a lot of us don’t celebrate the holiday so it always feels just… underwhelming here. When I lived in Canada though, the excitement and fondness people have for the season felt like Christmas all over again. I’m a bit of a sentimental idiot and I love the vibe of the holidays so I loved having a whole extra dose of fun and goodwill. Fortunately, LUSH is bringing some of that fun home with their 2017 Halloween Collection. I was kindly sent quite a selection (yes, I did squee like a little girl and run around the room in excitement), so today we’re going to be reviewing a stack.

Before we get into it, I want to give a huge shout out to LUSH for the focus on cutting back their packaging with this collection. So many of these were “naked” products. I’m becoming progressively more active in cutting back the waste that I create so it was a breath of fresh air.

Read on to find out what I thought about the LUSH Halloween Collection for 2017!

LUSH Halloween 2017.jpg

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Review and Full Face First Impressions: Priceline and Adore Beauty Hauls

If you follow me on Instagram and can put up with the rambling often present in my Insta Stories, then you’ll know that I recently bought a bunch of new products during the Priceline 40% off cosmetics sale (NOT online, for reasons I’ve outlined before). Coincidentally, this happened the same day that my order from Adore Beauty arrived and I thought it might be a good idea to review a heap of the new products at once (because hey, that always ends well). I was particularly curious to see how such high-end products would pair with such affordable options.
Being reviewed today are the Becca First Light Priming Filter, NIOD Photography Fluid, NIOD Fractured Eye Contour Concentrate, NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, Luma On the Glow Highlighter Stick in Cashmere Casbah, Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer, Maybelline Hypersharp Liner, and Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara. I purchased these items myself because I have a problem and can’t seem to stop buying stuff I don’t need.


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