Adelaide Fringe 2020: Amanda Palmer

What: There Will Be No Intermission

Where: Royal Croquet Club, Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide

When: 15 February

How much: $53

Amanda Palmer assuredly strides through the audience strumming her uke, her hair a curly halo framing her face, beginning her four-hour performance of punk/folk/pop/rock/cabaret fusion.

Palmer says it herself, a show of this length, especially in the fringe world, would be classified as “commercial suicide”. But breaking away from this commercialisation has made Palmer’s career so successful, funded on her loyal patrons, many of them in the audience that night. This brought a sense of community unlike any rock concert or pop performance I’d seen previously.

The depth of connection was palpable as audience members held each other, cried together, and shared laughter throughout.

There Will Be No Intermission has ‘An Evening With…’ format, with just her, a grand piano, her uke and a disco ball.

She spoke of her aversion to big music corporations, the ludicrousness that comes with online etiquette and politics, and the pressure of impending motherhood.

Palmer learned from the likes of Nick Cave and Hannah Gadsby that it is not the job of the performer to comfort its audience. I can only imagine that going on stage and pouring out your experience of abortion, the death of loved ones, and a miscarriage would be an emotionally draining rollercoaster. Tears were visible twinkling in her eyes as she sang.

With all that soul and depth, Amanda Palmer possesses a magnetic charm, with her quips throughout the show, and her funny lyrics weaved throughout her oeuvre don’t go amiss.

Musically, I came for a night of her essential classics, but I stayed for the sprinkling of Disney classics, Madonna, and a kick ass rendition of Midnight Oil.

In five days between touring Australia, she also managed to record a bush-fire relief record featuring the best of the best Australian musicians. The album will be released this upcoming Friday 21 February, stay updated here.

After her show tonight and her remaining tour dates in Australia, she will be taking a year off touring and returning to her roots with The Dresden Dolls.

There Will Be No Intermission will grip you, stir you, and, embrace you as Palmer puts her heart and soul into this marathon performance.

5 out of 5 stars

Milly Farmer 

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