Adelaide Fringe. The Arch, Holden Street Theatres. 20 Feb 2022
Peter Göers is performing the seventh in his “trilogy” of Fringe shows.
Oh, the audacity of this not-a-bit-new kid on the block.
He has ancient gags, antique anecdotes, and an almost fossilised audience.
And he is one of the great success stories of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
It just works. It’s a treat. Love is in the air. Masks try but can’t defy the guffaws of laughter he elicits.
Göers is not alone in this show. He has his own a little company of performers with the beloved 19-Logies Anne “Willsy” Wills as something of a mirror-ball jewel in his crown. She comes out in a shimmer of giant spangles and does a gorgeous number as slick, coquettish, and seamless as the evergreen veteran she is. Applause. Applause.
The third member of the company is a new boy with timeless old talents. It is Joel Amos, a ballroom dancing GP. After Göers has spoken of dances and rejection, he does an extensive solo to The Tennessee Waltz by Patti Page .
With his arms outstretched to enfold an absent partner to whom he gazes adoringly, Amos twirls the stage. This unusual performance makes for a confection of sweet triste, a visual ode to the world’s wallflowers. Amos moves superbly, observing all the discipline of the trained ballroom dancer while also conveying a touching sense of the universality of loneliness. He brings the house down.
Meanwhile, Göers, the trusty raconteur, keeps the anecdotes and the gags flowing. Self-deprecatory, mischievous, satirical, gossipy... But there will be no content spoilers here. You have to be there. It is enough to say that Göers’ shows get better as the years roll on. Each show tops the last, like some miracle of epic showmanship. From a deep pool of showbiz lore and trivia, he has dredged a freshness of material, occasionally throwing in a tried-and-tested gag just because he loves it.
After the show, the three performers do a royal line-up to greet and thank individually every member of the audience. In itself, this is a charming old-school gesture and it sends its audience away smiling, walking frames and all.
DISCLAIMER: This critic is friends with and works with Peter Göers and loves him to bits. However, she is as seasoned as a critic as he is as an entertainer and she swears that she would be the first one to blast him if he deserved it. In this case, he does not.
When: 20 Feb to 19 Mar
Where: The Arch, Holden Street Theatres