Godz Adelaide Fringe 2024

Adelaide Fringe. Head First Acrobats. The Vault / Fools Paradise. 20 Feb 2024


One simple Fringe show and this is as good as it gets. An idea, great storyline riffing off Greek mythology and four supremely talented gymnasts. This is Godz.


Hercules, son of Zeus, joins his cousins Apollo, Dionysus and Cupid (presumably from the Roman branch of the family) at play, and the boys play up. The cousins are feeling frisky, wanting to tryst; Hercules is a little slower to respond. Gradually he seems to warm to the idea, but he takes his time and the others are less than impressed and begin teasing him.


And those Gods, they can be capricious. To a backdrop of handstands and handsprings, tumbles and acrobatic work, and feats of enormous strength, the story unfolds. Hercules is teased, cajoled, and felt up, his sexuality tested and probed, and he is seduced. His father, Zeus, is unimpressed and accompanied by the pulsating industrial score of Rammstein’s Du Hast Hercules is banished to Hell.


And yet Hell is the preserve of Hades, another of the Greek Gods, and Hercules has a great time and is lured into drug use. Poor Hercules, sent to a 1990s nightclub, given drugs, and seduced by statuesque figures clad only in linen shifts… This is all sounding suspiciously like an extended metaphor, isn’t it, kids?


Hercules is then sent to the Christian Hell as punishment: the soothing ministrations of Ave Maria ushered in three nuns and a chastised Hercules (Zeus had popped down to sort things out a bit) and a bit of aerial hanky panky on the slings. Around the time of the flying nuns it seemed things were losing their shit. It was all becoming a bit unwound; the narrative was no longer making sense and if a soundtrack featuring The Chills and Straitjacket Fits had turned up I’d have been no more surprised.


As a storyline it makes a great deal more sense, and thank goodness it does, because Godz is a superb showcase for what the Fringe could and should be. It challenges. It takes chances. It titillates and it does not take its audience for granted. This is real Fringe, real skill, beautifully honed and superbly presented.


Alex Wheaton


When: 20 Feb to 17 Mar

Where: The Vault / Fools Paradise

Bookings: adelaidefringe.com.au