Virtuoso Adelaide Fringe 20241/2

Adelaide Fringe. The Basement. 6 Mar 2024


Virtuoso is a one-man comedic routine (it’s not really stand-up) performed by an actor who is playing the role of an actor who is auditioning for a role in a production. Simple really, and how on earth could it possibly be funny?


The performer is Melburnian Casey Filips who has had broad training as an actor including in France at the prestigious clowning school Ecole Philippe Gaulier, and it shows. As Filips struts his stuff playing Tobias Finlay-Fraser, it is clear that he is entirely comfortable on stage particularly when he is performing exaggerated caricatures, which Virtuoso is chock full of.


Tobias arrives for his audition and the audience are the casting directors, whether they want to be or not. Tobias addresses the audience directly and seeks feedback and inspiration to get him through. He is ambitious and doesn’t let any hurdle get in his way. Some of the repartee between performer and audience (casting directors) is fertile ground for improv, but some of it is allowed to gently pass through to the keeper. Improvisation is risky business, and Filips knows how to choose his marks. The two volunteers in the opening night performance proved to be excellent, with one in particular almost eclipsing Filips himself. (The mating ritual dance of the Manatees was just a virtuoso performance in mime and clowning…. but just so silly!). The nature of the show likely attracts an audience that is in tune with theatrics, so the chances of snagging showy volunteers is greatly increased.


The storyline is entirely fatuous, which is part of the appeal of the show, and gives every opportunity for Filips and his volunteers to do totally idiotic stuff, which they do, and with great humour. At times, the repartee struggles but Filips keeps the momentum of the show heading in the direction of the next laugh, which is never too far away, and the audience is constantly smiling and belly-laughing.


Kym Clayton


When: 6 to 10 Mar

Where: The Basement