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Fringe Review: Gravity Boots & Friends

4 March 2012 9,267 views 7 Comments

Gravity Boots and FriendsSmoke machines, musicians dressed as animals in suits, space helmets and long johns. That’s how the show opens and it doesn’t make much more sense from there! Gravity Boots is comprised of Adelaide born Michael Cleggett and James Lloyd-Smith, and Friends are musicians: Nathan Cox and Austin Harrison-Bray, and actors: Alyssa Mason and Matthew Barker. Their Adelaide Fringe show, Gravity Boots and Friends is a disjointed, nonsensical mish-mash of bizarre costumes, random outbursts, musical numbers, poetry and misplaced accents – and I loved it!

I am not sure if it was the clever use of ‘thought bulbs’ to tell each story, the weird characters or the energy that the troupe put into every second of every scene, but I found myself crying with laughter the whole way through! The whole production had a Theatre of The Absurd feel to it that Ionesco would have been proud of. Some scenes were a little bit Monty Python and others a little bit Adam Sandler but don’t worry, there weren’t many of those!

The small stage in the High Rollers Room at the rear of the Light Hotel was well-equipped to deal with the minimal set, sound and effects that Gravity Boots and Friends used to present their tales. A cabinet representing a ‘story-telling’ device was upstage centre and the musicians used this to switch ‘thought-bulbs’ to seamlessly change the scene from one wacky episode to the next.

Cleggett and Lloyd-Smith wore under-garments to which they added simple costuming to define and determine each character which, worked very well and kept the show moving at the same pace as the comedy. The audience spent very little time baffled by the last scene before they were launched into the next.

The very talented Cox on piano and Harrison-Bray on guitar provided accompaniment to the original songs in the show. The music was excellent but the lyrics were quite difficult to decipher, perhaps due to the unidentifiable accents or lack of microphones. This was possibly the only criticism about the production as the overall performance was slick, perfectly wacky and delightfully weird.

Watch out for the scenes with leopard and goat, and the one with the evil adopted children because they are absolute stand-out scenes, written with the maturity and intelligence of comedians twice the years of the Gravity Boots duo. Gravity Boots and Friends is a style of comedy that I feel has been missing from theatre for a while and I welcome it back and urge Adelaideans to support this home-grown theatre company and see this production in all its weirdness!

Performance on 26th February 2012, reviewed by Libby Parker.

FringeTIX link
The Light Hotel – High Rollers Room, 141 Currie St, Adelaide

25 Feb – 17 March, 8.30pm (except 27, 29 Feb and 5, 7, 12, 14 March)
The Comedy Mint, 8-10 Jetty Rd, Glenelg

Saturday 10th March, 7.30pm Book at FringeTix

Gravity Boots are managed and produced by 3 of a Kind Productions, find 3 of a Kind on Facebook.


  • Dennis Green said:

    Oh yeah I agree with the reviewer on all counts. Surely the next big thing in Oz comedy. The hidden message in most of the sketches will go over a lot of heads but the originality will stay etched in their minds.

  • Kate Eldredge said:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the show from start to finish. So funny that i laughed so much, I was crying.
    I love the dry humour & of course their costumes are very original!!!

    I also agree with the reviewer.
    Congratulations to all involved in the show. Keep up the great work & bet of Luck in Edinburgh .

  • Marg Sanders said:

    This has been the Stand out show for me this year. I loved every minute and have taken all my friends to the show. It is intelligent, hilarious and a real must-see.
    The cast is incredibly talented and the show is such high energy the hour flies by leaving you with aching sides wanting more.
    Loved it!

  • Charles Grey said:

    Literally one of the worst things I have ever seen.

    Awful. Horrible. The Spanish sounded like the French sounded like the German……

    The script was useless.

    The songs weren’t funny.

    I’m sorry, just plain awful. Shocking. Shockingly bad. No words.

    The guitarist was awesome. I would have gladly paid $20 to see him play a set. Good job dude.

  • Pat Marks said:

    Charles I am feeling a bit of sour grapes here.
    I have seen this show twice and it is more hilarious the second time around.
    Such clever writing, so intelligent. I agree with the reviewer. This was a sensational show and I loved every minute. Leopard and Goat was a little sad and emotive- what clever writing. Kings of Spain were insane. Evil kids hilarious and every sketch brought something new and clever to their show. Songs an absolute scream. Musicians brilliant.
    Congrats to Gravity Boots- fantastic home grown talent.

  • Katie Patterson said:

    I cannot agree with Charles at all.

    This is a must-see show. Major reviewers have all lauded this amazing piece of absurdist theatre.
    Festival Freak has included Gravity Boots and friends on his “Must See” list. This site’s own reviewer loved the show. Talented, hilarious and brilliant. I can only urge people to see the show. They will love it!!!

  • Ernest lublow said:

    The show was great very clever in all regards well done all !!!!

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