Auckland Fringe Festival Review: Velcro City


Velcro City

Oh man, if you’ve not been along to anything at The Fringe yet, I highly recommend it. There are some real gems of creativity out there. Velcro City is one.

It’s the story of a city somewhere in New Zealand, and it’s colourful residents. The plot itself is not going to win awards but I also highly doubt its trying too. It’s more a vehicle for having fun with the characters. And that’s totally ok. That said- Kimbra (from Hamilton) does end up in a flaming lavender field and then singing a loop-loop cover of Rubicon’s Bruce. Which is equal parts bizarre and hilarious.

What makes Velcro City unique is the velcro. Or the hooks and hoops as those in the know call it. Eli Matthewson & Hamish Parkinson don onesies and headbands with velcro strips and use cardboard cutouts decorated with crayolas to represent the residents of the town.

There’s the lesbian couple that makes horrific coffee but end up saving the day, the teen in love, the old man upset that the lavender fields are keeping his Mavey asleep, the Mayor, the young National Party-esq Mayoral candidate (who wants to introduce “fresherality- which is freshness and originality”) and many others.

Eli and Hamish are funny men and it clearly comes naturally- when the hair fell off the velcro headband of one of the lesbians her partners quipped ‘I told you to stop using that shampoo’. It’s also infectious when you see people enjoying what they’re doing so much.

The pace does lull in parts and it’s not laugh-out-loud funny the whole way through (not necessarily a problem if you’re not expecting that). But it is thoroughly enjoyable. It was great to see story telling stripped back to the essentials. There is actually no need for anything more than cutouts and crayolas. As always, restrictions beget creativity. The need to represent a bus driver in his bus means a bus-mask complete with opening doors.

Velcro City is a good time, especially if you’re after something you won’t see everyday. Which after all, is what The Fringe is all about.

TDB Recommends

Mon 25 February – Sat 2 March, 7.00pm. The Basement Studio. Adult $15, Child $14, Conc $14.

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