Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Naked Truth - Fringe World 2016 (29 January 2016)

Most shows you’ll see during Fringe World are quite frenetic. Rapid fire comedy; manic movement; full tilt singing, choreography, acrobatics; whatever it takes to attract your attention in a 700 strong programme. 

An aspect of The Naked Truth that I enjoyed and appreciated is that the show is like an oasis amongst all the madness. 

Almost conversational in tone it is an engaging portrait of a talented artist in an unusual setting. That artist is WAAPA trained Taryn Ryan and the circumstance is the exploration of her ‘career’ as a life drawing model.

The audience was encouraged to bring art material and there were sketch books and pencils available at the venue as well. We won’t detail my woeful attempts at drawing here; however, there were drawing exercises throughout and some relatively skilled practitioners sitting around me.

Ryan was accompanied by Emma Vanderwal on cello while she played the ukele. Songs were all originally written and beautifully delivered by Ryan with wit and style. The acoustics at the venue were good so the musical components were crystal clear and Ryan has a warm and powerful voice as befits her musical theatre training.

The show really is about how she came to be a life drawing model and to answer all the questions that usually follow. It’s an interactive experience with a couple of audience members asked to come up to pose to demonstrate how difficult it is to stay still for even relatively short periods.

We were also prompted to ask questions both called out and written down anonymously. The answers were amusing, insightful and shone a light on a subject I certainly had little knowledge of. 

The songs did likewise and the inclusion of a cellist added a touch of class to proceedings. Ryan has that knack for making you feel like she’s talking only to you. It fosters a real connection between performer and audience.

It’s the finale though that puts a quiet punctuation point on the show as Ryan not only talks the talk but unrobes to pose for a full five minutes.

The Naked Truth is on at the Flaming Locomotive until 6 February.

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