60 minutes | Adventure, Comedy, Solo | Mature
I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to see the title of this show and think “Huh? A free Fringe show? Sure, I’m down!” It’s not actually a free show, but that’s ok! Free is the direct translation of the Gaelic word “saor”, and the search for freedom (in many forms) is essentially what Saor (Free) is all about.
Saor (Free) is written and performed by Carlyn Rhamey, and while the structure of the show is relatively standard Fringe fare (“This is a trip I took; these are the interesting characters I came across; etc…”) it’s Rhamey who is the real reason to see this show. Rhamey’s energy output during one show could supply Arts Court with power for a week. She moves constantly throughout the show, effortlessly becoming the various different people she encounters, without ever looking out of breath. She is a fantastic physical performer, and the audience on Wednesday night was thoroughly entertained by her physical style of comedy. Rhamey also makes great use of her voice, which is clear at all times, even when switching to Irish or Scottish accents, both of which were entirely believable.
What makes Saor (Free) worth seeing is the message Rhamey is trying to get across. You’re seeing a Fringe show, so there’s a good chance you know at least one person who does theatre or creates performance art. What those people rarely tell you is how hard it is to do that. To create something and put it out there for people to see and to judge. It’s nerve-racking.
From the outset, Rhamey casts herself as someone who is awkward, neurotic, and lacking some confidence. She could be any young artist. Her story brings you along on a trip with her across the pond to the British Isles (and a brief stop in Amsterdam), but it also brings you into the world of someone who is looking to be more at ease with herself, and putting herself and her work out there, because that is clearly what she loves to do.
After seeing Saor (Free), you’re going to feel like thanking Rhamey, and every other Fringe Festival performer that puts themselves and their work out there for us to enjoy. We forget sometimes that what they do isn’t easy. With thanks and encouragement, hopefully they feel free to create more.
Saor (Free), ODD Box, 2 Daly Avenue – Elevator A, Thursday, June 23, 10:30 p.m.; Friday, June 24, 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, June 26, 6 p.m.
Tickets are $12.