The Colour Orange
WORDS BY ABBEY LENTON
The Colour Orange is one of the most conceptually unique shows in this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival program. With a narrative so inevitably saucy, it is bewildering to think it has never been done before. Its naughty, its nippy, and it gets pretty bloody niche.
‘The Colour Orange’ parodies the always calamitous life of Pauline Hanson. The Australian purveyor of fish & chips - turned - politician has given us decades worth of laughable (and cryable?) content, so watch as this is strung together into a short and rambunctious musical.
As their name suggests, Flaming Howard Productions are all about getting hot and heavy with political satire. And their latest production does exactly that. “I embrace the colour orange, ‘cause nothing rhymes with Muslim” sings the throughline of this audacious original musical. The show packages genuine political commentary in a neat musical theatre bow. An orange bow, of course.
Oli Cameron and Sophia Roberts are the main creative minds behind the piece, writing a witty narrative and number of clever and catchy tracks throughout. This show has the commendable ability to convert the musical theatre minded to comedy, and vice versa. Cameron also led the tracksuit-clad and eyebrow-heavy band, The Flaming Howards. Despite featuring countless characters, accents, and egos, the cast was only made up of five performers; Kirralee Elliot, Zara Stanton, Gabi Kelland, Liam Ferguson and Gavin Brown. Each actor did a phenomenal job of zig zagging between characters and impersonations. And through the strong Ipswhich accents came exceptional vocals. Produced by Rielly Dickson and Assistant Produced by Eden Tollis, the young group has pulled together one of the Fringe Festival’s quirkiest productions.
To create a protagonist that does not command too much sympathy from their audience is quite the trying task. But The Colour Orange navigates this with great cunning. In order to ensure Pauline Hanson is portrayed as silly and nonsensical, they literally just quote her. Literally. Some of the warmest responses from the audience come as a result of an iconically ridiculous Hanson quote or catchphrase. In and amongst the laughter and applause, you could still hear the sound of eyes rolling.
If you are after pitch perfect political impersonators, you’re not really going to get them here. Big wigs and silly accents are often the extent of the replication. But this is an endearing tactic. The actors genuinely seem like they are having a ball with the overzealous characterisation, and the audience thrive in such a fun atmosphere.
After a short run of sold out shows, the Sydney Fringe has invited the team back for one final encore. You can catch The Colour Orange at 8pm tonight at HPG Fringe Hub, Alexandria.