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Old 02-01-02, 11:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 16
Post Nelson 2002

What follows is a review of the buskers cabaret which I wrote for the Nelson Paper. It was published under a photograph of Peter, from Hoopal.

I am meant to limit my reviews to 300 words. They let me get away with 600 for this one, but I still was not able to do justice to all the performers.

It may help readers to understand that Nelson, New Zealand has no natural pitches. One pitch is created during the festival by closing part of the main street of town.

Because of the limited performing opportunities, the organisers limit participation to no more than six acts a year.

Hats are moderate. The public is otherwise very appreciative.

Two extravaganzas at the end of the event draw a few thousand people each most years and the hats are reasonable.



From the Nelson Mail, February 1, 2002

When Busker Go Bad
Sealord Summer Festival
The Boathouse
January 31st
Reviewed by River

It's that time of the year again, when walking through the centre of town anyone may suddenly come upon one of the many exciting street performances which make up the Buskers Festival. It is a magic time, when the next appointment can wait a few moments while you stop and join the ever growing crowd, drawn by the laughter and the applause of those who got there earlier.

In an increasingly busy world, most people can still find a moment or two to pause and watch the unusual, the audacious, the amusing, the
entertaining antics of those who boldly declare: "I want you to watch what I am about to do!"

It is an obligation-free encounter with the hyper real and an initial
intention to pause for a moment or two can easily lead first to cancelling the rest of the day's appointments, and onward to the fantasy of getting your own busking act together and heading off to see the world as only buskers usually see it.

Public shows are rated "G" to suit the mix of ages and sensitivities of those who make up the audience.

Congratulations to the festival organisers for adding a cabaret performance this year, late evening, with an R18 rating. The result is a show which, while not suitable for children, does succeed wonderfully for those who are not easily shocked or offended by uncensored versions of the buskers programmes.

The 'standing room only' crowd was welcomed by the lightning fast comedy, and comic magic of MC Nick Nickolas who very ably kept the laughter flowing from one performer to the next.

Hilby, the "skinny German juggling" boy was first. He is a very skilful juggler, diabloist, ball-spinner, cigar box manipulator and comedian. He has a wonderful style of humour and a rare gift of appearing to genuinely amuse himself while performing, laughing unaffectedly at his own antics.

Phil and Colin, two Canadians calling themselves the "Silly People" did a number of bizarre linking items, mostly in the form of contests like having volunteers race to attach clothes pegs to the performers faces, and a joke telling contest where the teller who got the lesser laugh had to sacrifice a piece of clothing.

English comic duo "Hoopal" explored the realms of the absurd in a manner which is difficult to describe in a few words, or in many words, for that matter. The idea of Chris reciting Shakespearean Sonnets while Peter flings wet objects at him does not begin to explain the loud and sustained laughter of those who watched, let alone those who laughed in spite of being showered by the excess water bouncing off Chris.

Shirlee Sunflower employs 7 male volunteers in her act, unabashedly lusting after them all, yet simultaneously involving them all in her "rescue" during a high risk venture. The act is comically sexy and provoked many of the loudest and heartiest laughs of the evening.

Finally, Lucky Diamond Rich, tattooed from head to toes, thrilled the
audience with his juggling of three, five and seven balls. But that was just the prelude. His finale involved mounting a high unicycle, with the help of a volunteer, and juggling two machetes while eating an apple.

The drinks flowed as freely as the laughter and the uncensored jokes.

Those who missed the cabaret will still have opportunities to see "G" rated version of the acts in Trafalgar Street tomorrow and Saturday, or at the Buskers Shows at the Ocean Lodge either of those nights. There is no admission charge, but do bring along some cash as that is the form of appreciation professional buskers most like to receive.
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