Theatre Review: Sky-hi & So-lo – The Stables, Fringe World Perth (performances until Feb 21st)

Sky-hi & So-lo is the first one-man show from Viktor Griffioen, formerly of music theatre group The Sadists.

It’s been 24 hours and quite frankly I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it. It’s chaotic, wilfully absurd – but utterly entertaining and hilarious (if you don’t mind your humour a bit dark and a touch on the nose)

Sky-hi & So-lo is Schwarzeneggerisms, blues music, toilet humor, impressive feats of musicality and a wonderful piece of 80s hair metal all crammed into a whirlwind forty minutes. Don’t come to this show looking for a neat narrative arc, or indeed some deeper meaning. There appears to be neither. But it hardly seems to matter.

One thing that is abundantly clear is that Griffioen is a talented musician, flitting across genres (though he does seem to have a penchant for the Blues) and as the audience filed into the venue created and looped a song from scratch. He’s got a great voice as well; though I did find that once again because of the venue, his vocals did get drowned out a little; so if there was deeper meaning and subtext laden in his lyrics it was at times hard to hear it.

Griffioen also has a knack of accents and impersonations; his Schwarzenegger was near spot on. His use of the “George W Bush Texan” for his US President character may be a tad dated, but truth be told after 8 years it seems there are still a few laughs to be had at Bush’s expense – especially when it involves explicit scenarios. Griffioen’s mimicking of a southern blind African American bluesman, however is a touch on the nose and will likely upset and entertain in equal measure.

There is a moment of seriousness and self-deprecation with a skit involving a fictional newspaper critic, and the resulting monologue about trying to explain his career choices to his son and the potential embarrassment that will ensue down the line. A moment of seriousness that is short lived indeed, as Griffioen launches into a 80s hair metal moment replete with dry ice, wind machine and wig. This is probably as close as the show gets to revealing any sort of theme – that you should stick to your guns, be an individual, do your own thing – even when people tell you not to.

Sky-high & So-lo is utterly weird and absurd, but also incredibly funny and captivating – in a “what the fuck is going on” kinda way. It’s certainly an entertaining show, and is packed full of great music. Just don’t expect to leave the show with a firm grasp of what you just watched.

Sky-high & So-lo is on now at Perth Fringe World and is performing through to Sunday 21st February at The Stables stage. For more information and tickets head here.

The reviewer attended the opening night performance on Saturday 13th Feb.


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Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.