Everything is Sh*t- Grace's Top Picks from The Sydney Fringe

This review has been previously published on Stage Door Podcast.

Everything is Sh*t is a fun, thrilling rock cabaret starring the delightful and powerful voice of Andy Freeborn. The cabaret is inspired by Andy’s own life experiences. Exposing their own grief, finding themselves, family relationships, love of red wine and expressing the intense reality of life’s hardships whilst having a glimmer of optimism, even when Everything is Sh*t. 

It is no surprise that this cabaret has won multiple awards including, a runner-up award for best show at Dubbo Fringe and an emerging talent award for the 2023 Fringe Awards. The show is composed of three acts but continues without any breaks with a one-hour running time, a sweet spot time length for a cabaret. It includes a wide range of types of songs from ballads to rock songs. 

Everything is Sh*t was performed at The Castlereagh Boutique Hotel near Town Hall, in a venue named Cabaret Club room. The setting was perfect for this show. With a small bar, round cabaret-style tables, mood lighting and a very small stage set up with a variety of instruments.

It takes the audience on a journey and fosters a difficult healing process, but coming out at the other end truly knowing who you are. With one of the songs including “Everything is Sh*t but that's just fine”. Then finishing with the song “Brand New Dress”, a crucial song about Andy finding themselves and their crowd being queer. The importance of queer theatre is even more prominent in today’s society today and this production really supports that community. It is also relevant to queer and non-binary people who struggle to find themselves and proves it is possible to be yourself.

Andy sang as well as played the keyboard for the show, with a couple of stylish outfit changes for each act and their long ginger hair adding to the atmosphere of the show. They shined on stage, rocking their own original songs and were in their element telling their own story. With backing vocals from Ren McMeiken (and also the creative producer) and Jess Ramsey, all their voices blended incredibly. Many of the songs were from and inspired by Andy’s previous shows including “Brand New Dress” and “Alice’s Adventures”. The band was a great addition, adding to the atmosphere of the cabaret with Chris “Bouey” Bouhabib on Bass Guitar, Renae Goodman on the saxophone and Alex Paterson on the violin. This cabaret will make you want to dance along to the original tunes. 

Everything is Sh*t is a highlight of the Sydney Fringe Festival, tackling major life issues but focussing on the healing process with rock music guiding the storyline. 

Grace Cooper is a third-year Media (Comms and Journalism) and Arts (Theatre and Performance Studies) student. She loves all things theatre and performing, hoping to pursue both television journalism and acting. Another love of hers is coffee, it has become a necessary part of her university life. Grace went to Basser College and is involved in many shows with NUTS (New South Wales University Theatrical Society).

Blitz Editor

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