OK, so can’t lie. I went along hesitantly to a Adelaide Cabaret Fringe show tonite not entirely knowing what to expect (settle down, I get it, sometimes that’s the point), and after a crazy long day of an epic amount of work and interviews, I almost opted for a glass of red on the sofa while pounding away at the laptop – it seemed an easier option to this tired and weary lad on a Wednesday night.
I’m glad I made the effort.
Once in a while you see a show that moves you and makes you glad and appreciative to be alive. This is one of those shows. In-fact, it was a performance that insisted in my head after the final gracious bow that I must immediately rush home a write my review (with wine in hand).
Josh Belperio’s emerging show ‘Scarred for Life’ produced by ‘Under The Microscope’ is a true story that is based on being accident prone, permanently scarred and falling in love. There are so many things to say, but let us start with this wonderful newcomer has been mentored by Cabaret faves Michael Griffiths & Amelia Ryan. With this alone you should expect something delightful. But Josh serves up a whole lot more than delightful. It has raw honesty, truth and vulnerability wrapped up in song and comedy.
After an dreadful car/bike accident we see Josh go through the motions of coming to terms with the chance of dying, feeling guilt, falling deeply in love with his boyfriend and overcoming his physical and mental obstacles.
Josh’s performance is served with the most delicious smile, sparkly eyes and an infectious love of his life. This talented young guy plays the piano through his set (and reveals through a previous accident almost lost the ability to play his beloved instrument) . From the beginning we see his life played out before us with ‘Underneath My Shirt is an Eight-Inch Scar’ which lays out a defining moment in this mans life. It is hard to not tear-up with a beautifully written and sung song dedicated to his perfectly matched and supportive boyfriend ‘Matt’, entitled ‘Watching Me Pee in a Bottle’, there weren’t many in the audience that weren’t wiping away a tear. Couple with a poem turned song written by ‘Matt’, ‘A Scar of Ethereal Beauty’ – their love story is one to be admired and envied.
In between we have backless surgery gowns, see-through underwear, crazy ‘shared room’ patients and generally lots of things that ‘Stuffed Up’.
The finale and toe-tapping ‘Get Back on your Bike’ is a mantra not only for Josh but for all of us who have taken a blow and need to get up again. And… the reveal of ‘The Scar’ is one of the most sincere and emotional moments I have seen on stage.
This is a beautiful and humble act that shows that scars are beautiful, Josh’s story telling takes you in and is instantly likable and his connection with the audience is authentic. Based on this, expect to see a whole lot more of Josh, as he exposes his heart and soul on sleeve in many more productions to come.
3 words: Beautiful, Talented, Emotive
The show runs until 24 June 2017 as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival, get your tickets here