Words by Nathan King
Stranded on a cruise ship can Pony Greenhorse solve the murder mystery? And will more kabana arrive for the audience?
In Pony Greenhorse New South Wales sketch performer and stand up Penny Greenhalgh breaks the fourth wall and makes the audience a part of former murder detective / actress Pony Greenhorse’s latest endeavour.
Greenhalgh’s season at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival is in the residence of the new Tuxedo Cat, now located at the heritage-listed former Telecom-Trust building on Franklin Street. The venues aesthetic and location play into the plot of the production as you are directed into the basement stage which serves as Greenhalgh’s basement writing room of her house. Greenhalgh plays the part of a famous author whom is struck with an idea for her latest novel by the audience in attendance, to which she instructs her husband offstage to bring some kabana for her guests and to lock the door so she can muse this new adventure of her serial novel star Pony Greenhorse.
More than a simplerepertoire of the classic ‘whodunit’ murder mystery Greenhalgh invents a world with slightly askew characters that stick to a delightfully amusing narrative, filled with their own bizarre yet believable backstories. Keeping with the original narrative of the audience being her characters muse, Greenhalgh assigns character parts to audience members and adjusts the story around their interactions with her. Intertwined with 60s French music and characters the mood, as well as Greenhalghs performance, has a modern Pierrot aspect to it. From the way she transitions between characters and accents or the Nouvelle Chanson music of Jacques Brel’s ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ the show has that air of modern classical influences though still feels very much a relatable Australian story to laugh along with.
Fortunately the show never becomes too involved in its influences for it to become inaccessible for the common viewer. With a tidy in story conclusion to both the book and the audiences visit to Greenhalgh’s humble basement.
Tix and info: Pony Greenhorse at Tuxedo Cat