Cherry – Sydney Fringe Festival (NSW)

Written, directed and performed by Sarah Carroll

Reviewed by Justin Clarke

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

14-17th September – 1 hour
Emerging Artist Sharehouse – The Boom Boom Room
Tickets: https://sydneyfringe.com/events/cherry/

Millenials, cast your minds back to 2008. Where were you when Katy Perry entered your sphere? Maybe she was your sexual awakening when you first witnessed the music video for ‘I Kissed a Girl’, or maybe she never quite resonated during your My Chemical Romance phase. For 13-year-old Sarah, seeing Katy Perry explode on RAGE was the start of her lifelong obsession.

Created and directed by Sarah Carroll, Cherry is a near one-woman show that focuses on one person’s obsession with the cotton candy coloured icon that is Katy Perry. Embodying the meaning of a fangirl, Carroll takes us through her life from the first time she laid eyes on Perry, through to the relentless torture of booking concert tickets on a dial-up modem, and finally landing on her debut at the Sydney Fringe Festival. Through it all, Carroll ties everything back to Perry, her music, iconography, and many, many hair colours all lead Carroll to becoming a confident, bisexual woman. And it’s a heck of a ride!

Carroll embodied the essence of a young Michelle Brasier. Her adorable awkwardness, slight riff of a joke into an embarrassed mutter, and relentlessly energetic dance moves showed a performer wanting to make her own space in the comedy world. Assisted by Musical Director, Stage Hand and Accompanist Marissa Saroca, Carroll offered some moments of song, from both herself and Saroca. Cherry would benefit from brainstorming ways to overcome copyright issues to place more Katy Perry song stylings in to really give the piece consistent energy.

Proudly chaotic, there were many moments that blurred the lines between on stage mishaps and purposeful pieces of farce. Box lids cracking, batteries coming out of props and misplaced dialogue and sound cues were laughed off with some comedic back and forth between Carroll and Saroca but could have been purposefully embedded to give the piece more cohesion.

Carroll definitely has something on her hands here that could be a recurring crowd-favourite production at the Fringe for years to come after further workshopping, brainstorming and a bit of glue. A heartfelt tale of how one celebrity can shape your life, Cherry has moments of nostalgia, pure laughs, and a heck of a lot of heart.

Catch Cherry and the rest of the shows at Sydney Fringe 2022 by heading to https://sydneyfringe.com/


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