LIVELY LAUGHTER: Lachy Bruce, Chris John and Ezra Juanta make up the trio of Me ‘N Me Mates.A CELEBRATION of Australian culture will take to the Adelaide Fringe Festival stage as three mates share their love of the local language and laconic humour.
Me ‘N Me Mates sees the trio of director and performer Chris Johns, guitarist Lachy Bruce and newcomer Ezra Juanta, along with Bluey the dog, take to the stage during the festival, before touring throughout regional SA and NSW.
Chris said the show evolved as a spin-off about five years ago after people began requesting more traditional folk and country songs and poems.
He describes the show as a combination of old songs, such as country or shearing songs, along with humorous poems and contemporary skits.
“I’ve always been interested in the material that gets forgotten,” Chris said.
Me ‘N Me Mates aims to bring the old material to life, such as poems by AB ‘Banjo’ Patterson or Henry Lawson.
“Rather than just recite them we like to dramatise them, become the characters and more or less act them out,” he said.
Chris says they have performed at the festival several times and are glad to be back.
“It’s a nice atmosphere,” he said.
“We often use it as a chance to try out new material. There are multiple shows so we try and build up some new stuff.”
These ideas are then taken out on the road as they travel to a number of festivals and events in regional Australia.
The trio is based in Adelaide but tend to find their base audience in country towns and have performed their show throughout SA, NSW, Vic and even the NT.
Chris says as each show is workshopped, themes will develop along with poems, songs and skits that fit.
The team also develop their own original contemporary material.
“We travel all the time so we write songs about different towns and travelling,” he said.
They also write and perform a number of skits about some of the common things they encounter travelling to country towns, including nicknames. “These are things that are distinctly Australia,” he said.
He says the show is part of a drive to remind Australians of some of their rich culture which can often be forgotten.
“It’s part of an incentive to say to people that Australia does have a good, rich culture of poems and songs,” he said. “A lot of other countries celebrate theirs but we tend to undervalue ours a bit.
“We have a unique language, a lot of slang and old Aussie language and that brand of dry, laconic humour.
“Performing it live helps to keep it alive.”
Details: Me ‘N Me Mates will be performing at the Salisbury RSL on February 20; Whitmore Hotel February 21, 22, 28, March 1; the Glencoe Woolshed on March 8; Swan Reach Country Music Festival March 27-28; and Coober Pedy for the Easter Festival in early April.
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