Have you ever had one of those nights where you and your friends were all on fire? Where you were all your best selves and your energy is so infectious that you make friends where ever you go? Where every drinking game holds the most epic stakes imaginable and everyone at the bar wants to join in? Hold My Beer is that kind of night for Half-Hitch. Within the first few minutes we all wanted to be a part of their gang, and they welcomed us with open arms.
Hold My Beer is an incredibly simple concept, executed with passion and hell of a lot of fun. The show is the new creation of Half Hitch, a Brisbane-based troupe best known for their monthly scratch night Fast & Loose at Backbone, which focus on giving performers an opportunity to try new work and get feedback from their peers. Performed by Kelsey Adams, Regan Henry and Elyse Fitzpatrick, and accompanied ably by the live music styling of Sheldon Adams and Kristy Stanfield, Hold My Beer showcases all of the best things about a great night out. Performed through circus, physical theatre, song, drinking games and a whole lot of audience interaction, it includes moment of respect for the designated drivers, drinking games, drinking songs, a spot of limbo, hook-ups and some flair bartending.
The line between both acrobats and musicians and the performers and the audiences are appropriately blurred throughout the show. Like a good night out, dares and games result in the cast swapping roles, utilising two stages and much of the room and the audience being drawn into the show and into the fun on the stage. This provides some of the best moments of the show, as the performers compete against each other and audience members to unexpected results. At one point after being drawn into the acrobatics, Sheldon asks, “Am I circus?”. I can definitely say, yes sir, you are.
Each performer is given the chance to shine throughout the show and have an ease interacting with the audience. Kelsey showcases her growing repertoire of manipulation skills, including bottle flair, object balancing and juggling. Elyse is the boss base you want in your corner and Regan the fearless flyer. There is a slight repetitiveness in the acrobatics, but trio showcase a great range of skills throughout and perform with such gusto that most would not notice.
Credit must go to musicians though who help take the show to another level. Sheldon wrote the majority of the incredibly catchy tunes, some of which still playing in my head as I write this. He is ably accompanied by Kristy and they both jump between a range of instruments and perfectly match the energy of the show. The addition of live music also enables the performers to retry the occasional missed trick and draws the audience into the piece through clapping and singing along.
In its second night, Hold My Beer still is a little rough around the edges, with a few tricks not quite hitting the mark. However, this totally works with the theme of a boozey night out, the live music and an audience 100% on their side. The cast’s great chemistry and infectious joy of being on stage, charms the audience from the first act and ends with the punters on their feet. Half Hitch once again prove they’re a troupe to be watched in Brisbane and I for one will make sure I’m a part of their gang for their next creation.
Ads J saw Hold My Beer on the 16th of May at The End Bar, West End as part of Anywhere Festival 2019. Hold My Beer plays until 23 May at Bloodhound, Fortitude Valley.
Acrobats | Kelsey Adams, Regan Henry & Elyse Fitzpatrick
Musicians | Sheldon Adams, Kristy Stanfield
Original Music | Sheldon Adams
Photographer | Martin Ingle