Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Around the World on 80 Quid, Andrais de Staic, Oct 2, 2007

Around the World on 80 Quid 
by Aindrais de Staic 
 Melbourne Fringe Festival
North Melbourne Town Hall,  Oct 13
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

If you were hoping to dispel any stereotypes of the Irish as boozing, backpacking carousers, think again. Andrais de Staic reinforces every hilarious and awful opinion of the Irish in Around The World On 80 Quid. 

He delivers his story of a year of travels at machine-gun speed in a chaotic blend of fiddle music, stream of consciousness ramblings, jokes and improvisation. If the man is not an Irish manic-depressive I’ll eat my Uncle Paddy.

It’s amazing he is still standing (Aindrais, not Uncle Paddy) if all the pints of Guinness, porter, beer, whisky, ecstasy, Red Bull, cannabis – not to mention casual sex, illegal activities and jail – are true. Evidently arriving in Melbourne triggered a period of sobriety but it would take a rhino dart to quell the energy of this bloke.

Despite his life on the grog, de Staic is not raddled and rat-haired but bright-eyed and good-looking with a mop of dark hair that he repeatedly drags away from his brow. He handles his old fiddle with the assuredness of one who learned it early and plays it for fun as well as cash.

He prattles about leaving his life in Irish pubs with 80 quid in his hot little hand only to crash into the Genoa G8 chaos. He fiddles (in more ways than one) his way across Europe, drinking, playing and seducing with his winsome ways then lands a job on a Mediterranean cruise playing Irish tunes to toffee-nosed English gits. His addled journeying takes him to Asia where he discovers Red Bull laced with ecstasy and yet another feckless girl who falls for him.

But the romp continues. He trades fake Ray Bans in Thailand, transports knock-off Gucci accessories to Sydney then is caught in Sydney’s Irish ghetto of drug-addled backpackers and petty drug trafficking. His dash to Melbourne leaves him living hand to mouth and in desperate melancholy.

The show gallops at a rollicking pace for one hour and is peppered with gypsy fiddle tunes, Irish melodies and plenty of crazed banter, hilarity and eye rolling from de Staic. He’s dangerously seductive - and he knows it.

By Kate Herbert

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