Flicking the bean

A FRANK exploration of masturbation, a jazzy take on mental health and a heavyhearted look at happiness are three of the shows heading our way for the 2023 Perth Fringe World.

When soprano Phoebe Deklerk was growing up, nudity was normal at home and her mother actively encouraged her to “flick your bean” from 

a young age so she could pass on tips about orgasms to future lovers.

“I didn’t understand at that age that that was one of the big truths of sexual enjoyment and, frankly, I wish I’d started earlier,” Deklerk says.

While she’s ready to spill her beans in the new comedy show Cumming of Age, Deklerk says it’s just plain weird that any mention of onanism usually turns grown people into sniggering school kids.

“Let’s face it. We all have tried things, down there, but we don’t really talk about it.

“That needs to change.

“If BDSM is being glamorised by companies like Honey Birdette, and movies like 50 Shades of Grey, why can’t masturbation be glamorous too?”

Cumming of Age is her second Fringe show, the first based on her side hustle as a funeral singer, although since moving to Perth post-Covid she’s also made a name in Leonard Cohen tribute band Came So Far For Beauty.

Cumming of Age is at The Ellington Jazz Club on February 19 at 5pm. Tickets from fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/cumming-of-age-fw2023.

Tash York has had two year’s break from Fringe World and thanks to Covid they probably aren’t going to make the highlight reel.

 But as a young queer girl who grew up in suburban Brisbane, York has formulated a lot of her humour and storytelling from past trauma and Happy Hour follows that path. Past shows Winefulness and These Things Take Wine York spoke about 

her relationship with alcohol, however Happy Hour endeavours to unpack what it really means to pursue happiness…that doesn’t just involve more wine, cats or chicken nuggets.

Happy Hour is playing at The Gold Digger in The Pleasure Garden, Russell Square from January 31 at 7.30pm. Tickets from fringeworld.com.au

Karen Lee Roberts brings a lot of lived experience to the show Chameleon, a warts-and-all cabaret about mental health.

“Battling bi-polar disorder for over 20 years has not stopped me from performing the stories I am passionate about, and Chameleon, about mental wellness, is one of the most important of them,” she says.

True to the show’s name, Lee Roberts plays a range of characters; Alexandra with her sweaty palms, Barbara and her cigar smoking, Phillip who refuses the fois gras and Stephanie with her boob job.

Lee Roberts performed on London’s West End in the musical Hair, while Usher has performed with some of Australia’s most renowned musicians.

Chameleon plays January 21, 22, 24 and 25 at DADAA, 29 Adelaide Street, Fremantle. 

Tickets from fringeworld.com. au/whats_on/chameleon-fw2023

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