Adam Page Solo

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

18/02/2009 - 01/03/2009

NZ Fringe Festival 2009

Production Details

NZ Fringe Festival at Downstage:
Adam Page Solo (Adelaide, Australia)

A one-man-does-all musical extravaganza with 15 instruments, 1 vegetable and so many possibilities! 

Winner of the Best Music by an Emerging Artist Award at the 2007 Adelaide Fringe Festival and one of South Australia’s finest saxophone players, Adam Page makes his debut appearance from 18 February till 1 March at Downstage Theatre as part of the 2009 New Zealand Fringe Festival. A wicked experience for all ages, fresh from a successful run at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adam Page Solo is an hilarious interactive and improvised music performance "making Mike Oldfield seem over produced" (The Sunday Mail).

Alongside other artists such as KT Tunstall Adam Page is at the forefront of a new and unique musical style which involves recording and looping individual instruments to create spontaneous compositions as part of his performance. A virtuoso saxophonist, Page is equally skilful with Bass, Keys, Percussion, Guitar, Flute, Clarinet, Vocals, Tuvan Throat Singing, Beat Boxing, Mbira (African Thumb Piano), Didgeridoo and Nose Flute, with the odd vegetable thrown in for good measure! His musical style embraces Funk, Tango, Punjabi, Classical, Jazz and Metal – sometimes all at once!

Page possesses an infectious sense of humour which he uses to engage audiences of all ages in a musical journey of the highest caliber.

Adam Page Solo plays
from 18 February till 1 March
at 9pm at Downstage Theatre
(no shows Mon, Tue and Sat 21 Feb),
with matinees on Sat 28 Feb, Sun 22 Feb & Sun 1 Mar at 2pm.
Prices for the show range from $18 to $25.
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (04) 801 6946
or in person at Downstage’s box office.

For up‑to‑date information, prices and bookings visit   

1 hr, no interval

Coming the raw kumara

Review by John Smythe 27th Feb 2009

Playing out his show in the Turbine set – comfy household furniture surrounded by a hand-drawn rural landscape with electrical gadgets and political graffiti to the fore (of you haven’t seen it, go!) – gives Adam Page Solo a homely feel while indicating it’s more than just cosy.

A South Australian with a clear love of things Kiwi, he has all the relaxed charm of a casual stand-up comedian with the expletives deleted (although I’m told his language was more colourful the other night in the BATS Pit Bar, when he sang the back label of a Tuatara beer bottle, but we had kids from a Christian College in last night …) except his ‘story-telling’ and most of his wit is expressed through music.

Beginning and ending on a marvellous old tarnished sax – sublime! – he also plays with keys, an electric bass, a child’s pink electric guitar, a flute, a clarinet, an African Thumb Piano (Mbira), a kazoo, a wide range of percussion instruments, a beer bottle at different levels of fullness, plus his voice including, if I’m not mistaken, a touch of Tuvan throat singing. We get to contribute from our seats and his penultimate number involves the voices of audience volunteers.

His schtick is to speedily sample phrases using any of the above and build a full ‘orchestral’ backing for whatever he then chooses to lead with. Plus he knows the value of silence. And stillness. Way more than a noise merchant, Page is clearly a very accomplished musician, composer and entertainer.

He gives the illusion everything is random and happening for the first time, like being too hot and having to strip. But once the Sumo suit is revealed beneath (no wonder he’s hot!) and inflated – a truly bizarre bit of visual comedy – we realise his madness is reasonably methodical.

In the third section the Sumo suit gives way to a ‘Van Halen 1991’ t-shirt, not that he’s stuck on hard rock: He’ll give almost anything a go, I think, although his hearing does appear somewhat selective when asking the audience to pitch genre requests.

Oh, the kumara. He uses a cordless drill and a knife to turn a Beauregard (orange) kumara into a wind instrument, played first with a reed then without. What a dag. And friendly, amiable and talented with it. He can come the raw kumara with me any time.  


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Very real talent in improvised show

Review by Simon Sweetman 25th Feb 2009

Adelaide-based musician Adam Page builds his compositions live on stage in front of the audience, switching instruments and using loops pedals to sample and capture a live sound, bringing various melodic wafts in and out of the frame as he continues to weave in new sounds.

It might start with a bass line, or a saxophone motif and from there Page will layer in some funky wah-wah guitar, keyboard and melodica, clarinet or flute and almost always he uses his own vocal beat-boxing to lay down the percussive base.

His show is an improvised collection of musical ideas, held together by his easy charm and very real talent; playing up to 15 instruments and using his vocals to build up his own one-man choir.

The audience becomes part of the show at times, with laughter and applause ending up in some of the sampled passages – and there are costume changes too; Page even provides his own mood music for undressing.

In and around comic ideas such as building a collage of genres (Bollywood, nursery rhyme and techno were used in the same piece on the opening night) or mimicking 1950s-styled R’n’B, Page is capable of showcasing a genuine ear for a hypnotic melody. Often the saxophone will lead the way for the serious tunes and, memorably, an African thumb piano provides both a groove and melody simultaneously.

Page’s other gimmick – beyond the layering of real instruments – is to play a vegetable. The staple of his act, in terms of culinary instruments, has often been the carrot, but for his New Zealand show he has adapted the Kumara; using a cordless drill on stage to create air-holes before affixing a saxophone mouthpiece to blow notes that sound somewhere between a toy clarinet and a person chortling air out from a balloon. He hooked it up to his wah-wah pedal to bend notes and shift the pitch in what he dubbed as the "Kuma-wah".

It’s a fun show from a talented and engaging performer with just enough of an off-beat edge to provide the something-for-everyone x-factor.


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