2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival Review: Batmania, The Bus Tour

By Celia Mak

Photo by Seb Godfrey

Have you ever sat inside a tram, observing people on the street, daydreaming that you are watching some kind of live performance? The Very Good Looking Initiative turned my daydream into a real one in The Batmania Bus Tour.

Batmania is said to be the newest and most popular holiday destination. We got onboard a bus as a group with curiosity, embarking on this 90-minute fully guided journey. Our in-character driver and energetic guides provided us with a pleasure trip in the heart of Batmania – St Kilda in reality! 

Dashing through the streets and alleys, the guides fed us stories about Batmania’s landmarks, culture and  lifestyle. The dialogue was humorous yet sarcastic. The tour took a sudden turn from laughter into uncertainties, when one of our guides disembarked the bus for a toilet break. Nervousness and surprises were left with us in the latter part. We ended up joining the Expo ‘19 at an ideal timing, witnessing the mighty plan of Batmania.

The team’s adventurous move transformed a bus into a stage–St. Kilda set as the background–with passers-by playing subordinating roles. They created uncontrollable surprises that cultivated the whole performance. An obvious moment would be the beach sight-seeing–it was a bit lengthy and we started to feel bored, but the intrusion of a police car immediately brought laughter back to the bus.   

The cramped bus compartment had boosted the spooky ambience, which was modestly created through the performers themselves and music. I was amazed by how devoted it was, after the team  removed the stage boundary.

My Batmania tour memory was filled with laughter, sarcasm, nervousness, and surprises. Applause to The Very Good Looking Initiative team for presenting us with such  inventive black comedy.    

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