Browse reviews

Adelaide Fringe 2013

Captain Syphilis

Colour Cosmetica

Genre: Burlesque, Cabaret

Venue: Ensalada The Union Pavilion, Corner of East Terrace and Rundle Road, Adelaide


Low Down

Captain Syphilis is on a journey to spiritual fulfilment along with his colleague Mysterio, severed hand Jefferey, pet monkey and an assortment of knick-knacks and musical instruments. In this show, it most certainly is about the journey and not the destination as the Captain shows off his talents and baits the audience with his quips and gags.


Captain Syphilis and his sidekick Mysterio are a gifted duo. Music, juggling, unicycling, ventriloquism, and outlandish banter—this was a talent show that received many laughs from the audience. 

The Captain’s bad puns and lewd suggestions—one of the negative aspects of the performance—were cause for the audience to throw ‘canon balls’ (ping pong balls), handed out earlier, at him; it was the good humour and vigour, which kept the audience entertained throughout. The musical segments were extraordinary and the audience was mesmerised by the duo’s performances on the harp, bazooka, and panpipes. In true pirate fashion, the show also featured an acoustic guitar, accordion, and flute. 

His pet monkey makes a brief appearance to entertain the audience with his abridged version of Lord of the Rings—a one-monkey performance that amused on many levels, but he was sadly taken ill later in the show. This was the doctor’s chance to enter the scene and advertise his miracle tonic and the favourable side effects. 

The Captain’s disorganised cabin, eclectic treasures and knick-knacks collected on his psychedelic journey to spiritual fulfilment was enhanced by the roving coloured lights, smoke machine and incense. The only other letdown was the faltering gaps in the tale that at times were tedious and prolonged the show. However, this was an explosion of talent crammed into an hour that left the audience in stitches.