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Adelaide Fringe 2016

The appointment: stories from the salon

Undercurrent Productions

Genre: Theatre

Venue: The Bluebee Room – 131 Pirie Street, Adelaide


Low Down

When you hear stories about other people’s hair, skin conditions and nail clippings, it’s hard to see what’s glamorous about the beauty industry. Sam Donvito reveals the truth about being a beauty therapist inspired by her 14 years experience in the industry. She delivers an authentic and charming performance in an intimate setting and divulges what really goes on behind the curtains.


The scene is already set when we walk into The Bluebee Room – Delia, a sultry jazz singer, croons into the microphone. She pauses between songs to seduce the audience with a wink and little anecdotes about her love life. When she invites ‘audience member’ Sam up to the stage the story begins. The life of a beauty therapist is more than just dabbing balms and potions on clients; there’s more to it than rubbing oil on strangers in time to relaxing music; and waxing the more sensitive areas is nothing compared to the emotional transactions between a therapist and her client.

Sam has seen it all (literally!) and done it all – from drug addicts stealing her earnings, conniving old women accusing her of being a thief, manipulative bosses and more. She takes us through her years of experience as a beauty therapist in Sydney, Port Lincoln and Adelaide; she reflects on her more interesting clients, instructs on Brazilian waxes, and intrigues with stories of deceit. Using only scarves, shoes and aprons, she delves from one experience to the next, swanning across the stage with a wide smile and twinkling eyes. Sam delivers her lines precisely, but haltingly. Her impressions and accents are spot on, especially the Port Lincoln brogue and she manages to convey the essence of a character in a short space of time.

The 45-minute show wasn’t long enough to connect with the characters on more than just a superficial level. Sam’s talent and experiences as a beauty therapist for 14 years could have lent themselves to more anecdotes and impressions. Although the beginning was a little confusing with Delia setting up the scene earlier than the show was meant to start, it was an enjoyable evening and the audience could relate to at least one of the scenarios that Sam depicted.