Fringe review: Peter Goers and Isn’t it Pathetic at His Age?

Peter Goers takes a trip through Adelaide’s nostalgic past with jokes, friendly faces, and a surprise appearance. ★★★★

Feb 20, 2023, updated Feb 20, 2023
Peter Goers as 'Dawn Service' – his 2023 Adelaide Fringe show gives the finger to old age.

Peter Goers as 'Dawn Service' – his 2023 Adelaide Fringe show gives the finger to old age.

For radio lovers, Peter Goers is one of Adelaide’s most well-known personalities. He understands his listeners and understands that they are mostly of a certain age: “pre-dead”, as he calls them.

Goers walks onto the stage of Holden Street Theatre’s The Arch – a church turned venue – where the bright lights match his butter-yellow dinner jacket.

There is no doubt for whom this show is intended: Adelaide’s older population. Despite being 66 himself, Goers begins by asking the audience to raise their hand if they are younger than 70.

This is the eighth in his “trilogy” of “very nice show[s] particularly for old people”.

He seems at ease as he recalls memories of places that no longer exist in Adelaide, tells tales of his old workplace John Martins, and paints a picture of bygone days.

The audience responds with easy laughter to Goers’ stand-up, delivered with seasoned comic timing. The repartee between the performer and the audience creates a sense of intimacy, like old friends reminiscing on good times gone by.

Special guests Anne and Susan Wills take the stage in matching glittering outfits of sequins, feathers, and tinsel in gold and silver. Reminiscent of their days on Channel 9 Adelaide’s program The Country and Western Hour, the sisters sing harmonised duets of country songs, including The Everly Brothers “(’Til) I Kissed You”.

The Wills sisters introduce their so-called “younger sister”, Dawn Service, and out walks Goers transformed by a blonde wig, blue eyeshadow, a revealing, red sparkly dress, and a feather boa. Borrowing from Adelaide drag queen Rouge, Goers does his own rendition of “I Am What I Am”.

Isn’t it Pathetic at His Age? is a retrospective of life in Adelaide through Goers’ shoebox of stories that will have you laughing and reminiscing.

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The show gives the finger to old age and proves that playfulness, silliness, and outrageousness does not fade as one gets older.

Peter Goers and Isn’t it Pathetic at His Age? is playing at the Holden Street Theatres every Saturday and Sunday until March 19.

Read more 2023 Adelaide Fringe stories and reviews on InReview here.

Shannon Pearce is the third recipient of the Helpmann Academy InReview Mentorship. She is working with experienced writers Graham Strahle and Samela Harris to write a series of articles for publication in InReview.

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