Review: KIMBERLEY DARK in Good Fortune

A beguiling future was in store for a raconteur and her audience

By Adam Tonking

Do you remember the pleasure, as a child, of having a story read out loud to you? Kimberley Dark’s Good Fortune instantly transported me back to those long-forgotten days.

Dark is a consummate storyteller but these are not for children. They are stories from her life, that when illuminated through her telling become stories about the world at large: about love, sex, politics, and power.

The show was presented as a kind of tasting platter – 46 stories and poems from Dark’s 15 years of performance, each attached to a quirky little artwork, which became a sort of Tarot deck, with members of the audience choosing. These pieces make up the show, with each show being unique to the audience present.

Dark explains that every audience has its own personality, and this method of framing the show’s concept lent it an air of legitimacy, but also created an air of mutual respect between Dark and the audience.

Telling stories is clearly a gift for the highly-skilled Dark. While she chatted with us amiably in between stories, discussing her history and philosophies, including a few poems as a palate cleanser between stories – the moment she opened her book, she transported the audience into another world, as only a true storyteller can.

 The tone of her voice, from beguiling to conversational, from hypnotic to questing, guides us through her world; but the stories themselves grow to encompass all of us. The material is complex yet comedic, personal yet provocative. Perhaps storytelling of this nature is a lost art, but by the end of Good Fortune I was completely enamoured with Dark and her tales.

Perhaps because of the nature of the audience choosing the material, no one will have the chance to see the same show that I did. But go anyway, and reconnect with those wonderful days of simply being told a good story by someone who knows how to tell it best.

Kimberley Dark’s Good Fortune is on for one more night, Wednesday 30th November at 8pm, at The Butterfly Club in South Melbourne, with tickets available at www.thebutterflyclub.com or at the door.

Or see her show Dykeotomy at Hares and Hyenas Bookstore in Fitzroy, December 1-3. For more information go to www.kimberleydark.com.

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