Them Fatale heads across the ditch for Adelaide Fringe debut

James Penwarden wants you to bring your gays, theys, and baes to an orgiastic celebration of queer humour, sultry songs, and award-winning entertainment.

The binary-busting, smash-hit show Them Fatale is heading over from New Zealand to make it’s Adelaide Fringe debut on the back of a super successful season at New Zealand Fringe.

James, a graduate of Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in California is thrilled to be heading our way thanks to the Tour Ready award, and will be performing at new venue Chapel and Yurt at the Migration Museum.

“I have never been to Adelaide and I have never toured a solo show internationally before,” James says. “This is a huge professional milestone for me. The Them Fatale team feels so incredibly lucky to have been offered this opportunity to perform at this festival, and I’m particularly tickled about doing my show in a Deconsecrated Church at the Migration Museum seeing as I have extended bit where I make jokes on my theory that Jesus was a Lesbian.”

Written during a time where James was battling daily discrimination, Them Fatale promises thigh-slapping jokes and audacious originals songs.

Them Fatale was made over the course of 2020 when I was trying to find creative and funny ways to laugh off the day-to-day transphobia I experience as a non-binary person who everyone assumes is a woman. While I’ve been a performer for over a decade, Them Fatale is my first foray into stand-up comedy,” James says. “The show debuted at the New Zealand Fringe festival to sold out crowds and received multiple award nominations, winning the Adelaide Tour Ready Award, which is what brings me to Adelaide this year. I’m excited to share my show and my story with Adelaide audiences.”

Finding humour to diffuse difficult situations is a cabaret performer’s secret weapon and James has created the perfect mix of music, comedy and education, which they say has a wide appeal.

“I like to say that my show is aimed at anyone and everyone who finds me attractive. Typically this is bisexuals and soft-hearted straight men, but that may be limiting my reach. I do have pretty wide sex appeal! You can bring your mum, just don’t bring mine!” James laughs.

“With my stand-up, you get a lot of theatricality, and musical prowess. Them Fatale is a bit of a variety act that aims to have something for everyone. It serves as ‘info-tainment’ for people who haven’t thought about gender or sexuality much, and at the same time it offers much needed ‘that’s me!’ moments for members across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. I like to call myself ‘New Zealand’s best non-binary bisexual ex-Catholic obsessed with the 2004 Television series Lost’, which is obviously ridiculous but also demonstrates that there’s basically something in my comedy for almost everyone.”

You can grab your tickets to Them Fatale HERE