‘Frankghanistan’ is a show that will make you laugh, hold your hand to your mouth as well as make you think and feel. This is not a stand-up show. Rather, it features storytelling, spoken word that almost felt like poetry, cabaret, absurdist physicality, pre-recorded videos and elements that tread the line between shock and laughter.
The stories within ‘Frankghanistan’ are worth telling, and perhaps more importantly, worth listening to. These stories were often on the serious end of the spectrum including dealing with loss, racism and growing up in Frankston.
The humour of the show was largely drawn from her alter ego Noel, whose jokes delighted the audience. However, it was in these moments of ease and laughter, the nuanced writing (and the show’s pacing) would come to the fold and hit the audience harder than they expected. The messages in each of the scenes were moving and relevant.
As a performer, Janelle has depth and loads of talent. While the more absurdist elements of the show were not necessarily to my taste, they were effective in making the audience feel (regardless of whether it was an enjoyable feeling or not). Janelle appeared to pour her heart into the show and put on a powerful performance.
Behind the marker pen beard, ‘Frankghanistan’ felt real, personal and was unlike anything I have seen before.
If there are any tickets left, you might be able to catch Janelle Da Silva in ‘Frankghanistan’ on 14 and 15 April. For more information and to book tickets, click here.