Try to think back to the awkward and unfulfilling Zoom catch-ups from the pandemic’s early days. The social drinks over webcam or the birthday get-togethers for that friend-of-a-friend who sounded even more tedious through a scratchy microphone than in reality.

Just when you thought it was safe to log back onto your favourite video apps, along comes Carole Shaw and Amazing Adventures of Her Majesty at 90+.

Shaw plays Queen Elizabeth II in the one-woman show. She toured Australia several years ago, to some rave reviews. This time the comedian is hosting shows from her home in the UK via a Zoom conference call.

To set the scene, you are given a link to follow to access your Zoom meeting. The first slide sets the scene for what’s to come: the Queen, played by Shaw, is on her way to Adelaide.

This Queen is more of a feminist authoritarian with progressive politics. The show sees the Queen retelling encounters mediating tensions in the Gaza Strip, running for the office of UK Prime Minister and being arrested by police while riding a scooter with some corgis – all before touching down here to “address crowds” at the Fringe and Adelaide Oval.

The 75-minute show, which also has time at the end for three slides of quiz questions testing you on what you just watched, is tiresome partly because of its medium.

When Shaw belts out show tunes to which she’s given a comical twist, such as turning The Pirates of Penzance’s “Major General’s Song” into “Modern Monarch Matriarch”, the singing comes across grating and glitchy.

The run-time and sheer volume of plot crammed into the show also makes it hard to follow, especially given the audio quality. Shaw plays music through her phone’s speaker, holding it up to her computer speaker, which creates a rather thorny sound.

Her Queen is relegated to a tiny space in the top corner, reserving the rest of the screen for a very amateur slide show. You have to remind yourself you’re not watching a Hyacinth Bucket tribute act.

There are a few awkward jokes. Shaw trots out a line about an Israeli man having a “tea towel on his head” and a gag about George Floyd that is not worth repeating.

Shaw has been performing for crowds of “ones or twos” for the run of the Fringe. If she wants to bring her Lizzie back next year, she probably should do it in-person.

Even then, God save us from this Queen.

Amazing Adventures of Her Majesty at 90+ is online at part of the Fringe Watch from Home program until March 20.

Read more 2022 Adelaide Fringe stories and reviews here.

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard