Edinburgh Fringe digital review: The Hippie Shakes

Sweaty Palms Productions brings this piece of musical theatre storytelling to the stage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Using gig theatre style The Hippie Shakes looks at motherhood, survival and abuse through generations. Set during the 60s/70s, this show won this year’s Spirit of the Fringe award at the Ventnor Fringe.

Frankie Regalia writes and directs this show, which takes the energy of live performance and mixes it with the key tunes of six decades ago.

Lead character Chickie is played by Elliott Chase. She is backed up by a three piece band to give her songs some focus and bite. Ryan Lester (drums), Callum Harrison (bass) and Paven Rai help with reactions but this is effectively a one-woman show fir Chase.

Ptomotional image for The Hippie Shakes

It was interesting to watch this a day after Edgar Wright’s 60s influenced and part-set Last Night in Soho. Both use the music of the time to develop a story and uncover discomfort. This decade of free love, drugs and the permissive society is fertile ground for drama.

Set in 60s America, The Hippie Shakes is based on a true story, where Chickie is a mother of five children. Her husband deals drugs and we are pulled along this journey through their life.

The images and video clips give us some insight into the settings in which Chickie finds herself. The songs, bordering 60s and 70s, are interpreted in a style which reminds us of the recordings but gives them a sense of freshness.

The Hippie Shakes ran at the Edinburgh Fringe during August 2022. In October the show plays at the Bloomsbury Festival in both live and digital formats.