Sydney Fringe: The Giant Worm Show

Olivia Watson
8th Sep 2016

Once upon a time in 1974, a tiny town called Korumburra faced perilous decline until a local teacher decided to capitalise on what they had bigger and better than anywhere else – a giant worm. The world's largest earthworm is three metres long and can only be found in Gippsland, Victoria. One hundred metres of pink material, a golf buggy and a roll of poly pipe later, Karmai the giant pink worm puppet was born! Manipulated by school children, this blind, deaf and boneless folk hero took the world by storm! 

Melita Rowston's Shit Tourism Presents: The Giant Worm Show.

With a title like that, it's hard to know what to expect from this Sydney Fringe Festival offering. As it turns out, it is indeed a show about a giant worm, a giant pink worm to be exact, that served as an inspirational mascot of a small country town in Victoria. 

What's more, it is actually a true story of Melita Rowston’s search for this lost Aussie legend from her childhood.

Rowston has created a show that's part tongue in cheek tourism, part family slide show, part general ridiculousness and all round hilarity, interspersed with the odd not-so-subtle political comment (and... cask wine?).

She takes the audience on a journey that is both comical and endearing, in search of the great Karmai and the people from Korumburra whose lives and memories were entangled with the giant pink worm. 

Joining Melita are her two feathery friends (commanded by Benito Di Fonzo), whose snarky interjections and one liners help to keep things entertaining.

There's a lighthearted familiarity for anyone who grew up in a small town, who may find some of the show's quirky country characters and their utterances simply too good not to be true.

For the Sydney Fringe Festival, this adventure takes place in Newtown's Old 505 Theatre, hidden away upstairs in a street just off the main street. It's an intimate venue with a comfortable, casual vibe and an in-house bar.

It's a low budget, minimalist production, that does well to keep the laughs rolling through the bizarre story that has at its heart evidence of quite a sweet childhood imagination and ambition. 

Melita Rowston's Shit Tourism Presents: The Giant Worm Show plays at the Old 505 Theatre Sep 6-10th 8pm, as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival.