Arts and Culture

Shoot From The Hip review

Shoot From The Hip
Written by Sarah Aquilina

Award winning director Jeremy Rice calls on the lovers of film noir and thrilling detective stories this Fringe as ‘Shoot From The Hip’ takes on the mean streets of North Melbourne.

Inspired by one of Australian’s largest paperback collections ‘Shoot From The Hip’ is rife with scandal, violence, lust and crime. The protagonists, Ruby Pastel, a femme fatale, and Rick Rockwell, a ‘private dick’, take you on a journey through 1940’s style pulp fiction. Starring the very talented Ivy Latimer, Charlie Sturgeon and Cassie Vagliviello, the show embraces an array of quick-witted characters with some very shady personalities.

The story kicks off with an ‘announcer’ (one of the many entrancing voiceovers performed by Latimer) who sets the tone of the evening by throwing you back in time on the intimate stage at The Courthouse.

Rockwell, a washed up crime detective and plagiarising novelist has given up on his failed career and resorted to self-pity and crosswords. He pounds away miserably on his typewriter until a seductive woman phones him and offers him work- cue Pastel. Pastel is a crafty and successful crime writer who lures Rockwell into accepting the dangerous task of finding Pearl Diver, her lead character.

A stage lit with 1940’s fashion, a jazz-inspired original soundtrack and the licentious members of the Jury Room is set to impress hard-boiled fiction and retro design enthusiasts.

The dialogue includes lighting fast banter and quick role changes, keeping the audience enticed and entertained as mischief seems to continually find its way to Rick.

Rockwell, despite being a detective, seems to not be the smartest tool in the shed as he manages to finds himself in an abundance of sticky situations. Throughout the short fifty minute show he is knocked unconscious, framed for murder, threatened, kidnapped, robbed and interrogated on numerous occasions by police, but these mysterious events turn out to be not so adventitious.

In between scenes quirky advertisements are narrated and occasionally accompanied by harmonious snippets of song before the announcer returns to give you a thus far summary of Rockwell’s obscure events, including all the characters he has unfortunate and dangerous encounters with throughout his search for Pearl.

John Chidgey (percussion), Leith Dixon (piano) and Ivan Rosa (bass) help spawn suspense, comedy and drama as they construct ambience behind the scenes as they unfold.

‘Shoot From The Hip’ runs from September 16-25 at the Court House Hotel in North Melbourne. Tickets can be purchased by visiting or call 9660 9666

For more information on this witty fast-paced pulp fiction visit

About the author

Sarah Aquilina

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