Reviewed by: Fringefeed
Review by Nanci Nott | 16 January 2022

Unique entertainment for curious puzzle lovers and the Rubik’s cube cohort.

World Cube Association (WCA) delegate Charlie Van Ooran opened the FRINGE WORLD Speedcube Community Rumble with a rousing introduction to an excited crowd of multigenerational speedcubers and spectators. The palpable enthusiasm of eager attendees was rewarded with free 3x3 cubes, with which registered players could participate in a range of interactive challenges. Speedcubing champions roamed the floor, offering one-on-one assistance to those who needed it. Rubik’s Cube Tutorial handouts and Rubik’s Cube Algorithm cheat sheets were available for players to use and keep.

The first hour of the event was dedicated to experts providing mentorship and advice to those new at speedcubing. On one side of the venue, Western Australia’s state speedcubing champion demonstrated brain-bending skill as attendees lined up to compete against him, one at a time, by attempting to solve one cube in the time it took him to solve three, and, later, five. Solving a Rubik’s cube is an achievement in itself, but there is something particularly fascinating about witnessing someone solve five of these notoriously difficult puzzles in under sixty seconds.

On the other side of the venue, speedcubers lined up at two official solving stations to complete and solve one of the 3x3 puzzles, hoping for a place in the Top 16, in order to qualify for the afternoon’s Budget Tournament. Spectators observed from the stands, as live-streamed close-ups of hands and cubes graced the large screen at the front of the stage.

Speedcubing is a relatively competitive hobby, and yet, the focus amongst attendees and experts alike was on observing and supporting each other in achieving their personal bests, regardless of age or ability. Despite a high proportion of attendees being children, an air of quiet respect permeated the event, with no hint of undue immaturity from the children, or condescending ageism from any of the adults.

Meticulously planned and seamlessly executed, the Speedcube Community Rumble exceeded expectations in its relaxed regimentation, impressive scope, and instant camaraderie. The Speedcube Community Rumble leads into The Perth Underground Open 2022, an official World Cube Association speedcubing competition which will be held at the State Theatre Centre of WA on January 29, as part of Perth’s 2022 FRINGE WORLD Festival.