Cool Perth Nights' (Unofficial) Fringe World Festival Guide
It’s this time of the year again, where the would-be poets, the emerging actors, and the hardened artistic veterans come out of their creative hidey-holes and come together in the celebration of the weird, the colourful, and the… Fringe. (ugh, this sentence, it’s so cringe.)
Cool Perth Nights has, in its generosity and desire to tell you where the good things are happening- after all we would absolutely feel awful if you had to sit through an hour and a half that you’ll never ever get back (and trust us, we’ve been there.). So in an effort to help you have as much fun at Fringe, this (very much unofficial) guide to what looks great (what looks great initially- may however leave much to be desired).
Without further ado-
Cabaret- This is why you go to Fringe. Presenting cabaret in the right setting is difficult to find any other time of the year, as are to find patrons who are willing to go to sleep at 2 am rather than a healthy 8 pm. Here’s some of the top picks at a glance:
Tomas Ford’s FXXK YOU tour- Tomas Ford is a veteran of the fringe festival circuit, like no other- after all he has performed at the Edinborough Fringe Festival, the holy grail of all fringe festivals, and was not booed out of it, as far as rumours go. Tomas Ford’s previous work included the (in)famous Crap Music Rave (the only time where it’s appropriate to have Rebecca Black on the playlist), and now he’s back on the road with a series of improvs, comedies, late night cabarets and dance-alongs by him and other company This is happening at the Rosemount’s very own Bar 459, and at the very least you’ll never have a bad time at Tomas Ford’s performances. How you process what happens afterwards, is up to you.
Jamie Mykaela’s Napoleon Complex- A frequent tour companion to the above, but nonetheless has become a breakout star in her own right- from being on the British X-Factor (but not quite making it) and being semi-viral in Malaysia- no mean feat for someone who is 4 foot 7. Complete with comedy, ukelele and saccharine whimsy, the entertainment could be way above six-foot- all of it happening at the Moon Cafe’s Loungeroom from the 11th to 16th of February (except on the 12th).
Theatre- All the world’s a stage and the men and women are merely players…. Yada yada yada. Theatre is the other most popular battleground of the festival, attracting both experienced playwrights, directors and actors, alongside ones fresh out of acting school ready to show they can be more than just themselves. Here's some of the top picks at a glance:
Fleabag- Based off the BBC series by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag is all about the daily lives of a 20-something millennial enmeshed in a world of shit, meaningless sex, and shit, meaningless jobs. Sounds like material that will relate to a lot of us. Fleabag runs at the Blue Room from 13-17 February, and then 20-24 February.
How To Kill The Queen of Pop- Three back-up singers in drag. One knife. It is the year 2000, and the Olympics have come to Sydney. Vanessa Amorosi will be the one singing at the opening ceremony- or will she? The concept is lurid, and honestly, this one can be roaring laugh out loud, or embarrassingly terrible. But such lop-sided risk / reward factors are part and parcel of Fringe World.
19 Weeks- 19 Weeks is a very personal piece by Emily Steel, about how she dealt being pregnant with a baby diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, and the aftermath. The setting of a swimming pool and the fact that you will be putting your feet in said pool promises to be an unflinching and intimate experience. 19 Weeks runs at the COMO pool, at COMO The Treasury (1 Cathedral Avenue) from the 30-31st of January, and then 1-3 and then 6-10 February.
Comedy- HAHAAHAHA!!! Or sometimes, the crowd goes quiet, and you know you’ve done goofed. That’s the comedian life for you.
Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette- This is her magnum opus, and she brings it back to Perth as a final swansong to her comedy career. This might be your only chance to watch it live, and that alone might just be a good reason to go. It runs on the 27th and the 28th January at the State Theatre Centre.
Music- Perth is the most isolated capital in the world, yet produces a music scene that kicks ass. Cool Perth Nights always wonders if its something in the water that’s responsible for this- but we’ll leave that introspective solipsism for another day, and celebrate the fact that we have viable export material that doesn’t come from under the ground. Whilst music events tend to play out as sideshow, still it's something for everyone.
Silent Disco- The Silent Disco has been almost a part of Fringe World, that without it, would it even be the same festival? The Silent Disco is never not popular from dusk to twilight, the song and dance goes on. The atmosphere is contained entirely within a set of noise-cancelling headphones, and with several different channels to dance to, there’s something in it for everyone. Entry to this is rather unconvnetional, as you have to go to the Box Office to purchase Showman’s Coins- which is the actual way to pay for entry. This is on throughout the duration of the festival.
Menagerie Choir Presents: Keeping Secrets- The Menagerie choir is another very popular act, from its early days, several years ago, it finds itself performing everywhere, anytime, and here they are performing once again for the patrons of Fringe World. For those who don’t know, they make acappellas out of popular songs and have fun doing so. And you’ll probably have fun too, possibly singing along quietly, wondering why you didn’t join this choir (and they’re very open to newcomers!). On at the 17-18 and 24-25 February at the Teatro at the Pleasure Garden.
(Note: This guide should only be used as an advisory, and not a statement of fact. If you must see a show because a friend / relative of yours is in it, though do so by all means, and be gentle, unless you are a reviewer in which case, go strike while the iron is hot. Cool Perth Nights is not responsible for any lack of enjoyment you may have during the 2018 Fringe World Festival.)