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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Ten Best Things to See at the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015

From sign language poetry slams to black-lit acrobats and beyond.
By Tom Clift
September 07, 2015
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The Ten Best Things to See at the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015

From sign language poetry slams to black-lit acrobats and beyond.
By Tom Clift
September 07, 2015
  shares

THE TEN BEST THINGS TO SEE AT THE MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL 2015

From sign language poetry slams to black-lit acrobats and beyond.

The 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival is very nearly upon us. The longest-running independent arts festival in town, this year's Fringe will run from September 16 to October 4, and will feature more than 400 events across 174 venues. It's a veritable cultural frenzy, and try as you might, you just can't see it all. Below, we've put together a list of ten essential shows, to help ensure you have the best fest you possibly can.

  • 10
    No Punchline

    A raw and defiant portrait of femininity through movement, Sara Pheasant’s No Punchline immediately jumps out as one of the most intriguing circus shows at this year’s Melbourne Fringe. Combining rope, pole and trapeze work with an “evocative soundscape” and the intense physicality of boxing, the hour long show features six circus performers alongside Oceania Bantamweight Champion Bianca ‘Bam Bam’ Elmir. ‘Bam Bam’, incidentally, might be the most perfect boxing nickname we’ve ever heard. Get ready to rumble.

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  • 9
    Oh! You Pretty Things

    The last few months have seen Melbourne caught in the throes of David Bowie fever – so it’s little wonder that the Fringe Festival is getting in on the action. Complimenting the massive David Bowie Is exhibition at ACMI, this late night party at the Fringe Club in North Melbourne is the perfect excuse to whip out the face paint and dance. Musician, comedian and Bowie fanatic Geraldine Quinn will headline a long list of guest performers, in a psychedelic celebration of all things Ziggy Stardust.

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  • 8
    Citydash

    The ultimate adult orienteering game, Citydash is back as part of this year’s Fringe Festival and we can’t wait to play. With the aid of a smartphone and your friends, teams must find and unravel clues hidden around the city, all while avoiding capture by patrolling guards. A festival event that actually helps you exercise is a rare thing indeed. Citydash takes place every Saturday afternoon and evening throughout the duration of the festival, starting from North Melbourne Town Hall, Birrarung Marr or the Library at the Docks, depending on the week.

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  • 7
    Puppets! The Musical

    To be perfectly honest, we knew we wanted to preview this show the moment we saw the title. The latest off-the-cuff production from improv music troup Impromptunes, Puppets! The Musical throws out the script completely, with the performers relying on the audience and each other to conjure up the material for their all-singing, all-dancing show. As if that wasn’t challenging enough, they’ve gone and thrown puppets into the mix – and as everyone knows, puppets are terrible at thinking on their feet. Expect forced rhymes and big laughs.

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  • 6
    You Know What I'm Like – Anne Edmonds

    Comedians are amongst the most difficult people in the world to make laugh, which is why we always pay close attention to the winner of the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s peer award. This year, the hotly contested Piece of Wood went to Anne Edmonds for her show You Know What I’m Like, which she’s bringing back to the stage for a six night only run at Melbourne Fringe. Sharp observational humour and killer impressions are Edmonds’ speciality, along with an occasional poignant anecdote pulled from her personal life. A very easy show to recommend.

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  • 5
    CULT

    Expect the unexpected and the downright bizarre at this late night party/video projection show at the Fringe Club in North Melbourne Town Hall. CULT is described as “a queer mash up of your old VHS collection versus your hacked Netflix account” – and while we have no idea what exactly that means, it sure does sound intense. This one time only event will also feature live orchestration and promises to make for an evening you won’t soon forget.

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  • 4
    Deaf Slam Poetry

    This is poetry like you’ve never heard it before – and yes, we mean that literally. Presented by Arts Access, Victoria’s leading arts and disability organisation, and the Australian Theatre of the Deaf, this free two hour slam session will see some of the country’s best deaf poets delivering their latest works via sign language. A truly unique way to experience poetry, the performance will be followed by a public work shop, where you can pick up a few new verses of your own.

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  • 3
    Yana Alana Covered

    A critical darling and the winner of numerous awards at festivals around the country, Yana Alana is used to baring her body as part of her daring cabaret performances. But this year at Melbourne Fringe, she’s baring her soul instead. Yana Alana Covered will see Alana take to stage fully clothed with her regular band The Paranas, singing songs made famous by the likes of Shirley Bassey, Gnarls Barkley, the Scissor Sisters and Nina Simone.

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  • 2
    MKA: Bounty

    Conservative Queensland meets the ancient Roman Empire in this epic piece of social satire from local theatremakers MKA. Set in an alternate version of 2013, Eric Gardiner’s Bounty lampoons Queensland’s ex-premier Campbell Newman and his battle with the state’s bikie gangs, reimagining the politician as a dictatorial Roman emperor forcing criminals to fight against each other as gladiators in the ring. A treatise on vice, radicalisation and moral panic in Australian society, the production looks like just the right mix of incisive and absurd.

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  • 1
    Luminous

    Step out into the dark with artist Jessica Watson Miller and her gravity-defying human canvas. Using blacklight body paint, Miller will transform a team of circus performers into pillars of light, shining through the darkness like creatures from another world – or characters from Tron. A kaleidoscope of colour and movement, this is living, breathing art, and promises to be one of the most mesmerising shows at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.

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