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18° & CLOUDY ON WEDNESDAY 19 SEPTEMBER IN SYDNEY
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Best Shows, Parties and Gigs to Get Amongst at Sydney Fringe Festival 2018

See 28 free gigs on Oxford Street, sing along to '9 to 5' at a Dolly Parton tribute and roll around on a rooftop roller skating rink.
By Jasmine Crittenden
August 27, 2018
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The Best Shows, Parties and Gigs to Get Amongst at Sydney Fringe Festival 2018

See 28 free gigs on Oxford Street, sing along to '9 to 5' at a Dolly Parton tribute and roll around on a rooftop roller skating rink.
By Jasmine Crittenden
August 27, 2018
  shares

THE BEST SHOWS, PARTIES AND GIGS TO GET AMONGST AT SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL 2018

in partnership with

See 28 free gigs on Oxford Street, sing along to '9 to 5' at a Dolly Parton tribute and roll around on a rooftop roller skating rink.

Sydney Fringe's 2018 program is ambitious — it features over 400 shows in more than 60 venues across six hubs and 21 postcodes. From the Oxford Street arts precinct — which will host 28 free gigs on opening night — to the Old 505 in Newtown to Friday night music events in Parramatta's CBD, the festival will have you zipping all over the city to cram in as much theatre, comedy, music and partying as possible in between September 1 and 30.

There's a lot of ground to cover, but these events should help get you started.

 

  • 9

    As Sydney Fringe‘s free official opening party, Fringe Ignite will take over the festival’s new Oxford Street Hub with 28 gigs across ten spaces. Curated by singer-songwriter Thelma Plum, the extravaganza will let you catch local singer-songwriters, bands, DJs, rappers and more in one evening. Listen out for Adrian Eagle’s uplifting rootsy sounds, the powerhouse vocals of Alice Terry who released debut album The Fear Of… in June, singer-songwriter-producer Rainbow Chan and loads of others. Music will be resounding wherever you go — from the National Art School and UNSW Art and Design to Stonewall and Ching-a-lings to Ariel Bookseller and Daily Jocks. If, come 10pm, you’re far from ready for bed, head to the afterparty at the Fringe Club, in the Kings Cross Hotel.

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  • 8
    Maggot — Scungebags Theatre

    Hoping The Ditch from New Zealand, this absurdist three-woman show by Scungebags Theatre stars unsuccessful 90s pop act The Baby Girls and their many friends, who include mischievous elves, friendly cowboys and hungry rabbits. Maggot lands in Sydney after selling out seasons in Auckland and Adelaide, as well as nabbing a bunch of awards, including the Adelaide Tour Ready Award 2017 for Outstanding Ensemble and the New Zealand Fringe 2018’s Sydney Tour Ready Award. Expect clowning, masks and impressive circus tricks from Freya Boyle, Elle Wootten and Angela Fouhy, who’ve all trained with French master clown Philippe Gaulier and Melbourne’s world-famous John Bolton.

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  • 7
    Broadway Pop-Up Fringe

    Sydney Fringe Festival is setting a new precedent for a rooftop’s potential with their ambitious program’s newest addition — a rooftop roller skating rink. From September 5 through 30, the massive arts and culture festival will take over the openair rooftop of the Broadway shopping centre (which apparently is a thing) and install a roller rink for the masses. Cue the 80s dance moves and big ol’ hairdos.

    The rink will be open Wednesdays through Sundays (weekdays 5–10pm; weekends 9am–10pm) and entry tickets are available at the rink only. In an upside-down-world change of norms, weekend tickets will actually be on the cheap — from 9am–5pm you can nab entry tickets for just five bucks a pop. All other operating times will cost you $15, with rental roller skates included. A DJ will be on hand each night too, with a playlist of tunes you can skate along to.

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  • 6

    This free Sydney Fringe party will invade Kensington Street Festival Village with music, theatre performers, art and food for five magnificent hours from on Saturday, September 8. You’ll be watching a bunch of Sydney’s best street artists create new commissions — three on the wall and several others that’ll go up for auction on the day — in real time to raise money for charity. As they paint, live musicians will perform a spontaneous soundtrack, inspired by the works in progress. When it’s time for a bevvie, head to the pop-up festival bar for a G&T from Gin Lane or a glass of vino from Handpicked Wines. As far as eats go, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Heaps of Kensington Street’s vendors will serve up snack-size offerings — think sammies from A1 Canteen, Italian fare from Olio and French food from Bistrot Gavroche. It will all wrap up around 8pm, but an after party will continue until the early morn at The Gladdy around the corner.

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  • 5
    The Women of Chasing Smoke — Casus

    Presented by Casus, Australia’s only Indigenous contemporary circus ensemble, The Women of Chasing Smoke, explores the world’s oldest living culture, delving into 40,000 years of history and covering family, art and the power of women. It’s an honest, evocative, playful and triumphant quest for identity that reflects on what has been — and what might yet be. Directed by Samoan-Australian Natano Fa’anana, the show stars traditional dancer Pearl Thompson; Gudjala Kabulba woman Lara Croydon, a trapeze artist, juggler and storyteller; and Wakka Wakka woman Ally Humphris, a dancer, gymnast and circus artist who specialises in flying, hand balance and ground acrobatics.

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  • 4

    Get your laughs at Marrickville’s Factory Theatre when Sydney Fringe Comedy takes over from Tuesday, August 28 to Sunday, September 30. More than 100 Australian and international acts will appear, with five venues hosting up to 20 shows every night. Watch out for Aaron Chen in The Crushing Defeat and Public Humiliation of Aaron and Cassy Workman in Giantess, a fable about a kidnapped six-year-old whose only hope of salvation is a giant – which happens to double as an exploration of struggling with gender identity. Meanwhile, Break Out NZ will bring together accomplished Kiwi comics David Corroes, Donna Brookbanks and Jamie Bowen. These funny guys are just the tip of the iceberg; check out the rest of the massive program over here — most tickets are a steal at $10–$15.

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  • 3

    Every Friday throughout September, Sydney Fringe will bring free gigs to pop-up spaces in Parramatta’s CBD. Listen out for a mix of beats, bands, solo artists, duos and surprise collaborations. The event will take over Victoria Road’s Information and Cultural Exchange from 6–10pm and Church Street’s Studio 404 from 8–11pm. The events curated by fierce guitarist Serwah Attafuah who plays with politically-driven heavy metal band Dispossessed; the Bodega Collective, a group of young, ambitious producers and DJs; and Beatdisc Records, Western Sydney’s last independent record shop. Also in the mix is an intimate evening with Darug artist Jacinta Tobin, who collaborated with The Preatures on song ‘Yanada’.

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  • 2

    Fans of Dolly Parton, Dolly the sheep and anyone who’s spent time thinking about cloning, branding or death, this show’s for you. Written and performed by Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit — the duo behind multi-award winning UK duo Sh!t Theatre — it’s an exploration of the legendary country singer that’s at once adoring and cynical. DollyWould comes our way after selling out a UK tour, which included a month on the West End and two runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Expect a cappella singing, lines from actually Dolly Parton interviews, wigs, references to that other Dolly (the sheep), mash-ups of familiar images and general chaos.

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  • 1
    Fringe Club 2018

    Defying the notion that, post-lockouts, most Sydneysiders are tucked up in bed by 10pm will be Sydney Fringe‘s 2018 Fringe Club. From 10.30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights throughout the month-long festival, level three of the Kings Cross Hotel will be buzzing with live performance, comedy and DJs — all free. Arrive on time and on Thursdays you’ll catch Andy Dexterity’s physical theatre, while on Fridays you’ll get a showcase of show from the Fringe program. On Saturdays, grab a cheap pint of Young Henrys during happy hour (10.30–11.30pm) before DJ Glamour Toads start spinning non-stop hits from the nineties and noughties from midnight, taking inspiration from Video Hits, So Fresh and Hit Machine. Plus, from 11.30pm each night, potential comedians will take the stage when the mic opens to amateurs.

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