Monday, September 22, 2008

One day to go until the Melbourne Fringe!

3000 artists. Almost 300 shows. 19 days of arts goodness. What's not to love?

Yes, The Age Melbourne Fringe Festival kicks off in just one more day, and I can't wait! My copy of the programme is already thoroughly adorned with circled shows and hand-written exclamation marks and asterisks, and my diary is bulging with dates for the delights to come. It's my favourite festival in the world, and unlike other Fringe festivals around the planet, which predominantly feature interstate (hello Adelaide) or international guests (yes Edinburgh, I'm looking at you), the Melbourne Fringe consists almost entirely of shows and exhibitions and indefinable creative strangeness created by Melbourne artists.

It's an expression in art of Melbourne's creative and cultural soul.

As I said before, what's not to love?

There's wonderful comedy to be seen, such as Andrew McClelland's not to be missed special short return season of A Somewhat Accurate History of Pirates (1550 - 2017). There's the post-modern melange of psychosis and pop culture that is Tom Doig's Hitlerhoff; and the top secret soft assault that's set to unwravel across Melbourne on Wednesday, K2TOG.

Maybe you'd prefer a spoken word exploration of Madonna's Like a Virgin album at Babble's Liner Notes; or the visual documentation of Melbourne's punk scene that is Punk - A Photographic Journey? What about having the dreams of a house brought to full, rich, touching-all-your-senses life, in the must-see, must-experience Deceased Estate.

Then of course there are zombies. Lots of zombies!

And you can't go past the glorious Festival Hub and Club, where you can catch 64 events over 14 nights all in one compact North Melbourne precinct (a great introduction to Fringe for first-timers or the time poor - see a show, grab a drink in the bar, see another show or two all in the same night - even the same venue - thanks to the carefully scheduled programme); and more, more, more.

Circus! Visual art! Cabaret! Theatre. Artforms I can't begin to describe!

Yes I'm biased, I'm the Chair of the festival Board. But I loved the Fringe long before I was officially involved with the organisation. It offers audiences and artists alike the chance to take a risk, creatively; to expose yourself to artistic innovation and excellence and raw passion from professionals and first-timers alike.

So, seize the Fringe program in both hands and select, randomly or rationally - or perhaps best, a combination of the two - a range of shows across artforms and locations. What are you waiting for?

Go to to browse the programme and book tickets, or call the lovely crew in the ticketing office on (03) 9660 9666, or swing by the Ticketing and Info Centre at Federation Square.

And hell, if you find browsing through the festival guide and selecting a bunch of shows daunting, then post a comment below and I'll recommend something for you - hell, I might even invite you out with me for a night on the town!

Ah, Melbourne Fringe. What's not to love?


Mel said...

I'll tell you what's not to love: having the festival hub in Goddamn North Melbourne. I hate that suburb with a passion and never go there if I can help it.

Anonymous said...

Zombies and Puppets booked so far.

Big fan of the relatively decent savings when booking 6 or 8 tickets.

richardwatts said...

Leave your prejudices at home Mel, and venture out to North Melbourne at Fringe time - you may well find it an astonishingly different place.

But pray tell, why do you dislike it so?

Anonymous said...

like everyone tired of North Melbourne, Mel is tired of life... Otherwise, and more probably, she has lived there! ;-)