FRINGE, a six letter word that sets my heart a flutter with anticipation. Laughter, tears and shock, what’s not to like? The 2021 FRINGE WORLD Festival, the third largest in the world, runs from January 15 to February 14 across more than 120 venues. Tickets for early release shows are on sale now, but how do you decide what to see? Here’s hoping the following 12 tips help.
So let’s get you started …
- One of the initiatives I’m most interested in is the new FRINGE WORLD app. With so many shows spread across so many venues it’s easy to miss something. The app was developed with WA digital company Equilibrium with support from Woodside. It’s been called the most ambitious of any Fringe festival. There’s even a Shake to Search function that throws up a random show nearby. Could be interesting.
- As usual a lot of the action takes place at The Woodside Pleasure Garden in Northbridge. The venue is a people-watching paradise. I’ve often gone there with a few friends for a bite and bevy, with no intent on attending a show. Mind you this strategy is usually doomed as I’m soon drawn into a tent, curious about the crowd reaction.
- Another key venue is the Girls School. I experienced this for the first time last year. Being slightly mobility challenged (I walk with a stick), I tend to avoid unknown venues. But I’m pleased to say there were no issues, and any minor concerns were more than adequately solved by the terrific staff. Many thanks.
- I’ve yet to attend anything at the hip Rechabite, but I did take a peak inside and wow what a space. The food I witnessed passing by, on it’s way to the no doubt appreciative diners, did not go unnoticed. I suggest making a night of it at this venue.
- The Ellington Jazz Club is another treat with it’s moody vibe that makes even the most daggy amongst us (cough, me) feel cool for a night.
- I haven’t been to Freo.Social but am sure it will have you rocking to The Rhythm Spectacular – The Music of Stevie Wonder.
- Down in Subiaco, Subilicious return with a delightful range of theatre and family events through the area and further afield there’s comedy in Kalamunda.
- Last year there was a lot of talk about comedy hypnotist Matt Hale. I’m still a tad worried about how I might react, but think I might toughen up and go to his new show, Bonkers.
- Past experience suggests you look out for the delectable Briefs, who have a new show called The Bite.
- Others to look out for are – Deadset, the new show from YUCK Circus; the sultry cabaret ARCANA: The Order of the Divine; plus COMA where audiences are invited to slip into a collective dream. Then there’s 4some of Awesome Take a Break with their popular sideshow act that they say will leave you wondering what on earth you just saw and wanting more.
- One-man cabaret tour-de-force Reuben Kaye returns to Perth with a double whammy of his new self-titled show and a highly anticipated late-night variety show, The Kaye Hole.
- Also in the City you can experience FREAKSHOW: An Interactive Murder Mystery at Connections Nightclub, and The Incorrect Stand-Up Comedy Show at Cheeky Sparrow.
“The FRINGE WORLD app is a must to download; it’s where you can get personalised recommendations, and access your tickets,” said ARTRAGE CEO Sharon Burgess.
“For customers it’ll be super easy to find what you want to see with the app. For our artists the app is allowing them the flexibility to get their show on sale as soon as they need to, which means we’ll have more shows added to the Festival over the coming months and as/when the border requirements change.”
The full 2021 Festival program will be released on 26 November, with some shows on sale later. FRINGE WORLD Friends subscribers can purchase Early Release tickets from 12 November and the general public can purchase them from 17 November.
“WA is the best place to be right now and FRINGE WORLD will be the most fun place to enjoy all that’s good about summertime in our sensational state,” said FRINGE WORLD Festival Director Ms Amber Hasler.
FRINGE WORLD has made a range of changes to support artists and customers to engage fully in the Festival despite the COVID-19 restrictions. For artists and participants some fees have been waivered or deferred until after the Festival, and artists have greater flexibility than ever before to participate. Customers will also have peace of mind that if a show is cancelled or if they have COVID-19 symptoms they can get a refund.
For more information go to FRINGE WORLD Festival 2021.