My Fringe World experience kicked off with the media preview in the stunning De Parel Spiegeltent, located at The Woodside Pleasure Garden in Northbridge. There Festival Director Amber Hasler introduced a sneak peak of what we could expect.
First up MÂCHÉ: REPOSE a critically acclaimed surrealist drag art from Gendermess. As the androgynous beings moved around the stage, the mashup of material strips, and silver tinsel blurred into a unique patchwork surrounding an outrageously tall sun. Think Big Foot after a fabulous makeover, meets Noel Fielding’s moon, or the Mayan Face of the Sun. Intriguing.
Next up FATALE who strutted and oozed onto the stage looking every bit like Roger Rabbits, cartoon feme fatale Jessica Rabbit. The similarity ended when she voluntarily skewered herself on a sword. A sword, which I can attest to, was incredibly heavy. For some reason I always thought they’d be flimsy. All this while artist Jacqueline Furey was suffering from a niggling cough. The mind boggles at what could happen if she sneezed at the wrong time. Fatale also offers up a fire eating and whip cracking striptease… well why wouldn’t you?
It was an absolute delight to see DJUKI MALA. I’ve seen them online and always wanted to see them live. Dancing to Singing in the Rain with an undertone of aboriginal beats was a highlight for me. No wonder they’ve received so much international acclaim.
Straight from the airport, and a super quick warm up backstage, came RAILED. You may recognize them from the smash hit Elixir (winner of Best Circus and physical theatre Award at Adelaide Fringe 2018). This year they bring a western inspired acrobatic adventure. Those with keen eyes may notice the grazed cheek thanks to some lively impromptu horseplay outside the tent. You’ll have to go to see which cheek I mean. The lads are keen to entertain.
It wouldn’t be Fringe without a surprise and Cam Venn – Charles Horse Lays An Egg, certainly gave us that. Even the organisers didn’t appear to know he was on the morning bill. While his spaceman was a delight it was also a timely reminder not to book a ticket in the front row of his gig.
After the preview there was time to wander about The Pleasure Garden which houses a range of stunning tents. The tiny tents were fascinating, particularly as the Dutch crew built them in a day.
There’s so much to see at the 2019 Fringe Festival, around 700 acts over 30 days actually. Even just visiting the Pleasure Garden and exploring everything it has to offer is enough. I’m pretty sure we need more time.
Note: In a great initiative the program includes an ACROD symbol so you know which events are easy access. This is a terrific initiative and one I hope might become universal across events.
For more information go to https://fringeworld.com.au/