Good morning and welcome to Day Two of the 2017 Sydney Fringe Festival! Coming up from 4pm today is the epic Fringe Ignite at Kensington St Festival Village. Curated by musical megaton explosive Ngaiire, this street party will heat your mood up for the month ahead.
Whether you’re meeting new folks at the party today, or trying to convince colleagues to head out to see a show this Fringe, you may need a quick primer to some events to look out for in the coming weeks. To help you, we Fringe writers sat down (at our keyboards, let’s be honest) and grilled one another about the events we’ve been hearing about.
Which fringe event are you most compelled by and why?
Alana Bowden: It’s a tie between The Mysteries of Mad River and Betty Grumble: Love & Anger. Both of them have a dark and disruptive energy that really appeals to the Bacchante in me. I’m seeing them on the same night- it should be a wild evening!
Eleni Schumacher: Big contender for me is The Mysteries of Mad River: A Swamp-Folk Operetta at Django Bar, because aside from the fact that it calls upon the musical ancestry of Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave (STOP IT) it's described as one part cabaret, one part murder mystery. Rudyard Kipling decreed that "East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet", but obviously he hadn't met the genre-mashing legends that are Keppie Coutts and Theatre Excentrique.
Genevieve de Souza: I’m most compelled by Silent Theatre. I find the idea of new work being developed both in and for a specific space very exciting, especially since I used to work in a hotel and the stories really are endless.
James Dalton: There’s a number of hybrid comedy/theatre/absurd works in this Fringe, and I’m keen to take a punt on the likes of A Call of Cthulhu, Fragility (the final refuge), The Nose, Puntilla/Matti, The Van De Maar Papers and What Are We Presents Here We Are!
Max Rapley: With the lockouts here to stay, Sydney can sometimes feel like a city that's lost its vibrancy. Fringe Ignite looks like just the ticket to rekindle the flames of Sydney's night life.
Millie Roberts: Eliza J Scott’s one-woman performance Blackstrap Molasses. The show promises sickly sweet, yet dark humour through this physical and musical amalgamation. Think microcelebrities, reality television and fake news.
Rebecca Ha: Definitely the Library of Babel because of my anterior interest in, and relationship with, literature as a way of seeing the artfulness of consciousness and of that which simply exists all around us. To be immersed in a self-contained infinity of language? Weird and compelling.
Sime Knezevic: Menagerie by Josipa Draisma. Her comedy is so zany, so playful, so full of life.
What is your fringe pick for a blind date?
Alana: Haunted Sydney Ghost Tour. It’s the perfect excuse for a bit of hand holding in the dark (wink). And if the date doesn't seem to be working out, you can pretend you're a ghost and run away.
Eleni: Romeo and Juliet at the Bondi Pavilion - just to get a solid "worst-case scenario" chat going with your potential lover right off the bat OR Psyche! because if the date really is a perfect stranger, you'll probably want a mentalist to do some sleuthing for you.
Sime: THE WAY(ne) by Ben Draisma.
What is your fringe pick to cheer someone up?
Genevieve: Definitely the Sydney Teapot Show; what’s more cheery than a bunch of outrageous teapots? Especially if the exhibition is shared with a friend and followed by a good cuppa.
James: So dressing up is a solid way to help a person feel happier. The Shaun McGrath Wig Exhibition is all about surrealist fashion, and you can try the wigs on every Thursday night during the Fringe. For the more adventurous, Quick Bright Things gets you to don costumes and rehearse for a high school theatre production.
Millie: Nothing fixes a glum mood quite like mind-reading and hypnosis. Psyche! features Australian mentalist, Phoenix. Being temporarily convinced I’m a dog would definitely turn my frown upside down.
What is your fringe pick for a show to shock your friends?
Max: I don't think my friends are easily shocked, but if I wanted to shock my parents' friends, I might send them to Betty Grumble - shake up their delicate sensibilities a little.
Rebecca: My friends are pretty shocking, so this is difficult - but I'm looking forward to pulling a friend along to Cleansed and seeing them sit, silently and unsure of how to feel, in their chair for many minutes following the show.
Have a clearer idea as to what you may want to check out this Fringe? Disagree with us completely? Just wanna dance at Fringe Ignite? Ok, don’t let us keep you, but check back here tomorrow for Sime’s experiences with local Hip Hop / Jazz seven piece Sagrada Familia and Mike Rivett.