It’s here! Following the media launch this morning, the 2017 Fringe World Festival will kick off tomorrow and run through until 19th February.
When I first started writing my top picks posts back in 2013, there were about 250 events to choose from across the entire festival – this year, there are a whopping 700+ events to choose from, across more than 150 venues. I just think that is absolutely incredible – although it does make it hard to narrow down my top picks!
This year there are three main hubs within the CBD – Fringe Central at the Perth Cultural Centre, The Pleasure Garden on James Street, and for the first time, Fringe at Cathedral Square. There’s also the crowd-favourite Noodle Palace, as well as a variety of shows spread out across Fremantle, Mt Lawley, Scarborough, Victoria Park and Leederville.
If you’re new to Fringe or don’t know where to start, I’ve got you covered. Take a read through the shows I’m most excited about below, pop by the blog tomorrow to see what shows the Fringe performers and producers most want to see, or just head down to the Perth Cultural Centre or the Pleasure Garden, where there are free events, bars, food and buskers to help you get into the swing of things.
A Night at the Musicals (15+, 31 Jan – 6 Feb)
Festival-favourite, London-born Nigerian Le Gateau Chocolat (who I saw for the first time last year and fell in love with) has teamed up with UK Drag icon and artiste extraordinaire Jonny Woo for an evening of unadulterated musical theatre nonsense that promises to be both hilarious and memorable. With ballsy ballads, delightful duets and slaughtered show tunes from Grease to the Ling King – bring it on!
Baby Got Back (18+, 9 – 14 Feb)
Are you ready for this jelly? Baby Got Back sold out in 2015 and 2016, so if you want to check out this celebration of all things ass make sure you get in quick. This entertaining, eye-boggling, side-splitting, variety spectacle featuring an all-female Australian cast of dancers, vaudevillians, showgirls, puppeteers and comedians offers up an hour-long spectacular of psychosexual adventure, demented dancehall, projection mashups and remixed soundscapes, burlesque shakedowns and stripper mayhem.
Briefs (25 Jan, 27 – 29 Jan and 31 Jan, 1 – 5 Feb and 7 – 14 Feb)
After years of including them in my top picks, 2017 is the year I will FINALLY see Briefs! This high-energy, jaw-dropping, eye-popping extravaganza will be on the must-watch list of all the coolest kids in town. It’s got boylesque, it’s got aerial acrobatics, it’s got show-stopping drag artists, and this year it promises more circus skills, more disorder and more burlesque…with balls! For even more late-night mischief, get along to Club Briefs.
El Bizarro (18+, 3 – 4 Feb, 10 – 11 Feb, 17 – 18 Feb)
El Bizarro is a celebration of the bizarre, a vibrant, energetic and fun spectacle that is sexy and shocking in equal mix. The carefully curated line-up of quality entertainers will have you laughing and gasping, with an electric atmosphere will last long after the final performance. Magnus Danger Magnus, Circus Carnis and Vivian Marlowe all return with brand new sexy, shocking and exciting acts, joined by a cavalcade of special guests. But be warned – two people in the audience fainted when I saw this last year! If you want even more of the bizarre, make sure you check out the new late, late night The Bizarro Room – it’ll be weird, wild and raunchy.
Expose: Volume II (18+, 4 – 9 Feb)
Following a run of sell out shows in 2015, Sugar Blue Burlesque is back in 2017 with an all-new show featuring an award winning lineup of internationally recognised performers. Sugar Blue Burlesque can be counted on for classy and quality burlesque, so open your mind (and legs) to all things taboo,
gird your loins and indulge in a world that celebrates sex and sexuality, fetish and fantasy and explores all things exotic, erotic and intoxicating.
EastEnd Cabaret: Sexual Tension (15+, 20 – 30 Jan)
The delightfully foul-mouthed and scandalous EastEnd Cabaret are back in Perth for their fifth Fringe season with an all singing, man-beast riding, according-wielding, multi-award winning raunchy comedy cabaret spectacle – bed seduced by their uniquely filthy brand of comedy.
Limbo (15+, every night except Mondays from 20 Jan – 19 Feb)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you’ve heard of Limbo – it’s long been one of the most popular shows at Fringe, delivering dirty and dangerous circus-cabaret. This year, the international cast will be a sword swallower, a gravity-defying pole master, a beatboxer and clown, an acrobic dancing sensation and minding bending contortionist and acrobat.
Last year, Mache took the drag out of the clubs and brought it to the stage with their debut show, and in this juicy sequel GENDERMESS will take you back to a time, where routine was key, ignorance was bliss and everything was right as rain! Expect a high energy feast for the eyes and ears, with killer music, costumes and makeup from favourites Donna Kebab, Perri Oxide, Flo Reel, Cougar Morrison, Vaboux and Ginava.
Otto & Astrid – Eurosmash! (by Die Roten Punkte) (15+, 12 – 19 Feb)
What can I say expect this looks like it’s going to be damn good fun – it mixes cabaret with rock in a unique musical comedy act. Unashamedly slick pop with ‘lost in translation’ lyrics, it promises to be the best (and worst) of Eurovision with a tragically hilarious unfolding narrative – a lipstick-smeared, tantrum-loving, sonic collision between Kraftwerk, B52s and early Ramones.
The Little Death Club (18+, 20 – 21 Jan, 27 – 28 Jan, 3 – 4 Feb, 10 – 11 Feb, 17 – 18 Feb)
Promising to be the darkest, funniest and most debauched show in town, the Queen of Kink Bernadette Byrne (of EastEnd Cabaret fame) brings together a dysfunctional family of misfits, miscreants and fantastic freaks for an hour of dangerously funny cabaret, sideshow and burlesque at its most inappropriate and hilarious best.
Billed as daring, daft and sexy as hell, Barbu fuses traditional and contemporary circus with a beautiful irreverence. The most talked about show of Adelaide Fringe 2016, Barbu is at once hilarious, audacious, surreal and spectacular. Performed by one of the world’s greatest circus companies – Canada’s Cirque Alfonse – Barbu delivers edge-of-your-seat entertainment set to a thundering electro-trad soundtrack from the skilful and frenetic live band.
Pink on the Inside – David Eriksson (18+, 27 Jan – 9 Feb)
Last year David performed in El Bizarrro and he was incredible – I don’t know if I have ever seen so much stage presence. This year he has a solo show featuring juggling, comedy and acrobatics, accompanied by a heavy rock soundtrack. He is effortlessly funny and charismatic, and definitely worth seeing.
And there you have it – the shows I think will be unmissable in 2017! But make sure you have a good read through the Fringe World Festival guide, as there is a whole world of comedy that I haven’t even touched on but will definitely be taking a foray into this year.