Fringe World 2018: My top picks

It’s time to say goodbye to boring and hello to Fringe World Festival 2018! There is already a buzz of excitement in the air, as Perth gets ready to treat you to world-class performances from 26th January until 25th February.

Fringe World is one of the most anticipated arts and cultural events on WA’s calendar – and so it should be, considering it’s now the third biggest Fringe Festival in the world with more than 750 shows across 130 venues.

This year some of my favourites are back with new shows, the best venues are at it again, and there are a few new thigs thrown into the mix – like Noodle Palace moving from its iconic spot in Northbridge to Elizabeth Quay; the super fun Ice Cream Factory just down the road from the Pleasure Garden; the Showman’s Fair at the Urban Orchid in Fringe Central (a Dutch mini-festival with live performances and a long-table dining experience); and more hubs and venues opening up around the outer-suburbs to make Fringe even more accessible.

So, where do you even start when it comes to deciding which of the 750 shows to see? With my top picks, of course!

Fringe World 2018 top picks - the perth project

Hot Brown Honey; Drowning  – image by Shaun Ferraloro; Little Death Club – image by Ayesha Hussain; Briefs – image by John Tsiavis; The Worst – image by 42nd Street Photography; El Bizarro – image by Black Cross Studios; Syncope – image by Shaun Ferraloro; A Night At The Musicals – image by Lee Faircloth

Free events

Pop Rocks Quiz: Summerset Edition

If you’re in the mood for trivia, prizes and all of the retro pop-culture you can handle, this is the event for you. Think 1960s music, 1980s movies, and cult games of the 1990s – tickets are free but registration is essential.

Noodle Palace at Elizabeth Quay

There’s nothing better than being by the river at night, unless of course you’re at Noodle Palace catching the free entertainment and eating delicious foods. Keep an eye out for performance announcements, coming soon.

Cabaret

Anatomically Incorrect Gentlemen: Dirty Gents

What’s not to love about a quest to find the filthiest pop songs? Libby Hammer and Jessie Gordon will be exploring the world of dirty music in this fabulous show of gender bending comedy and tiny, tiny guitars.

A Night At the Musicals

Jonny Woo and Le Gateau Chocolat are back this year, and honestly you just gotta go see this one because they are an absolute delight as they strut and sing their way through your favourite musical numbers. Ballsy ballads, delightful duets, slaughtered show tunes, high glamah, intense assholism, divine costumes and raggedy choreography all make for a night you won’t soon forget.

Bubble Show for Adults Only

A kinky adult’s only bubble show where reviewers recommend a little Dutch courage beforehand? Colour me intrigued – it’s described as a new genre of bubble making and postmodern theatre, plus it was named one of the weirdest shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, so you know it’s worth a look.

Club Swizzle

This one is from the creators of La Soiree, so it’ll definitely be popping up on all the Fringe recommendations this year. Sassy entertainment with a touch of mayhem, cheeky performers, outrageous cabaret, acrobatics and infectious music revelry – what’s not to like?

Comma Sutra

As an English major I couldn’t resist adding this one to the list – a brilliant cabaret filled with puns, anger at the misuse of the word ‘literally’ and other word-nerdery complaints with punchlines that are bang on.

El Bizarro: Glamour! Danger! Freaks!

Hallelujah, El Bizarro is back again! It’s one of the shows I most look forward to, and let’s just say straight up that everything you’ve heard about this one is true: you have to see it to believe it; its sexy and shocking; one of the best you’ll see at Fringe World; truly bizarre; eye candy for the dark soul. That’s what the reviewers say, but you’ll just have to experience this rollercoaster of sideshow, burlesque, fire and circus for yourself.

Gillian Cosgriff – So Far, So Good

I bloody love musical comedy, and Gillian Cosgriff is so damn good at it. She’s so likeable, so relatable, and honestly her shows are just a really good time. This year she’ll be playing some of her audience’s most favourite songs and it’s all being directed by WAAPA alumni Virginia Gay, which automatically ups it’s cool factor a whole bunch.

La Potato Cabaret

I love potatoes, comedic burlesque and cabaret are winners, Sugar Blue Burlesque always kill it – so this is a no brainer. A carb-loaded journey of mischief and mayhem, a starch-studded line-up of well-seasoned talent from across the globe, an ap-peeling mash-up of burlesque, comedy, vaudeville, circus and who knows what else – look they’ve won me over already with all the potato puns.

Little Death Club

Think of this as a Fringe World after party, where all the coolest stars come to let their hair down and show off their best acts. It’s a wicked, witty and wild cabaret variety hosted by the flipping fabulous Bernie Dieter, it’s super-hot and you’ll never know what to expect.

Tomás Ford: BRAWL

This one is going to be crazy, I’ll tell you right now. Tomás Ford will breathe new life into his most notorious, controversial punk techno cabaret material honed during tours of filthy punk pubs and 3am slots in sweaty clubs. Sure to be a hilarious, manic, smashing tour de force.

Fringe World 2018 top picks - the perth project 2.JPG

Club Swizzle – image by Prudence Upton; Pop Rocks Quiz; No Way Rosé; Tomas Ford; Anna Piper Scott – image by Jamie Breen; #PickUp – photo by Jamie Breen; Suns of Fred

Circus

Briefs: Close Encounters

Every year you can hear the audience going nuts from outside the tent when Briefs is on, and for good reason. This is the hottest all-male entertainment you’ll ever see, blending iconic and hilarious drag, circus, burlesque and comedy. It’s a show full of awesome music, impressive skills and trademark humour that pushes the limits of masculinity, taste and decency. Seriously, just see it!

Circuscision

Spectacular artists. Naked acrobatics. Offensive language. Late night shenanigans. I’m sold. This is the Australian debut, and each night there’ll be a different line-up showing off their best, weirdest and most hilarious talents, along with the cheeky acrobatics of the boys from Head First.

Syncope

Explore the anatomy and physiology of the human body through jaw-dropping aerials, acrobatics and performance art. Beautiful visuals and incredible acrobatics come together in this gorgeous visceral experience by Kinetica – who in a previous review were called ‘better than Cirque du Soleil’.

Comedy

#PickUp

Billed as Melbourne’s cutest smut merchants, singing original pop-punk songs that hurl you through the embarrassing, universal pitfalls that we can all relate to, this is definitely not going to be your average musical comedy.

Anna Piper Scott: Water Off a Cucks Back

It’s the fourth year in a row at Fringe World for one of Perth’s fave comedians, Anna Piper Scott. This year, she’s prepared a manifesto/vanity project, to massage her ego and save the future, as she tries to keep afloat in a world of Nazi’s, snowflakes and triggers.

No Way Rosè

Debuting her new show in Perth is Rose Callaghan, who has been all over Aussie radio, won the Best Comedy award at Sydney Fringe and basically being heralded as one of the best up and coming comics you’re likely to see. If you love drinking pink wine and have done some of the best (and stupidest) things in your life while drunk, you’ll appreciate this one.

Suns of Fred

An all singing, all dancing, hilarious male cabaret trio who have got that comedy song and dance thing absolutely nailed. Filled with pop cultural references, they put on a frantic and fast-paced act that is delightful. I saw Suns of Fred earlier this year, and couldn’t keep the smile off my face.

The Worst

If you don’t know who Clara Cupcakes is, you are seriously missing out, because she is an absolute genius who’ll take you on a sweet, yet cheeky, kitschy ride, bring tears of laughter to your eyes and leave your cheeks sore from smiling.  Many, many years ago, Clara Cupcakes invented the worst video game of all time – the unplayable tale of an octopus who just wants to find love in this crazy world. But nothing stays buried forever and the legend of The Worst has grown – and now, it’s time to play.

Theatre

Hot Brown Honey

This review tells everything you need to know about Hot Brown Honey: “It was one of those shows you see where it’s not just THEATRE or CABARET, it’s the beginning of a massive movement, or it’s a subversion of knowledge that you hold dear, or a mighty sucker punch to the things you thought theatre was capable of…” – Bryony Kimmings (UK). An empowering, fierce, genre defying, firecracker of a show that will have you shaking what your mama gave you as it shatters preconceptions in an explosion of colour, culture and controversy.

Visual Arts

DROWNING

Oh boy, this is going to be a hard one to see but I think that is what makes it so incredibly important. West Australian artist Marijke Loosjes presents an honest and raw depiction of the stages of grief and the steps taken in attempt to heal. Combining performance pieces with visual artwork and focusing on Victorian Era mourning practises, this is going to be intimate but beautifully cathartic.

Fringe World 2018 top picks - the perth project 3

La Potato Cabaret – image by John Leonard; Adults Only Bubble Show – image by John Marshall; Comma Sutra; The Worst – image by 42nd Street Photography; El Bizarro – image by Paranoir Designs; Syncope – image by Shaun Ferraloro; Gillian Cosgriff; Circuscision

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