The must-see shows at this year’s Fringe World festival.
Back for its 7th consecutive year, the Fringe World Festival is a mainstay in the Perth entertainment scene. Every February Northbridge transforms in to a buzzing hive of activity; the sounds of music, theatre and laughter floating on the balmy summer air. It really is the most magical time of the year!
Some of my most treasured memories are from Fringe, so it is no wonder I get excited for it to roll around each and every year. This year the lineup is looking bigger and better than ever; with so many artists set to perform over so many different venues and stages.
With an unbelievable number of shows on, it can be overwhelming and hard to come to a decision on what to see when. In the interest of helping you to narrow down your own shortlist, here are some of my top picks for the 2018 festival season…
2nd Feb 5pm- 9pm, 3rd Feb 11am -4pm and 4th Feb 11am – 4pm
7 stages, 3 days and 1 big theatrical wonderland! The Fringe World Buskers Weekend will see musicians, circus performers, magicians and comedians take the stage all over the city, performing their work for free. Wander around the city and immerse yourself in all the weird and wonderful sights and sounds.
Every Saturday and Sunday at 7.15pm throughout the festival
The Fringe World mermaids are always a firm favourite, and this year they are back with a new spin – ‘The Sprites’. Fizzy and Flossy will be performing a wet acrobatic comedy show, in and around the Fringe World mermaid tanks. Be prepared for crazy skills, some silliness and a whole lot of splash!
Hayao Miyazaki: Studio Ghibli Film Festival
1st – 25th Feb
The Northbridge Piazza will be screening 9 feature-length Studio Ghibli works throughout February. As one of the most acclaimed animation houses in the world, the Ghibli film festival is set to be one of the most loved free events of Fringe World. Bring a picnic blanket and a bean bag, and settle in for a night at urban the outdoor cinema.
1st – 17th Feb
The atmosphere at Noodle Palace is always vibrant, and their new waterside venue this year is sure to make it even more so. There are some roving performers and free live music to while the night away to; and the venue has a cracking view of the Swan River too. At certain times during their residency, they even have some big name DJs and musicians pop in for a set – keep an eye on the Noodle Palace Facebook page for those announcements!
You don’t have to spend up big for a fabulous date night this Valentine’s day (and I always suggest that this is the best way to do it)! Head down to the Northbridge Piazza to watch a series of 12 independent short films, linked by the common theme of ‘heart’. Pack a cheese board and some chocolate and you have the perfect date.
Feb 7th – 25th. Tickets from $40.00
Year in, year out the Briefs boys nail their shows! Pushing the boundaries of traditional burlesque, Briefs combines the arts of drag, acrobatics, comedy and burlesque. Expect an evening of debauchery, amazing acrobatic talent, feathers galore and glitter, glitter and more glitter.
8th – 11th Feb. Tickets $30.00
The funny woman behind ‘Storm in A D Cup’ and ‘Lady Liberty’ is back… with a baby! Don’t worry, bub isn’t involved – but all the stories about her pregnancy and motherhood are! She is the master of cabaret, so prepare for a hilarious and honest (sometimes musical) look in to her journey in to motherhood.
8th – 25th Feb. Tickets from $35.00
Both entertaining and thought provoking, Hot Brown Honey is a cabaret show with an undertone of social activism. The fierce all-woman cast breaks down stereotypes in an effort to bring attention to both our similarities and differences. Dance, vocals, aerials and sass – this show has it all!
3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th of Feb. Tickets $30.00
If you are a fan of ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’, you will love The Big HOO-HAA! Upstairs at Lazy Susan’s this night of improv comedy will have you in stitches from start to finish. Many of the games rely on audience participation too, so come with your best and weirdest suggestions prepared.
13th – 25th Feb. Tickets from $35.00
From the 3 men at Head First Acrobats, Elixir is a gravity defying show that follows the story of a group of scientists attempting to create the elixir of life. The show was so well received at last year’s Fringe World festival, the boys decided to bring the show back for a second run. I for one am keen to see how this head stand on a trapeze goes down!
HOW TO GET THERE
There is a whole lot of Fringe action happening right outside the Perth train station, so the train seems like one of the most logical transport options. The cultural center (just outside of the station) is home to umpteen stages and a gorgeous little free-entry bar and garden. You may even catch some roving performers through here too.
The Pleasure gardens (where you will find one of the Spiegel tents and a lot of the bigger shows) is located at Russell Square in Northbridge. If you don’t want to drive in, you can catch a bus or train to Perth station and either make the 10 minute walk up to the other end of Northbridge, or hop aboard one of the free ‘Toot Toots‘ for a ride up to Russell Square. The Toot Toots run every night to shuttle people back and forth between the two festival sites.
If you are heading in to Noodle Palace down at Elizabeth Quay, you can catch the bus or train to the Esplanade station. Elizabeth Quay is literally just across the road!
And, for those who are planning to drive, the following car parks are the most conveniently located to all of the Fringe action: