Fringe World set to light up summer in Perth

10 November 2021

The FRINGE WORLD program has been launched and Rosalind Appleby brings you insider tips on what to expect and which shows you shouldn’t miss.

Fringe Wrold 2022 will run 14 January to 13 February and is expected to be the third largest fringe festival in the world. The program, released today, includes more than 430 shows and is expected to attract audience numbers exceeding 600 000.

The McGowan Government has provided a significant funding boost to Fringe World of $3.6 million over the next three years through Lotterywest. Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman says the festival is a wonderful investment in the arts sector and the local economy.

“Our arts and culture sectors not only provide wonderful entertainment for the community, but economic analysis has shown that for every $1 invested in Fringe World 2021, $23 was spent in the local economy. This created 257 full time jobs, in addition to the 450 staff employed by Artrage.”

The festival will showcase predominantly local artists, and if last festival is any indication, tickets will be hot property. In many cases demand exceeded supply in 2021 and shows were sold out well in advance.

Before the pandemic, interstate and international artists made up around 50 percent of the program. Last year that number dropped to 17 percent. This year the numbers of interstate artists have increased to around 30 percent and CEO Sharon Burgess says the rolling program will allow more interstate artists to join at the last minute.

“We have the luxury of the open access fringe environment, where we are a much more impulsive buy. It gives reassurance that a show can come here and go on sale the day the festival opens and still have as good a season as someone who’s been on sale for three months. Because we can share some of the risk with artists, it does make it doable for that kind of last moment decision for companies, (who decide) the border’s open, let’s go.”

A man holds two enormous brightly feathered fans
Brisbane group Brief’s Factory encapsulate the fun and frivolity of FRINGE WORLD. Photo supplied

The festival’s key hubs will be the Pleasure Garden in Northbridge and Girls School in East Perth with satellite programs in Kalamunda and Subiaco. Independent venues include the curated programs at the Ellington Jazz Club, The Rechabite, State of Play at the State Theatre, and Aces at the Maj, a luxury experience at His Majesty’s Theatre.

The FRINGE program is renowned for its eclecticism, with everything from emerging artists to high profile stars and surprise successes. Like last year the program is available on the Fringe App which makes searching, purchasing tickets and planning your festival much more streamlined. To make things even easier FRINGE WORLD’s producers Kylie Baker and Julia Martini have shared with Seesaw readers their insider tips on the best shows to see.

Program Producer Kylie Baker recommends:

High Profile: “Briefs: Bite Club” at The Pleasure Garden

Briefs Factory are a Brisbane act who have been a massive part of Fringe for quite some time and they encapsulate a perfect Fringe show. This show will be a new fusion of the fun and the frivolity the skill of circus, with the addition of live music. They’re also bringing some late night debauchery to the Pleasure Garden, with a show at 11pm that is a little bit raunchy, risky and fun.

Emerging: “DIRT by Angus Cameron” at Girls School

Angus Cameron is an Adelaide-based theatre maker and is excited to bring the premiere of this show to WA. DIRT is set in Moscow with two men who discover that they are interested in each other and how they develop their relationship in a clandestine style in that very homophobic environment. It is a serious, heavy topic, but it’s extremely important to be able to provide a variety of shows, that’s what the festival is all about.

Audience Favourite: ZAP Circus: “CIRCUS FIRE Spectacular!” at The Pleasure Garden

ZAP Circus are a WA based company who were working internationally before COVID. This show is exactly what it sounds like: circus and fire and spectacular. There’ll be just mind-blowing tricks and stunts and all kinds things but it is still very family friendly. So it’s a night out for everyone, bring your teenage kids.

Award winning comedian Fabian Woods will premiere his show “Always Woods Always Will Be” at FRINGE WORLD. Photo supplied

Independents Producer Julia Martini recommends:

High Profile: “Adam & Selina – The Magicians | MAGIC DIMENSION” at the Regal Theatre

This is a super fun, epic magic show. Last year they performed in The Megamouth at The Pleasure Garden (120 capacity) and the audience could not get enough of them, so now they have moved up to a venue that seats 1,100. That’s a lovely example of progression, a success story of what an open-access festival can do. With The Regal’s big tech spec, it’s going to be a very visually spectacular show.

Emerging: “Always Woods Always Will be” at The Rechabite

Fabian Woods is a comedian heavyweight who won the Deadly Funny Award at MICF in 2019 (a competition open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander comics). I believe this is his first headline show at FRINGE WORLD, and a world premiere, so it’s definitely not to be missed.

Audience Favourite: “P!NK: The Circus” at The Royale Theatre

BarbieQ and Kinetica are doing a huge program of FRINGE WORLD shows as usual – a new one this year is P!NK the Circus which is dedicated to Perth’s one great love: P!NK! They are going to be at their best and livening up The Royale Theatre, Northbridge’s new performance venue in the old IMAX Theatre.

Fringe World runs 14 January to 13 February 2021.

Pictured top: The Zap Circus show ‘CIRCUS Fire Spectacular’ will be one of the hot tickets at FRINGE WORLD 2022.

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Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind Appleby is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She is co-editor of Seesaw Magazine, author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine. She loves the percussion instruments which can be found in the uber cool parks.

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