19 September 2017

How to Fringe: Sabrina Martin

Sabrina Martin
Performer, actor, teacher, producer, volunteer, all-round theatre pixie

May Contain Sex Scenes
26–30 September
The Old Cafe, Emerald City @ Meat Market

Sabrina Martin. Photo by Ingrid Saker

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?  
Sigmund Freud, he has a lot to answer for when it comes to popular misunderstandings about female sexuality.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?   
Inclusive, arty, fabulous.

A favourite Melbourne memory?
Ten years ago, in the middle of a heat wave on my first day in Melbourne, my friend's flatmate convinced me to cycle from Fitzroy into Federation Square and back again. Avoiding tram tracks and riding around in what felt like a fan oven, it was my first ever overseas adventure and I was mesmerised by the city. It was so big and there was so much to do and eat. I may have been delirious but I’ve had a crush on Melbourne ever since.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
This year is my first year performing at Melbourne Fringe! So far I have felt very welcomed, firstly by being encouraged by Melbourne Fringe to bring my show over from New Zealand. Program manager Xanthe Beesley joined me in a boutique hotel room on Wellington’s Waterfront for the world premiere of the show. Ever since I have had great support from the staff, I cannot believe the individual care I have had considering they are hosting 400 odd shows and events.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?   
Just how inclusive it is! They make it very clear that queer work and feminist work are not only welcomed but celebrated and encouraged, especially with events like Church. I think this is unique to any major fringe festival I have been a part of.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.   
Use the “guide me” section on the Fringe Website, it includes Indigenous, Feminist and Queer guides to Fringe which I am personally a huge fan of. Plus there is the Bank of Australia Take 5, each day there is a new code to get $5 off your ticket – which the bank pay for so the artists still get their full cut!

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
We don’t do star ratings in New Zealand but most Fringes around the world use them. It’s obviously great if you get 4 or 5 stars but disappointing and useless for marketing if you get anything less. It reduces art to a number, which is the opposite of what most artists are aiming for. If people feel like we need a quick glance system then replacing stars with hearts could be nice, that way you receive some love for the work. I feel like this question could do with artists and reviewers coming together and dream up better solutions.

Shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Church curated by Mama Alto
Betty GRUMBLE: Sex Clown Saves the World
Power Ballad
The Measure of a Man by Gavin Roach

18 September 2017

How To Fringe 2017: Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer
Write, perform, cobble together shows (and a living) 

Hooting & Howling
20–25 September
The Butterfly Club

 
Phil Spencer & Julia Johnson. Photo by Lucy Parakhina 


The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Low-fi. Phantasmagorical. Hangover.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Tessa Waters’s WoMANZ. I never knew I could jiggle, but that night I learnt every single human in that small sweaty room could jiggle. With varying degrees of success obviously.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
I pack up my shows and take them to Fringe festivals because I want to make my fortune in gold coins, minus ticketing charges. Nah. But, there is a buzzing, whirring, inspiring cloud that gets whipped up by Melbourne Fringe in particular. Simply put, it makes a foreign city seem welcoming and open. It makes an evening with a room full (or half full) of strangers pretty bloody special. It makes performing my stories feel like treat.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The quality of the work. The sense of community that is built around (slightly) discounted beer in the hub. The trams. I do love a good tram ride.

What’s your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
Take a punt on a new venue. Use Fringe as an excuse to be a tourist in your own city.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Look, we all love a good star spangled spread. So keep ‘em. But I do think what is more useful for artists is helping to feed like-minded audiences into each other’s shows – i.e if you loved Stuart Bowden … you’ll love THIS.

Five shows/events you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe
Betty GRUMBLE: Sex Clown Saves the World
Calypso! Calypso! Calypso!
Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery, a conSENSUAL party
Geraldine Hickey: It’s My Show
Open Season On a Broken Heart

17 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Georgia King

Georgia King
Actor, performer, theatre maker

THE ONE by Jeffrey Jay Fowler
15–30 September
Arts House (Studio 2)

Mark Storen, Georgia King

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
To be honest I’d really just like local Melbourne punters to come along. Being from out of town it’d be great to see how locals react to the show and we’d love to meet you all!

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
New, exciting, opportunity (for me!)

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
This is my first Melbourne Fringe, so I’m looking forward to making some memories.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
Not having arrived at Melbourne Fringe yet, but being from Perth and knowing how awesome the Fringe community is there I have no doubt it will be the same, and I can’t wait to experience it.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
It’s in Melbourne! And of course Melbourne is the arts capital of Australia.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
Take a risk! And maybe see a show from out of town? ;)

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Word of mouth from someone you know and trust is usually best. Sometimes awards give you an idea about the track record of a show but sometimes you just need to see something for yourself.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
All the Forest Exchange Lab days. Forest Fringe X Melbourne Fringe
The Fountain of Youth by Deep Soulful Sweats
Betty GRUMBLE: Sex Clown Saves the World
Stuart Bowden: When Our Molecules Meet Again* Let’s Hope They Remember What to Do *Probably In Space
Ode To Man. A farewell to men in 15 chapters

16 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Jamaica Zuanetti

Jamaica Zuanetti
Playwright, actor

Too Ready Mirror
15–28 September
Northcote Town Hall

Jamaica Zuanetti

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Caryl Churchill

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Daring. Vibrant. Spicy.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Performing in a show called More Intimate Than by Bridget Mackey with Laura-Jane Emes. There were two shows each night with eight audience members who sat around a dinner table as our guests. There was no dinner.☺

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
It’s exciting and the high you get from either performing or being involved in a show is intoxicating. The support provided by the festival is invaluable. Everyone involved is so enthusiastic and encouraging of everyone’s different projects. It’s really great to feel like you have people around you who are energised by art. The independent sector can be hard and exhausting but being a part of a group or community of talented individuals creates a really positive and inspiring atmosphere.

What do you think makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The fact that artists from so many different disciplines and backgrounds can create a show or art and it doesn’t have to meet any rigid standards. It’s so freeing to be able to make a show that is daring, that pushes boundaries and doesn’t pander to the mainstream. I think fringe audiences really embrace the wacky and wonderful too, which is great!

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Don’t go for the obvious choice. I think seeing something that is out of your comfort zone is always fun. I try and support friends as much as possible but I also like peruse the Fringe guide for something I wouldn’t normally choose, or I just blindly follow another person’s recommendation and see what happens.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
I think there needs to be more of conversation between artists and reviewers. It’s always so one sided that artists just feel victimised if their show receives a bad review. Perhaps if artists could respond to a reviewer’s review? That would even the balance. Or to be completely diplomatic, reviewers could say three things they loved, then three things they would change about a show. It’s tricky. Basically make your art, if a reviewer doesn’t like it, tell them to go make their own f*%king art!!

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
The Maze
Fool’s Gold
The Sky is Well Designed
Too Soon, Too Now
How To Kill The Queen Of Pop

How to Fringe17: Lord Coconut

Mark Boldiston (aka Lord Coconut)
Owner of Lord Coconut, Melbourne’s only retail and online store specialising in handcrafted jewellery for men

Hedonism
19 September – 7 October
Lord Coconut

SM: Most of the How To Fringers have been performers, but always spend some time in the Visual Arts section of the program and dedicate a couple afternoons to exploring old and discovering new spaces in our city.

Mark Boldiston (aka Lord Coconut)

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
I’m more interested in the average person attending the show and discovering something special.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words
Pretty Bloody Weird.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
It’s a bit like throwing shit against a wall and seeing what sticks and what doesn’t each year… Only in a safe environment where anything and everything is expected and encouraged.

What do you makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
Open Access. The ability for any person or group to submit a show and put themselves out in the public domain is pretty brave and incredible. We all have diverse tastes and Fringe means that you’re sure to find a show that you’ll love no matter how weird, wonderful, diverse or just plain crazy you are.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Play Fringe Roulette where you choose a venue that you haven’t been to before, choose a show you know nothing about and hope for the best! You’ll win some and you’ll lose some but in the end you’ll be supporting an independent artist and you might even stumble across something really special!

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
I like the star ratings!

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Spookmaster by Mark Penzak
MODELTWNE; Escape from Modeltwne
Paul Dabek: Look at Me
Bert Kreischer
Papillion Unplugged. Circus for grown ups

As long as they fit into my Fringe Roulette schedule!

15 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Elliott Gee

Elliott Gee
actor, performance maker, performer in every sense of the word 
member of The Very Good Looking Initiative

Let’s Get Practical! Live
15–23rd September
The Lithuanian Club –The Loft
Arts House – Underground on the 23rd of September.

Elliot Gee. Photo by Sarah Walker

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
It’s not a usually choice for me, but I think it would be Tom Cruise. I’ve been watching Scientology videos and I would just love to have Tom and his intense smile, especially in the foyer after the show. Can you imagine how enthusiastic he would be about the show?And then try and get the audience to convert. 

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Chaotic, unexpected, community.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
2011 was my first year living in Melbourne after moving from Tasmania. Before moving to the big city, fringe festivals were so intriguing to me and I always wanted to be a part of one. When I went to my first Fringe Club event I remember being so inspired by everything that was going on; just looking around and taking it all in with my mouth wide open – the music, the dancing, the costumes, the colours, the people and the energy in the room. It was a very memorable night but I have that feeling every year the Melbourne Fringe rolls around. I also asked a guy behind the bar who had an amazing beard how to grow facial hair like his, his answer was to hand me a scotch whisky straight and said “Here, drink this”.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
Each of my experiences at Melbourne Fringe have been very different, including the shows I was a part of, the artists I was working with, the spaces we performed in and even experiencing the festival just as a patron. It’s exciting, stressful, tiring; you aren't a normal person for the majority of the festival but that’s what I love.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The first thing that comes to mind for me is The Fringe Hub. I love that the Melbourne’s Fringe Hub is at the North Melbourne Town Hall and Errol street. It's so unique, the architecture of the building, the spaces, the fringe club and the energy of Errol street. The whole building turns into an amazing maze of art. For two and a half weeks the building is filled with art and people.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
Take risks and see shows you wouldn't usually see. Fill your 2.5 weeks with a diverse range of shows and performances. If it grabs your attention, bloody go for it.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
I think the star rating system works pretty fine; it's very clear and simple. I think it is an important tool for advertising and further promoting the show. When I want to see a show I only use the star rating as a guide anyway. Plus if I got a one-star review I probably wouldn't use it, or maybe I would. Maybe that's what we should do? Change it so that one star means your show is awesome and 5 stars means it's bad.

Five shows/events you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
How To Kill The Queen Of Pop
Discordia
Hannah Camilleri: Vision Statement
Faith. A celebration of the world's most unholy queer icon: George Michael
It’s Not Me, It’s Lou.

How to Fringe 2017: Christopher Bryant

Christopher Bryant
Playwright, performer

Intoxication
15–22 September
Lithuanian Club, Son of Loft

Christopher Bryant. Photo by Lisa Maree Williams

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Jack Ferver and/or Nicola Gunn. In part because I respect the heck out of both of them, but also because both their performance styles have inspired what Intoxication is trying to do.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Diverse. Surprising. Unique.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Going out to Sisters Grimm’s Fugly after the show I’d directed, with the cast in various states of undress. The night itself was a blur, but I do remember one particular cast member dancing so much that her shoes filled up with blood.

In terms of actual shows, there’s too many to name drop, but overall just the feeling of complete support and excitement I’ve felt in every audience I’ve been a part of.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
This is the second time I’ve been involved in a fringe festival, and the first with something so directly related to me as an artist/performing a work I’m intensely proud of. Both times – and all the times I’ve simply been a part of the Fringe community – I’ve felt nothing but supported.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
It sits in a great spot between something large and potentially overwhelming, like Edinburgh or Adelaide, and something smaller. As a festival it manages to be both intimate and sprawling. This offers more opportunities all around: more opportunities for ‘unknown’ or lesser-known artists to make their mark and more opportunities for audiences to see something unexpected. There’s also less of a focus on work from other cities, with local art being more of a selling point.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
Don’t just stick to what you know! Some of the best things I’ve seen have been shows I unexpectedly ended up seeing and wouldn’t have otherwise gone to.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Honestly, I’d rather abolish them altogether – make audiences work that little bit harder. A show can rarely be summed up by a simple star rating alone, and stars can’t take into consideration the myriad of things in and surrounding the show. I guess I’d rather people just read a review and made up their own minds. (The more practical response: it’s the Fringe and I fully accept they’re a necessary evil, and they’re better than nothing!)

Five shows/events you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe?
How To Kill The Queen Of Pop
Lady Bunny in Trans-Jester
Let’s get Practical! Live. Presented by The Very Good Looking Initiative
It’s Not Me, It’s Lou. A silly show by musical comedian Louisa (Lou) Wall
TRAPS. A romantic comedy for the modern sociopath by Amelia Evan

14 September 2017

How To Fringe 2017: Alice Tovey

Alice Tovey
Musical comedian, proud screaming feminist, rock god

Alice Tovey: Mansplaining
23–30 September
Arts House – Underground

SM: I finally saw Alice and Ned at last year's Fringe; see them.

Alice Tovey, Ned Dixon. Photo by Sarah Walker

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Yassmin Abdel-Magied. She inspired a lot of the material in the show and I just want to buy her a cup of tea and be her mate. TWEET HER IN

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Feminist, fierce and in-your-face.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
There really are too many to choose from; some of my happiest memories are at the Fringe. Melbourne Fringe gave me my first opportunity to create cabaret. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be working with the wonderful Ned Dixon, and I wouldn’t have the immense privilege of performing shows on the reg. However, my favourite memory would have to be performing with my band, The Apostles, at the Fringe Opening Gala in 2016. Those guys are a pack of legends and the crowd was incredible.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
Always a positive one. The Fringe staff give their artists a lot of room to grow and the tools to get to where they want to be. I’m very grateful to the whole team for the support they’ve given us over the years

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The performers. Melbourne Fringe artists are very political and aren’t afraid to perform something totally left of centre.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
See everything. Take some long service leave and see every show at the Fringe. Go to the website now and book all of the tickets. I’m serious. Do it

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
I don’t think we’ll ever find a system of reviewing that satisfies both performers and critics. It’s not the job of critics to make performers feel good about themselves, nor is it my job to create work to be reviewed. At the end of the day, we’re all just doing our job. I know when I’ve put on a good show. Sure, a critic might not like what I’ve done, but as long as I know that I’ve done the best I can do, that’s all that matters. I know that sounds like some real namby-pamby, touchy-feely, sensitive performer bullshit, but gone are my days of crying in the shower over a bad review that says I “lack diction”. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
AT: ONLY 5!?!
SM: Yes.
AT: I’m going to do a cheeky 8 shows, because there really are too many.
SM: OK, but only cos three people only did 4.
AT: Here's 10

The Vagina Monologues by Deafferent Theatre 
Rama Nicholas in The Lucky Ones
I’m Fine by Lucy Gransbury
Adam McKenzie: Laser Light
Yada Yada Yada: a 90s Sitcom Special
A Bok In Progress by Lauren Bok

Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery: a conSENSUAL party
Seen & Heard by Becky Lou
Self
Church curated by Mama Alto

How To Fringe 2017: Kasey Gambling

Kasey Gambling
Actor, theatre maker

The Maze
16–27 September
Meet out the front of Joe Taylor

SM: Disappointed that I missed this last year, so no excuse this year.

Kasey Gambling. Photo by Marnya Rothe

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Probably Clementine Ford, just cos I think she’s rad.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Experimental. Art. Community.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory
My first experience of Melbourne Fringe was a night of dancing at the Fringe Hub. I had never seen a fringe show but my friends wanted to go to the Hub for a dance. When I arrived, I remember thinking, “This is where my people are”. Then I sweated up a storm and danced until they turned the lights on and kicked us out.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
It’s both challenging and super supportive. It’s fantastic that there’s so much to see at Fringe, but it also means you’re competing with so many talented artists.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
Melbourne Fringe is great at offering support for its artists, whether it’s providing workshops and information sessions or just chatting through your work with one of the staff.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Mix it up! Support your pals, but then sit down with the guide and seek out an artist you’ve never heard of. I’ve also found the Guide Me section of Melbourne Fringe website really helpful; check out the Indigenous, Feminist and Queer guides to Melbourne Fringe.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Star ratings do little to describe any nuance. Readers see the stars and then read the review with that in mind. I say, get rid of it all together – just use your words.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Discordia
Metamorphoses
Hyper-Fragility with Candy Bowers and Victoria Chiu
Hannah Camilleri: Vision Statement
Ghosts vs Skeletons

13 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Helen Cassidy

Helen Cassidy
actor, creative, director, producer, voice over artist

Erotic Intelligence for Dummies
15–22 September
Arts House – Underground


Helen Cassidy

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
The brilliant author and psychotherapist Esther Perel. Esther explores the tension between freedom and commitment in intimate relationships. Her books, talks and podcasts rock my world and have been a huge inspiration. If you haven’t heard of her I highly recommend her TED talk about maintaining desire in long-term relationships. And her book Mating in Captivity.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Arty, accessible, awesome.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
This is my first Melbourne Fringe so I’m looking forward to making memories in 2017.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
So far, so good. The festival is open and supportive and doesn’t feel overwhelmingly in its size.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
Australia has some of the biggest fringe festival’s in the world… we love our fringes! However, some festivals have been swamped by massive mainstream shows with huge publicity budgets and it’s made it almost impossible for the smaller shows to compete. Melbourne Fringe remains a manageable size and is still very accessible for independent artists who feel safe to take risks. Better still, local audiences support artists taking risks and embrace the weird and wild.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Go with your gut (or other moister body bits) and surprise yourself with a show you know nothing about. Also ask friends for their picks. So I guess I’m saying that everyone needs to see at least two shows.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Geeze, I’ve seen the Grading A-D system in some reviews but that just smells of high school. Stick with the stars; this is show biz.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery: a conSENSUAL party
Can I Get An Amen?! Inspired by the memoirs of Whoopi Goldberg
Betty GRUMBLE: Sex Clown Saves the World
The Birth of the Unicorn Mermaid
PO PO MO CO: Recreation & Leisure

How to Fringe 2017: Jayden Masciulli

Jayden Masciulli
Improvisational comedy, acting, writing, lighting
Member of Hit By A Blimp with Caitlyn Staples and Tiana Hogben

I'm Here
13–17 September
The Courthouse

Jayden Masiulli, Caitlyn Staples, Tuana Hogben. Hit By A Blimp. Photo by
Simon McCulloch

If you could invite anyone to see show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Weird Al Yankovic because we have a penchant for song parodies.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Ambitious, kooky, dank.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
I first met Tiana when we were working as venue interns at The Improv Conspiracy Theatre during the 2015 Melbourne Fringe. We were both clueless, terrified newbies who were selling tickets and operating lights in exchange for free improv classes. If you told us we’d be actually writing and performing our own Fringe shows together in the future – with their best pal Caitlyn – we would never have believed you.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
This is our second spin on the Melbourne Fringe merry-go-round, after the successful run of our first narrative sketch show Who We Were. We had such a blast working together and putting on a show that made us (and, most importantly, our audience) laugh, cry and feel actual feelings. It was a magical and memorable and we’re excited to do it all over again.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
That a wild, colourful, experimental, innovative arts festival could live together in perfect harmony with the AFL finals series.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe
Word-of-mouth; go check out what your pals are enjoying. But also, have a punt on a show you know nothing about. As Kelly Clarkson so wisely said, “Take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and breakaway”. Kelly is a god, we get all our advice from her.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Chuckles-per-minute (if we’re talking comedy).
CPM

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Pee Stick
Here. Live. Now.
The First Annual (Doris To Insert) Festival by Bess County
Ghosts vs Skeletons by Rose Bishop and Josh Chodziesner
Woah, Alyssa! 1

12 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Annie Louey

Annie Louey
Stand-up comedian, actor

Butt Donut
12–17 September
The Mechanics Institute

Annoe Louey. Photo by Matt Kimpton at Verve Portraits

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
I would invite my dad. I wish he could see the art that I’ve made out of some really terrible times. I think he would have secretly enjoyed it.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Inclusive, unconventional, empowering.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Last year I performed in the Fringe as part of the sketch comedy group Dr Duck and I was involved in a two-person sketch about farts. Shortly after that sketch, an audience member let one rip on purpose because they thought it would be funny.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
As a first-time Fringe artist, my experience so far has been fantastic. I’m so glad I signed up because it has given me a goal to work towards and a huge amount of confidence. I finally feel comfortable telling people that I’m a comedian. I also went to all of the Fringe FAQ sessions and felt very supported by the Fringe family.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique.
It’s weird in the best way. And the size of the festival allows artists to stand out while being able to try new work in a safe environment.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Don’t be afraid to try something different. Check out what’s buzzing on social media. Sometimes I prefer to read comments from real audience members than reviewers.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Why not get rid of stars and enforce the compliment sandwich.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
The Yonder. Stupid race through deep space. by Normal Children
Absolute (Un)certainty
Like Memes But Live
Estrella Wing, Showgirl by Margot Tanjutco
Tessa Waters: Volcano

How to Fringe 2017: Matthew Sini

Matthew Sini
Writer mostly

Prayers to Broken Stone
12–23 September
Gasworks Arts Park

Matthew Sini

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Assorted Doomsday Preppers, Oprah, Paul Capsis, French pop singer Sheila, Gong Li. I would die happy if they all came, but only if they all came to the same performance.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Fire and Blood.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Being squashed into a small space in Brunswick and watching friends perform a wonderful show with an all-cardboard set (2015’s The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow).

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
Marvellous. It is great to work with others to make beautiful things come to life. But it’s also been wonderful meeting the teams from other shows. There’s a real camaraderie. We’re all just scrappy art monkeys flinging our art poo at people to enjoy …*stares blankly*. I promise my metaphors are slightly more salubrious in my show. Slightly.

What think makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
Art poo? Sorry. There’s that sense of experiment and innovation that you get with other fringe festivals, but there’s also just this chill vibe among most of the artists. Many artists I meet are keener to hear about your show than to tell you about theirs. That’s lovely. Also, outside of Vilnius, Melbourne Fringe is probably the most Lithuanian fringe festival ever.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
I would say what many have said before: Go see the “superstars,” but also take a chance on something small and or weird-looking. You will be pleasantly surprised in most cases.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
I’m at risk of starting up a rant here, so I will just say this: I don’t understand why you even need ratings. I’ve done some reviewing in my day, and I always hated when I had numerical/star/grade ratings imposed on me. The rating is the review. Want to find out if a show was good? Read the review. THAT’S the rating. That’s what a review is for.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Pee Stick
Josh Glanc: Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chamedian
The Last Journalist on Earth
How To Kill The Queen Of Pop
And Then the Snow Fell on Egypt

How to Fringe 2017: Kate Lawrence

Kate Lawrence
Producer, Cirque Nocturne 

Cirque Nocturne. A 1940's whodunnit ... circus style
14–17 September
Wonderland Spiegeltent

Circque Nocturne

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
All the lovely people of Melbourne!

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
I think that it’s important to support shows that friends and colleagues are presenting, and hopefully they will return the favour by supporting your shows. That said, is easy to spend all of your time seeing shows of the same genre, which is a pity when there are so many weird and wonderful events taking place. I think its best at fringe festivals to more or less go with the flow. See what shows are on near where you happen to be at any given time. Start a conversation with someone in a bar and go to their show. Take a gamble on something new that sounds extraordinary.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
The public set a lot of store by the star system and reviews, which is a pity as often those writing them are misguided or ignorant, especially when it comes to circus shows. We always get sent dance or theatre reviewers, who find it hard to dissect circus as they would their own art forms. The star system is useful for putting on media releases and promotional material, but doesn't really give an insight into the content of the show.

Honestly, as an artist I find that well written, thoughtful reviews – be they positive or negative – are invaluable feedback for improving and developing shows.

Shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
After Hours Cabaret Club
Circalicious
No Frills Cabaret. All the skills just no frills! $10
Killjoy. Destroy the fantasy

11 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Patrick McCarthy

Patrick McCarthy
Artistic Director of Fabricated Rooms

The Sky Is Well Designed
15–28 September
Northcote Town Hall

Patrick McCarthy

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
The composer Alvin Lucier; his work was a big point of inspiration for the project.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Lots of festival.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
My first play, Fluorescent Façade, was part of Melbourne Fringe 2008. It’s a fond memory because it was the first time I felt like a real artist. The experience had a genuine feeling of adventure and excitement about it. Fringe provided a really safe testing ground for me at that time.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
The festival as an organisation does a lot of really great work providing professional development and infrastructure for independent and emerging artists, which is really important. Most independent theatre companies/collectives start up, do one or two shows and then drift apart. It’s important that there are resources available to learn how to improve your work and the rigour with which you create it, as well as developing practical skills like producing, marketing etc. I learnt a lot in the first few years of my career by going to Fringe workshops and events.

Having said that, I’d like to see the festival shake up how things run a bit. There’s hasn’t been much major structural change in how the festival looks/runs in the decade I’ve been around, and this is similar to many other fringe festivals. A big question is how does a festival best facilitate and support art that is genuinely operating at the fringes of creative expression? When so much of a festival is based around a hub environment, where shows can only go for an hour and have minimal design elements, that creates a kind of homogenised idea of what a “fringe show” should be, and this tends to feed into the culture and limit imagination. I’d like to see a greater effort to facilitate the realisation of work that changes what we think art can look and sound like, where it can occur, how long it can go for, who can make it, and who it’s made for.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The culture that exists in Melbourne, particularly in relation to independent artists, creates a really fertile environment. The formal and aesthetic interests of artists in Melbourne are quite specific, and this is probably what differentiates it from similar festivals interstate and overseas.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
Go see a variety of things. There’s work being made by really experienced artists which will be must see, but it’s important to take risks on shows by new and emerging artists. It’s always fun to discover something incredible before everyone else has seen it.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Star ratings are okay as a starting point, but they can be very reductive. If they’re not followed up by a meaningful response to the work, it just becomes a consumer guide rather than criticism, and there’s too much of that going on. I’d like to see more context provided in response to works, how it relates to the artists previous shows and also works by their peers.

I’d also like more personal responses. A lot of reviews are pretty generic and cold in their language; either overly concerned with providing a kind of academic thesis on the work, or caught up in assessing it as good or bad. Criticism should more often be an attempt to articulate the visceral, emotional and intellectual experience of taking part in a live experience. I wouldn’t at all mind a critic writing about how something in a show I made reminded them of a conversation they had with a friend once, and how they got distracted thinking about that, and then how that changed their perception of the work in that moment. That’s better than a lazy, rough description of the show followed by three stars.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe,
Ode To Man. A farewell to men in 15 chapters
And Then The Snow Fell On Egypt
Fools Gold
The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez
The Super Queer Murderess Show. A marginalia of fatal femmes

How to Fringe 2017: Lauren Bok

Lauren Bok
Producer, performer

Lauren Bok: A Bok In Progress
13– 16 September
The Metropolitan Hotel


Lauren Bok. Photo by James Henry


If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
My high school drama teacher. I could really use the feedback.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Bold, Drunk, Sassy.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
I was watching a gorgeous outdoor circus performer hanging off a bit of fabric in a tree in Errol Street – and a passerby said, ‘Is that the fringe?’ Yes, in that moment, it was the whole Fringe.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
I can always rely on Melbourne Fringe to make me feel like taking a risk and knowing it will catch me if I fall.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
In the current festival landscape the trend is for bigger and bigger – and Melbourne Fringe remains (relatively!) small and intimate, yet loud and boisterous. It’s wacky, yet still has a cool Melbourne vibe. It’s like a negroni served out of a ukulele.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Don’t hesitate. Just pick anything! Even if you don’t like it, you’ll still get a good story to yell at the Fringe Club later.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
I think actually a review should have a basic constructive criticism model: What Worked, What Didn’t Work, What Can Be Done Better Next Time, maybe if that’s a score out of 5 then it can be out of 15? It’s weird that art should have a value like that, but, hey, it looks good on a poster!

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
MUMMY. A Sexy Comedy Party, Brianna Williams
Sam Marzden’s 1950's B-Grade Sci-Fi Movie
PartyBucket by Lee Naimo & Sophie Kneebone
She Wolf. Who was Queen Margaret?
Death to America by Sean Bedlam 

10 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Lisa Crawley

Lisa Crawley
Songwriter, performer, multi-instrumentalist, actor

Elizabeth
18–24 September
The Butterfly Club


Lisa Crawly

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Bill Bailey. He’s my favourite musical comedian and I know has had a very similar musical background to me and would appreciate our mutual talented of playing piano in the background with a forced smile while thinking about ‘what a jerk this guy is’ and wondering what’s for dinner.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Recreative, rollicking, imperative!

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
This is my first time being part of the fringe. Before even starting the show or seeing any others, but just from the launch and meetings, I’ve loved the community aspect and the supportive nature of the venues, fellow participants, friends and the creative energy from everyone involved.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The diversity in the acts. It feels like there’s something for everyone. There’s so many outside-the-box ideas, concepts and workshops for those developing their craft or wanting to learn something new. Also, that there’s going to be Australia’s first child-led political party of kids 8–12 who are probably more onto it than we are. What a great idea.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
I feel like I need to be taking advice rather than giving it! I can’t stop looking through the program.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Maybe stars for different aspects of the show, like they do on Airbnb. I guess they probably do take all that into account before giving an overall review. I don’t know, I know I’ve struggled with the star ratings for reviews of my albums. It’s good that people are discussing ideas for better systems even if it does come back to the old-school method in the end.

Shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Crimson Tide
The Improv Conspiracy Theatre – Free Comedy Open House. All tickets 100% free
Jim, with A T by Tim Green
Shania Choir
If You See Her Say Hello and Ladychoir



ELIZABETH from Bullet Heart Club on Vimeo.

How to Fringe 2017: Ben Volchok

Ben Volchok
Writer, performer, podcaster

Ben Volchok Presents…
23 September, 17 September – 1 October
Howey Downstairs and The Butterfly Club


Ben Volchok. Photo by Alanna Marshall

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
The reanimated corpse of Spike Milligan.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Independent. Unusual. Inspiring.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Opening night of my very first Melbourne Fringe show in 2015. It was a bit of a shambles but incredibly exciting.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
Challenging but rewarding.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
Melbourne has a really vibrant and wonderful arts scene and the Melbourne Fringe sees a lot more non-standard performances come out of the woodwork.

What’s your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
Ask friends, look up your favourite artists, scour the program and pick random new things whose vibe clicks with you.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
“If you like X, then you’ll like Y.”

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Sam Marzden’s 1950's B-Grade Sci-Fi Movie
Alice Tovey: Mansplaining
Alderstead Heath by Alex Chilton
Death to America by Sean Bedlam
PO PO MO CO: Recreation & Leisure

09 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Hannah Camilleri

Hannah Camilleri
Writer, performer


Vision Statement
15–19 & 24 September
Club Voltaire


Hannah Camilleri. Photo by Pat Mooney. Design by Bonnie Mooney

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Danny Kaye from The Court Jester, but not from his other films; I haven’t seen the others. His humour has transcended time so I’m really curious to see if he would enjoy the humour inspired by his own work. Give me Bette Midler, Glenn Close, Angelica Houston and all the other witched who had starred in films. Give me everyone who is interested in watching be silly and enjoying it. When are we silly and not enjoying ourselves? Come for the fun and stay for the Q&A.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Hey Hey Yeah!

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
My current director, Tom Halls, emerging from underneath a performer’s long white train and dancing passionately, and via tight choreography, to Madonna’s "Frozen" in The Festival Hub. I knew then that Tom was the epitome of Fringe and that he had to direct my show. So, he directs and performs. We get it. He’s in a show called How To Kill The Queen of Pop and he’s going to blow your head off.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
It feels quite magical to be on the inside. As the audience we see the festival approaching and book tickets, but on the inside something builds and everyone’s bursting to share what they’ve been working on for months prior.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The hub being in North Melbourne makes for a different atmosphere to that of CBD-based festivals like MIFF or MICF. I see it really as a westie festivals. West fest best yes-t please.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Okay! Go through the program and circle what you’re interested in, even if it’s a hunch, then choose your strongest, dirtiest hunch, choose a time to see it and start to add other shows either side of it. You want a few in a row so you’re not basing your whole experience of Fringe on one show. Soak up the atmosphere of moving from show to show in one day/evening. I wanna see lists and hear, ‘Do we have enough time to get to that venue?’.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
I’d like to see established artists and shows giving a stamp of approval to other established or budding artists and shows, this way we’d know if we would potentially like it because other performers like we have given their stamp of approval. Does that make sense? Call me, but I’ll be pretty busy preparing a show for Melbourne Fringe 2017.

Five shows/events you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
How To Kill The Queen Of Pop
Josh Glanc: Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chamedian
Chilton-Chalmers: Night Out in Melbourne
TESTOSTalone by Liam O'Kane
Let’s get Practical! Live. Presented by The Very Good Looking Initiative

How to Fringe 2017: Dean Watson

Dear Watson aka Dr. Duck
Sketch comedy writer

Dr. Duck
13–21 Sept
The Courthouse Hotel

Dr Duck cast

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Graham Linehan: Creator of The IT Crowd and Black Books.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Eclectic, underground, fun.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
The first time I saw Neal Portenza live; I haven't missed a show since.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
It's hard work but it's great when it pays off. Lots of people will give you kudos for having done it.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The people who are drawn to be part of it.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Find a performer you like and ask them for recommendations.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
There probably is. Ducks would be fun, but it might not catch on.

Shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Alice Tovey: Mansplaining
Al and Matt Go Halvies, Matt Stewart and Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall
Ben Volchok Presents....
Butt Donut by Annie Louey

08 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Lee Naimo

Lee Naimo
The Big HOO-HAA!

Melbourne's longest-running and best-loved weekly impro comedy show

The Big HOO-HAA! 24 Hour Show
23 Sept – 24 Sept (24 hours straight!)
Sokol

SM: TWENTY FOUR HOURS! Is there anyone who wants to live-Tweet all 24 hours?

The Big HOO-HAA

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
A hybrid of Prince and David Bowie – the world needs them back.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Melbourne’s Best Fringe!

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
In 2013, during our last 24 hour show, two cast members who were wrestling knocked a painting off a wall onto the head of a third cast member, who was sleeping at the time in our backstage area. Hilarity and concussions ensued!

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
It’s challenging, due to awareness of the Fringe from the general public, but also a chance to try out new formats and push ourselves creatively. Fringe festivals are so important in the artistic landscape.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Try something new – there’s so much of offer and so many new and exciting shows to see, get out there and soak it up!

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
A lot of publications during Fringe don’t even use a rating system. It’d be helpful to have a summary section detailing who this show is suitable for, and who it might not suit, because most shows have some kind of demographic who would enjoy them.

Shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Partybucket by Lee Naimo and Sophie Kneebone (Two of our ensemble members)
MUMMY. A Sexy Comedy Party,  Brianna Williams (Hoo-Haa Senior Player)
Shania Choir
The Travelling Sisters: NOO SHO

How to Fringe 2017: Bridget Sweeney

Bridget Sweeney
Actor, occasional stage manager

Too Soon, Too Now
14–19 September
Upstairs at Errol’s

Bridget Sweeney. Photo by Jordan Peters

If you could invite anyone to see show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Lorde. To give thanks.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Everything is Art.
(Oh zing, they didn’t even pay me to say that.)

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Probably the Madonna party in the hub last year. My creative partner, Fiona Spitzkowsky, and I definitely let our body’s move to music. And it was the fateful night our project Too Soon, Too Now baby was born.

Also, I declared my love to Megan Washington. Megan, if you’re reading this, I still do. Come see my show.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
Outside of being an audience member, my first involvement in Fringe was in 2014 when I stage managed Adam Spellicy’s The Glass Menagerie. This year is my first time in Fringe as a performer, and I am super excited.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique
It really celebrates that anyone can be an Artist.

The city becomes alive, and it's inspiring to see so many creative juices flowing and ripening.

What’s your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
See everything and anything you can.

See the Melbourne Fringe Festival is like a box of chocolates … you never know which ones are nuts.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
The emoji okay symbol. Choice. 👌

But with no limit as to how many you can give. None of this out of five business – the limit does not exist.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
The Children’s Party
Hyper-Fragility with Candy Bowers and Victoria Chiu
Where’s David? by Sandra Chui
Too Ready Mirror
It’s Not Me, It’s Lou

07 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Genevieve Giuffre

Genevieve Giuffre
Actor
(also recently finished Lilith: The Jungle Girl at Edinburgh Fringe)


Genevieve Giuffre

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
ABSOLUT–LEE–EREBODY

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
I remember seeing The unspoken word is ‘Joe’ at La Mama in 2012 and loved it. What a Fringe Bizarre!

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
I haven’t done a Melbourne Fringe yet! Hoping for 2018.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The fresh Melbourne/Sydney/Straya talent!

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Go through the manual/web site and follow your hunch. You may only get one chance to see The marriage of kim k (a new opera based on The Marriage of Figaro.)

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Maybe a flavour chart? I really liked in Edinburgh when performers would say, “This shows not for everyone but if you know someone who’d love it, spread the word!”

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Let’s get Practical! Live. Presented by The Very Good Looking Initiative
Betty GRUMBLE: Sex Clown Saves the World
The Super Queer Murderess Show. A marginalia of fatal femmes
ECHO
The Sky is Well Designed

How to Fringe 2017: Tanya Di Vella

Tanya Di Vella
Singer, writer

Purple Reflection: Remembering Prince
25 September – 1 Oct
The Butterfly Club


Tanya Di Vella. Photo by Kieran McNamara

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
That’s a tough question. I would’ve loved to have invited Prince and hoped he would approve but of course if it wasn’t for Prince passing I would never have created this show in honour of him.

Otherwise perhaps my older brother as I insisted on taking him to the next Prince concert after I was lucky enough to be there for the Piano and Microphone tour. There was no next concert.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Celebration. Independence. Diversity.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
When I was fairly new to Melbourne I went with my husband to see a show at The Butterfly Club. Whilst the show itself was quite enjoyable, I remember how surprised I was at the quirkiness of the venue. If it wasn’t for me wanting to get amongst things in Melbourne to get more acquainted with the city I now called home I wouldn’t have found The Butterfly Club. If it wasn’t for the Fringe Festival, I may not have headed out at that time at all due to my hectic schedule.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
This is my first time. So far I have found everything great. The people on the Fringe team and The Butterfly Cub staff are very friendly, helpful and patient with all the questions that I have as a new comer. It feels like a fun festival to be part of.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
The festival is very inclusive and welcomes such a range of diverse participants, especially as it's open to weird and unexpected art.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Be open to trying something new. You never know what you might find.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe?
Ugly Duckling by Spanky! & Karla Hillam
Katie's 80s by Katie Visser
Hi, Can I Help You? A Comedy Cabaret of Retail and Loneliness
The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World
Faith. A celebration of the world's most unholy queer icon: George Michael



06 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Grant Busé

Grant Busé
Musical comedian, MC, independent producer

The Birds And The Beats
19–24 September
Wonderland Spiegeltent

Grant Busé

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
The Minister for Education. The show is about the importance of sex education. It’s a cheeky look at all the things we should have been taught about sex while growing up, but also an insight on how to better educate future generations.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words.
Cheeky, musical, educational.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Doing my first comedy show, The Shuffle Show, with my collaborator and friend Elena Gabrielle. We created something special in Melbourne and then went on to take it all around the world.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
I think Melbourne Fringe is one of the best festivals I've attended for support independent artists. They have free workshops in the lead-up to fringe that cover everything from budgeting to marketing to sponsorship.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique.
The artist support. They also have a great record for inclusion, recognition and supporting the weird and the wonderful. I mean, they had a giant inflatable vulva at the launch party - sooo Melbourne Fringe.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Check out the emerging artists. The festival often is a testing ground for new material and works. There is something incredible about the energy of trying or seeing something for the first time. Works evolve so much over the space of a year. Go see something at fringe then go see it again next year. Be a part of the journey!

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Stars don’t really say anything about a show and can be subjective. Rating art is like rating peanut butter. Some people love it, some people don’t and there will always be someone allergic to it. Read the review quotes* is your best bet. They actually say something about the show, what to expect, and what makes it unique. If it sounds up your alley – it probably is.

*SM: and the reviews.

Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
The Last King of Vaudeville by Idris Stanton
Hamiltunes. An Improvised History by Impromptunes
Seen & Heard by Becky Lou
High Achievers by Chelsea Zeller 
A Bok In Progress by Lauren Bok