The 2018 Melbourne Fringe Festival program is a veritable kaleidoscope of diversity – featuring over 770 LGBTQI+ identifying artists and presenting a range of exciting work that challenges traditional norms and pushes boundaries (and maybe just a few buttons!). This year, Fringe artists will tackle a range of hot topics and explore issues that have significant impact within queer and non-queer society.
Some of this year’s festival highlights include award-winning artist Selina Jenkins (Beau Heartbreaker) with her brand-new work, Thy Neighbour – the true story of two queer women who were driven from their home in a rural Victorian town during the same-sex plebiscite. Thy Neighbour is showing at Hare Hole (13 & 14 September at 7pm) and Fringe Hub: Arts House (18 – 21 September).
Drag Race: A Parody Game Show by Joel Allen, a spin-off of the hugely popular RuPaul’s Drag Race, will pluck two contestants from the audience to undertake challenges, trivia, and of course everyone’s favourite…a lip sync battle. Drag Race: A Parody Game Show is showing at Vau D’Ville (25 – 27 September). Lou Wall’s Drag Race is another fierce RuPaul-inspired variety show by Louisa Wall, featuring female and non-binary drag performers, showing at Fringe Hub: Lithuanian Club – Ballroom (25 – 29 September).
Pilepileta by Sheree Stewart will investigate her experience of being a “big queer Aboriginal woman in a small redneck town”, encapsulating the resilience of the human spirit in a poignant, painful yet powerfully beautiful show. Pilepileta is showing at Theatre Works (25 – 30 September).
Transgender comedian Chloe Black tackles issues from her breadth of experience living as both genders in her stand-up comedy Transistor Sister, delving into her life and outlook on dating, coming out, and living true to one’s self. Transistor Sister is showing at Pilgrim Bar (20 – 28 September).
After an acclaimed performance at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival, Sophie deLightful hits Melbourne Fringe with Anatomy of a Power Pussy, challenging perceptions and provoking thought about “empowering energy that challenges us to be the fiercest versions of ourselves”. Anatomy of a Power Pussy is showing at Hare Hole (15,19 & 22 September).
The Boy, George fictionalises the real life of Prince George, turning him into a queer, fame-obsessed teen and exploring society’s fixation with the rich and famous. The Boy, George is showing at Errol’s & Co. (20 – 25 September).
Other LQBTQI+ highlights of the program include stand-up comedian Kirsty Webeck performing her relatable and hilarious I Get It Now, Elysia Hall’s How Good are Dicks, and the multi-disciplinary, queer, contemporary performance Church of Oyster (pictured above) presented by trans, non-binary artist Marlena Dali.
Melbourne Fringe is a big, bold and playful celebration of independent art that takes over the city from 13 to 30 September 2018. See established and emerging artists stand side-by-side to ask the city – are you game? Fringe is a fun, affordable way to experience art in Melbourne. The full program is being announced on 15 August and tickets will go on sale via at: www.melbournefringe.com.au