This year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival once again celebrates cultural diversity, featuring performances by 341 international artists from all over the world, including six shows from West Africa and four shows performed entirely in a language other than English.
7 Bidadari (7 Angels) – (14 Sept, Alex Theatre St Kilda)
Shot in Aradale Asylum in Ararat, Victoria, 7 Bidadari (7 Angels) is an Indonesian horror-thriller feature film premiering in Melbourne ahead of its Indonesian release later this year. A well-known 7-girl band from Indonesia called 7 Bidadari visit Australia only to meet the mysterious Mark Moore, who invites them to Aradale. Nail- biting intensity meets The Exorcist when a century-old curse unravels. Subtitled in English and Indonesian.
The Change: Revolutionary Hip-hop Theatre (13-15 Sept, Collingwood Underground Carpark)
Performed by residents of the Collingwood Housing Commission, The Change: Revolutionary Hip-hop Theatre is a musical metaphor to tear down the walls of oppression. From West Papuan refugees to the kids from a Kenyan slum, Palestinian rappers and an Afghan girl on the run, these characters’ journeys run parallel with the stories of struggle of the First Nations people of Australia. This performance includes social commentary, humor, personal stories and utopian visions served on a deadly soundtrack of hip-hop, traditional and world music with live band accompaniment to a background of incredible sets.
Michael Shafar, A Work in Progress (14-21 Sept, Lithuanian Club)
As seen and heard on SBS’s RAW Comedy, ABC’s Comedy Bites and Triple J’s Good Az Friday, Shafar is also a writer for The Project and creator of Round Squares. After another year of sold out shows around the country, one of the country’s fastest rising comedians, Michael Shafer, returns to Melbourne Fringe with A Work in Progress.
LOTUS (25-30 Sept, La Mama Rathdowne)
Chi moved to Australia from Vietnam when she was 16 years old to pursue acting. You hear that flatline? It’s the sound of her conservative parents’ hearts stopping simultaneously. After starring in the first ever Vietnamese- Australian web series Phi and Me, Chi Nguyen emerges fresher and wittier than ever with her debut solo cabaret show, LOTUS, featuring audaciously hilarious and unexpected anecdotes from her life as an international student.
Jana: Memoirs of future past (pictured) – (18-20 Sept, Brunswick Mechanics Institute)
Jana explores a transnational African black identity, drawing on the Afronaut’s unique positioning in a third-culture generation. Paying homage to the incredible lineage of storytelling embedded deep within the black/African diaspora, this work aims to break from traditional narrative forms utilizing interconnected vignettes, emotive verse, and live projections. Presented as part of Critical Mass.
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. Tickets on sale at www.melbournefringe.com.au