Fringiest of the Fringe – the weird, wonderful and must-watch shows at Melbourne Fringe Festival

An artist painting a portrait while skating on a ramp? Tick. A gala for an internationally renowned endurance artist and lizard Marina Abramolizardvic? Tick. A circus show about conceiving and childbirth? Of course. Embrace quirk and kookiness as Melbourne Fringe Festival 2019 takes to the stages, galleries, clubs, alleys, open spaces and nooks of Melbourne from 12 – 29 September

Watch Kieran Bullock turn moments of mundanity into hilarity in Kieran Bullock Builds Ikea Furniture On Stage and Talks To The Audience. Laugh at stories, jokes and other nonsense, all set against the background of a man building flat-pack furniture at the new Fringe Hub: Trades Hall, 21–29 September.

Would you take a lie detector test with a stranger? A multi-award-winning social experiment from techno trouble-makers Counterpilot, TRUTHMACHINE finds one audience member hooked up to a lie detector and the rest locked into a live voting system – seeking out truth in a world of fake news and alternative facts, 22–29 September at Fringe Hub: Trades Hall.

Culinary adventurers can take their places in the mock reality TV world with I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Cooking For – a cooking competition in an inner north home where one skilled audience member can steal the crown and become the next Jamie Oliver, 19–28 September

If you want to escape the confines of a theatre, jump on a bus in St Kilda for Batmania, The Bus Tour. Experience all that Batmania has to offer in this surreal, twisted comedy from 11–21 September, presented by The Very Good Looking Initiative and Theatre Works.

Fringe favourites and multi-award winners Gold Satino return with Seduction – a new drive-in/drive-by performance of intimacy set in a landscape of bleak urban grandeur about friendship, sex and bodies. 18–29 September in a secret CBD location.

Fringe is honoured to welcome internationally renowned artist and lizard in The Lizard is Present: Gala in honour of Marina Abramolizardvic. Cultural commentators and industry leaders will give an insight into the practice of the contemporary art icon, including rare stories from Abramolizardvic’s assistant. The historical moment will be marked by the appearance of the lizard herself. Fringe Hub: Trades Hall, 27 September.

Walking barefoot across Lego is a world of pain every parent can attest to, but Ferris Knight will do it voluntarily in the free event LetGO of Stigma. Based on his own experiences of living with bipolar disorder, Knight hopes to raise conversation about and awareness of mental health, as well as making a walking across Lego barefoot world record attempt. 15 September at The Dax Centre Gallery.

Circus troupe Elemental Performance Group will flip baby-making on its head, literally, with Do You Even Gestate, Bro? Experience a sperm race first-hand, get an up-close view of male gestation, and dodge some flying nappies in this ridiculously energetic and voyeuristic story of life, circus style, at Gasworks Arts Park, 19–21 September. Also at Gasworks, catch live-action painting like never before – Brett Ashby paints portraits of Australian subjects while skating on a ramp in Energy, 12–14 September.

Melbourne Fringe was established in 1982 as an annual open access festival that champions cultural democracy and supports anyone to participate in the arts. Fringe programs include the annual design exhibition Fringe Furniture, participatory public art commissions, children’s programs as well as its First Nations program Deadly Fringe, disability and Deaf arts programs, mentorships, workshops, residencies, forums, awards and touring support.

Melbourne Fringe Festival
Festival dates: 12-29 September 2019
Tickets on sale: 9 August at