Step into the truth bubble: Melbourne Fringe Festival launches 2019 program

Melbourne Fringe Festival 2019 returns 12 – 29 September with over 455 boundary-pushing events from 2,718 participating artists across 140 venues, including the exciting new home of the Fringe Hub, Trades Hall.

This year Melbourne Fringe is In Search of the Truth. Cause Collective (US) invites its participants to step inside a giant inflatable speech bubble/photobooth confessional and take a seat in front of the camera’s curious eye and respond to the prompt: “The truth is…” The participants’ truths will be collated into a public exhibition at Chapel off Chapel, projecting a diverse portrait of people within the community and across the world. Live art experience 13 – 15 September, Prahran (various locations), exhibition 26 – 29 September, Chapel off Chapel.

Don’t miss Moira Finucane in The Rapture Chapter II: Art Vs Extinction which has already enjoyed globally-acclaimed premiere seasons in Miami, Slovenia, Denmark, Berlin and Prague. Inspired by her odysseys from Antarctica to the red centre of Australia, Art Vs Extinction welcomes audiences to the lair of the Snow Queen; a spike-crowned, claw-fingered jewel-encrusted angel of the apocalypse who, dressed in cascading silk couture and surrounded by dripping icebergs trapped in ghost nets, rumbles into apocalyptic life. 11 – 29 September, Fortyfivedownstairs.

Comedy highlights include Mormon Girl: the hilarious, bizarre and beautiful coming of age story of Jess, the eldest daughter of a rural Mormon family who taught her that her body was off limits. Born with a disability and no uterus, Jess takes off on a solo journey of self-discovery, learning all the things her doctors, priests and parents never thought to tell her. 21 – 29 September: Fringe Hub, Trades Hall. Another hilarious highlight is comedy legend Jimeoin who will be testing out material for a new show: 16 – 19 September, Storyville.

Club Fringe will host some of Melbourne’s best parties, including Rhythm Nation – a night dedicated to the one-and-only Janet Jackson, in celebration of 30 years of her iconic album (20 September, Fringe Hub, Trades Hall) and Kick On – a Fringe-style Grand Final party hosted by Betty Grumble (28 September, Fringe Hub, Trades Hall).

Be sure to catch Society, the circus-cabaret of the season. Influenced by the best party on earth, Mardi Gras, the show combines Cajun party culture, French exuberance, Creole voodoo, masquerade and breathtaking acrobatics. 17 – 29 September, Fringe Hub: Trades Hall.

After touring the globe, the legendary cabaret YUMMY is back in Melbourne. The multi-award winning, fabulous ensemble present YUMMY DELUXE, a mix of new acts and YUMMY favourites of breath-taking drag, music, circus and burlesque. 9 – 29 September, Fringe Hub: Trades Hall.

Shrines and Half Truths is a satirical, immersive outdoor audio experience that takes travellers on a journey to discover hidden gems. Join performance alchemists Binge Culture on a guided adventure through Werribee, and navigate the township with the aid of a smartphone, an app and headphones. 18 – 22 September, Werribee War Memorial.

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
12 – 29 September 2019
Tickets on sale 9 August at