PREVIEW NATION: Isolated Nation's Top Picks for FRINGE 2017
For the 2017 season of Fringe World Festival, Isolated Nation is elated to present to you the first instalment of our top Fringe picks! There's no better time to get our hands and hearts set on an indulgent binge of culture. So what are you waiting for? Sink your teeth in.
THEATRE & POETRY
Just how much can you pack in to a 10 minute performance? Apparently, a lot. After selling out for four years in a row, the improvisation theatre show 600 Seconds is back for 2017. While thespians often say that "No two performances are the same" for any show, 600 Seconds takes this mantra to the maximum, with a mixed bag of performers (from seasoned entertainers to newbies) doing anything they please to impress the audience within a limited 10 minute timespan. Anything can happen, and that's the most exciting thing.
From the makers of the highly acclaimed Asian Ghost-ery Store comes a new production: Salty, the collaborative horror-comedy-drama lovechild of performer-creator Shannan Lim, performer-creative producer Jayde Harding and performer improviser Tye Norman. Together, the trio are set to entice the masses with lurid tales of Singaporean-Malay mythological horror. Each part of Salty places a ghost in a modernised context and deconstructs ideas about cultural identity, masculinity, and sex (that its creator has grown up with in both Asia and Australia). Get ready to become acquainted with a curious stillborn fetus, a slippery oily man nobody can catch, and a smouldering sex vampire seeking impregnation.
When Lady Gaga said ‘talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference, put it in a blender, shit on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it’ she was talking about this show. BLANK, written by Nassim Soleimanpour, is an exploration in storytelling that rewrites itself every night when a new actor comes to the stage. Its script is filled with blanks, as the name would suggest, that are left to be filled with whatever the actor and a blessed audience member see fit. Come on down to have your mind blown at The Blue Room Theatre as part of their Summer Nights program.
Alone Outside is a one woman show that explores how location shapes several characters, and how powerless those characters are to resist the relentless current of the influence of location. Our protagonist questions whether it’s ever possible to truly leave a place, or will that place stay with them forever. Alone Outside challenges the very definition of “home”, and why these places seem to mean so much to us. It's a show for those who have ever hated being homesick.
For a highly relevant, challenging theatre experience, look no further. Lyall Brookes is the titular prudent man; the epitome of the kind of terrifying right-wing politician that haunts us all (unless you're Andrew Bolt, of course). Coming off the back of a hugely successful stint at the Melbourne Fringe Festival where it received the People's Choice and WA Tour Ready Awards (as well as a nomination for Best Performance), this Katy Warner-directed dark comedy/thriller will be sure to engage all in attendance.
Following their wildly successful show Girl in the Wood hitting Fringe World in 2016, Rorschach Beast returns with a production sure to strike the hearts of audiences young and old, local and foreign. Bus Boy, set locally upon the Perth-beloved plains of Rottnest Island provides a poignant and entertaining insight into the past, future, dreams and companionship through the story of Jerry, a young woman whose life changes upon meeting the eponymous Bus Boy. A tale of bus theft and growing up, Bus Boy (written and performed by Izzy McDonald, directed by Geordie Crawley and performed by Sean Guastavino) is unmissable viewing for those growing and grown, lost in a world often seemingly crowded with isolation.
Malcolm Whittaker's Jumping The Shark Fantastic truly redefines the meaning of 'pop culture'. Malcolm creates a unique performance in each city the show visits, taking all inspiration from community research to establish its content, adapting to whatever environment it finds itself in while keeping its audience on their toes. If that isn't a triple threat then I'll be damned. This show is a MUST on your Fringe binge list. It's showing at PICA 1-4 February as part of their Reckless Acts season and you, yes you, can have your say in the script by filling out this survey on PICA's website: http://pica.org.au/jumping-the-shark-fantastic-survey/
Following their successful production of 34,000 Forks at the Blue Room Theatre during last year’s Fringe Festival, sandpaperplane are back with a new original musical. With the focal point on a dinner party (hosted by the eccentric yet charismatic Elliot), Fairybread revolves around and explores the universal inevitabilities of adulthood: of young adults growing up, lives changing and people moving on. But what is initially intended to be a catchup and celebration of long-standing friendship gradually turns into an indistinguishable bout of Elliot’s expectations and reality - with more unusual plans of how the night should pan out. This time, WAAPA composition graduate Jackson Griggs and Cal Silberstein have collaborated to create a uniquely contemporary musical score to accompany the darkly comedic musical.
Sleep: possessing on average a third of our time living as we know and understand it, the concept of our unconscious lives and the remnants that occasionally remain in the form of dreams is a topic of interest among thinkers alike-- and thoroughly pondered over in Michael Abercromby's sell-out show Lucidity. Lucidity follows the story of Alex, the head of a lucid-dreaming company (aptly named “Lucidity”) who finds himself in a struggle between the control he is afforded to his life when dabbling with his own methodology, and the uncertainty of the stark reality he must inevitably face: life. This is a JackRabbit Theatre must-see for anyone who has ever dared to dream, or perhaps pondered the concept of alternate realities being just the close-of-an-eye away.
If My Body Was A Poem is a poetry, performance, tear inducing, laughter evoking extravaganza, brought to you by Perth’s own Maddie Godfrey. A well known poet in the Perth poetry scene they currently reside in London, but have escaped the big smoke (no beaches? No sunshine? No spoken word Perth? No wonder they’re back!) to bring this epic right to your doorstep. A personally political journey, with many highs and lows, Maddie explores hurting and healing, breaking and remaking, all within the span of an hour and a few square metres. Will wonders never cease? Come and have your heart strings tugged, you know you want to.
Did someone say audience participation?! Before you all cringe and hide come and see Player 2, a game changer in the world of ‘audience participation’. Produced by Backyard Theatre Productions this is a work of magic realism; combining the real and the imagined worlds for an experience that will make you feel things, many many things! A story of grief and how to work through it (slowly but with many laughs it seems) Player 2 is an innovative work that will help its audience members confront their realities with a helping hand, or a shove when required. Not to be missed at The Moon as part of Fringe Festival 2017.
The first live theatre performance in Western Australia’s oldest remaining building? Say no more. Skylight Ensemble Theatre brings you their latest, and potentially greatest work (but I won’t call it yet) Out of the Cave at The Roundhouse in Fremantle. This venue that has previously hosted ghost tours, hangings, and some of WA’s notorious criminals, not in that order, now brings you a piece that explores issues the youth of Perth face today. Devised from interviews and discussions with the young people of our city this experience is for the youth by the youth, and if you don’t feel convicted to buy a ticket then may you all be hanged!
Get your dancing shoes on with cult cabaret hooligans and mischief-makers Briefs in a late-night romp of music, performance and mayhem. Reportedly formed in a bookstore warehouse in Brisbane, the boys have made a name for themselves as party animals of the the craziest kind. Be sure to check them out!
Back by popular demand, Limbo is a tour de force of dangerous circus antics. From the creators of Blanc de Blanc, this record-breaking, award-winning sensation is a celebration of otherworldly proportions, directed by Scott Maidment (Strut & Fret), set to Sxip Shirey’s thrilling live score and presented in a magnificent 1920s inspired Spiegeltent.
Continuing to defy expectations with an electrifying journey to a world of glamour and abandon, Velvet is a raucous and seductive fusion of disco, dance, and circus. After enthralling audiences worldwide, this Joe Accaria-directed show is set to be a sensory-overloading extravaganza.
Returning to Perth with a new show, comedy hypnotist Matt Hale is serving up suggestions to those brave enough to take the stage. World renowned and fresh from his UK tour, Hale guarantees laughs with his new feelgood hypnotic suggestions. Its always your choice whether you enjoy the show from your seat or the stage, but Hale always guarantees that those who do take part have the most fun of all! Arrive a sceptic and walk out mesmerized by Hale’s fresh take on hypnosis.
Renown online personality Neel Kolhatkar returns to Fringe World bigger and more brazen then ever, debuting his new show #ObjectifyNeel. His stance? He believes brown men should be sexually objectified more. You heard him. He's a stickler for confronting political correctness (and those who claim to hate it) – and he will tell you just why. Whether you're familiarised with him or not, his show is a must-see for anyone who refuses to shy away from barbarous honesty. Enter unabashed and hilariously cynical examinations of race, youth, culture and politics — all bound to have you howling with laughter.
Fresh from your parent’s nightly news broadcast, recovering lawyer and barefoot news anchor, James McHale, is substituting his thongs for a pair of handmade leather shoes to ask some of our local perthonalities some light-hitting questions. Unshackled from the binds of camera and script, McHale is set to use his God-given gift of the gab to entertain, question and make the odd euphemism.
If you thought the service at Raffles Wednesday was poor, try your hand with some of the world’s worst hoteliers, Basil, Sybil and (of course) Manuel from Barcelona. Unscripted and completely improvised, no two shows are ever the same. Universally acclaimed, this is comedy theatre of the highest calibre. Completely immersive and utterly entertaining, it’s just as good as the third season of Faulty Towers that we never got. Come for the meal, stay for the hijinks.
If you’re lucky enough to have stumbled across The Comedy Factory in Fremantle, Ben Darsow will be a familiar face. Nominated for Best Comedy at last year’s Fringe, Darsow returns with a fresh laugh-out-loud observational and improvised stand-up show. Described as ‘an engaging and effervescent comedic talent” by the Herald Sun, Darsow is a Fringe '17 must see.
MUSIC, DANCE & PHYSICAL THEATRE
Local folky feminist rocker Lucy Peach explores how to optimise the rhythms of life in her Fringe show My Greatest Period Ever. Peach promises to explain 21st century feminity in a gushing musical account of how she tapped into the creative flow of her menstrual cycle. A mix of education and crystal clear peachy vocals, this show is not one to be skipped.
Created by vocalist/pianist Deborah Brennan, A Case of You pays homage to one of the most inspiring singer songwriters of the Woodstock generation. Whether you're an old fan, a new fan or have never heard of Joni Mitchell in your life, this show is guaranteed to be a winner. The show is an intimate portrayal of Joni’s biggest works, sprinkled with stories along the way where Brennan reveals the influence certain songs have had in her own life.
Presented by Sophia Natale and Eve Newton-Johnson, The Art of Intimacy promises to be emotive, warm, curious and evocative in every aspect. It's an intertwinement of dance and human connection, of the world and the people it encompasses, and the intricacies that make us what we are. 'We promise nothing but give everything' — and isn't that all one could ask for?
If you're a fan of hip hop and dancehall, look no further. Defying cultural boundaries and stereotypes, this show combines choreography and freestyle with hard-hitting beats for an explosive set performed by some of Perth's best street dancers.
Yogic disco? Chakras will be very much aligned during Fantasy Light Yoga. A little bit deep house, a little bit stompy, a little bit Jane Fonda, a lot of whacky weird; Fantasy Light Yoga is an energetic ritual/yoga/dance/party where everyone is a participant and there are no spectators. Live local DJ’s accompany the evening with driving beats to inspire the party vibes. Punters can come party in a no judgment zone. Find 30 with a lil bit of Fringe baby.