The Melbourne Fringe Festival is nearly upon us, featuring hundreds of shows, exhibits, installations and events set to take over every cramped venue and performance space around town. The Fringe program is jam-packed with young artists presenting their hard work, including a wealth of LGBTQIA+ performers expressing their diversity via everything from comedy and sketch to cabaret and art. This dynamic festival is all about experimentation - so take a chance on these ten wild and wonderful queer highlights this Fringe season.
Nic Spunde (The Improv Conspiracy, Soothplayers) takes you on a merry frolic through the happily shag-free life of the asexual. After a wonderful-yet-limited run at this year’s MICF, Spunde brings back their hilarious, thought-provoking hour of storytelling and stand-up. A truly personal take on an often-underrepresented minority, Spunde brings a warmth and energy to Asexual Healing that will delight and educate audiences. Highly recommended.
Belleville (Globe Alley, CBD)
September 19th - 24th, 7:15pm
5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche
The Off-Broadway cult hit makes its way to Melbourne. Set during the peak of the Cold War in 1956, this bright and cheery five-character play has a dark side - the women of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are celebrating their annual Quiche Breakfast, despite the threat of nuclear annihilation. An uproarious romp exploring feminism, sexuality, politics and savoury pastries.
Lithuanian Club - Main Theatre (44 Errol Street, North Melbourne)
September 24th - October 1st (No Monday), 6:45pm (5:45pm Sunday)
PO PO MO CO
Queer comedy collective PO PO MO CO (aka Post-Post-Modern Comedy) have had a stellar 2016, selling out monthly shows with their eclectic mix of sketch comedy, contemporary clown, neo-burlesque, vaudeville, drag, performance art and political satire. The talented ensemble are bringing their outrageous and wicked brand of humour to Fringe for three shows only - so book your tickets early to catch this rambunctious troupe of queer performers push boundaries and wreak havoc.
Hares and Hyenas (63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy)
September 15th-17th, 9:00pm
Fringe award-winning writer/performer Shannan Lim (Asian Ghost-ery Store) returns with a new work venturing into the mythology of his Singaporean-Malay heritage. Split into three short and spooky plays, Lim and Jayde Harding present contemporary portrayals of the dark and lurid demons of this world. Complete with stunning video projections, this will be a colourful and sinister experience you won’t want to miss.
Lithuanian Club - Son of Loft (44 Errol Street North Melbourne)
September 24th - October 1st (No Monday), 9:00pm (Sunday 8:00pm)
Murder On The Pacific Diamond
High energy duo The Sparrow Men (Marcus Willis and Andy Balloch) present a hilarious ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’-style show. Playing all the guests, entertainment and staff aboard luxury cruise liner The Pacific Diamond, the audience gets to play detective and solve the murder of star attraction Dame Elizabeth Heinrich. Part sketch and part improv, The Sparrow Men will take you on a wild journey of crazy characters and high-octane laughs.
The Improv Conspiracy - Theatre (Level 1, 19 Meyers Place, CBD)
September 24th - October 2nd (No Monday or Thursday), 7:45pm (Sundays 6:45pm)
Mama Alto: Extravaganza
The fierce, femme and fabulous Mama Alto explodes with killer vocals and delicious storytelling. The gender-transcendent diva will blow you away with her vibrant stories and sumptuous songs. A powerful hour of jazz cabaret celebrating the diverse and the marginalised.
Lithuanian Club - The Ballroom (44 Errol Street, North Melbourne)
September 16th - 23rd (No Monday), 9:15pm (Sunday 8:15pm)
Described as a "queer-existential-self-coup d’etat", Ezel Doruk (Po Po Mo Co, Gallipoli) dares you to take a journey inside his brain. Exploring sexuality, politics and identity, with a fresh perspective from his Turkish heritage, Gurkish promises to be an absurd, mind-bending one-man show.
Tuxedo Cat - Alley Cat (293 - 299 La Trobe Street, CBD)
September 22nd - October 1st (No Monday or Tuesday), 7:15pm
Lisa-Skye's Queer Comedy Showcase
Colourful writer/comedian Lisa-Skye presents a multi-act variety hour featuring a bevy of queer and diverse performers. Covering everything from stand-up and storytelling to clowning and music, every night is unique and every night is set to be a party - so anything could happen! Be sure to check out Lisa-Skye’s solo show Spiders Wearing Party Hats as well.
Wick Studios - Room 11 (23-25 Leslie Street, Brunswick)
September 22nd - 27th, 9:45pm
Hardqueer Deathpony (You've Had Worse Things In Your Mouth)
If the name alone doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will. A psychedelic installation performance work, this promises to be a feast for the senses, with a blistering soundtrack of dance, J-pop and death metal, trippy lights and interactive elements. Exploring notions of gender and masculinity, and its associations with homosexuality, this is set to be a brain-melting experience like no other.
Arts House - Warehouse (521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne)
September 24th - October 1st (No Monday), 8:15pm (Sunday 7:15pm)
A joyous and empowering hour of cabaret and burlesque. Writer/performer Jessica McKerlie presents a feast of original music and poetry that highlights the fine line between men and women. Inspired by her own explorations and understandings of gender fluidity, this is a brash and personal celebration of what it truly means to be human.
Hares and Hyenas (63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy)
September 25th - 27th, 7:00pm
Find out more about Melbourne Fringe here.