• How To Kill The Queen Of Pop. (Melbourne Fringe Festival)
Melbourne Fringe runs from September 14 to October 1.
Stephen A. Russell

14 Sep 2017 - 12:24 PM  UPDATED 14 Sep 2017 - 12:24 PM

Melbourne Fringe is 35 years young this year and - as creative director Simon Abrahams puts it - is, “dare I say, queerer than ever before?”

A cultural democracy showcasing the weird, the wonderful, and everything in between, there’s a plethora of LGBTIQ+ artists involved this year. “Contrary to any postal opinion polls, there’s an increase in visibility of the diversity of the queer community and, as a result of that, we’re seeing increased positivity and celebration of that extraordinary community,” Abrahams says.

In a direct response to the postal survey, Melbourne Fringe will stage Future Futures, imagining a world where equality is a given. Hosted by queer luminaries Charles Purcell and Isabel Angus - who will mock marry to point out the ridiculousness of standing in the way of real love - they’ll be joined by the likes of Brianna Williams and the Shania Choir. A free event, donations to the marriage equality campaign will be greatly received.

“I feel like we’re able to, in a context like Fringe where we’re all about taking voices from the margins and putting them smack bang in the middle, support queer voices that have some of the most interesting views of the world around them,” Abrahams adds.

That includes hosting kids-focused event Rainbow Paradiso: Jungle Jam with the Rainbow Fam. “It’s a queer event for rainbow families, so Lyle Shelton would hate it,” Abrahams chuckles. “It’s his worst nightmare. We want to create an inclusive safe place where families can feel celebrated, not tolerated.”

Do same-sex couples really have the same rights as married couples?
“The great thing about a marriage certificate is that everyone understands what it means and no-one can challenge it.”

Check out these queer shows at Fringe:


Gone too soon but never forgotten, the Arts House Festival Club will host a flawless celebration of the ultimate father figure, disco dancing beat queen and far too funky queer icon George Michael. Curated by Little Ones Theatre - who brought their campest cool to Immaculate, last year’s tribute to Madonna - this all-faith party will bring the fastlove.  

Book tickets here.

How to Kill the Queen of Pop

Step back in time to 2000 and the opening night of the Sydney Olympic Games – remember the electric energy of love and hope crackling in the air? Well, according to this blackly comic reimagining, there was also murder on the minds of Vanessa Amorosi’s insanely jealous back-up singers. Featuring Samuel Russo, Tom Halls, Adam Ibrahim and Simone French, this promises bullets and confetti in equal measure.

Book tickets here.

The Granny Gala – A Queer Comedy Extravaganza!

If you haven’t encountered Granny Bingo yet, brace yourself. These mad, bad, old coots - Edith Vale (Thomas Jaspers), Maureen McGillicuddy (Kyle Minall) and Caroline Springs (Scott Brennan) - are about as un-PC as it’s possible to be, and definitely not for marriage equality. The monstrous trio will host a one-night-only comic extravaganza featuring VIP guest stars like Tom Ballard and Joel Creasey.

Book tickets here.

All Sorts

Inimitable drag queens Miss Ellaneous and Marzi Panne lead a sweet and sticky revue night jam-packed with the best and brightest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers. This is sure to be all-singing, all-dancing hoot at the Arts House Festival Club, and all are welcome. Expect a few all-star Fringe guest appearances.

Book tickets here.

Betty Grumble: Sex Clown Saves the World

Dubbed the queer queen of the obscene, forget horror film IT’s creepy Pennywise, Betty Grumble is the feminist sex clown you never knew you needed in your life. Described by potty-mouthed electro legend Peaches as, “transformative and wild,” you won’t want to miss her multi-award-winning vagina puppetry show.

Book tickets here.

Myriad Collective presents TRANSTRAVAGANZA

Head over the Westgate Bridge to the Footscray Community Arts Centre for this queer cultural collision of photography, Indian dance, absurdist theatre, cabaret, spoken word performance and gender-bending beats delivered by trans and gender diverse artists Elija Montgomery, Raina Peterson, Luca Lovejoy, Yelris, Dove Quinn, and Leon Andon.

Book tickets here.

Victoria Falconer: Oxymoron

Biracial and bisexual, classically trained musician and comedian Victoria Falconer embraces her multi-faceted identity while blowing labels right out of the water in this one-woman, many instruments show. Co-creator of musical comedy outfit EastEnd Cabaret and award-winning feminist trio Fringe Wives Club, she’ll tap-dance all over identity politics.

Book Tickets here.

The Super Queer Murderess Show

If hot and steamy gothic horror is your bag, join Luisa Hastings Edge as she sings you through the supressed queer histories of notorious female killers. Think torch songs for the monstrous feminine and a push back against the punishing patriarchy as set to mesmerising music by Nate Gilkes.

Book tickets here.

The Life and Times of the Divine Miss P

Iconic is a word that’s thrown around a little too liberally these days, but Melbourne drag queen sensation Polly Filla has undoubtedly earned the title after two decades in glorious service to her subjects. Smith Street’s The 86 cocktail and cabaret bar will bow down to her magnificence as alter ego Colin McLean reveals the long road to drag fame from New Zealand to conquering Australia, complete with archival footage and fab outfits.

Book tickets here.


Encompassing the lived experience of stigma faced by HIV-positive men and women, particularly during sexual encounters, this powerful piece of dance theatre tackles ignorance and insult head on. Created by director and choreographer Darren Vizer of Devize Co and performed by Laura Jane Turner, Alex Duncan and Dan Last, this moving work will be staged at the University of Melbourne in conjunction with Science Gallery.

Book tickets here.

PO PO MO CO present Recreation & Leisure

Described as the illegitimate offspring of Andy Warhol, Ginger Spice, Yoko Ono and Boy George, this off-the-wall queer comedy troupe can always be relied upon to bring the mayhem. Taking over the Lithuanian Club ballroom, expect ridiculous vaudeville gone wrong.  

Book tickets here.


After a hit season at last year’s Midsumma Festival, grab another chance to see Christopher Bryant’s thought-provoking show as the playwright and performer grapples with our sensory overloaded, smartphone imploded times, coupled with his anxiety, loneliness, amnesia and self-doubt following an acquired brain injury. Reworked as a one-man show, this one will pack an emotional wallop.

Book tickets here.


All genders – including none - are invited to this Arts House Festival Club extravaganza hosted by gender transcendent diva and jazz siren Mama Alto. Featuring a starry line-up of trans, gender queer and non-binary identifying artists, it’s bound to be a Fringe highlight.

Book tickets here.

Also check out Mama’s curation Church, a secular celebration and safe space that that worships at the altar of self-empowered queers.

Melbourne Fringe runs from September 14 to October 1. For more info, click here.