FRINGE WORLD 2018 is almost upon us and, with hundreds of shows spread across dozens of venues, it can be hard to know where to start. We've put together a list of ten shows that we expect to be among the best.
What we say: After last year’s delightfully meta Sophie Joske: Household Name, Anna Piper Scott and Sophie Joske return with another collaborative effort that has rocketed straight to the top of our list. We're expecting another dose of insightful, witty humour from these two self-deprecating comedians.
From the guide: “Sophie's not completely gay. Anna's not completely a woman. Each of them is almost a gay woman, but not quite. Together, they're Australia's ninth-favourite queer comedy duo, Almost Lesbians and they're on a mission to create the perfect Fringe show.”
When Our Molecules Meet Again* Let’s Hope They Remember What to Do (*Probably in Space)
What we say: Stuart Bowden’s pathos-rich shows are becoming a FRINGEWORLD staple for us. His shows are equal parts silly and wistful, painting a vivid dreamscape with a Casio keyboard and a dearth of props. He’s an awkward, beautiful man with an unrivalled ability to create legitimately thought-provoking, ludicrous stories.
From the guide: “Cosmic comedy kindly presented by somebody who is obviously pretending to be an alien. There is a thing far away in distant space. It's hard to imagine, but it is a majestic animal that completely dominates its environment. It doesn't know what it's actually supposed to be doing.”
Tessa Waters - Volcano
What we say: A master of visual comedy, Tessa Waters is a classically trained clown with a remarkable stage presence. She can skillfully deploy subtle physical gags but her trademark rambunctious persona has a tendency to explode like, well... like a volcano.
From the guide: “Tessa has been thinking a lot about the apocalypse. Due to a lack of knowledge in woodwork and an inability to run, she is sure to be the first person you eat... she hopes to convince you otherwise.”
Anna Piper Scott: Water Off a Cuck’s Back
What we say: Local comedy phenom Anna Piper Scott delivers a solo show this fringe with a decidedly political (and highly topical) barrage that rails against the toxic masculinity that is so rife in society. Leave your man cards at the door. In fact, burn them because they are a terrible concept that deserves a fiery death.
From the guide: “Anna Piper Scott is a cuck. At least, that's what people tell her on the internet when she starts talking politics. Which is weird, cause she's usually pointing out that she *doesn't* like seeing people get screwed over. So, like all good provocateurs, she's prepared a manifesto/vanity project, to massage her ego and save the future.”
What we say: Gillian English is a fantastic comedian and leaves no cage un-rattled in her forceful - and entirely reasonable - deconstruction of traditional power structures. Fuck with her at your peril, but go along for the ride and have your eyes opened to the reality of what a post-patriarchal world can be.
From the guide: “Queen Margaret was the original Cersei Lannister. She was the model for Claire Underwood. She was a woman so cut throat and cold, she would make Lady MacBeth s**t her pants. Only, none of that is true. From Hillary Clinton's emails, to Margaret of Anjou cursing the royal family, the way we view women in positions of power hasn't changed much.”
Josh Glanc: 99 Schnitzels (Veal Ain’t One)
What we say: Our greatest regret from FRINGEWORLD 2017 was missing out on Josh Glanc’s debut show. It’s a surreal journey into the mind of one of Australia’s best new comedians. Thankfully for us, and the rest of Perth, Glanc is bringing it back for another round of ludicrous and random humour.
From the guide: “Winner of Best Comedy Award at FRINGE WORLD 2017. Don't miss the return season of the smash hit sell-out show that won the Best Comedy award last year.”
Perhaps Under Stars that Would Stretch Forever (Joey Page Explains the Universe in Under an Hour)
What we say: Joey Page, dapper and charming young man that he is, delivers a brand of inane comedy that is ably supported by his ability to work a crowd into a giggling fit. Join him in what we expect will be a rambling diatribe that showcases the talents of this polymath comedian.
From the guide: “What is the point of all this? (Life) Are there parallel universes and if so what are they like? Want to learn everything you ever need to know about the universe through the medium of an idiot? (Yes) Is the world ending? (Probably) Is Jupiter a bell-end? (Definitely!) Joey Page is a boy with a washing machine-esq brain. Watch him make sense of the entire universe in under an hour (59 minutes).”
Tomás Ford: Three Show Endurance Test I Mean Retrospective
What we say: The powerhouse punk cabaret maestro brings all three of his best-known shows together for a four hour epic performance. If you haven’t seen Tomás perform, expect wild bouts of energy, trademark freak outs and his sweaty, sneering face to be pressed against your own.
From the guide: “How brave are you? Strap in and be the first to see Tomas Ford's newest iterations of his three best shows -- his spy thriller "A View To A Beer", his fizzy pop show "Pop Craptacular" and his legendary punk techno cabaret "Brawl", with DJs and 30 minutes between each show to get your nerve back. All profits go to suicide prevention charities.”
Wil Greenway: The Way The City Ate the Stars
What we say: At heart, Wil Greenway is a storyteller, and a remarkable one at that. His shows are essentially monologues acted out on stage with physical verve and delivered in such a way that you, as an audience member, can’t help but feel actively engaged.
From the guide: “Wil Greenway returns with his hit Edinburgh show, complete with live musicians and (hopefully) a live audience. A poetic storytelling show to make you laugh, cry and feel good about the world.”
Jon Bennett: JonBenét
What we say: Jon Bennett’s shows are essentially memoirs. He will take you on a journey through his past, and the thought-provoking stories he tells will have you cringing, laughing, and occasionally looking on in abject horror. His charismatic delivery is an absolute joy and his disarming ability to drop feelings-bombs on his audience is a rare trait.
From the guide: “7 x Just for Laughs Award nominee Jon Bennett has been called JonBenet by people most of his adult life. The names are similar but they are not the same person... Or are they?”