Drawing its inspiration from two of America’s most famous boardwalks in entertainment history (the infamous At-lantic City, and the family friendly Coney Island), The Boardwalk Republic is the only south-side arts and theatre precinct running during the much-loved Melbourne Fringe Festival in September.
Wowing theatregoers within the iconic Gasworks Arts Park and buildings, the program is designed as a family friendly arts festival, with free outdoor entertainment as well as a vibrant mix of ticketed productions. This year sees 13 outstanding companies come together to present a spectacular programme; offering up a lolly jar of works covering circus, theatre, comedy, cabaret, burlesque, magic, and sideshow.
Add to that international performers, new acts, stalls, nightly free events, food vans, music, visual arts and laughter and you have a festival that’s colourful, exciting, and accessible – The Boardwalk Republic literally has something for everyone. Highlights of the programme include:
16 September – 3 October
A combination of ultra-violet light, body paint, puppetry and acrobatics, Luminous is the only show of its kind in the world. Presented entirely in a black light theatre, hand balancing, contortion and club juggling become intense visual spectacles that challenge the fundamental principles of physics and gravity.
22 September – 4 October
Inspired by the world of shadows where anything goes, and the gritty underbelly of society, Barbaroi is a blend of high octane circus, cabaret and physical theatre. With a cast that has previously worked for C!RCA, Circus OZ, Pants Down Circus, Inner Vision, GOP and Pallazzo, Barbaroi features a hand-picked crew of the world’s most talented performers presenting their breath-taking acts, and acrobatic feats.
They Say She’s Different
22 – 26 September
Journey to the hard hitting early 70’s where sex sells, music is god, women are shouting out, and a good time is what counts. Betty Davis embodied this. Starring Cecilia Low as the diva herself take a journey into the heady world of music, women’s liberation and a changing society, as we re-imagine what a Betty Davis gig might have been like.
The Vaude-Villianous Mr Gorsski
29 September – 3 October
Boo, hiss and applaud the most villainous of all classical performers. The charismatic, cartoon-like Vaude-Villainous Mr.Gørski shares his favourite old school, variety-style, seemingly impossible tricks and skills with ease. It’s juggling, but not as you know it.
The Boardwalk Republic runs 15 September – 4 October 2015 at Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park. For more information and complete programme, visit: www.gasworks.org.au for details.
Image: Luminous (supplied)