Melbourne Fringe top picks

My Life in BoxesMelbourne’s longest running and most popular independent arts festival kicks off today with more than 5000 artists in 400 events over 19 days taking over Melbourne and beyond. Arts Review takes a look at some of the shows worth checking out.

As You Like It
25 September – 5 October

Presented by Spark Theatre Company, Shakespeare’s comic tale of love, lust and secret identities. Meet a group of ordinary people who believe in equality and the right to pursue their heart’s desires.  In a society where their rights are being eroded they attempt to create a new compassionate society where love of all varieties has a chance to thrive.

The Bookworm
17 – 20 September
Meet Paige Turner; a book-obsessed recluse, literally eating her way through literature in order to find her soul mate. But she’s moving dangerously close to the truth and her fantasy land of books is becoming more difficult to hide behind. Will her soul mate find her buried amongst the novels and notes or will she need to go outside?

The Loman Empire: The Sitcom
An unauthorised satire of Death of a Salesman

17 – 28 September
Arthur Miller’s classic play is re-imagined as an American sitcom with all the usual comedy characters: Willy Loman, frustrated father and husband, Linda, his despairing wife, well-intentioned sons, wacky neighbour, hard­-nosed boss, friendly barman and flirty city women. Does Willy finally get that raise? Will Biff actually find love? Tune in to find out!

MKA: Richard II
17 – 28 September
Hot off a country-wide tour of last year’s controversial, sold out Melbourne Fringe show Unsex Me, creator/performer Mark Wilson attacks Shakespeare’s Richard II – a God-king who realizes he’s human – and comes out with a treasonous consanguinity of celebrity, corruption and religious self-love. Whoever your political Gods are – Richard is the acknowledgement that they are human, corruptible and compromised.

My Life in Boxes
17 – 22 September
Created and performed by Tarah Carey and Tim Rutty, My Life in Boxes unpacks the story of a pathological hoarder on the brink of being uprooted from her carefully constructed existence and placed into palliative care. Exploring themes of grief, guilt, perception and happiness, My Life in Boxes unfolds between the past and the present, the ground and the air in an imaginarium,

My Struggle: The Life and Times of an Individ in a World full of Hipsters
19 – 26 September
The Violent Romantics blast into their Melbourne premiere with sold-out hit My Struggle. It’s Post World War One and times have changed. Contemplating what comes next we meet four returned servicemen: Richard, Joseph, Hans and Lionel. An eccentric artist, Lionel is coping with a rejection from famed training college, That Art School. What happens next, nobody could have predicted!

Sassy: Mama Alto sings Sarah Vaughan
24 – 28 September
Some called her Sassy, some the Divine One. Sarah Vaughan was one of the finest jazz singers of all time. Her sumptuously rich voice and poignantly nuanced interpretations created a phenomenal, timeless and lush musical splendour. Countertenor diva, cabaret artist and jazz singer Mama Alto and musical director Tiffanni Walton are delighted to pay tribute to Sassy.

Symphony of Strange
30 September – 4 October
An immersive dance work, set to a smouldering live orchestra of 50 non-musical instruments: the banal, broken, found and fascinating. Choreographically inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s Psychoanalysis of Fire, the work explores how the body responds to the volatility of fire, the fury of heat, the intensity of temperature.

The Worst of Scottee
30 September – 4 October
UK performer, Scottee is wowing audiences across the globe. Performed in a photo booth, he encounters past flames, ex-friends and people who no longer like him in an attempt to find out where he went wrong.

Fringe Hub
Located in North Melbourne, the Fringe Hub offers a curated selection of works from the program, special themed events and late night dancing, across ten energy-­filled venues. No night is ever the same, and many events are free.

The 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival continues to 5 October. For more information and the full program, visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au for details.

Image: Tarah Carey and Tim Rutty in My Life in Boxes

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