In the year of the impossible, Melbourne Fringe will deliver a festival full of weird, wonderful, thought provoking and boundary-pushing art. From 12 – 29 November, audiences can choose from 250 shows, all taking place either outdoors, digitally, in the home, via audio, behind glass or over the phone. Australian Arts Review takes a look at ten events worth checking out:
A Rain Walk
Your Neighbourhood: continues to 29 November
A Rain Walk is an interactive audio walk for adults and families created remotely with children from across Australia and New Zealand. With their guidance the rainfall will become your own private theatre, a space in which to observe, imagine and play. Because we are no better at predicting when it might rain than you are, everything you need to experience the show is contained within a little box that is posted to you when you purchase a ticket. Keep it safe until the weather turns. Then, whether in a drizzle or a deluge, alone or with friends or family, we invite you to step outside, feel the rain on your face, and think about your place in a world that is changing so swiftly around you.
A Red Square
Delivered to Your Home: continues to 29 November
A USB is delivered to your home. Your name is on the envelope. Inside is a hilarious, touching, filthy f*ck storm of a story. A Red Square jams nostalgic narratives, cartoons, and cultural taboos into a non-consensual semi-biographical PowerPoint about the life of a red square. A square that, under your command, will move, want, fail, dream, breathe and most importantly, die. For when this square realises it is part of a twisted long-form powerpoint presentation, it might just fight back.
A Stone’s Throw
Digital Fringe: 25 – 28 November
The piece creates a parable set in a land of idyllic beauty where the people live in a serene pastoral life. A sudden misfortune in the community, forces the other members into a contemplation of their mortality. Different characters are going through recurring cycles of life and trying to explore its true meaning, which may be a challenging yet beautiful journey. Although the theme is philosophical, the performance is light in touch and has flashes of humour as it moves through and reaches an uplifting conclusion.
Digital Fringe: 12 – 28 November
The world is shit. You’re stuck in your room. You get onto Zoom. You meet Charlie, who’s been in her room her whole life. She doesn’t know she’s stuck. You’re the first person she’s ever encountered from the outside world. You have 15 minutes. If your words were the only thing a 12-year old could hang on to in this maddening world, what would you say to her?
Digital Fringe: 12 – 28 November
Frankenstein’s Telephone is a conceptual artwork created using artificial intelligence to examine how computer vision expresses gender classifications. On this site you can view AI Artist J. Rosenbaum’s original works exploring gender as seen and created by computers, read about the techniques and algorithms used and have the opportunity to make your own works from a text prompt or an image upload. Play your own game of “telephone” and share the generated captions with your friends so that they can enter it in to keep the chain going and produce weird and wonderful AI artworks!
Love Does Cost a Thing
Digital Fringe: 26 – 28 November
A cabaret celebration of love, loss, riches, and fame, Love Does Cost a Thing is the unauthorized story of the world’s hottest Latin pop star. Come along with Jenny while she tells the story of her unwavering quest to find love. With Latin music, vocals, denim and diamantes, relive JLo’s craziest exploits and greatest hits in her iconic search for love. Directed by Sally Bourne, Love Does Cost a Thing is created and performed by Hannah Canon.
Digital Fringe: 13 – 27 November
Experience New York’s weird cabaret underbelly that’s not often seen outside of the seedy Big Apple – until now! Butch Mermaid and Thinkery & Verse are creating some sexy, spooky, safe fun for your Halloween season, featuring performers from a macabre cabaret scene that even New Yorkers are a little afraid of. Inspired by a 1920’s fortune teller’s shop in New York, Macábaret invites a Melbourne audience to peer through Zoom into a dusty crystal ball and see a variety of acts filled with spooky, strange, silly and downright sinister spirits.
Red Mill Revue!
Digital Fringe: 13 – 28 November
A celebration of the human form in all its variations. Our multi-disciplinary performers combine burlesque, dance, vaudeville, tease, comedy, cabaret and music into a high energy variety show that’s fun for everyone. Our online event means you supply your own seat, but you’ll only need the front – that’s where you’ll be glued. Regardless of your persuasion, orientation or occupation, if entertainment is your inclination – then Red Mill is your destination! Since you can’t come to us, we’re coming to you as part of Digital Fringe. Professionally filmed through multiple angles so that everyone gets the best seat in the house.
Digital Fringe: 18 – 22 November
SLIPSTREAM is an experimental storytelling fusion of Dance, Cabaret, Performance Art & Theatre weaving past and present in a ritual reclaiming of the self from techno tracking and Viral contagions and into human tales from the intersectional travellers of time and place, nature and nurture in an essence personal expression. Starring Neville Williams Boney, Miss Tree & Glitta Supernova.
Take Over! 2020: I Miss You Antarctica
Digital Fringe: 19 & 26 November
The next r/evolution in Moira Finucane’s globally acclaimed Art vs Extinction Suite – this austere and apocalyptic fever dream stitches live museum exhibition with submersive theatre and a mass-mortality event. Exploring grief, loss, isolation, stark beauty, deep time, ice melting and hope – at epic and intimate scale. You are invited into an imagined-Antarctica – the only place on earth with no permanent human habitation – to dream of a future together. Inspired by Finucane’s recent trip to Antarctica to witness the majesty of what we have and what we can lose. I Miss You Antarctica is where mortality and hope collide. Make a penguin, mix a mojito and bring a bowl of ice.
The 2020 Melbourne Fringe Festival takes place 12 – 29 November. For more information and full program, visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au for details.
Image: Moira Finucane shot on location in Neko Harbour Antarctica – photo by Scott Portelli