Fringe Festival is returning for another year, to turn Melbourne into a vibrant and diverse hub of creativity.


The byline “Why are white men so defensive? #LOL” is the reason this show made it onto our must see list. The love child of one radical black feminist comedian Candy Bowers, and a first generation mixed-race dance maker Victoria Chiu, Hyper-Fragility aims to question and disrupt the white patriarchical status quo. Sure to be a beautiful mix of comedy, politics and physicality, this show is a must see if you want to be educated and entertained at the same time.

One Of The Good Ones

Adopting the ethos of Afro-futurism, Cope St presents a “blackfella sci-fi exploring race and space.” A satirical plays which explores the struggles of Indigenous Australians through cheesy, sci fi comedy conventions. A tongue in cheek story of three misfits breaking a handsome space warrior Barry out of a jail run by the Causaxon Army, is a societal critique only thinly veiled. This spectacle will make you laugh but may also hit a nerve in the wake of the highly publicised injustices against the Indigenous community, and the disproportionate incarceration that goes largely unreported.


Dancer, singer and choreographer Isabella Whawhai Mason, in collaboration with sound designer Andy O’Connor and projection artist Edward Dan, presents oneSELF. A multi-disciplinary look at the notion of identity through the lens of one performer, oneSELF asks ‘what does it mean to feel associated or disassociated with facets of your identity?‘ This contemporary work mixes live soundscapes with projections and physical performance to create a visceral and aurally immersive experience. An affecting performance that will question the very nature of identity and the diverse facets which come together to create the singular definition. The initial idea for this work spawned from Isabella’s relationship to her cultural identity as an Australian-Maori woman. Isabella’s vocals and footage of her body are warped and manipulated by her collaborators in a live setting, feeding the notion of the fractured identity which changes as it is filtered through others. 

Check out the Facebook event here. 

Scatter-Brains & Doodle-Heads

This contemporary dance performance show draws inspiration from and celebrates the disappearing art of daydreaming, in conjunction with comical musings on the interaction of politicians. A double bill of the whimsical work of ‘Wandering Mind‘ (Scatter-brains) and tongue in cheek ‘Political Décor’ (Doodle-heads). An inspired combination of these two works is guaranteed to culminate in a dynamic and surprising result. These works will feature performers Indigo Hunt, Kaitlin Malone, Brodie Lucas, Jenaye Furlong, Alexandra Bircher, Kane Pentreath, Vanessa Northcott, Damian Meredith, Madaleine Armstrong, Emily Sterry, Tim Kirsop, Asher Mcglone, and Nasim Patel. 

Check out the Facebook event here. 

Slow Bodies

Taking the audience out on the street, ‘Slow Bodies’ is a series of site specific contemporary dance performances at the Victorian College of the Arts campus. Two dance duos explore corporality and the landscape while trying to draw the parallels between the two. Created and performed by emerging VCA students Oonagh Slater and Rachael Wisby in collaboration with performers Ebony Howald and Nasim Patel, these performances will interact with the landscape in an act which can be interpreted as erosion or preservation.

Check out the Facebook event here. 

Uncle Bobby’s Found Sound

To call Melbourne’s Uncle Bobby just a musician would be doing this act a disserve. Better described as a multifaceted experimental art pop project, Found Sound is their newest multidisciplinary endeavour. They take the essence of their wild, unpredictable, sporadic shows into a new work which uses found everyday objects to create homemade instruments controlled by robotics, hydraulics and mechanical parts. An experiment in new and innovative ways to create pop music becomes an emersive absurdist theatre performance.

Check out the Facebook event here. 

The Vagina Monologues

Eva Ensler’s play gets a new life when taken on by Deafferent Theatre who strives to create an inclusive and accessible theatre landscape. The pairing of physical mediums, sign language and theatre perfectly combine in this multifaceted feminist work. The multiple voices within the script are expressed through Auslan, spoken English, and English captions in this innovative retelling.

Check out the Facebook event here. 

If there’s not dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming

Another show with a brilliant title, takes the detritus of contemporary pop culture and throws it in a melting pot to create a rich contemporary performance. Film scripts, pop songs, elaborate costumes and dance are reassembled into a work which critiques the way which women’s bodies are treated in popular culture. This show has sold out shows internationally and describes itself as an explosion of “feminist confetti”, which sounds like an experience not to be missed.


A veritable smorgasbord of trans and nonbinary performers come together in an incredibly varied lineup of hybrid performance acts. Spanning from participatory photographic work of Elija Montgomery to Raina Peterson’s contemporary Indian dance performance, the absurdist theatre with Dove Quinn as well as Leon Andon’s physical theatre adaptation of Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs. Closing with a cabaret performance by Luca Lovejoy and the electro-poetica beats Yelris creating a multi-sensory conclusion to this incredible lineup.

Ladies of the Celluloid Carnival

For a relaxed experience at the festival, The Emerald City will be playing a vibrant selection of silent stars and contemporary shorts in the bar space. Curated by the organisers of the Melbourne Women’s Film Festival, the selection of films is chosen to highlight the often overlooked work by women in film, in front of and behind the camera.

Tickets to all of these shows can be found on the Melbourne Fringe website.