FRINGE WORLD 2018 was as wondrous and magical as every Fringe before it, and no doubt every Fringe to come. It is the one time of the year when Perth belongs to the freaks, the weirdos, the talented and the hilarious, and our streets are liberally coated in hot pink invitations to indulge in a veritable multitude of art forms. Showcasing talent from just around the corner to across the world, FRINGE WORLD is undeniably a brilliant, shining jewel in the crown of Perth. This top 10 is only one writer’s experience, as with over 750 shows on offer, there’s only so much one person can see. Shout outs to a couple of our other writers’ favourites such as Power Ballad, Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique, Briefs, Lauren Pattison and more. Such is life, art and subjectiveness: here’s 10 of the best from NATALIE GILES in 2018.
1. HOT BROWN HONEY
Fierce women of colour preaching from the pulpit of their combined experiences to enlighten, educate and empower all people to be better humans, to empathise more, and to find their bliss through dance, song, and life itself, this was an absolute standout for many people for a variety of reasons. Each one found meaning within it, learned something from it, and that is true power in art.
2. BETTY GRUMBLE: LOVE AND ANGER
This award winning, phenomenal, sex clown warrior wowed Perth audiences with her personal festival of avant-garde feminism and is justifiably, unanimously lauded for good reason. We can’t wait to see her return to us in all her glory and continue to save the world. All praise the queen.
3. DJUKI MALA
Magical, mesmerising, and positively life affirming, Djuki Mala is so much more than just a show – it’s an experience. A positively joyful celebration of our First Nation people, Djuki Mala offered up the finest mashup of cultures through various dance forms and once again won Perth hearts. Djuki Mala is the purest of love, delivered directly into the veins in a mainline of revelation through dance.
4. EL BIZARRO
The ultimate in torture circus, El Bizarro continued to wow crowds in 2018 with a jaw dropping line-up of international and local talent, and revelled in the revolting, the strange and the downright beautiful.
5. CLUB SWIZZLE
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – Club Swizzle is charmingly wicked, and a delectable cocktail of the delightful, served with a hint of saucy and a whole lot of mischief. It continues until March 4, so indulge yourself in one last taste.
6. BORIS AND SERGEY
Genius, smutty, filthy and heart-warming, Boris and Sergey deliver the best of puppetry with the most simple of props. Despite their faceless, leather forms, never before have audiences been so invested in stuffed boys lives, or cried so many tears of laughter and over their demise. They’re almost real boys, and we loved them so.
7. THE WORST
Watching CLARA CUPCAKES metaphorically and literally rip herself apart in the name of audience enjoyment as a Super Nintendo character stuck in her own game of the worst of relationship break ups was simultaneously hilarious, heartbreaking and warm, tasty soup for the soul.
An utter surprise, this particular show was the result of the writer’s Fringe-venture one night where she happened upon the best surprise of FRINGE WORLD on pure chance. Supreme clowning at its finest, there was nothing short of pure joy to be found here in the ultimate audience participation moments to be found in brilliant physical spectacle.
9. WANK BANK
The best kind of educational sexual exploration, Wank Bank was another surprise of 2018, taken on a whim and absolutely fantastic. Exactly what it says on the tin, Adam Seymour offers up sex ed you never knew you needed, and what you wished your high school teachers offered if you were ever to handle a penis. Delivered with class and hilarity, who knew that masturbating a stranger’s cucumber in time to pop songs could be so delightful? It’s the best time you can have about your man pants coming off, while keeping them on.
YUMMY were an opening week crowd pleaser, ablaze in a glory of glitter, sequins and genderqueer fuckery. A felectable blend of drag, burlesque, circus and dance, YUMMMY entirely lived up to their name in a delicious offering of tantalising desserts for every palate.
So long, FRINGE WORLD. We can’t wait for our next round. Thank you for the memories. You get five stars from us.