The world-renown Fringe Festival took to the streets of YMCA HQ in Leederville on the weekend, and was an unprecedented success with over 300 people attending the diverse range of shows.
The HQ facility was packed out over the three-day spectacle, with live music, improvised comedy sketches, multimedia installation art, contemporary Indigenous Australian art and a psychedelic jazz musical among the entertainment on offer.
HQ Manager Andrew Rigg said the turnout to the inaugural event’s opening weekend surpassed what they were hoping for.
“We’re absolutely stoked - we just did the count and with about 250 tickets sold, competitions and people who didn’t come to the main shows but came to the side shows, we had over 300 through,” Andrew said.
Interestingly, the high attendance wasn’t what Andrew was most pleased with.
“One of the best things about the weekend was the diversity of acts that we had on, and also the diversity of people we had show up,” he said.
Andrew added: “Over the weekend we had 8-9 year old kids through to grandparents attending, which is new for us given we usually look after the 12-20 year olds at our events, so that was awesome.”
The opening weekend kick started with three exhibitions on Friday night; young Aboriginal artist Peter Farmer, Kate Thresher’s interactive multimedia “dreamscape” installation, and young people form Geraldton’s Comedy Emporium performing improvisation shows.
The excitement continued on Saturday with six bands and two solo performers in the gig space and HQ courtyard. The line-up included: Last Lions, The Rare Kind, The Dons, Pacific Tide, Effy's Trip, Demon Days, Jack Davies and Tandem.
Rounding out the weekend was the launch of WA Youth Slam; a poetry recital that attracted a crowd of 70 people.
To execute such a successful launch of the inaugural weekend in Leederville, Andrew said they largely owed thanks to social media and their partners.
“We pushed it out primarily through social media but also through our partners, Gelo, they’re heavily involved in Fringe so they included details of what we were doing here at HQ in their advertising and programming.”
With three more weekends of theatre and shows still to come, Andrew has urged people to come along and support all of the young people performing.
“I’d really encourage people to come down and check it out, it’s great because it’s all young people so everyone involved is 25 and under - it’s the up and coming talent in Perth.”
For more information on the upcoming shows at HQ, please see below:
>>> Still to come:
A barbaric friendship weaved by pixels then strengthened by wire.
Thomas and Tweed peck and pierce each other for the fight or flight of happiness.
TWEED, a solo performance, investigates the overwhelming pursuit of positivity and the imagination it may take to achieve it.
Director and Performer: James McMillan
2-4 February || 7:00pm
Smashed by Lally Katz
Beyond the Yard presents...
'Journey across the galaxy of space and time with best friends Hazel and Ruby as they peer into the disco blur of their friendship full of love, make-believe and shining dreams.'
We Dream. We Share. We Create. We are Beyond the Yard…
2-4 February || 7:45pm
Smells Like Meme Spirit
You know that smell you smell when you walk into a teenage boy's room? It's a very specific smell isn't it? Almost like something died. Well it didn't die, but it didn't want to take the bins out like mum asked it to, so it just like... Festers. Yeah well prepare for 50 minutes of that.
Sit back as these three young guns of stand-up comedy try their best to pine for your attention just like your own kids do. But don't give them the attention, give it to us, please.
Stand-Up, Sketch Comedy, Musical Comedy, and a game show thing.
3-4 February || 8:30pm
'I Do' is a new take on the old concept of marriage. In an alternate universe where we've done away with pomp and circumstance and brought back the biff, we watch Harry and Ryan struggle to finish the obstacle course of getting married. Forget bouquets and elegance - this is a fight to the finish line. Constantly sabotaged by high-school-friend-cum-wedding planner Mia, these two love-birds will risk it all and test the boundaries of their relationship. Come along for some dirty, kick-you-under-the-table wedding fun. To the happy couple!
9-11 February || 7:00pm
Where the Giant Fell
A forgotten secret sleeps beneath the waves that kiss the shores of a dying seaside community. When a fisherman fails to return home and a strange creature washes in with the tide, secrets surface and the painful past unravels. Where the Giant Fell uses shadow puppetry and poetic storytelling to tell a uniquely Australian tale.
Piffy on a Rock Theatre Company, a group of fresh graduates from WAAPA’s new Performance Making course, will make their Fringe debut performing at Leederville YMCA HQ in association with Propel Youth Arts. This adaptation of Where the Giant Fell as seen in Tilt at The Blue Room Theatre in 2016, promises to bring all ages into a world of magic.
9-11 February || 8:30pm
Anna & Liv
A couple of close mates navigate a stalker situation, how to sell their unsellable couch and try to answer that corker of a question a lot of twenty-somethings face, "What's next?". Granted, they're not trying very hard. Also, they have a fairy god-banana.
16-18 February || 7:00pm
Stand Up, Skit Down
Life is dumb and weird, and we are here to point at it and laugh.
Skits and Stand-up by emerging comedians; for some of them, this will be the first time they have an audience that isn't themselves naked in a mirror (we can't guarantee we won’t be picturing any audience members naked). These fresh faces to comedy will have you rolling out of your seats with laughter as they burst onto the comedy scene
16-18 February || 8:30pm