The 11 unmissable works of the 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival

Melbourne Fringe Festival is back for its whopping 35th year allowing our creative culture to flourish within the margins of diversity.

Fringe is not a weird place as some may think; it is a play and space that is accessible to everyone, providing opportunities to thousands of artists each year. The aim is to nurture artistic independence by pushing the boundaries, getting audiences to move beyond what is safe and challenge any assumption out there.

This year, there are new and radically emerging works which continue to prove that Fringe is unlike any other arts festival. It is the highlight of the Melbourne arts and culture calendar celebrating bold ideas and the unconventional.

The 2017 programme sees over 440 events in the two and a half weeks meaning there is so much for you to discover. Here are our top 11 picks for what to see at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.


BETTY GRUMBLE: Sex Clown Saves The World
With ceremonial precision and deranged wit, Performance Artist BETTY GRUMBLE enslaves her audience with a powerful call to arms as she raptures in the complexity of the woman body as a political site. Showing from Sept 26th-30th. Book HERE.


Papillon Unplugged
Circus for grown ups. A spectacular and debaucherous buffet of circus, cabaret and comedy turning typical circus on its head. Showing from Sept 19-23 and 26-30. Book HERE.


Graeme of Thrones
In this critically acclaimed theatrical journey through the Seven Kingdoms, avid ‘Thrones’ fan Graeme just wants to recreate his favourite fantasy saga on stage. He doesn’t quite have the same budget as the TV show, or as many cast members, or the performance skills required, but he’s sure George RR Martin would approve – and that’s what matters. Showing from Sept 11th-17th. Book HERE.


A thought-provoking journey into the psyche of the modern man and the human condition, expressed through choreography and original music composed exclusively for this exciting new dance theatre production. Showing from Sept 21-25, 27-28 and 30-Oct 1. Book HERE.


Design It. Make It. Wear It.
Work with theatre and installation designer Jennifer Tran to create your perfect party outfit made from upcycled materials. Make yourself a fabulous feathery fascinator, fru-fru fringed skirt or vest, cute animal ears, a tail… your outfit can be as fantastically fanciful or fabulously fashionable as you can imagine! Come back to ArtPlay in the afternoon to “wow” the room in your self-styled swag at the Melbourne Fringe Kids Club. Showing from Sept 30th-Oct 1st. Book HERE.

Live Art

Pivot is a live art conversation kick-starter that connects you with your fellow citizens in a tête-à-tête mediated by a talking seesaw. A joyful and provocative intervention in public space, Pivot will help you unleash your inner child as it playfully looks at the role of conversation in our democracy, gifting you, the people of our city, a voice (plus you legit get to ride play equipment for art). You can’t see without a saw. Pivot will help balance things out. Showing from Sept 14-17, 19-24, 26-30 and Oct 1st. Book HERE.


Shania Choir
Shania Choir is a group of a capella singers united by a love for leopard print and armed with the prerogative to have a little fun. This eleven gal, four guy group came together to form a choir dedicated entirely to the one and only Shania Twain. Shania Choir explore the personal and professional life of Shania Twain through song, dance and drag. It is an a capella journey that will bring you that little closer to the diva herself. Showing from Sept 15th-16th. Book HERE.


The Last Journalist on Earth
Facts are just opinions. Truth is dead. News is only interesting when it’s better than the story lines in your favourtie show. Every media outlet has been taken over by fake news the last journalist on earth goes underground to start production on stories dedicated to the truth and only the truth. But it turns out the best way to make people interested in the truth is to wrap it in a little bit of a lie. #MakeTheNewsGreatAgain. Showing form Sept 19th-23rd. Book HERE.

Social Events

The Most Fringe Show Ever 
If you thought you’d seen some Fringe-y things in your time, think again – things are about to get REAL up in here. Melbourne Fringe’s newly-crowned Living Legends, Rinske Ginsberg and Ian Pidd, are taking over the Festival Club for one night only, whipping together a fabulous Fringe-stravaganza unlike anything you’ve seen before. This powerhouse duo has Fringe running through their veins, and boy do they know how to put on a show. You can expect quintessentially Fringe performances from Festivals past, present and future, untold tales from illustrious alumni, and… well… who knows what else? Fringe is 35, after all, and like any good dirty-thirty-something, we’ve got skeletons in our closet. Showing on Sept 26th. Book HERE.

Visual Art

Art in Public Places
Everyday spaces become art sites as we discover artwork and artists from around the world and around the corner. Art in Public Places reminds us of the importance of public space for its ability to host diverse social exchanges and the communication of ideas to those who seek them, and those who happen upon them, in equal measure. Showing from Sept 11th-30h. Book HERE.

Words & Ideas

Art as a Game Changer
Art, in its many forms, has a long history of reflecting society’s values. It is often seen as a preservation tool – not to preserve the world as it is, but to preserve our perspective of the world at any one time. Different perspectives of reflection can challenge audiences to critically assess their own moral values and challenge an onlooker’s own beliefs or particular ideology. In turn, this encourages consciousness and social change. Showing on Sept 19th. Book HERE.


These are but a mere suggestion to the over 400 strong calendar of Fringe events. See as much as you can during the festival, and immerse yourself in what will challenge you creatively, intellectually and personally.

Fringe will run from September 14th until October 1st. For tickets and more info, head here.


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