There really is no better time to enjoy everything Perth has to offer than during Fringe, when our sunny Perth days turn into beautiful, balmy nights spent being wowed by entertainers from around the globe. Fringe World is back in 2018 to bring us one blissful month of buzzing bars and pop-up venues, dazzling shows, flowing drinks and good old belly laughs.
We know there’s a tonne of shows on offer at Fringe and, being the stand-up guys that we are (pun intended), we thought we’d put together a handy little list of our top picks so you can hone in on the best shows at Fringe World in 2018.
This brand new show from cabaret extraordinaires La Soiree—who have sold out three Fringe seasons in a row with their sassy cabaret and acrobatics that defy the laws of physics—is coming to light up our new fave pop-up The Ice Cream Factory. You might even get a drink poured from someone who is literally suspended in the air. We think this one’s going to knock your absolute socks off!
Hot Brown Honey
This one’s for the women. Hot Brown Honey, touted as one of the most exciting shows hitting this year’s festival, features a host of powerful and talented First Nations women from different international backgrounds who are smashing stereotypes and having a damn good time while doing it! From the producers behind Briefs, you know it’s going to be cheeky yet sophisticated, and include some mind-boggling theatrics.
Briefs: Close Encounters
If you see nothing else for the entire month of Fringe World, see this. The boys at Briefs blew us away last year with their night of mischief—think disco meets ‘boylesque’ meets circus—and we can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store with this brand new show, Close Encounters. Expect crazy aerials, incredible artistry and ‘warped speed strippers’—brace yourselves, people.
Hailing all the way from Arnhem Land, the Djuki Mala boys sure know how to put on a show. Incorporating moves from their traditional culture with contemporary renditions of disco faves, the show was a sell-out last year and we are pretty sure it will be again. Entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny and heartfelt at the same time, this is a must-see!
This fast-paced show brings together a selection of guests from across Fringe World for a night of disco dancing, circus and incredible feats of physical theatre. These guys are blowing stereotypes to bits at Club Briefs with their stellar showmanship and we guarantee you’ll have a damn fun night hanging out with them.
Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale: Mindfoolness
If you want to seriously LOL at a family member or friend, take them to this show and get them up on stage. Alternatively, if you want to walk out of a show feeling like you just slept for a week, take yourself and volunteer to participate! Matt Hale’s ‘Mindfoolness’ is as tasteful as hypnotism shows come and will have you in stitches as well as in awe of the unreal things unfolding before you. Go and see it!
If it’s been a while since you went for a checkup, make sure you go see Dr Ahmed in his follow up to last year’s sold out ’Doctor in the House’: Cabaret Consultations. Looking at the make-up of doctors and the human dilemmas they face, this show’s going to be musical, visceral, and pretty darn funny we assume. You know what they say—laughter is the best medicine, so you’d better book your appointment.
Divas: All Male Revue
Ever wondered what it would be like if Adele, Liza Minelli, Madonna and Amy Winehouse were all alive at the same time? Well, if you go see this show, you won’t have to wonder anymore! Presented by Perth locals Proud Entertainment Group, the superstar divas will dazzle and impress as they impersonate and portray all your favourite celebs from throughout the ages. It’s a no-brainer.
TRIAGE! A Nursing Cabaret: Discharged
Back after last year’s blockbuster tour, Triage! is back to translate the secret language that nurses have been speaking for years for our entertainment. Join the medical madness as this brand new show makes a world debut!
If you’re single and like to laugh, this show is for you. Let Chris Henry be your wingman with his hilarious jokes and bizarre banter, all in the name of getting single people ready to mingle. He’ll provide the conversation, you just have to take care of the good looks and charm.
(NOT) The Bachelor Live On Valentine’s Day Hosted By Luke Bolland
Fans of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, unite! Join local comic Luke Bolland for this beautifully unscripted hour of goodness where four singles enter and one couple leaves. For a cute date night with bae/current tinder date, or a fun night out with the squad, this is the place to go.
Kevin Quantum: And For My Next Trick
Ever wondered about the science behind magic? With more mind-boggling tricks than you can poke a wand at, this show from Scottish magician-scientist hybrid Kevin Quantum will make you laugh and go ‘whaaaa?’ all at the same time. Since this guy’s now referring to quantum physics as his ‘hobby’, you can pretty much bet your life savings on that he’s pretty bloody good at magic. So go see it!
Plumbing The Death Star
Film & Multimedia/Comedy
What began as a podcast network between a group of mates (or, a group of ‘like-minded idiots’—their words, not ours) has turned into a comedy show with a cult following of people the world over. Reportedly for the ‘geeks and nerds’, go here for a good dosage of pop-culture comedy.
This show from small performing arts company ‘Company 2’ is a chance to see circus redefine itself. If you want to see some something on the deeper side that still includes feats of physical impossibility, this will be the show to catch.
Glittery Clittery: A Consensual Party
We are loving the amount of glitter and sequins this show appears to feature, as well as the fact that it stars three female comedic powerhouses who are uniting to bring us a comedy-cabaret club night. Get the girls together, get glammed up and crack the champas, this one’s gonna’ be good.
Oh, to write jokes for a living. Anyone who can crank out punchlines on request has got to be funny, right? Michael Shafar’s Kosher Bacon is dedicated, as the name suggests, to hilarious contradictions. If you are looking for a show that’s clever and quick-witted, as well as downright funny, this could be it!
Josh Glanc: 99 Schnitzels (Veal Ain’t One)
Well, this guy won Best Comedy Award at last year’s Fringe festival, so say no more. 99 Schnitzels (Veal Ain’t One) is reportedly ‘bizarre, provocative, random and clever’—again, say no more. It’ll be one of those show’s that leaves you uncontrollably laughing while shaking your head and looking around at your mates going ‘ohh-ma-gaaahd’. Get a ticket, period.
All The Rage
Visit the funny side of anger with Claire Hooper as she returns to Perth to deliver this comedy show inspired by the irrational and unjustified anger we all have in common—that which is directed at our mothers. Go and laugh along as you pretend you’ve never broken anything while raging with anger—that includes your mother's heart. Yeah, we thought so.
Luke Bolland: Name Dropper
Who doesn’t like a good name-drop? If you love celebrity gossip, or just love a good laugh, be sure to catch our very own Luke Bolland spinning uncensored yarns about his time spent among the A-listers at this unmissable stand-up show. We’re most looking forward to his stories about Will Smith, and anything that’s advertised with redacted information…
A Different Class
Ah, Perth people love a bit of good ol’ fashion class warfare—the humorous kind, of course. Catch this show to see it at it’s finest, as the world’s of Grant from rural Scotland and Nic from Leafy Leederville collide in what’s sure to be a spectacularly funny display of banter.
Lewis Garnham: The Smartest Idiot You’ll Ever Meet
If you love to see people cracking jokes about their parents, this is the show to catch. Watch as Lewis defames his vastly well read and articulate father who’s a qualified lawyer/geneticist in a comedy show that’ll stroke your funny bone.
Interactive Experiences And Free Events
The Showman’s Dinner
Taking over the Urban Orchard this year is The Showman’s Fair, a wild Dutch mini-festival with all sorts of things going on—one of which is this long table dining experience which is happening literally every single night in February for a doable $20.
Visual Arts & Design/Comedy
We were all thinking it, they’ve just said it. All those visits to grandiose museums in Europe are about to pay off when you get the humour behind these ‘old as f*ck paintings’ that are paired hilariously with ‘modern as f*ck captions’ by WTF Renaissance. We’re just sad they beat us to it. Obviously go check it out.
Free & Community Events/Events
The series of free events that need no introduction, Noodle Palace is back again and this year it's at Elizabeth Quay. There’s roaming entertainment, live music, DJ’s, drinks and food—and there’s also two Fringe venues with shows happening throughout the festival. You know what to do!
Chinese New Year Fair
Free & Community Events/Events
This cultural extravaganza is easily one of the best nights of Fringe, with a parade, food stalls, lion dragon dancing, games and rides all hitting Northbridge for a whole day of ringing in the Chinese New Year. Stuff your belly full of delicious Chinese delicacies while you’re at it.
The City of Perth Buskers Weekender
Free & Community Events/Events
The first weekend of February is going to see Perth City streets light up as street performers and entertainments from all over the world are given timed slots across seven pop-up stages. This weekender will see Guinness World Record attempts, flame juggling acrobats and a whole host of other feats of impossibility. Remember to take some cash to flip into these guys’ hats!
Blue Water Vaudeville
Guys, this is a literal after-dark underwater cabaret show where mermaids wow you with moves (as if mermaids needed to do more to wow us…) It’s the first time Fringe has seen a show like this, and it’s the perfect thing to catch between shows, on your way to a show, between drinks… you get the message. Just stop by and see it!
The Big Splash WA
Free & Community Events/Street Art
We’ve been waiting for this moment. The moment where we could announce to you that a pod of wildly colourful dolphins is coming to Perth streets and you can spend a whole day looking at them! The kicker is that this project is raising awareness for children's mental health, and when it’s all over you can even take one of the dolphins home via auction with all proceeds going toward the same cause!
Under The Sky Sessions
Free & Community Events/Music
If you’re anything like us, you probably always forget that Fringe also happens outside of Northbridge. Like, it happens everywhere. So branch out this year and hit up the Under the Sky Sessions at the Sunset Veranda (Brighton Reserve) right on the beach. Local and live acoustic music with drinks and eats on offer at sunset? Get us there now!
Free & Community Events
A place where everyone is ‘most unwelcome’ to ‘not enjoy’ this very ‘unfair day’ in Leederville. Featuring ‘unlucky dips’, ‘bad family portraits’ and ‘misfortune cookies’, this is a street party with a twist. Perfect for introducing the fam to Fringe or perusing the shops while enjoying the buzz of Fringe all around.
Want more? Find more awesome things to do in Perth here.
Image credit: John Leonard