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Theatre Thoughts Guide to Sydney Fringe Festival

Currently in the month of September, the Sydney Fringe Festival is in full swing, igniting the city's vibrant arts scene with an explosion of creativity, entertainment, and talent. With an overwhelming array of performances spanning theatre, comedy, musical theatre, cabaret, dance, child-friendly shows, circus, free shows, street events, and workshops, it's no wonder you might find yourself wondering where to embark on this exhilarating journey. Fear not, for we're here to start your engines and oil your compasses through this thrilling artistic labyrinth.


The Sydney Fringe Festival is your artistic and theatrical canvas, and we invite you to explore it with enthusiasm and most importantly, curiosity. Get ready to paint the town pink as you embark on a thrilling artistic journey, uncover hidden gems, and experience the magic of live performance right here in Sydney.


For a comprehensive list of all the festival's offerings, visit Sydney Fringe Festival's Official Website.

 

Comedy, Theatre, Musical Theatre & Cabaret


With so much on offer this September at the Sydney Fringe Festival, it's hard to figure our where exactly you want to start your journey. With us having just returned from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as our team having their ears to the Fringe ground, we've rustled up just a few highlights we think you should catch. Remember that this is only a mere suggestion on what's in Sydney this September to October. You can find the rest by heading to: https://sydneyfringe.com/whats-on/


Titanic: The Movie, The Play

$39.00 - $53.00

07 - 24 SEP | 1 HOUR

SPIEGELTENT FESTIVAL GARDENS

SHOW IS RATED: PG


Strap on your life jacket and get ready to board this comedic homage to the most epic romance of the 90s. Join aristocratic Rose and lowborn Jack as they discover love, loss and a lack of lifeboats on the "unsinkable" ocean liner.


There's a rogue iceberg on the loose, and (spoilers!) not everyone will survive. But if you’re lucky, you might get to have sex in a car.


Things to note: This is a loving parody of the 1997 epic James Cameron film "Titanic". There are obviously some saucy moments, so parents are encouraged to use their best judgement in terms of suitability for their own children - if you're comfortable with them watching the film, then you'll all have a great time!


Theatre Thoughts: If you love Titanic, this is for you. If you hate Titanic, this is for you. If you've never seen Titanic (shame on you) this is for you!


BIG THICK ENERGY

$45.00

16 SEP | 2 HOURS

RIVERSIDE PARRAMATTA - LENNOX THEATRE

SHOW IS RATED: M


BIG THICK ENERGY is a body positive festival celebrating all bodies. It’s a jam packed day involving Pop up markets by local businesses, workshops run by curvy babes and a wild night of bad ass performances from Burlesque, Drag, Dancing, DJ’s and a whole lot of sweaty booty juice


It’s a snack pack size of the original BIG THICK ENERGY: Taking up space which runs for 3 days! So join us for an explosive evening of self love with our incredible line up of Sydney’s finest, voluptuous live performance artists.


Things to note: Safe, inclusive space for all. No discrimination tolerated


Theatre Thoughts: For all shapes and sizes. This is self love at its finest!


SAM KISSAJUKIAN: 300 PAINTINGS

$26.00

01 SEP - 01 OCT | 1 HOUR

SIDESHOW - GALLERY

SHOW IS RATED: M15+


Sam unknowingly documented his mental states over a 5 month manic episode via the creation of 300 large paintings. An epic story combining comedy and visual art to explore the Bipolar mind.


Sam has been a comedian for over a decade having toured globally. He’s recently had breakout success as a visual artist with solo exhibitions at Brisbane Powerhouse, the MRAG museum and an upcoming exhibition at Summerhall in the UK.


Winner: Perth Fringe World 2023 'Weekly Comedy Award'


Things to note: There is a one hour performance followed by a short guided tour of Sam's solo exhibition


Theatre Thoughts: Sam is a staple of Fringe and comedy circuits. His name keeps popping up for a reason. Go and indulge!


JAZZ OR A BUCKET OF BLOOD

$24.00

12 - 16 SEP | 55 MINUTES

107 REDFERN - THE PERFORMANCE SPACE

SHOW IS RATED: M15+


Childhood frenemies Jane Watt & Ange Lavoipierre grew up together in country NSW and they’re determined to entertain you, but can’t agree on how.


As the clock runs down, the mysteries pile up. Whose blood is that? How many times can you play Billy Joel’s Piano Man in an hour? And did any Bunnings employees make it to the show this time?



Theatre Thoughts: What can we say we haven't already said in our review? Read it. See them. You're welcome.


BLACKLISTED

$35.00- $39.00

05 - 09 SEP | 1 HOUR

PACT

SHOW IS RATED: M


When Almitra was 19 she made a deal with her Ma. She needed to leave Pakistan to have the future in theatre she always wanted. The two things stopping her? Her unique passport...and bloody Canada.


In this autobiographical show, with all original music, she shares her story of displacement, racial profiling, and visa rejections. Originally an angsty hate letter to Canada, the show has evolved into a heartwarming tale of borders and belonging that is both unique and universally relevant.


Theatre Thoughts: We had the pleasure of seeing Almitra's work presented at the Hayes Theatre last year and are so excited she's back!


GARRY STARR GREECE LIGHTNING

$45.00

01 - 30 SEP | 1 HOUR

SPIEGELTENT FESTIVAL GARDEN - THE VAULT

SHOW IS RATED: M


Never before has Medusa been looser, Achilles more sillies or Uranus so heinous.


2022 WINNER Sydney Fringe Festival

2022 WINNER Pick of the Fringe - Adelaide Fringe

2022 WINNER Best Comedy - Manchester Fringe

2022 WINNER Best in Fest - Gothenburg Fringe


★★★★★

"Insanely clever and gloriously stupid. I laughed so hard that tears and snot ran down my face" - Theatre Thoughts


Theatre Thoughts: We will NEVER shut up about Garry Starr! You HAVE to put this on your Sydney Fringe list of must-sees. Be prepared for the most audacious hour of comedy you will see. We promise you that you won't be the same person you were before when it is done.


JON BENNETT: PLAYING WITH MEN

$25.00

12 - 16 SEP | 1 HOUR

PACT

SHOW IS RATED: M


Now a multi award-winning touring performer of festival phenomenon such as Pretending Things Are a Cock, Fire in the Meth Lab, How I Learned to Hug and my Dad's Deaths, it seems Bennett couldn't be further away from the football field. But Jon "Pretend Cocks Guy" Bennett can never run too far from tackling the big men.


A show about community, friendships, life, death, and a bit of football.

AUSSIE RULES:

- No holding the man

- No holding the ball

- Out of bounds

- Boys don't cry


Theatre Thoughts: Don't just take our word for it, the accolades speak for themselves.


DIZZY BILITY - DEAF BLIND AND DARLING

$30.00

15 SEP | 1 HOUR

CABARET CLUB - CLUB ROOM

SHOW IS RATED: M15+


Dizzy’s live all-singing, all- dancing show about her hilarious journey learning to use a white mobility cane has something for everyone; stand up, show tunes, your favourite ad jingles with a twist, bad celebrity impersonations, and a song about being bitten by an orangutan (yes this actually happened).


Bring your friends, grab a drink at the Cabaret Club and enjoy a perfect Friday evening experience they will never forget.


Theatre Thoughts: We had the pleasure of catching Dizzy's set at Meraki during the Femeraki Festival and she was a hoot!


BLANK: AN IMPROVISED MUSICAL

$28.00

19 - 23 SEP | 1 HOUR

CABARET CLUB - CLUB ROOM

SHOW IS RATED: M


Join leading improvisers and comedians Sarah Gaul, Jacinta Gregory and Orya Golgowsky, accompanied by Nick Harriott and featuring special guests from Little Triangle. You’re guaranteed a laugh-out-loud-once-in-a-lifetime-never-to-be-repeated experience!


Theatre Thoughts: Little Triangle have quickly gathered a name for themselves for putting on quirky, unknown pieces of work with killer casts. Go and get on the train!


UNKISSED

$34.00

23 SEP | 1 HOUR

RIVERSIDE PARRAMATTA - LENNOX THEATRE

SHOW IS RATED: PG


Your first kiss is weird. Awkward eye contact, the lean-in, do you close your eyes? Tongue? It's not like the movies. Sarah wouldn’t know. She has never been kissed and is not even sure if she wants to be.


Unkissed is PowerPoint night of your dreams about about one woman’s quest to figure out how to have the perfect kiss but where do you find that information? The internet of course. Will Sarah have the perfect kiss?


Theatre Thoughts: We've had the pleasure of seeing Sarah go from strength to strength. Selling out shows in Los Angeles with her show 'Cherry', Sarah is on the up and up!


CHURCH OF THE CLITORI

$34.00

26 - 30 SEP | 1 HOUR

CABARET CLUB - CLUB ROOM

SHOW IS RATED: M


Welcome people with and from the clitoris. From where we all doth cum.

You are invited to attend the Church of the Clitori and embark upon the path of Clitoral Salvation. In the name of the finger, the tongue and the holy cum.


This body positive celebration is lead by the high priestess who will deliver her service from the mound, guiding you to the true nature of worship. We will raise our voices in honour of the Clit – those that we have, those that we desire, those that have been removed, added and those that we have cum from – every Clit is sacred.


Theatre Thoughts: The name alone should catch your attention enough to at least see what's it all about.


NO GREAT EXPECTATIONS

$29.00

26 - 30 SEP | 50 MINUTES

EMERGING ARTIST SHAREHOUSE - THE OFFICE

SHOW IS RATED: M15+


Improv comedians, Room for IMPROVment are in Sydney to hilariously ruin the literary canon one book at a time.


With only YOU to guide them, they will try and recreate some of the world's greatest novels on stage having NEVER read them before. They'll make everything up on the spot in a chaotic hour of romance, drama & suspense. Their adaptations will be anything but faithful, so have no great expectations, but each story is one that'll leave you laughing long after the final chapter.


Theatre Thoughts: Making a heck of a lot of noise in the coastal town of Wollongong, Room for IMPROVment are ones to see during their time in Sydney.


THEORETICA

$30.00 - $35.00

31 AUG - 03 SEP | 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES

SIDESHOW - BAY 43

SHOW IS RATED: M15+


What is this smug, camp dust apparition that only speaks in verse and keeps interrupting? Is escapism really a sustainable way of coping? Why is the problematic dust figure so damn alluring? Memoir in a fantasy vehicle, Theoretica is a collection of notes on the experience of untangling half-addressed trauma. But the clock is ticking, so we're gonna do it under the tremendous pressure created by the sense that one is stagnating. Fun!


Caitlin won the 2022 NIDA Award for Best Emerging Writer for Theoretica at Sydney Fringe, and was also shortlisted in the category of Best Emerging Director. The show was shortlisted for the Melbourne Fringe Tour Ready award.


Theatre Thoughts: Caitlin is one of our splendid writers and we are SO excited to see her back at the Fringe. She is definitely one to look out for!


 

Free Things


Let's face it, there's a cost of living crisis going on and not everyone can afford numerous shows, so why not break it up with juicy free things? Below are just a handful of suggestions for you to take part in the Sydney Fringe Festival, without breaking the bank.


WEIRDING WAYS - QUEER ENERGY RESONANCE

07 SEP | 4 HOURS

LOW 302

SHOW IS RATED: M15+


They may tell you about the research or concepts underpinning what they're doing, or not. It's up to them, and they decide what they do at their discretion.... that is to say, the plan very well could be that there is no plan; which is in of itself a plan.


In this project, the artists have licence to do anything they like within the resources provided, and are offered the freedom to be responsive to the moment.


This event is the very first throw-together (also known as a "premiere") in what promises to be a welcoming, sustainable, generative monthly gathering of people curious about raw creativity.


From this event onwards, we'll have a monthly 1-day workshop led by an experienced artistic facilitator followed by a live performance.


LIMITLESS EXHIBITION

05 - 16 SEP | 10 HOURS

107 REDFERN - GALLERY

SHOW IS RATED: G


An exhibition at 107 Redfern, celebrating D/deaf and disabled artists.

Featuring work by Robert Sherwood Duffield, Sue Jo Wright and Kyle Montgomery.


CLASSICAL GLITCH

12 - 23 SEP | 5 HOURS

FRINGE HQ

SHOW IS RATED: G


Classical oil painting techniques are experimented with, creating a reflective mood of contemporary, refined 'glitch-art'.


METRO MOVIE NIGHT

23 SEP | 5 HOURS

MARRICKVILLE METRO

SHOW IS RATED: PG


Live tunes, giant birds and mystical insects from 5pm. Everyone’s favourite, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (classified PG) under the stars from 6:30pm.


Head to Smidmore Street in the late afternoon for live tunes, giant birds and mystical insects. Then pick up dinner from one of the many Metro eateries, and settle in as the sun goes down


Don’t miss the best family-friendly evening in the Inner West!


CARIBE CARNAVAL

30 SEP | 4 HOURS

KENSINGTON ST

SHOW IS RATED: PG


Dance the night away to tropical music pumping from the picó – a huge, hand-painted fluorescent style of speaker stack, often found in the neighbourhoods of coastal Colombian cities such as Barranquilla, Cartagena and Santa Marta. The first in the world to be built outside Colombia!


Joining EL GRAN MONO for the night is MC Kaimán Jiménez, with picótero (DJs) Carlo Xavier, Señor Bolivar, La Foxy Fuzz and Tropicante, together with dance performances by Wendy Nedd Yepes, and the incredible Sabor Carnavalero dancers.


Do not miss this chance to experience an authentic taste of The Caribbean on the last night of the Festival.


ART OCCUPATION

09 - 30 SEP | 5 HOURS

SYDNEY PLACE

SHOW IS RATED: M15+


AI activations, pixel-mapped projected art, an Art Trail and a very suspicious DO NOT PRESS button that will analyse the amount of joy you bring to our Art Occupation, and visually represent you in a multi-sensory display.


Nick Azidis and the Projection Teknik collective will illuminate the space with world-class projection.


Rumour has it that the Poof Doof team are in on our act and will be saturating the space in colour and movement.


Also, the espresso is of quality so don't miss out.


FRINGEVILLE

15 SEP | 4 HOURS

HURSTVILLE PLAZA

SHOW IS RATED: G


Pick up dinner from one of the surrounding eateries and experience the colour and movement of both local community performances and thrilling acts featuring artists from across Sydney. Join the drumming circle and share in the rhythm, then sit back and enjoy the sounds of live world music from our gorgeous caravan.


It's a FREE party taking over the Southwest. Expect an evening full of surprises, colours, and good times.

 

Workshops & Interactive


So sitting and watching isn't really your thing? That's fine! Check out some of the suggestions below for a hands-on experience this Sydney Fringe.


WAYBARRA GIDYIRA @ THE ROCKS

$34.00

09 SEP | 2 HOURS

SIDESHOW - BAY 43

SHOW IS RATED: G


Fringe is building something. Coil by coil an animal emerges from our collective yarning. Her plumage made of our stories of reconciliation and respect.


Join Wiradjuri Yinaa (woman), Peta-Joy as she shares her language skills by speaking and teaching Wiradjuri words, and gain insights into the social and cultural knowledge embedded in the traditional Indigenous coil weaving technique.


A 2-hour hands-on coil weaving workshop for participants to immerse themselves in traditional weaving practice and have a good old yarn. Leave your finished coil to be added to The Sydney Fringes community made artwork and newest Fringe friend, Dinawan (Emu.)


INTRO TO COMEDY WORKSHOPS

$25.00

02 - 24 SEP | 2 HOURS

THE ABERCROMBIE HOTEL

SHOW IS RATED: PG


The Sydney Comedy School is running workshops in improvised and stand-up comedy!


No experience is necessary - these workshops are for absolute beginners.


Drop in to one workshop or come to them all. Each workshop will teach a different element of comedy - there will be no repetition across the eight workshops.


Saturday workshops: stand-up comedy & the art of writing comedic speeches.


Sunday workshops: improvised comedy & the art of being more spontaneous and funny during every day conversations.


BEING WELL: A 'CREATIVE PLUS BUSINESS' WORKSHOP

FREE

11 SEP | 2 HOURS

FRINGE HQ

SHOW IS RATED: PG


BEING WELL explores ways that creative professionals can purposely bring wellbeing practice into their everyday lives. Led by a creative industries and wellbeing specialist, this interactive workshop is a tonic to help practitioners remain creative for the long term.


The workshop focuses on the following topics:

+ The physical, mental and emotional aspects of Wellbeing;

+ The most effective ways to define personal boundaries;

+ Understanding imposter syndrome, self-critical thoughts and self-sabotage;

+ How business tips can (surprisingly) help with wellbeing;

+ Creative practice processes in the modern world, including managing blocks.


ARTISTS TALK: WRITING AND PRODUCING

$15.00

16 SEP | 1 HOUR