Fringeworld ends with a bang!
If you were in the vicinity of Northbridge in the past four weeks and didn’t pop in to see anything – anything – that was scheduled as part of Fringeworld 2014, all we can say is shame on you! Had Fringeworld been a smaller, shorter-term affair featuring only a handful of acts and set up in only one section of Northbridge would have been a decent enough strategy to inject colour and life back into the somewhat tarnished area. But the fact that this year’s festival was set across several venues (including the Perth Cultural Centre and Russell Square Park, both transformed into grand carnival atmospheres), hosted over 450 acts, and boasted many a sold-out show borders on the magnificent. Nay, it’s testament to sheer magnificence! After enjoying a couple of dozen of shows, Cream can attest that this was the best Fringeworld Perth has seen by far. And we’re hoping it is the beginning of something even bigger and better each and every February. From intimate comical productions like the camp two-hander ‘Drags Aloud’ and relatively humble (in props budgeting, at least) ‘Gameshow Gameshow’ to big, brassy, bluesy affairs like Yana Alana’s ‘Between The Cracks’, a merry time was had at just about every outing. Yana Alana, in fact, might do well just off-Broadway – her provocative brand of cabaret performance is that good. Truly, I have never laughed so much in 60 minutes. The fact that most shows came in at just under an hour made Fringeworld events even more appealing, especially to a newer generation of ADHD-afflicted creative types. That the prices started at $5 a show made enjoying more entertainment economically, with some punters seeing up to three productions a night, and even coining a new term: ‘fringe-bingeing’. This year’s festival should certainly have government funders wide-eyed and ready to inject cash into next year’s – with box-office turnover being well over $3.2million, and with many local productions having reported full houses. It’s an impressive achievement, considering that well-established fringe festivals, such as that in Edinburgh, see attendances averaging at 10 per cent daily. Once again, if you didn’t get yourself to a Fringeworld event this year, shame, shame, shame on you. Next year we’ll be asking one of those big, busty, S&M-doyenne-looking women to lay you over her knees and spank you good and proper.