Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fringe Festival 2018

The Perth Fringe Festival, which amazingly is the 3rd biggest fringe festival in the world, is such a fun time of year. The entire city is buzzing with people and shows every night of the week during February.

Each year we go to to quite a few shows, mostly circus (and always the Kinetica shows) with a few other genres too especially if other people organise the night. This year Andrew bought me a few tickets for Christmas, one of which was Le Aerial which was my favourite show of the year.

Here's a little review of the shows that we saw this year!

Kinetica - Syncope 

Kinetica (a Perth circus company) always put on an amazing show, and every year the talented group of performers get better and better. They're always so amazing to watch and we never miss their main show which this year was Syncope, a moody and dark circus show set in the matching sentiment of St Georges Cathedral. I can't believe a church opened its doors to a circus performance, but the dark and beautiful old building really was the perfect setting.

This type of show is what I think Kinetica does best; dark performances to eerie music, with Dark Matter a couple of years ago being a similar theme. Perfect for a date night!

Kinetica - Sinsuality Noir 

This is the first year we've gone to Kinetica's other show, Sinsuality, which is the third year this show has run in various incarnations. The MC, BarbieQ really made the show, using her razor sharp wit to get everyone laughing in between the beautiful performances which were themed on the 7 deadly sins.

The quality of the show was as high as the other Kinetica ones (although more of a sexy theme), and the collaborations with other artists was really great. I loved the mix of circus and burlesque; I usually find burlesque shows a little bit samey, especially the long ones, but intermixing it with circus was a great contrast.

This is one of the shows Andrew bought me a ticket for Christmas for, and it was a really nice date night but would also be good as a girls night out.

Fringe: Sinsuality

One Fell Swoop Circus - By a Thread
What a beautiful and unique show! The group of very strong male and female performers transformed a rope attached at two points on the roof into a variety of different apparatus; very inventive.

The rope was sometimes used as two ropes for syncronised performances, pulled down between the pulleys to acts as a hammock like apparatus, and was used as a kind of seesaw where the performers would launch each other high up by pulling down on the other side of the rope. While this was the main part of the show, there was also a lot of acro and hand balancing.

The show ended with the performers pulling the rope off it's pulley system and dragging it off with them which was a lovely end, but made me cringe at thinking they'd have to rethread it after every performance, how annoying for them!

We saw this show as a girls night (Amy, Emma, Tracy and Sam), and I think we'd all definitely recommend this show.

Aerial Arts Australia - Le Aerial 

This was my favourite show of the year, it was breathtaking. The group of performers were all female, except for the presenter who introduced acts and sang beautifully alongside the performances which added a great element to an already impressive show.

The performers were all so strong with incredible bodies. The apparatus included hanging pole, silks, straps, a doubles cage used similarly to a cube, floor acro, and a bird cage used for contortion. The performances were very polished, with a few things I'd never see before, especially on doubles silks.

The contortionist, Ruby, was my favourite part of the show. I'd never seen anyone that looked like her before, she was so tall and long and slim which made her contortion show so unique and beautiful.  Typical Jess I ended up balling my eyes out (contortion makes me cry, OK?). 

Fringe: Le Aerial

Table Flip Productions (Chase Paradise) - Ho Life or No Life

Obviously Krystal's pick, this was a fun girls night out with Georgia, Erin, and Krystal. It was a really funny and, I'm told, accurate show (Krystal could definitely relate), and it was a really great insight into this segment of the industry. Chase had some great stories, with the best one being about how her dad found out she was a stripper.

Fringe: Hoe Life or No Life

Matt Hale - Mindfoolness 

This was the first hypnotist show I'd ever seen, and I left slightly less of a skeptic than I arrived, although most of Andrew's work's friends left with their skepticism confirmed. I think the show was typical hypnotist show format where 12 people are asked to the stage and the host slowly removes people as it becomes evident they're not getting into the "suggestions". Unfortunately no one from our group made it up; I would have loved the insight into being on stage!

The one thing that increased my interest was a particular suggestion the host gave to one girl on the stage convincing her that she was the worlds best hypnotist, and she would try and hypnotise him with the catch that when she tried to get him to sleep, saying the word sleep would make her fall asleep. So when this played out, as soon as she said the word sleep she went completely limp and fell over, being caught by the host!

Now, if someone told me, "just fall I promise I'll catch you", there'd be a bunch of "are you sure?"s before I would commit. The fact that she just fell straight over made me thing there might just be something to it!

It was a fun night, especially the maths and numbers parts, but not really my thing so I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to go to a similar show unless it was a group thing again.

Grant Buse - The Birds and the Beats 

The performer of this show is a sex education instructor for special needs children (with autism), and his show was centered around the funny side of learning about sex, in particular focusing on how consent is never taught, presented in the format of anecdotes and songs (plus the splits!). This was another one of those fun shows that I don't think I would ever think to book on my own, but definitely enjoyed it.

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