Fringe Fever: A Quick Chat with Mel Dodge (Melbourne Fringe)

 Mel Dodge was commissioned by the Black Duck Theatre Collective to work with Letty Sutherland and re-work her critically acclaimed Jane Austen is Dead for her first Melbourne Fringe. 

 Mel Dodge was commissioned by the Black Duck Theatre Collective to work with Letty Sutherland and re-work her critically acclaimed Jane Austen is Dead for her first Melbourne Fringe. This show sold out at the Wellington Fringe and it asks just how credible Austen’s depiction of romance is in a world of Facebook, RSVP and video dating. See You at the Wake is the second show on the bill that begins with the death of a homeless man and continues with the question of who he was.

Show Info:


What’s your show called?
Jane Austen is Dead…See You at the Wake When is it on?
21 Sep to 9 Oct 

Where is it on?  
Gertrude’s Brown Couch, 30 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy How do you get there by public transport?
Yes! Tram 86, stop 12 Is there parking?
Only street parking 

What time does it start? Wednesday to Friday 7pm, Saturday 2pm, Sunday 5pm How much are tickets?
$23/ $18. If you can quote a line from Jane Austen or a lyric from Gun and Roses (depending on what rocks your boat) you can get 2 for 1 tickets at the door on Wed 28th and Thurs 29th September. Are tickets available at the door?


For more information, visit the Melbourne Fringe Festival Website

A Quick Chat With Mel Dodge…

Mel Dodge1.     What three words best describe you Fringe show?Funny, honest, versatile
2.     Who does your show speak to?It’s a double bill so the first show speaks to women – any and all – although a lot of guys have really loved it. Any woman who likes Jane Austen and has ever played the dating game. The second show is fun for all!
3.     What other Fringe show will you NOT miss?Hmmm…I’ve barely had the chance to look at the guide. Producing and performing keeps you busy!
4.     What do you love most about the Melbourne Fringe?It’s great as an artist to get the chance to reach audiences. It’s also cool that so much independent work is being created.
5.     How many Melbourne Fringes have you performed in?This is my first but I have performed at the Wellington Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe.
6.     If you could invite anyone to see your show (and you know they would come), who would it be?Collin Firth: Ding Dong Mr Darcy.
7.     What is the best theatre advice you’ve received?You don’t have to please everyone. Good work will resonate and even if it only resonates with one audience member it’s been a success.
8.     What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?My skirt coming unbuttoned at the back; I had to work it into the scene.
9.  Do you have any pre- or post-show rituals?Pre-show I breathe deep, post-show I drink wine.
10.  What’s your favourite theatre superstition? Do you believe it?I believe in most of them! I never say the M word in a theatre.
11.  What was the last book you read?The Concert Pianist.
12.  What film will you watch again and again?Bridget Jones’s Diary
13.  Who will hate your Fringe show?Prudes.
14.  What was your first time on stage?I was 5. I was playing a flower and was annoyed because the flower beside me kept talking and flowers can’t talk!
15.  If you had access to the TARDIS, what performance would you see first?Judi Dench in Shakespeare in the early days. 16.  What is your favourite theatre space in Melbourne?I’m fond of 45 downstairs.
17.  Where in Melbourne do you always take visitors?Northcote High Street.
18.  How do you have your coffee?Skinny latte with one sugar.
19.  What’s the best pizza topping?Cheese.
25.  What do love most about your Fringe show?I get to work with Letitia Sutherland, an awesome Australian actress every night! In the second play we play lots of characters organising a funeral for a homeless man and it’s so much fun playing all the different characters with her.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *