Melbourne Fringe Awards

The winners of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe festival awards were announced on Saturday 3 October at the Fringe Club at the North Melbourne Town Hall. Ten awards across the Fringe categories of Performance, Comedy, Music, Live art, Dance, Circus, Cabaret, Visual Arts and Kids are chosen by panels of industry peers; the People’s Choice Award is decided by votes from the public; there are 15 sponsored awards; and one new award.

Ian Pidd


The inaugural Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend Award was given to renowned theatre and festival director, Ian Pidd.

On the decision, Simon Abrahams, Melbourne Fringe Festival CEO and Creative Director said, “Ian Pidd has been an integral part of Melbourne Fringe for over 25 years, as a champion for the independent arts, a mentor for emerging artists, an awards judge, and for many years working as Chair of the Fringe board where he developed and grew the Festival’s strategy. His strategic influence continues to be felt within the organisation, and his artistic influence as a director of theatre, puppetry, live art, festivals, installations and community projects nationally and internationally has altered the practice of a generation of artists. Ian is committed to bold, new ideas and to taking risks, and he has as big a heart as any human on the planet. He is truly a Living Legend in every sense of the words. There is no greater friend of Melbourne Fringe.”

Upon receiving the award,  Pidd said, “I couldn’t be more pleased to receive this honour. To my mind Melbourne Fringe is the most interesting and important Fringe in the world. Most other fringes have become de facto comedy festivals. But Melbourne, of course, has its own Comedy Festival, so the comedians (bless em!) haven’t needed to colonise Fringe. And the other fringes around Australia are, unsurprisingly, dominated by Melbourne based artists. Melbourne Fringe is, quite simply, a snapshot of the incredibly vibrant arts scene in this city (with, of course a great handful of work from around the country). It really can’t be said to be the fringe to or of anything. It’s just what’s going on. And what’s going on at Melbourne Fringe can truthfully be said to be a large slice of what’s going on in contemporary arts in Australia. Receiving recognition from such an institution will keep me cheerful for quite a long time, I can tell you. And long may Melbourne Fringe prosper!”


Fag/Stag at Melbourne Fringe 2015

Best Cabaret
The Road to Shangri La, Mager & Smythe

Best Circus
No Punchline, Sara Pheasant

Best Comedy
Ghost Machine, Laura Davis

Best Dance
This is What’s Happening, Slown, Smallened & Son

Best Kids
Reasons To Stay Inside, Katy Warner

Best Live Art
The Ministry, Kin Collaborative Inc

Best Music
Old Tech New Decks, Vanessa Nimmo and Matt Rankin

Best Performance
FAG/STAG, The Last Great Hunt

Best Venue
The Butterfly Club

Best Visual Arts
AS IF: 40 Years and Beyond, Australian Women’s Art Register

People’s Choice Award
wtf renaissance


HART. Melbourne Fringe

Best Experimental Performance
Bodies Over Bitumen, Skye Gellmann, Naomi Francis, Alex Gellman and Kieran Law

Outstanding Comedy Show
Strong Female Character, Rowena Hutson

The SA Tour Ready Award
HART, She Said Theatre

The Tiki Tour Ready Award
HART, She Said Theatre

The WA Tour Ready Award
We May Have To Choose, Emma Hall


Best Student Film
Plunge, Kate Lefoe

Best New Film
One Giant Leap, Carmen Holman


Poet Vs. Pageant

Best Emerging Circus Performer
Anne Truong, No Punchline

Best Emerging Indigenous Artist
Ian Michael, HART

Best Emerging Producer
Cameron Stewart, We May Have To Choose

Best Emerging Visual Artist or Curator
The Ownership Project, It Came From Over There

Best Emerging Writer
Telia Nevile, Poet vs. Pageant

Innovation in Culturally Diverse Practice
Shannan Lim and Vidya Rajan, Asian Ghost-ery Store

Original New Circus
Rockie Stone, Vincent Van Berkel and Callan Morgan, Perhaps there is Hope Yet…

The Discovery Award
Emma Hall, We May Have To Choose

The Evolution Award
Gold Satino, Suburbia


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

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