Best of the Melbourne Fringe, part 1

There are only 400-odd shows to choose from at the Melbourne Fringe. I’ve only seen 12 so far and these were some of my favourites that are still running this week.

The YouTube Comment Orchestra
The Last Tuesday Society

to 27 September

The YouTube Comment Orchestra

Just like the internet only smarter and with more butter.

The Last Tuesday Society have made themselves legends by creating and supporting indie cabaret, comedy and anything else that doesn’t fit into a boring-sized box. This time they have more than one night to perform and the theme for The YouTube Comment Orchestra is YouTube comments.

With some of the best outrageously intelligent and outrageous artists around, it’s full of LOLs and justifies the many hours that we spend on YouTube.

You Took The Stars
Fringe Hub, start outside North Melbourne Town Hall

to 26 September

You Took The Stars

The dank and miserable lane way next to the North Melbourne Town Hall is transformed as designer, Yvette Turnbull, and director, Alice Darling, create a welcoming and gorgeous space that makes the world for this play feel so perfect that it’s hard to imagine it being anywhere else.

Cat Commander’s writing is equally as gorgeous. With a pegasus called Mona, pink dolphins and the stars inside apples, she lets us fall in love with her Maisie and Paul – and a guitar-playing monkey – as they fall in love and try to find out what that means.

And it all comes together with totally engaging and beautiful performances by John Shearman and Kasia Kaczmarek – and Matt Furlani’s guitar-playing monkey.

The Bookbinder
Fringe Hub, Son of Loft

to 4 October

The Bookbinder

The Bookbinder won the Trick of the Light Theatre Company Best of the New Zealand Fringe and it’s going to sell out in Melbourne. Being in the intimate Son of Loft room, there’s no room for extra seats, so there’s no time to wait.

From a time when books were valuable and stories were precious, it starts when a bookbinder needs an apprentice. Told with puppetry and paper art, it’s a deliciously dark story about books, getting lost and how fixing a story can change a life.

From every moment of the performance to the writing and the design full of secrets and wonders, this is exquisite storytelling and the only reason I’m not going again is because I don’t want to deprive anyone else of seeing it.

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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