Cutting lose on the Fringe

WIDE HORIZONS: This year's Newcastle Fringe Festival will feature a record six overseas acts, including South African acapella troupe The Africa Entsha.
WIDE HORIZONS: This year's Newcastle Fringe Festival will feature a record six overseas acts, including South African acapella troupe The Africa Entsha.

Building on the city’s proud cultural heritage, the Newcastle Fringe festival will bring a smorgasbord of performing arts to Newcastle for five amazing days from March 22 to 26.

Boasting something for everyone, with 71 shows from 22 acts, the festival will  encompass comedy, theatre, children’s theatre, music, dance, cabaret and circus.

“We’ve got six shows from overseas – the most of any time in our history,” festival organiser Phillip Aughey said. 

Two of those acts hail from South Africa. The Africa Entsha (new Africa in Zulu language) is an acapella troupe who sing oral tradition in gospel style; while Stimela The Gumboot Musical, is a celebration of song and dance with soaring voices and stomping feet.

“I caught both these shows at Perth Fringe this year and they were brilliant and we’ve been fortunate enough to secure them,” Mr Aughey said.

German TV host and cabaret artist Sylvia Brécko will take audiences on a musical journey through the lives of  Dietrecht, Piaff and Monroe with her show Myth.

The UK’s Laurie Black taunts the gods of bad luck to bring the best in alternative cabaret in her show Bad Luck Cabaret

“Our program   also has cutting edge stuff that will appeal to teenagers,” Mr Aughey said.

Englishman Andrew Silverwood,  nominated for two awards at Gothenburg Fringe, including “Most Provocative Performance”, will deliver  his new stand-up show Self Absorbed Tw*t.

Dangerboy, Newcastle’s home-grown king of sideshow, will put himself in harm’s way  with razor blades, broken glass and much much more.

And Newcastle’s very own Circus Avalon will showcase the city’s young circus performers.

“I really admire the work John Campbell does with Circus Avalon teaching circus skills to local performers,” Phillip said.

“They’ll be set up at Birdwood Park, across the road from the ABC radio  station on King Street, and will perform six shows over the weekend.”

Local artist Clark Gormley is doing his show Dial N for Nerder

Sydney artist Justin Buchta will perform his original  and dynamic show  Wouldman, suitable for children, at the Royal Exchange on Saturday and Sunday from  1.30pm.

“Newcastle Fringe Festival is all about exposing people, young and old to art and performance in it’s purest form,” Mr Aughey said.

There will be a number of theatre performances, including Anvil Creek Theatre’s  Islands in a sea of confusion and Two Tall Theatre’s  Dropped, as well as Matt McFarlane’s Conda! Conda! Conda!  

To view the line-up, festival schedule and book tickets go to www.newcastlefringe.com.au