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Darwin Fringe Festival 2018

From lounge room cabaret to a 10-minute show in a public toilet, the 2018 Darwin Fringe Festival will cover a lot of ground.

By Kylie Stevenson

This year’s line-up is an impressive 80 distinct events showcasing the work of 300 artists and, according to festival director CJ Fraser-Bell, that makes the Top End community arts festival almost as big as the Edinburgh Fringe per capita. 

“Darwin really punches above its weight,” she says. 

“Darwin arts are really different and interesting, and the work we do is just as good as anywhere else.”

Fraser-Bell says the Fringe consulted the community to put together an eclectic mix of events across every genre you can think of (and a few they made up), including theatre, dance, circus, spoken word, cabaret, music, comedy and visual arts.

She says the Fringe is not just important for local audiences, it’s also vital for local creatives as a way of sharing their work and connecting with visiting artists.

“It’s a real stepping stone for artists to develop and try out new ideas.”

Venues are sprinkled across Darwin and this year include the intimate Brown’s Mart Attic and local lounge rooms in the suburbs, where you can catch Darwin act The Neo or acclaimed cabaret artist Christa Hughes.

Hughes will also be performing as part of the children’s program, which also brings two circus acts and kids comedian Mr Snot Bottom to town. 

Civic Park will be transformed to create Interstitial Space where events will be held each evening, including the quirky Buttstuff, a bite-sized show that explores toilet humour in public lavatories.

Fraser-Bell urges festival-goers to book tickets early as many events sell out, particularly comedy, cabaret and the much-celebrated opening party.

This year the Opening Night Party will feature Maningrida all-girl rock outfit Ripple Effect; Darwin’s premier underground lounge-country-pop-hardcore act So Called Friends; and the launch of James Mangohig’s solo project From The D.O.T.S.

Fri 6 – Sun 15 Jul | Various locations | Various costs

See the event listing.

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