Sydney Fringe Festival director Kerri Glasscock has launched the Sydney Fringe Festival 2018 program with a promise to “put the art back in party” and to firmly engage with Western Sydney with the creation of performance hubs in Parramatta and Liverpool.
Glasscock says, “the quality of submissions this year is higher than it’s ever been, by far… across the board.” This is the case for Sydney creatives and those coming from interstate and overseas, thanks to the donor-funded inaugural Archie Rose Touring Hub, she adds.
“We’re much bigger [this year]. We’ve had a good 20 to 25 per cent increase in program content which is incredible, particularly when we’re living in a city at the moment that often has a doomsday narrative around our creative sectors, [that there’s] nothing’s going on. Well, this program suggests that is emphatically not true. We have so much going on in this city and here’s a good chunk of it.”
The Fringe Festival’s geographical footprint has never been larger. “We’ve always wanted to be as inclusive as possible but we’ve been aware of the barriers to entry for artists who aren’t living in the inner city. After all, we’re the Sydney Fringe Festival, we’re not the Inner Sydney Fringe Festival, so it’s been a goal of ours this year to reach beyond the inner city boundaries.”
The Fringe’s Alexandria warehouse hub is being used in a different way this year, with the keys handed to companies to create large-scale immersive pieces. Glasscock says she’s looking forward to Jet Pack Theatre Collective’s work. “I’m keen to see what happens when they are unleashed in a 7000 square metre warehouse.”
Sydney’s West will host a theatre program curated by Nisrine Amine in Liverpool with pop-up performances and galleries alongside an animation laneway cinema in Liverpool, and live music every Friday in September in Parramatta.
Glasscock’s picks for the Touring Hub, housed in Newtown’s Old 505 Theatre include Shit Theatre’s DollyWould, New Zealand company Binge Culture’s Breakup (We Need to Talk), in which a relationship falls apart in real time, Lucy Peach’s shows on periods How to Period like a Unicorn (aimed at kids) and My Greatest Period Ever, and Jane Doe, a public reading of the transcripts of an American rape trial.
Other personal favourites include an expanded Fringe Ignite in Oxford Street and The Last Supper, a modern Bacchanal with food and performance. “Who doesn’t wanna let their wild side loose and have a Bacchanalian feast?”
Find the full program here.