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Milk Bar’s Guide to Melbourne Fringe

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Fringe festivals are a double-edged sword. By design they feature the weird and the wonderful with a variety that you can’t see anywhere else. On the flipside, you’re going in blind about three-quarters of the time. You depend on a catchy title, a good blurb or maybe, if you’re really lucky, some name recognition.We hope our estimates guide you well.

12 ANGRY MEN
Classic plays can be a mixed bag in fringe festivals: you can walk into a horridly avant-garde production or, worse, a by-the-numbers one. This particular version of the famous courtroom drama promises to side-step both of these phenomena: the venue is a courtroom in the Victorian Supreme Court, with every juror being played by real barristers. Plus, this is a real safety warning on the Fringe page for the show: “guests are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to the show to ensure security clearance ahead of a 7:30pm start time. Sharp objects, weapons, food and other consumables are not permitted inside the Court.” Any theatrical production with that notification promises to be something special.
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/12-angry-men/

CLASSICAL VS JAZZ – THE ULTIMATE HARP BATTLE
Two harpists, two harps, two styles, one stage, 60 minutes, no mercy. There’ll be classical harping by Catherine Ashley, the much more rare jazz harping by Michelle Smith, and maybe some fusion of the two. This is a concept that fringe festivals were built for.
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/classical-vs-jazz-the-ultimate-harp-battle/

DIGITAL OUTLAWED
A “media exhibition” where all the media in question is untouched by computers. No digital production or editing has been allowed in any of the pieces being shown. Digital Outlawed promises “video, projection, sound, photography, installation, performance” and guarantees it’ll all be analogue. We’d recommend this to any photoshoppers, graphic designers, editors, or anyone that uses a tablet or owns a Macbook. For perspective’s sake if nothing else.
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/digital-outlawed/

LADY SINGS IT BETTER
I saw Lady Sings It Better at the Adelaide Fringe earlier this year, and I really think they’re outstanding. A sextet of female singers rearrange pop hits by Nine Inch Nails, Michael Jackson, Usher, and a whole bunch of other male artists, and invite you to re-examine the lyrics when they’re coming out of women. Their ‘Medley About Horses’ alone is worth the price of admission.
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/lady-sings-it-better/

THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS
The title and promo image made me laugh. It’s a one woman cabaret.
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/this-is-why-we-can-t-have-nice-things/

The Melbourne Fringe Festival runs from the September 18 to October 6. Tickets for all shows are available at http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/


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