27 Feb 2017
The Dunedin Fringe Festival (9-19 March) roars back into town on 9 March, packing a record 70+ events into a whirlwind eleven-day festival. Dunedin Fringe 2017 promises audiences more international acts, more local greats, and more of Aotearoas freshest up-and-coming talent than ever before, along with some Dunedin Fringe favourites that are set to be back and better than ever.
Heading into its 17th year, Dunedin Fringe attracts a growing number of both new and established artists. The Festival’s audience is also growing, with more than 10,000 people attending Dunedin Fringe events in 2016. Fringe Director Josh Thomas believes the programme for Dunedin Fringe 2017 will see that trend continue.
“It’s thrilling to be at the stage where we can see just how extraordinary Dunedin Fringe 2017 is going to be,” says Thomas. “Fringe is an arts festival like no other, it is diverse in the extreme, comprising a cohort of exciting, high-calibre artists from all over the world and work from almost any genre you could think of," he said. “Each day of Fringe gives audiences the chance to experience something totally new, maybe from Japan, Soweto, India, Australia, or the UK; and definitely from around New Zealand.”
Alongside an impressive list of international acts, the line-up for 2017 reflects Dunedin Fringe Festival’s steadfast championing of Aotearoa's emerging artists and experimental work. Auckland-based Leah Carrell, who co-presented her first contemporary dance work in Dunedin Fringe 2016, returns in 2017 with Composure, an epic, explorative 12-hour endurance piece melding choreography, instinct, dance and improvisation. Award-winning verbatim theatre makers Talking House will make a highly anticipated return to their hometown Fringe Festival with the world premiere of their ambitious multimedia spoken-word concerto, Alive in Berlin.
Other fresh Kiwi work includes a brand new musical comedy written and performed by Joseph Moore and Laura Daniel, whom many will recognise from TV’s Jono and Ben at 10 and Funny Girl; and a local production of QUEEN, penned by 2016 Bruce Mason Playwriting Award recipient Sam Brooks (Riding in Cars with (Mostly) Straight Boys).
Amongst all the debuts, some of last year’s hits are set to return. Sydney’s Glitta Supernova is back with a new show featuring the same red-light surrealism that wowed 2016 crowds. Hit alt-craft workshop Frankenfoot also reappears in 2017, inviting everyday people to get hands-on and breathe new life into old soles.
Returning for a third year, but to a new venue of the Dunedin Town Hall, Dunedin Fringe’s Opening Night Showcase is set for Wednesday 8 March. A jam-packed preview of the Festival’s full smorgasbord of creative expression, the Showcase will feature dance, music, and comedy acts, with a few genre-defying wild cards thrown in for good measure.
Following its hugely successful debut last year, Josh Thomas is especially pleased to announce the return of the Festival Club for Dunedin Fringe 2017. “The Club has a really special atmosphere, a buzz that gets right to the heart of what Fringe is all about,” he explains. “You can feel it as soon as you come through the doors. Even after only one festival, the Club seems to have already encapsulated a lot of the spirit of Dunedin Fringe.” A home and a hub for audiences and artists alike, the Festival Club opens its doors at 20 Princes Street every night of the Festival for 6.00pm and 8.00pm shows followed by late-night mooching until 1.00am. A bar, venue and cosmic glade cabaret space, the Club also hosts special curated late-night music each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
The Dunedin Fringe Festival is the world’s southernmost open-access arts festival, established with the aim to support emerging artists’ work and bring experimental contemporary art to a wider audience. The full programme of events for Dunedin Fringe 2017 will be available when the festival programme officially launches, at 5.30pm on Wednesday 8 February 2017.
What: The Dunedin Fringe Festival 2017
Dates: 9-19 March