Melbourne Fringe Award Winners in Adelaide

Often much of the most exciting work at the Adelaide Fringe comes from artists just starting out.

Often much of the most exciting work at the Adelaide Fringe comes from artists just starting out.

Those special moments where you feel like you’re seeing something that, in a decade, will be playing at the Adelaide Festival or headlining the Fringe comedy program. But with such a big program, how could you even pick who these artists are? Taking a glance at the hits of the previous Melbourne Fringe might be able to give Adelaide audiences a leg up, and this year seven productions that took home nine Melbourne Fringe Awards are playing Adelaide. They Saw A Thylacine took home awards for Best Performance and the New Zealand Fringe’s Tiki Tour Ready Award. The show, describes creator and performer Justine Campbell, is a verse performance that tells two stories: “One of a female zookeeper struggling with the prejudices surrounding the last Tasmanian tiger in captivity at Hobart Zoo, the other of a female tracker hot on the tail of wild thylacine.” Performing with fellow creator Sarah Hamilton, the pair is looking forward to remounting the show in Adelaide. Melbourne Fringe, Hamilton says, is “like a cocoon. A ground to test new work,” where Adelaide is “a hive of creativity of culture. A melting pot in a hot and beautiful city.” Radio Adelaide is one of the more unique performance locations this Fringe, but it seems perfect for Adelaide Fringe Tour Ready Award winner FOMO. Zoe McDonald plays 10 characters in the show, and says it will “reveal a world we never see: what happens at the other end of the radio.” FOMO, she describes, is “both a love story and critique of our modern age” as her characters struggle with a constant Fear Of Missing Out. “When I started developing these characters,” she says, “the show became somewhat of a meditation on what it means to be a woman in our current cultural climate.” Also informed by our current cultural climate is Best Comedy Winner EDGE!, about 11-year old YouTube “sensation” Stella, which creator Rachel Davis says “looks at the celebrity- obsessed culture girls are growing up in and the potential logical conclusion of the extremes some starlets go to for publicity.” On taking out the Best Comedy award, EDGE! co-creator Isabel Angus says they were “shocked and had to be pushed to walk to the stage.” Backstage, they found themselves hugging the girls from They Saw A Thylacine, “just so overwhelmed and humbled”. … We Should Quit won both Best Circus and Best Emerging Circus Performer for Morgan Wilson. With comedy and circus elements, director Avan Whaite calls it “an absurdist glimpse of the daily grind”. For Wilson, winning the Emerging Performer award inspired her to “just do more, and encourages me as a performer to take more risks with my work”. Also joining the circus program from Melbourne is At The Last Gasp, winner of Circus Oz’s award for Original New Circus. This work, combining trapeze, balancing, manipulations and acrobatics, will be Angelique Ross’ first time at the Adelaide Fringe. Winning the award from Circus Oz, says Ross, “means a lot to see that someone else relates to and appreciates the work we’ve been doing”. Sketch comedy troupe Wizard Sandwiches are bringing two shows to Adelaide, and The Last Lunch won them the People’s Choice Award. For comedian Dylan Cole, comedy is about “that feeling when you are laughing so hard that you can’t breathe, your abs and chest ache, you have tears streaming down your face, you think that you are about to go to hospital and you forgot why you were laughing in the first place”. Winning the People’s Choice Award, says Cole is a “nice acknowledgement from the reason you do the show – the audience”. He goes on, “we also bribed Melbourne Fringe and bought everyone a pony”. Rounding out the winners coming to Adelaide is Simon Keck’s Nob Happy Sock, an “award-winning comedy about suicide”. The show won Outstanding Comedy supported by Brisbane Powerhouse, and Keck says the show is “confronting, but also uplifting, and best of all it is very, very funny”. For him, much of Adelaide is about “catching up with old friends and making new ones. Surrendering myself to the beast that is Adelaide Fringe, perhaps drinking a little too much and laughing as hard as I can, and loving every freaking second of it.” Adelaide Fringe continues until Sunday, March 16   facebook.com/theysawathylacine facebook.com/FOMOshow isabelandrachel.blogspot.com.au weshouldquitshow.wordpress.com facebook.com/AtTheLastGasp wizardsandwiches.com simonkeck.com

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