So the Fringe Festival is finally over and it is time for this serpent to return to mundane and boring reality. Just as well really. The Fringe was fun while it lasted but it turned out to be a case of total sensory overload. Even though most of the shows I went to were good or great (with the odd rotton egg tossed in) it was still so much stuff to digest.
It’s funny. The Lair and the Garden of Eden have become a haven of retreat after a good 3 weeks of neglect attending to only the basics such as watering and keeping everything alive over summer.
We did get a handful of icky sticky humid days as well as the sizzling 40 somethings but summer this year has been the mildest in decades and we had one day with the second highest rainfall on record.
Everything is booming and blooming instead of sizzled and dead like this time last year.
So back to the Freak Shows. Once again got to see as many as last time but the goal posts have been moved concerning the cheapskate tickets.
No more rocking up at the box office around 5pm looking over the list with the little red dots and conjuring a schedule based on the cheapies for the day.
They introduced a window of 11am to 3pm only which sort of makes sense in that they want to keep the scrooges away from the queue during the busiest times of 5pm onwards.
But they also got rid of the quick glance list. The only way to know the deals of the day was to go to the website and find out there. it's a total nightmare of a thing to use on a mobile phone where it takes 3 or more clicks to actually get the page for a show and constantly sends you off on wild goose chases because you accidently touch the screen while browsing.
But I had gotten wise from last time and knew that the chances of getting a half decent comedy show are inversely proportional to the likelihood of “Best of” appearing in the title or ‘stand-up’ in the description.
Those are usually a collection of odds and ends. Usually creepy fat middle aged white males with a vocabulary that would make Donald Trump look like Shakespeare.
Comedy shows with a theme like “Graeme of Thrones”, “The Walking Dead”, “A Whingeing Pom’s Guide to Australia” or Sami Shah’s “Islamofarcist - putting the HA back in Jihad” were far more likely to be fun. Which they were. Lesson learned for next time.
Fringe of course is famous for the weird and wonderful.
Freak shows, steamy sex scenes and half baked productions are the order of the day.
There is often a trade off between perfection and wild vibes. Shows that are too well produced lose their edge but then stuff that is just tossed together is often pompous and clueless. Pity parties abound in these genres.
Some of these shows start in Oz and never leave these shores while others do the circuit in Edinburgh, Adelaide and San Francisco. Cities full of freaks.
So I got to see 2 Sherlock Holmes shows, 3 card sharks one of whom had the brilliant idea of playing the role of a hard boiled Film Noir detective on a case.
“6 Quick Dick Tricks” was the title and he told the audience that if they were expecting puppetry of the penis, then they had come to the wrong show. Oh they did have that sort of thing last year along with some seriously masochistic circus performers.
Of course Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson were the subjects of quite a few shows this year including one devoted to the pair of themThe Ginger Wave
There was lots of limbo dancing and wall building in this one and there were even Mexicans in the audience. There was even a stash of books that the Donald has supposedly written with titles like "Think Big and Kick Ass" and "God wants you to be rich" which is real (because I have a copy lurking in the Lair) and of course the nasty "Crippled America - how to make America great again"
But the best stuff is invariably the boylesque
, burlesque, circus freaks and drag queens.
Or maybe Izzie is just a sick and twisted serpent. We especially love Fakespeare, tales of deals with the devil or kitschy Bible stories
It’s strange how the state government has spent ridiculous amounts of money on white elephant projects to make the city seem more interesting but it is the Fringe World festival which has now been running in its present form for the last 6 years or so that has done far more to make the place fun and fabulous and all on the smell of an oil rag.
So now it’s back to normality and time to start saving up for next year’s festival of freakishness.