Fringe benefits

Ping Pong Country.
Ping Pong Country

Fingers crossed that all this talk of an upcoming apocalypse is just that: talk. Because it would be a real shame to miss out on next year’s New Zealand Fringe Festival, the programme for which has just been released.

And what a cracker of a programme it is. With over 100 shows and exhibits, the 2013 Fringe will be 30% larger than the 2012 edition – with a third of the festival being either free or by koha.

The lineup, as usual is arranged into six categories – Comedy, Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual/Digital Arts (the “Digital” part is a new addition this year, I believe) and Outdoors – with a range of tantalising options in each.

The festival kicks off in February, but until then, here are a few highlights to whet your appetite:

Corner Diary – local actors and comedians read actual entries from their childhood diaries and letters. Often embarrassing, always hilarious.

Signfeld and Freindz – a late night variety show at the Fringe Bar, promising music, film, interviews and “sexy news”.

We Built This City – musican Adam Page and comedian James Nokise lead singalongs of 80s and 90s classics.

A Play About Space – the latest work from Wellington theatre company my accomplice, this should be an absolute must see.

Put It In My Blowhole – a play about the love between a man and a mermaid. Possibly worth seeing just for the title.

Ping Pong Country – the Mighty Mighty favourite – table tennis played in the round – takes it outdoors to Civic Square.

Also hot off the presses is the announcement about BATS Theatre’s new home for 2013. BATS has always been like a hub for the Fringe, but next year its venerable old building is undergoing earthquake strengthening. It WAS going to relocate to Capital E, but with that place also needing a little engineering attention, another alternative had to be found… and it’s the former Big Kumara! Upstairs on the corner of Cuba and Dixon Street, BATS will temporarily be right in the centre of things… and may even help you drive those bad memories of nights at the Kumara (or Barney’s, if you’re of that vintage) away.

Jarrod.

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