15 Feb 2017

Our picks from the Fringe festivals

12:12 pm on 15 February 2017

Seven shows from near and far.

Fringe season has started and there are a bunch of impressive shows to check out. Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin have conveniently staggered Fringe faire from now until the end of March. Artists who’ve come a long way can make the most of New Zealand by showing in all three (or just their favourites).  

Here are our picks from the touring shows:


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Well reviewed and received in Fringe festivals around the world, this show offers something for everyone regardless of age, sex, gender, or identity.

The dark comedy tells the origin story of a genderqueer, kinky, femmesexual, polyminded, gay-divorcee. Michelle/Ryan describes the many layers of coming out, and breaking free from an American Puritan upbringing.

The writer and performer of “Ze”, Ren Lunicke, also has a comedy show in the Fringe galaxy called I'm An Apache Attack Helicopter.

Dates: Wellington 15-17 February, Auckland 21-15 February, Dunedin 14-18 March. 


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Comedian and storyteller Gerard Harris returns to New Zealand for another round of Fringe revelry, after winning Best Comedy with his show in the Dunedin Fringe, and Best Solo Show in the Nelson Fringe last year.

Attention Seeker is about the meteoric rise and fall of a stand-up career, and the sleepless nights and day-mares that result.

Dates: Wellington 17-20 February, Dunedin 11-13 March.


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The veteran international Fringe-goer is bringing her chatty and thought-provoking comedy to New Zealand for the first time ever.

Charmain Hughes travels back in time to encounter her younger selves at crucial times in her life. In a twist of fate, the hero of her story turns out to be New Zealand (35 years ago)!

Dates: Auckland 21-25 February, Wellington on 1-4 March, Dunedin 9-12 March.


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Sophia and Simone work in the same shop and share a destructive co-dependent relationship as best frenemies. Two Girls One Shop comedically skewers fashion, millennials and selfie culture.

It’s written and performed by alumni of Christchurch’s Court Theatre Youth Company, and real-life millennials,  Maddie Harris and Millie Hanford.

Two Girls will also stop for a short run in Christchurch between Fringe seasons.

Dates: Wellington 23-28 February, Dunedin 12-15 March.


In the true spirit of Fringe, Chris Prosser has created a genre-defying mash-up of music, theatre, improvisation and stand up. Drink Violin a unique performance piece from a veteran musician.

Dates: Wellington 22-24 February, Auckland 7-8 March, Dunedin 14-15 March.  


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Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, Marjolein Robertson has left her Shetland home for New Zealand to seek men who are not blood relatives. She’s also performing stand up!

Robertson has performed in the Edinburgh Fringe, Amsterdam, and New York, but more importantly she played the fiddle in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2014.

Relations offers observational comedy from the perspective of a small islander, and explores family, politics, and sex.

Dates: Wellington 15 February, Auckland 23-25 February.


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A bilingual show including a brothel, a noodle shop, a magical encounter through time, and a giant talking fish.

Fish Saw is inspired by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and based on the family story of the show’s co-writer, performer, and composer, Sachie.

Original music, physical theatre, and animation combine in this comedic one-woman show.

Dates: Auckland 6-10 March, Dunedin on 13,14,18 March.

More info on the festivals:

Wellington Fringe festival (aka the New Zealand Fringe Festival) is on now, and runs to 4 March. fringe.co.nz

Auckland Fringe festival runs from the 21 Feb - 12 March.  aucklandfringe.co.nz

Dunedin Fringe is on from 9 -19 March. dunedinfringe.nz.