Melbourne's one-of-a-kind Fringe Festival has started, offering an 18 day celebration of events, and a mammoth 444 genre-busting events in more than 160 different venues across Melbourne.

With a focus on diversity, this year's festival has an eye popping 775 LGBTIQ+ artists participating and 198 artists identifying as deaf or with disability. Fringe also champions gender equality, with 1,780 female identifying artists presenting work, compared to 1,442 male identifying artists.

This year's Melbourne Fringe Festival 2018 asks – are you game? The festival tries to make the city a playground, an art playground, that celebrates a diverse program of events and performances across all artforms imaginable.

Shows featured in this year's festival include:


One Fringe show making its international debut, and winner of the Critics’ Choice Award at the Orlando Fringe Festival in 2018, is a one-act, original musical and dramatic comedy. Centred on four women who teach you the skills you need to take down the most dangerous predators plaguing the modern dating scene – the F*ckboy – this is a wild ride of advice, music and redemption.


Four classic tales of literary terror are told by or about women, brought together in an atmospheric and intimate one-woman performance. In The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, a woman commits murder but is driven mad by guilt. In The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a wife confined to her room becomes sure a crone lives behind the ugly wallpaper. In The Keepsake by contemporary Tasmanian writer Briony Kidd, a mother curses her family with a portrait of her daughters, one alive, one dead. In The Open Window by Saki, a girl tells her nervous visitor about the anniversary of a hunting party’s untimely deaths. Night Terrors is a storytelling theatre format created by performer Stefan Taylor. See these dark stories of terror and fear at Bluestone Church Arts Space as part of Fringe Westside here!

Review of Night Terrors

Written By Angela Perez

Night Terrors is a great one-person show that is set in the most ideal of venues - an ancient Bluestone Church in Footscray - that is the perfect backdrop for tales of horror and fear. Set under the wooden frames of history, Night Terrors is wonderfully performed by Caitlin Mathieson, and the four stories all vary, showing the strength and versatility of the actor. This show and its four stories, serve as a reminder of the thin lines between sanity and madness, and which will make you question what you believe in terms of the supernatural world.

Created by performer Stefan Taylor, with Director Simon Green, this is an enchanting show, that fascinates the viewer and is done in a storytelling format, and will remind you why, as human beings, we love theatre and embrace the horror and fear we feel when confronted with the supernatural or unexplainable.

Rating: 3.5/5


Creating optical illusions with movement and light, along with a unique combination of original vocal and musical elements, Ascent is an innovative new music theatre production that takes audiences on the journey of one woman improving herself to death. Dismantling the ideals about what 'music theatre' is, Ascent is a bold feminist piece that deconstructs expectations of the female form. Undergoing a series of physical transformations in a quest to feel forever fresh and relevant, the piece is an examination of what it is to be a woman, and the lengths some people will go to to achieve "perfection". "In Ascent we look at this process and explore the possibilities for revealing the intelligence of the body, in each of its parts, even its smells. The world we’re creating is wacky and wonderful. It’s like no other musical theatre work," says Writer/Director Jayde Kirchert.


An award-winning production that cuts close to the bone, skilfully dismembering the world's political and social current affairs. Featuring Award-winning artist Anya Anastasia is back, bringing a fierce, fresh, and tightly choreographed new breed of contemporary comedy cabaret to the stage. Alongside musical-partner-in-crime, Gareth Chin, this hard-hitting, clever show articulates the social discomfort and disconnect that now reigns supreme. It's time to unleash the fury. It’s cabaret, but not as you know it. And yes, there is a fight scene. “Wearing your politics on your sleeve is scarier than taking your clothes off in front of people, and it's more controversial", explains Anastasia.

Review for The Executioners

Written by Angela Perez

The perils and politics of modern day life are all in Anya Anastasia's The Executioners musical-comedy show, giving a wonderfully entertaining and strangely bittersweet reality to all who see this new Fringe Festival offering.

Boundless energy is an understatement as we travel through a show where technology is analysed, deconstructed and the meaning of social media, fake news, politics and climate change all come up, alongside lighter topics - like camel toe! Giving a show that has ridiculously good songs on a number of different instruments, it is thought-provoking, and even post-modern and has a rebellious dialogue, and which actively encourages everyone to think for themselves and questions what is going on in today's society, empowering everyone to face it all with a sense of humour.

Using all sorts of tricks and charms, Anya Anastasia is as talented at comedy as she is at music, and with sharp political observation, she delivers a brilliantly entertaining show, and beside her, a great supporting performer. Delivering a show filled with strobe lights, flashing headgear, smoke machines, political satire, and with a healthy dose of political incorrectness, this is one show that helps you make sense of modern day life and arms you with the motivation to go and change the world. If only all shows were as fascinating and well thought-out as this...

Rating: 4.5/5 stars - really must see!

For a full list of all the show on offer for the 2018 Fringe Festival see their program here!


Dates: 13 - 30 September 2018

Location: Various locations - see website for full details

Melbourne Fringe Website