Theatre and performance reviewer
SM: Over on Myron's mymelbournearts.com is another series of Fringe artist interviews. Read them, share them, support #IndieMedia. And read his reviews. He sees more Fringe shows than any reviewer in town.
The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Intoxicating. Inspiring. Intriguing. (Love a bit of alliteration.)
A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
I think it would be in 2012 when I performed at my first – and only – Fringe Festival with my impro group. We were all pretty wide-eyed and bushy-tailed about the whole experience and it was quite a thrill to be performing to such a variety of people every night. It was also a huge learning curve as to what actually needs to happen to put on a show at a festival.
What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
It’s an opportunity for people from all walks of life – artists and the general public – to come together and experience the arts, and to share an experience that can potentially last long after the show is over. Everyone is given the opportunity to feel like they are part of something bigger, regardless if they are a performer, producer or audience member or if they attend 40 shows or one show.
Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
The way I choose the better part of my shows is by devouring the program cover to cover, even shows where the image or the title might not initially appeal. I then make a long list (roughly 80 shows this year) and go through the program again before I start trying to fit things into my schedule as well as possible.
Admittedly, this is not the way most people choose their shows.
However, I would definitely advise people to leave some gaps in their schedule and hear what shows are creating buzz during the festival. And also take a gamble. Fringe is one of the few festivals where you can take an affordable gamble on an artist you’ve never heard of before, or a performance that sounds completely and utterly bizarre, or a genre you’re not very familiar with.
Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
I personally loathe star ratings and will never give them. There are so many elements to a show – casting, set, lighting, concept, and writing to name some – that to whittle it down to a star doesn’t reveal anything about what worked in a show. I’m a strong advocate for reading reviews. A good review should be able to tell you everything you need to know about a show in about 300 words.
Five shows/events that you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe
You realise you are asking me to pick favourites when I love all my fringe shows equally? But the five shows I am most looking forward to are:
The One by Jeffrey Jay Fowler
The Baby Farmer presented by The Laudanum Project
The Lounge Room Confabulators: Survival Party
Papillon Unplugged (Circus for grown ups)