15 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Christopher Bryant

Christopher Bryant
Playwright, performer

Intoxication
15–22 September
Lithuanian Club, Son of Loft

Christopher Bryant. Photo by Lisa Maree Williams

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Jack Ferver and/or Nicola Gunn. In part because I respect the heck out of both of them, but also because both their performance styles have inspired what Intoxication is trying to do.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Diverse. Surprising. Unique.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
Going out to Sisters Grimm’s Fugly after the show I’d directed, with the cast in various states of undress. The night itself was a blur, but I do remember one particular cast member dancing so much that her shoes filled up with blood.

In terms of actual shows, there’s too many to name drop, but overall just the feeling of complete support and excitement I’ve felt in every audience I’ve been a part of.

What is your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe?
This is the second time I’ve been involved in a fringe festival, and the first with something so directly related to me as an artist/performing a work I’m intensely proud of. Both times – and all the times I’ve simply been a part of the Fringe community – I’ve felt nothing but supported.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
It sits in a great spot between something large and potentially overwhelming, like Edinburgh or Adelaide, and something smaller. As a festival it manages to be both intimate and sprawling. This offers more opportunities all around: more opportunities for ‘unknown’ or lesser-known artists to make their mark and more opportunities for audiences to see something unexpected. There’s also less of a focus on work from other cities, with local art being more of a selling point.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe?
Don’t just stick to what you know! Some of the best things I’ve seen have been shows I unexpectedly ended up seeing and wouldn’t have otherwise gone to.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Honestly, I’d rather abolish them altogether – make audiences work that little bit harder. A show can rarely be summed up by a simple star rating alone, and stars can’t take into consideration the myriad of things in and surrounding the show. I guess I’d rather people just read a review and made up their own minds. (The more practical response: it’s the Fringe and I fully accept they’re a necessary evil, and they’re better than nothing!)

Five shows/events you will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe?
How To Kill The Queen Of Pop
Lady Bunny in Trans-Jester
Let’s get Practical! Live. Presented by The Very Good Looking Initiative
It’s Not Me, It’s Lou. A silly show by musical comedian Louisa (Lou) Wall
TRAPS. A romantic comedy for the modern sociopath by Amelia Evan

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