24 September 2017

How to Fringe 2017: Tim Wotherspoon

Tim Wotherspoon
Playwright, director, actor, sound designer, musician

Future Loves Burning
26 September – 1 October
Aeso Studio

Tom Wotherspoon. Photo by Elizabeth Millington

If you could invite anyone to your show (and you knew they would come), who would it be?
Esperanza Spalding, John Lennon, David Bowie

I mean, pragmatically thinking, I suppose, someone who can make it rain. Take our poor theatre, cross the water and have a grand old time.

But mainly Esperanza Spalding because she’s just so amazing.

The Melbourne Fringe in three words?
Blinking eyes drinking.

A favourite Melbourne Fringe memory.
It’s all one big wash. It’s all one magnificent wash. I never used to dare dance, but I know at some stage in the past seven years I threw caution to the wind and found my boogie.

Find your boogie at the Fringe Hub. If it’s not there, you can borrow mine… it’s idiosyncratic and isn’t for everyone, but you’re quite welcome if you need to use it for a bit.

Your experience as an independent artist being part of the Melbourne Fringe.
I’ve been involved in Melbourne Fringe every year since 2010 just after my partner and I left VCA in the middle of our actor training. She has gone on to become one of the most cherished emerging/established writers in the city, I daresay the country – and I guess I’ve done ok, too. Fringe gave us a safe space to do risky things. This is the most fundamental virtue of the whole thing – if you make something and you throw your spirit into it and nurture it and swirl it all together, whatever you end up with, there is a living celebration of its emergence throughout the whole festival. It is, in fact, the whole festival. The audiences, artists, producers and techs are all swept up in the same swirl and that swirl is a beautiful thing. It is necessarily supportive because we are all breathing the same air.

What makes the Melbourne Fringe unique?
I haven’t been to other fringe festivals – that is what makes it unique to me, it’s the only Fringe I know…

So it’s like Christmas where everyone’s got presents for everyone but you don’t wrap them because most of them are performance art or are otherwise totally impracticable to wrap.

Your advice for choosing what to see in the Melbourne Fringe.
Listen to the buzz, support your friends, support your community. Whatever compels you, be compelled and get in there and watch it. Cool picture? Twisted blurb that keeps bumping round your mind? Go check it out.

Do you think there’s a better system than star ratings for reviews?
Well, probably but I can’t conceive of one, not now anyway, we’re still rehearsing. Themain virtue I can recognise in the star rating system is that it’s a shortcut for people who don’t feel they have the time to read a whole review. They can look at the stars and realise what direction is due north and off they go, they’re set.

Five shows/events that will not miss at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe.
Too Soon, Too Now
High Achievers
Death Art 'n Death
The Sky Is Well Designed
Ode To Man

SM: I know that some of these shows have finished, but it's also cool to know what great stuff you missed and can see when and if they bring them to the next festival.

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