5 shows you need to see at Melbourne Fringe

Fringe Festival - Melbourne Girl

Everything is Art at this year’s Melbourne Fringe. A celebration of cultural democracy and an embracement of diversity, Melbourne Fringe is a unique space for artistic self-expression linked to the life of our great city.

It’s the most adventurous and all-encompassing multi-artform festival in Australia, featuring thousands of artists from every discipline you can name. You can expect a round up of over 400 events, across 160 wonderful Melbourne venues. In their words… “it’s everything from the weird and strange, the different and queer, the misfits and the freaks”.

Put short, there’s entertainment for everyone and I’ve rounded up my top 5 shows you need to see at Melbourne Fringe.


5 shows you need to see at Melbourne Fringe

Ugly Duckling - This fabulous pop cabaret navigates the tricky terrain that every modern day femme faces


Cabaret for your next Girl’s Night!

Ugly Duckling
A hairy tale

Performed by: Karla Hillam
Venue: The Butterfly Club
Running from September 18-24

Duckie is well… an ugly duck! She’s also adopted, a Z grade socialite (think the Kardashians poorer, less insta- famous next door neighbour) and suffers dysmorphic delusions of grandeur. Duckie is very discombobulated to learn that only cygnets, NOT ducks transform into beautiful swans… Outrageous!

However Duckie won’t allow mere genetics to stand in her way as she utilises surgery, social media, celebrity, Botox, feathers and fillers to fulfil her self-appointed birthright. Ugly Duckling is a cabaret told through song and spoken word, performed by Karla Hillam ( The Divine Miss Bette, Los Nachos Trios, Offspring, Wentworth and The Warriors) and written and directed by the multi-award winning international cabaret artiste Spanky.



Did someone say Live Art!

Venue: Arts Centre Melbourne – Fairfax Studio
Running from September 27 – October 1

Discordia will take you through the darkest corners of the Arts Centre Melbourne, led by The Discordiants: a sect of prawn-worshipping rose beige humans.

These professional absurdists will attempt to prove that truth is stranger than fiction by forming an officially recognised religion, with your help. Be a silent witness or a willing participant; it’s your choice.

Departing from the Fairfax Studio foyer, this piece is part performance work and part live documentary, narrated by the iconic voice of SBS news presenter Lee Lin Chin.



For all the die-hard Scary Spice Fans!

Spice! A Singalong
… from Wannabe to If U Can’t Dance and back again…

Performed by: Maeve Marsden, Libby Wood, Alison Avron, Benjamin Kiehne & Sepora
Venue: Fringe Hub – Lithuanian Club (Main Theatre)
Running from September 20-21

Sing along, with all the 90s nostalgia and girl power you can muster. Who Do You Think You Are?!? Just Say You’ll Be There, already!

Bring your best mates, your Mama, even your Last Time Lover, this is an hour of pure, unadulterated joy, nostalgia and grrl power.



Comedy for the kids!

Express Yourself
A big time for little humans
Created by: Double Denim
Venue: ArtPlay – Birrarung Marr (behind Fed Square)
Thursday 28 September, 2pm

A seriously fun event for kids who are bold, brazen and who reckon that colour coding humans into blue and pink is bonkers.

Join Double Denim in this feminist party for girls, boys and everyone who is neither, either, both or in-between. There will be games, songs, giggles and special guests to celebrate everything that makes us, US.

FREE EVENT. Runs for 90 minutes – stay for the full event or come and go as you please.


Best in Dance!

Starring: Rohan Browne
Venue: Chapel Off Chapel
Running from September 21 – October 1

A thought-provoking journey into the psyche of the modern man and the human condition, expressed through choreography and original music composed exclusively for this exciting new dance theatre production.

A melting pot of cutting edge artists, SELF unleashes three of Australia’s most outstanding young theatre and music talents in Choreographer & Director Michael Ralph, Composer & Music Director Jack Earle, and dancer/music theatre star Rohan Browne. Supported by six of Australia’s best dancers and a thrilling seven-piece band.

Prepare to challenge yourSELF.






Melbourne Fringe runs from 14 September – 1 October

For a full line up of shows, visit their What’s On page here.





Emily Collie is Founder and Editor of well-known Australian travel blog, Melbourne Girl. Emily has written travel articles for Expedia, eHarmony, Amex Shop Small Blogger Series and Racing.com, and has been featured on many Australian websites including Mimco Mimzine and Bonds Australia Blog, and was invited on behalf of the VRC and Myer, to judge the Myer Fashions on the Field competition on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day.

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