Tag Archives: Auckland Fringe

FRINGE 18 | The Fun Talker

Last night we had the opportunity to hear the first non-diplomatic Tanzanian to enter Vietnam – Ally Baharoon performs his debut show at the Auckland Fringe Festival, and also has a stammer.

The Fun Talker is a trip down memory lane, taking you deep into Ally’s memoirs, growing up and wrestling with his stammer for over 20 years. The well-traveled explorer shared humorous stories of how his speech impediment has hindered his social development, job opportunities, and personal life.

Ally is engaging, entertaining and enigmatic. Not only did the show bring awareness of how the inner-mind of a speech impediment sufferer works, but also Ally’s personal journey coming to terms with his stammer.

As he mentioned in the show, there are very few performers with speech impediments, and the best way to combat the stigma is to showcase his comedic traffic. Ally has spent time perfecting the art and doesn’t let his stammer stop him putting on a good show.

Catch Ally Baharoon in The Fun Talker 1-4 March at Artworks Theatre on Waiheke Island. Buy tickets here.

We had a chat to Ally before Fringe, read what he had to say.

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Jessica McKerlie

Go to bed Jessica brings you a collections of tales from the road, stories that make a person shiver with anticipation, shudder with wanton lust and bawl with tender longing. The no holds barred, potent storytelling style by Jessica, a cabaret badass, will have you writhing on the floor with hilarity one minute, begging for more titillating detail the next. The show is a delightfully messy explosion of creativity.

We caught up with Jessica McKerlie, the magnificent storyteller, ahead of her debut show at this year’s Auckland Fringe.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland?
Yes

What are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?
I have some mates who live in Auckland so I can’t wait to visit them!

Describe your show in three words or less…
Manic, Mischievous, Badass

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
A free show in Edinburgh that was less of a show and more a lecture on medieval ghost history of the buildings in the area.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Toxic Mas, The Plastic Orgasm, and Fuck Rant.

Where will we find you during the festival?
I’m doing my show in 2 different venues, on Thursday 1st March at Sweatshop Brew Kitchen, 7 Sale Street, Freemans Bay, and then on Sunday 4th March at Backbeat Bar, 100 Karangahape Rd, both at 7pm.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
CHEESE

Word Association:
Fringe – Argh!!
Fridge – milk
Auckland – Fun!
Festival – Even more fun!
Lights – Find yours
Chocolate – the solution
Winter – schminter
Theatre – magic

Catch Jessica McKerlie performing in Go to Bed Jessica at Sweatshop on 1 March and Backbeat Bar on 4 March. Buy your tickets here.

 

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Dance Plant Collective

A ritual, in slices, giving trust to natural discoveries and curiosity, The Cost of Arms and Legs, is a presentation between mind and magic, giving light to darkness and answers to no questions. The Dance Plant Collective, in the Cost of Arms and Legs explores thoughts, relationships and the unknown.

We caught up with Dance Plant Collective ahead of their debut this year’s Auckland Fringe.

Is this your first Auckland Fringe?
Yes! This is our first Auckland Fringe as a collective, and we are all super pumped for the festival season!

What are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?
Being artists involved in Auckland Fringe this year in Auckland has really given us the opportunity to meet new people and learn a lot about networking and all the nitty gritty you need to know in order to make and sell a show! There are so many interesting Fringe venues in Auckland this year: nooks and crannies around the city and in spots you wouldn’t expect, and we love it! Auckland is also where we’ve all grown up so it’ll be great to be able to share this work with our friends, family, fellow artists/creators and hopefully a bunch of other cool people who spontaneously come along to our show! Hint hint 😉

Describe your show in three words or less…
Intricate, Ritualistic, Reflective

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
We’re all pretty into bizarre stuff, so it’s hard to only pick one thing! Our top pick from last year’s Auckland Fringe would have to be Alexa Wilson’s solo ‘21 Movements’. It was intense, chaotic, beautiful, vulnerable, emotive, relevant, necessary, reflective, challenging and deeply engaging. We left feeling really connected to everyone else in the space and moved by the whole experience.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
1) ‘The Polar Bear Chronicles’! It is being performed in the same amazing space we are performing in at Studio One Toi Tu. We’re excited to see how the space will be used in a different context. Plus, their poster image is weird, wacky, and wonderful in all ways possible.
2) ‘Auspicious Happening’, by Pressure Point Collective. It is described as a ritual that is crafted specifically for you via an email form you fill out! We love Andrew’s work and can’t wait to see what magic he has been making. It sounds so intriguing
3) ‘Dance, Danced, Dancing’, by Josie Archer and Kosta Bogoievski, at MOTAT’s Aviation Display. Fellow contemporary dancer friends, they are a seriously badass dancing couple with rad moves and even radder ideas. We can’t wait for this one!

Where will we find you during the festival?
All over Auckland! Our show is not until the last few days of Fringe, so we will most likely be rehearsing non-stop at Studio One Toi Tu and rushing around getting things organised. Besides this, you will most likely find us eating tofu donburi from EatBox on Queen Street, drinking coffee (lots of it), lying in the sun at Western Park surrounded by dogs, and of course, heading along to all the other crazy works in the festival.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
We’re all vegetarian/vegan, so an array of plant based leftovers, veggies, and lots of snacks. We’re really into snacks. Bella also has a 6 month old kombucha scoby in her fridge which she still hasn’t used, and is now scared to open the bag…

Tell us about your spirit animal?
Brit just finished a quiz online which told her that her spirit animal is a snake… It says that those who are snakes are familiar and comfortable with the Earth’s energy, they seem to have a sixth-sense when it comes to reading people’s intentions and approaching danger etc. It is the symbol for medicine, healing and guidance.

Word Association:
Fringe – Art/Bella’s hair
Fridge – Snacks
Auckland – City
Festival – Community
Lights – Mood
Chocolate – Necessary
Winter – Wonderland
Theatre – Home

Catch Dance Plant Collective at Studio One, Toi TU, 1-4 March. Buy your tickets here.

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Amber Topaz

Full of mind blowing, fascinating biological facts, The Rude awakening, sex, shame and liberation is an arousing, anecdotal romp through life, love and libido. Not for the prudish or easily offended, the show explores a thought provoking journey through contraception, chemistry and human connection, Aso thrown in are mad musical numbers highlighting the influence of hormones affecting the absurdity of human behaviour. We chat to Amber Topaz, curator and award-winning International cabaret star.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland?
Yes, this is my debut as an artist and producer in Auckland so I am curious how my work will be received. Quitisentally British Humour.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Bonkers, Educational, Uplifting

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
Carletta the Great ‘a showgirl deconstructed’ at Fringe World Perth was
A cocktail of utterly bizzare performance art and burlesque parody including farcical parodying of mainstream burlesque. Moments of what the heck is going on while keeping her tongue firmly in her cheek. Brave and bonkers.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Ooo, I don’t know yet.

Where will we find you during the festival?
The Rude Awakening. Sex, Shame & Liberation.
The Vault, Q Theatre 1st-3rd March 9.45pm Show

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
Lot’s of varieties of vegetables. Rice milk. Raspberries and maybe some raw chocolate.

Tell us about your spirit animal?
Once I was asked what my spirit animal was. Walking home that night I had a Fox run beside me like a playful puppy. A couple on the pavement close by noticed and were as surprised as I was! So it must be a Fox right? I often see Foxes walk home late at night from shows.
I feel the pop up as a little guide or a messenger. Though I have had many underwater dreams with Whales. One particularly special with a Blue Whale.

Word Association:
Fringe – Creativity
Fridge – Fresh
Auckland – New Zealand
Festival – Fabulous
Lights – Shining
Chocolate – Raw
Winter – Wonderland
Theatre – Spectacle

See Amber Topaz perform in Rude Awakening 1 – 3 March at Q Theatre. Buy your tickets here.

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Charmian Hughes

All the way from London, Charmian Hughes, is over here with a new comedy quest, Bra Trek. Bra Trek explores the question – What do you do if you don’t fit the world’s idea of how you should be? Charmian, is an award nominated comedian who started out performing as a clown and improviser. We caught up with her ahead of her show at the Auckland Fringe.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland? How different is an Auckland audience to other audiences?
I performed at the 2017 Auckland fringe at Q Theatre with my show Charmian Hughes – Soixante Mirth. It was my very first visit to New Zealand so hugely exciting. I have performed at six Edinburgh festivals, the Glastonbury festival, and many other fringes, but Auckland took me by surprise with the generosity and attentiveness of the audiences. They were so open and lovely. Many waited after the show for a hug!

Describe your show in three words or less…
WONDERBRA YOU.

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
Sometimes the most bizarre things get embraced by the world. Last Edinburgh comedian Rob Kemp did the whole of The Evil Dead 2 through the songs of Elvis Presley while the film was projected onto his body. He sold out and got nominated for every prize going. Totally amazing result from an insane idea.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
I started performing life as a clown, so LADIES OF THE BIG TOP look awesome. Also, THE PLASTIC ORGASM – a must for all of us concerned about the effect pornography has on our real lives and sexual expectations and esteem. (I touch on this myself in my show with my exploration of the unreal expectations fairy tales imbue us with from an early age.) Finally, for an overseas visitor like me, BOAT DATE looks irresistible and the kind of quirky unique thing I love.

Where will we find you during the festival?
I am staying with old friends in Grey Lynn. In 1981 I was rescued from my boring life of square conventional middle class-dom by a group of feisty New Zealand women who worked in the same London office. They introduced me to blues parties, squatting houses, Nick Cave and The Birthday Party! We have been bosom buddies ever since and last year I came over to celebrate the fact we had all hit the age of sixty at the same time! I will also be hanging round in town spontaneously catching as many shows as I can, hopefully warming up after a wet British winter and having fun.

What would we find if we raided your fridge? Yoghurt, the magic talisman for bad tummies in strange places! And cheese, lots of cheese. I know I should go vegan, just give me more time.

Tell us about your spirit animal?
A dog! My old dog Clifford died just before Christmas. I feel he is my shadow companion still. He was a very challenging creature, a rescue hound, very conflicted inside. We are all a bit like him – we want to belong and be loved, we want to love but are afraid. And we smell a bit.

Word Association:
Fringe– haircut
Fridge – cheese
Auckland – water
Festival – lights
Lights – boats
Chocolate – mousse
Winter – warmth
Theatre – wonderland

Charmian Hughes performs in Bra Trek at Garnet Station Thurs 1 – Sun 4 March. Buy your tickets here.

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Zuleika Khan

Have you ever belted out beyonce down an IV pole in the ICU? This is the curious world of TRIAGE! A Nursing Cabaret. In it’s New Zealand debut, Triage! Explores the sometimes, cruel, occasionally pleasant, always stressful world of in-your-face hospital medicine, as seen through the eyes of Zuleika Khan, a feisty second generation registered nurse and soul diva!

We caught up with the writer and performer of TRIAGE!, Zuleika Khan a woman of many talents. She is an Australian comedian, musical theatre, cabaret, TV performer and registered nurse. TRIAGE! Sold out in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Edinburgh, as well as being a number 1 top pick of Fringe World 2017.

Is this your first Auckland Fringe?
Yes

What are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?
Well i need a passport to get over there so it already feels so far from home! I love that NZ is so culturally intune with their indigenous people and how musical everyone is with big booming voices so i look forward to that. Australia is a bit behind on that front unfortunately! I am interested to see how different Auckland audiences are, i don’t know what to expect!

Describe your show in three words or less…
Medical…musical…madness!

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
Oh that’s easy i saw a totally naked woman paint her lady bits in red paint then stamp it onto some art paper and distribute them to the audience. That show was utterly incredible by the way, sounds crass but that was the end of the show and no one cared that there was a naked lady essentially giving you a stamp of her period. Looked like a love heart would you believe! That’s the power of an amazing Fringe show. She had me totally on side.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
I don’t know any of the shows to be honest! I could tell you that afterwards?

Where will we find you during the festival?
Hmm other than being at the Q Theatre every night at 8pm, i will be resting and walking around the city. I wish i had more time to take a tour.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
Vegetables and beetroot dip! Haha that sounds so healthy, if you looked in my bedside table, or my “pantry” that is a different story!

Tell us about your spirit animal?
Hmmm i love all the animals i can’t just pick one! I have animal cards here so let’s pull one randomly and see….
LOL! A badger! Hairy, cantankerous, thick set. Yes! this card says I need more perseverance and to ‘dig in to see it through to completion….. That’s me alright *books in a facial wax & buys a shovel*

Word Association:
Fringe – bangs
Fridge – white
Auckland – island
Festival – food!
Lights – twinkle
Chocolate –  nipples hehe
Winter  – warmers
Theatre –  ghosts

Zuleika Khan performs in Triage! A Nursing Cabaret at Q Theatre Tues 27 Feb – Sat 3 March. Buy your tickets to her nearly sold out shows here.

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Hamish Russell

How can we peer into the world of female friendships? Use two men in wigs?  Tom Sainsbury (Paula Bennett parody) and Hamish Russell (Drag Wars 2016 winner) put on a couple of wigs and sashay onto the stage.  Wigging Out promises lip-sync dripping with awkward relatability, melodramatic monologues and self-deprecating asides. Along with plenty of sequins and slipping eyelashes a whole new level of outrageousness ensues.

We speak to Hamish Russell, ahead of popping his  Basement cherry with Wigging Out.  Hamish dipped his pointed toe into Auckland’s drag scene in 2016, and in the same year picked up the drag wars crown.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland? If yes, what are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?
This is my first Fringe ANYWHERE. Apart from the odd drag performance over the past two years I haven’t been on stage since university. I’m looking forward to everything! The crowds, the other shows, and getting to share a stage with Tom Sainsbury, a true hero.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Heels, humour and heaving.

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
The show is the beginning of my Fringe journey so drawing from this experience, most bizarre thing would be the transformative power of wigs.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Cool Behaviour, Drowning in Milk and MacKenzie’s Daughters

Where will we find you during the festival?
Backstage with a makeup brush in my hand, or in front of a high powered fan.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
A packet of plunger coffee, butter and a jar of pickles.

Tell us about your spirit animal?
I want to say my spirit animal is a fox but that’s really only because we share the joy of being orange. In reality my spirit animal is probably something more like a manatee or a walrus. Something slow moving but always near water.

Word Association:
Fringe – Hysterical
Fridge – Fue
Auckland – Hubbub
Festival – Laughter
Lights – Sweat
Chocolate – Life-blood
Winter – Imminent
Theatre – Necessary

Hamish Russell performs in Wigging Out at Basement Theatre 27 Feb – 3 Mar as part of Auckland Fringe Festival. Buy your tickets here.