City itching for more Fringe tickling

As shows sell out, extra shows are added and audiences want more.

In the first four nights, Dunedin Fringe Festival performers have lowered audiences inhibitions in intimate spaces to prime the city for an emotional, physical week of fringe activity.

Weekend highlights included Ralph McCubbin Howell's seamless delivery of his play The Bookbinder.

Another two shows have been added, at 7.30pm and 8.45pm tomorrow, at The Playhouse Theatre Bar - its black-tiled roof as dark, strange yet beautiful as the award-winning play.

Another popular show, highlighted by standing room only at The Inch Bar, was Puppet Fiction - Zed may be dead but puppetry is alive.

Comedian Jamie Bowen had a large Fortune Theatre Studio audience on his side as he used a heckler's face as a prop for a Heart Goes Boom skit.

Moments earlier, the heckler, a Bill Gates look-a-like, arrived to the show late with his partner and sat in the front row and ridiculed Mr Bowen.

Mr Bowen then systematically broke down the hacker's bravado.

''How long have you been with him,'' Mr Bowen asked the heckler's partner.

''Too long,'' she replied.

Artistic risk was greatly rewarded, such as This Is My Real Job actor Lara Fischel-Chisholm being showered with confetti as she danced to Paul Simon's Graceland in her family home.

These first performance were certainly not warm-up acts but have left Dunedin wanting more.

And this week's shows, including acrobatics, a love harem, saxophone and skin, will surely be enough to satisfy. See you there.

-shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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