Volunteers key to pocketfuls of nothing

Ellen Pullar (left) fills Emily Hlavac Green's pockets with expanding foam in a performance of ...
Ellen Pullar (left) fills Emily Hlavac Green's pockets with expanding foam in a performance of 'The Fullness of Empty Pockets' at the Blue Oyster Project Art Space last night. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The 2011 Dunedin Fringe Festival is nothing if not different.

An expansive experiment was conducted in the Blue Oyster Project Art Space last night when artist Colleen Altagracia created living sculptures in "The Fullness of Empty Pockets".

"It's a different way of looking at doing sculpture," Altagracia told me as she mixed expanding casting foam before the performance.

"It's an exploration of the potentiality of the empty space of people's pockets and the response of people to that."

And how do people react to having cold liquid poured into their pockets, which quickly expands and sets?

"You can't pre-script it. Everyone reacts differently," Altagracia said.

One of the guinea pigs, Emily Hlavac Green, described the solution as "spongy and sticky".

"It's really warm, too. It's almost burning my legs."

The Fringe kaleidoscope continues to roll around today, as Auckland choreographers Julie Van Renen, Geoff Gilson, Kelly Nash, Joshua Rutter and Anna Bate explore humanness, wildness, eroticism and exoticism in a series of dancing duets, Capturing Other, at 6pm in the Fortune Theatre studio.

For those with a bent for the burlesque, Adelaide troupe Bird Wizdom returns to Sammy's today with its sinister cabaret Master's Curious Delirium at 8.30pm, and the darkness continues at the premiere of Christchurch theatre company Sit'n Spin's psychological thriller The Visitor at the Globe Theatre at 9pm.

The lower Octagon has been a popular lunchtime spot this week as artists and performers give excerpts from their acts in "Pick of the Fringe", hosted by Wellington entertainer Mark "Slim Pickens" O'Neill.

"Pick of the Fringe" is on at noon in the Octagon, daily until Saturday.

Some new funny people are also in town.

I bumped into charming English comedian Stella Graham handing out leaflets in the Octagon yesterday, ahead of her Fringe debut in Karma Comedian in the Comedy Club at XII Below at 7 tonight.

"The show's based on when my sister was a little kid and thought God kept a book of ticks and crosses and, at the end of your life, God would look at the book and decide whether you would go to Heaven or Hell," she said.

"Each night, I'm going to nominate a person in the audience to play God and I'll talk about some of my own personal experiences and the audience will be asked to give the thumbs up or the thumbs down."

Graham will be followed by Irene Pink and Justine Smith in their self-deprecating dialogue of regret I'm Sorry I Said That at 8.30pm, and Wellington comics the Brothers Ballstein take their 60-minute train wreck of a road trip from Cape Reinga to Bluff, Top to Tail, to the stage for the first time at 10pm.


Fringe today

Daily: A Boy had a Mouth Full of Glitter (Chipmunks car park)
Daily: Who Let the Monkeys Out (Queens Gardens)
9am-5pm: Bloodlines and Bloodstains (School of Art gallery)
9am-5pm: Cooee (Stairwell, 130 Stuart St, top floor)
10am-5pm: From The Mountains To The Sea (Tangente Cafe)
10.30am-6pm: Pattern and Paradox (Gallery on Blueskin)
Noon: Pick of The Fringe (Octagon)
Noon-6pm: YYYEEESSS (284 Princes St)
6pm: Capturing Other (Fortune Theatre Studio)
7pm: Karma Comedian (Comedy Club @ XII Below)
7pm: Sunday Roast (Globe Theatre)
8pm: Mates and Lovers (Fortune Theatre main stage)
8.30pm: Master's Curious Delirium (Sammy's)
8:30pm: Irene Pink and Justine Smith in I'm Sorry
I said That (Comedy Club @ XII Below)
9pm: Once Was (The Theatre As Is)
9pm: The Visitor (Globe Theatre)
10pm: Top to Tail (Comedy Club @ XII Below)



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