Fringe Festival captures imagination

The 2012 Dunedin Fringe Festival was tucked up for another year last night, leaving behind memories of some standout performances among the 50 events of the past 11 days.

Few will forget Christchurch artist Audrey Baldwin and her audacious act - licking her way out of a toffee box.

Fringe director Paul Smith said the ninth festival had captured the public imagination.

"The festival has taken a real step forward this year. It feels like the town has been alive with the sound of art.

"We're very happy with how it all went. We've been lucky to have some exceedingly clever people here. John Cooper Clarke is Fringe royalty and it was great to have him here. He really helped boost our profile," he said.

A personal favourite Fringe moment was having Clarke in the car when a bikie pulled up alongside to abuse me for some imagined traffic transgression. Old Mr Bikie won't be doing that again in a hurry.

The curtain came down on the festival after the Fringe Awards at Ironic Cafe last night.


The results

Best comedy: Abby Howells, of Dunedin.
Judges' comment: "As a young comedian, Abby presented a unique style of comedy that left us wanting more."

Best music: Song Sale.
Judges' comment: "Song Sale was a unique and challenging concept that excited audiences and resulted in some outstanding performances by the artists involved."

Best dance: Made in New Zealand by Footnote.
Judges' comment: "Footnote presented a challenging and thought-provoking work of cutting-edge dance and outstanding choreography."

Best outdoor: The Fire of Life by the Firebugs.
Judges' comment: "This large outdoor show made excellent use of a beautiful place to present a highly engaging show that incorporated music, dance and storytelling."

Best theatre: The Fickle Finger of Fate
Judges' comment: "Fickle Finger received multiple standing ovations with a mesmerising show where every second was entertainment par excellence."

Best visual art: Transit by Mr Sterile Assembly.
Judges' comment:
"Transit transformed a static exhibition into a thoughtful and entertaining event that really brought the work to life."

Best production design: Cabaret Botanica by Talking House.
Judges' comment: "A highly unique concept event, Cabaret Botanica was beautifully realised with outstanding costumes and an all-encompassing atmosphere."

Best newcomer: Lizzie Hewitt, Catch-All.
Judges' comment: "As the creative director and choreographer of Scarified Pigeon Dance Theatre, Lizzie presented a charming and personal work of contemporary dance."

Most original concept: Canker by Audrey Baldwin.
Judges' comment: "Canker was a technical and physical challenge that caught the public imagination due to its originality."

Stand-out performer: Thom Monckton, Fickle Finger of Fate.
Judges' comment: "Thom Monckton's performance was hilarious and physically demanding. A virtuoso performance."

Get to the Adelaide Fringe: Hereafter by Free Theatre Christchurch.
Judges' comment: "This bold challenging work is compelling theatre of the highest calibre."

Best of the Fringe: The Fickle Finger of Fate.
Judges' comment: "The Fickle Finger of Fate stood out as a highly original work that was exceptionally well realised and utterly compelling."

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