Fringe has full lineup

Captain Festus McBoyle’s Travellin’ Variety Show, coming to Dunedin Fringe Festival from Auckland...
Captain Festus McBoyle’s Travellin’ Variety Show, coming to Dunedin Fringe Festival from Auckland, is packed with comedy songs and tales of the sea. Photo: supplied
The Dunedin Fringe Festival co-directors Kate Schrader and Ruth Harvey are excited the event is returning to full strength this year.

There are 85 events set to run across 33 venues, from Waitati to Larnach Castle.

"After all the difficulties of the Covid pandemic, we finally have a full fringe programme again, and our ticket sales are going really well — it’s going to be great," Ms Schrader said.

Running from March 14-24, the festival will feature comedy, theatre, music, exhibitions, interactive performances and everything in between, from both new and established fringe artists.

An important aspect of the festival this year is a strong showing of family-friendly events, including the award-winning comedy pirate show Captain Festus McBoyle’s Travellin’ Variety Show promising "more fun than a squirrel up ya jumper", and a weekend comedy school for teenagers led by Harriet Moir.

The Fringe Festival team will host Fringe Bangers in the Octagon, on March 16, featuring local Ōtepoti musicians, a sausage sizzle and gelato from Gelato Junkie.

Another all-ages project will be the Mana Wāhine: Exhibition and Workshop, led by Ōtepoti artists Savannah Kerekere and Michael-Lydia Winiana, who are among the inaugural cohort of Māori Artist Grant recipients.

"These are just some of the amazing events we have for the whole whānau, and there are many more as well, so we urge local families to get amongst it," Ms Schrader said.

Ms Harvey said Dunedin Fringe was excited to be collaborating again with Dunedin Pride during Dunedin Pride Month.

From March 11, the Community Gallery at 26 Princes St will transform into the Fringe x Pride Hub, providing an all-ages venue for collaborative programming that uplifts the city’s rainbow community.

"We are delighted to be sharing the hub with Dunedin Pride and are looking forward to some truly fabulous shows."

Among them is the funny and smart musical show Gender Marxist, presented by award-winning Wellington artist Mx.Well.

"If you enjoyed the ballad about Ashley Bloomfield that went viral online in 2020, you will love this show," Ms Harvey said.

Dunedin Fringe has awarded $34,000 in Artist Grants this year, supporting 18 artists with grant funds that help bring their ideas to life.

This year, Māori Artist Grants were offered for the first time, along with the Pacific and general grant pools.

Pacific artist grant recipient Ōtepoti artist Ana Teofilo presents the "Toe Fanauina / Rebirth: Art Exhibition", which shares the story of receiving the malu — the female Samoan traditional tattoo.

Ms Schrader said the 85 events in the festival meant the programme was jam-packed with fun.

She encouraged everyone to spend some time looking through either the printed booklet or online version.

"Tickets are selling very fast, and some events are already nearly sold out, so we urge fringe fans to get in quick."