Spoken Word at Fringe

Melbourne-Fringe-Festival-2013-640x375So many festivals and events! Well, Melbourne Fringe begins on the 18th of September and the best bits of course feature spoken word and poetry. We’ve had a look at the program and picked out a bunch of them that we think you should get along to.


One of our favourites, Jacky T, is mixing it up with tap dancer Hai Nguyen to bring you T.A.P. – Tap and Poetry at the Collingwood Masonic Centre on September 30, and October 3rd, 4th and 5th.


At the Imperial Hotel, poet Paul Mitchell is presenting his comedic poetry show, ‘Being a Wheel Family’ that presents a family of dysfunctional working-class poets. That’s happening September 29 to October 3, as well as October 5 and 6.


One highlight of the festival but with limited shows is Mouth to Mouth featuring Brigitte Lewis and Niccolo Palandri, these two spoken word artists promise to “take you from the first flush of sex to the shaping grounds of family, into the body and its wild inclinations – before you even have a chance to reach for a wet wipe.” That’s at the 86 on the 27th and 28th of September.


Emily Anderson presents Love in the Key of Britpop, her spoken word show developed over in Britain during her stay there. We caught a glimpse of it as the support act for Anthropoetry when they came to Melbourne and performed for Sweetalkers. That’s happening at The Tuxedo Cat – The Wild Pony from the 18th to the 28th of September, excluding the 25th.

Semi-regular gig on the Melbourne poetry scene, koLABorAYshun comes to Melbourne Fringe featuring a stellar line-up including Amanda Anastasi, Hannah Cadaver, Thomas Kent, Steve Smart, Fjalar de Haan, Bronwen and Emily Manger, John McKelvie, Brian Walters, Emma Kathryn and folksinger Penelope Swales. With four shows at Gertrudes Brown Couch on the 18th and 19th, and 24th and 25th of September you’ll get to see a good range of performers if you make it along to one of their shows.


Presented by Charlotte Roberts, Dr. Lala Loulou is coming out. If you want to find out what that means, get along to one her shows at Club Voltaire on September 23, 24, 27 or 29.

On the 19th and 26th of September, in conjunction with refugee organisation, RISE, HiRISE will present “three storytellers take to the stage performing personal stories to explore the greater narratives which link us all.” That’s at Club Voltaire.

A special show over two nights, Self Preservation and the Human Connection, gives you a real range of poets from the spoken word community. It’s at Southpaw and it’s free! The first night on September 26 features Reverse Butcher, Michael Reynolds, Jacky T, Nathan Curnow, Rochelle D’silva and Cece Ojany under the title ‘The Human Connection’ and under ‘Self Preservation’ the next week, October 3 features Petr Malapanis, Sean M Whelan, Abe Ape, Meena Shamaly and Rochelle D’silva.

Also, there are two poets that have written plays for Fringe, bringing the poetic to the theatrical in new ways.

Sean M Whelan is the writer of Everything All The Time, which Whelan says may not be a spoken word event but it has “a very strong poetic narrative to the play (as if I would write anything else) and several of my poems are woven into the script” and goes on to promise “love, ghosts, pacman, dreams, sadness and smiles.” It’s happening at the Hill of Content Bookshop from the 24th to the 29th of September.

And secondly, Emilie Collyer is the writer of The Good Girl described as about “sex and ambition and getting ahead. Whatever it takes.” It’s showing from the 20th to the 27th of September, excluding the 23rd in the Fringe Hub, Upstairs at Errol’s


Lastly, we don’t know too much about this show or performer but their show caught our eye in the program. At The Croft Institute from the 21st to 28th of September, excluding the 22nd, a show “incorporating elements of spoken word, movement and the sound” called Now by Lec Hunter entices us with the description: “Caught in a rip of madness. A manic spree of thought. A tempest down your spine, to the shallows of your heart, bumped and bruised the whole way down. No use crying over spilt milk. You will never be here again. Brief. Visceral. Hungry. Sinking in the algae. The time is now.”

We hope you find something you enjoy. For more info on tickets and venues, click on the links in each description.

Annie Solah