Naked circuses and sexy ‘Harry Potter’: Eight eye-opening shows coming to Melbourne Fringe

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Naked circuses and sexy ‘Harry Potter’: Eight eye-opening shows coming to Melbourne Fringe

Words by Jonti Ridley

Let’s get freaky with Fringe.

Melbourne Fringe Festival has outdone itself for weird and the wonderful shows this year with a stellar program full of works to tickle your fancy and alter your reality. From Dumbledaddys to George Pell, Fringe has made it its mission to give a platform to hundreds of those who are ready to have their voices heard. Spread across a variety of Melbourne venues this month, the program can be a lot to take in. So we’ve done the work for you created a collection of shows we think belong on your must-see list.

Fantastic Breasts (And Where To Find Them)

Ruin your childhood or possibly make it a whole lot better with Fantastic Breasts (And Where To Find Them), a burlesque parody full of magic. Follow the trio as they set out on their “sexiest adventure yet”, after Dumbledaddy tasks them with finding out who’s unleashed a series of dangerous and saucy creatures. Threatening to expose more than just the wizarding world, you’ll be on the edge of your seat to see what happens next. Produced by GEEK OUT! Nerdlesque, you can catch this show at 24 Moons between Thursday September 12 and Saturday September 14.

Circus-Cision: Those that made the Cut

If you agreed with that one episode of Seinfeld where they realise there are some things you shouldn’t see the naked body do, this isn’t the show for you. Circus-Cision: Those that made the Cut features some of the best circus performers from Fringe, but in full frontal nudity. The late-night variety show offers a little bit of fun and incredible athleticism, all while showing the human body in its naked glory. Hosted by Head First Acrobats, if you can only make it to one circus show this year, make it this one. It’ll go down at the Wonderland Spiegeltent on Friday September 13 and Saturday September 14.

Cardinal Sins: Pell in a Cell

It’s not easy turning your experience of growing up in Ballarat as a Catholic schoolboy “at the worst possible time” into a comedy show. Somehow, Frank Hamster has pulled it off with his critically-acclaimed production, Cardinal Sins: Pell in a Cell. A witness at the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse, Hamster brings his show into its fourth year to offer a rare insight into the Pell tragedy while offering stories of hope and promises of love at the same time. Watch it for yourself at the Fringe Hub at Trades Hall on Saturday September 21 and Sunday September 22, and again from Tuesday September 24 until Sunday September 29.

Pink Matter

Pink Matter combines dance, visual theatre and live music to explore the importance of the bubbly hue and its implications in female and queer experiences. Created by Beth Raywood Cross, Stella Webster and Diane Pereira, they’ll present a world of pink and a series of pink narratives. You’ll be tickled pink that you came. Presented at Dancehouse (Sylvia Staehli Theatre) from Wednesday September 25 until Saturday September 28.

Off Off Off Broadway Karaoke

Calling all you bathroom Streisands in the making, now is your time to shine and to take your love of musicals to the stage. Off Off Off Broadway Karaoke encourages punters to participate in an all-in musical extravaganza, where you don’t have to hide the fact you know all the words to Hairspray. Presented by Jess McGuire and Emma Smith, and performed by you, it’ll be nothing short of fun. Hosted at the Fringe Hub at Trades Hall from Thursday September 12 until Sunday September 15, and again from Tuesday September 17 to Friday September 20.

Buffy Kills Edward

As a Twi-hard and Buffy fanatic, this one hurts a bit. Set in an alternate universe where Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Twilight series coexist, upon Buffy slaying moody Edward, the two worlds descend into chaos. Buffy Kills Edward includes songs like ‘I Slay’ and ‘Everyone Loves a Bad Boy’, you’ll have the music stuck in your head for days. The show hits the Gasworks Studio Theatre stage from Thursday September 12 until Saturday September 14.


A lot of us have little to no idea what it’s like to be gender diverse in a binary world. Human rights advocate Jacob Thomas makes their debut with Transgression, a show based on their lived experience in Australia after the passing of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act. Thomas pushes the comfort zone and delves into how hard it can be to live in an environment that may seek to cause you harm – even if they say you can get married. The show takes place at Meat Market Stables from Tuesday September 24 until Saturday September 28.

Dud Roots

We’ve all had ‘em, and if you think you haven’t, chances are you’ve been one. Dud Roots is Michelle Jarni’s Instagram page turned stage production. After sharing some “questionable” art online, the art project Dud Roots quickly took on a life of its own.  Sharing her years of terrible sex, followers starting divulging their own awkward sexual encounters with the @dudroots account anonymously to keep the page going. Watch Jarni explore her alter ego Dudley Routes on stage while they try to figure out exactly where we’re going wrong when going down (among other things).

Tickets and more details for all the mentioned shows can be found on the Fringe website. While you’re there, we suggest taking a read of any content warnings to avoid any extreme discomfort.