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Dunedin Fringe Showcase Opens Festival With A Bang

The Dunedin Fringe Festival kicked off in style last night with a two hour extravaganza of acts from Aotearoa and around the world. The town hall was filled with music, comedy, theatre, and all-around spectacle, and the sold out house was shepherded through the evening by M.C.’s Te Radar and Metiria Turei. House band Tahu and the Takahe’s provided music and glitter throughout.

Festival Director Gareth MacMillan was delighted with the evening’s success. “We’re thrilled to have had performers of this calibre performing are part of this year’s Showcase, and give audiences a taste of the Fringe Festival we’ve got in store.”

The diverse showcase line up included everything from an uproarious comedy set by Joanna Cosgrove’s wine-toting, yarn-spinning Aunty, to classical music on violin and piano from Ten Mozart Masterpieces, and culminated with the audience dancing in the aisles as Turei and her band ‘Kill Martha’ delivered a rousing rendition of ‘Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me’. The band will be performing in original Fringe show Frankensplurta – an immersive musical extravaganza that will be staged at a mystery location in Waitati this week.

This year’s Fringe is the biggest in the festival’s history, and with close to a hundred events taking place over the next fortnight, there will be a 30% increase in performances from last year. More shows means more artists and more venues, which range from year-round spaces to pop-up stages, with some performances even juggling the two. Performances of Aunty shift between the Fortune Theatre Studio, and a private residence – taking Cosgrove’s family barbeque to an actual family home. Other unusual venues include the salt water pool at St Clair which hosts Elemental – a circus piece which pleased the crowd at the Showcase last night. McMillan says: “Audiences are excited by the festival in store for them and I encourage everyone to get out there and embrace the Fringe!”


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