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Dunedin Fringe Festival 2023: A Celebration Of Comedy, Theatre & Artistic Expression

The Dunedin Fringe Festival is soon to be back in full swing, providing a vital platform for artists to showcase their work and talents. There is truly something for everyone, with stand-up comedy, theatre, live music, interactive installations, and much, much more!

Held in Ōtepoti/Dunedin, 2023's programme offers audiences the chance to see new work from both established and emerging artists from Aotearoa and abroad. The festival is delighted to welcome back international artists from Scotland, Switzerland, Canada and Australia following the pandemic border closures.

Dunedin Fringe provides a forum for artists of all abilities to discover, explore, and nurture their own creativity and share their unique artistic voice. This year Fringe is excited to collaborate with Dunedin Pride during Dunedin Pride Month. From 12-26 March, the Community Gallery at 26 Princes St will transform into the Dunedin Pride x Fringe Hub, providing an all-ages venue for collaborative programming that uplifts the local LGBTQIA+ community.

Dunedin Fringe also gratefully acknowledges the support of Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Team, whose grant funds are supporting the presentation of three spectacular exhibitions by Pasifika artists Ma’taria Pekepo, Rosie Roache and Padma Naidu.


Jeff Goldblum keeps dying. He’s the most frequently dying celebrity internationally. He’s even been interviewed about it on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Is it a hoax? It isn’t. He keeps dying, and a shadowy corporation with secret motives is behind it. Written in the form and beats of a surreal American sitcom, we journey into The Many Deaths of Jeff Goldblum by Jordan Wichman. Proudly developed by the Ōtepoti Theatre Lab and produced by Jordan Wichman for local emerging theatre company Dollhouse, of which Jordan is one of the founders, The Many Deaths of Jeff Goldblum is written by local playwright Meg Perry-Hartigan.

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Past ‘Best of Fringe’ winner afterburner (Dark Matter) returns with Dark Radio, an immersive installation paying homage to the Cold War when spies, nuclear codes and annihilation were kept at bay by those endless streams of radio noise and number stations.

Bringing all new material down south, Guy Williams introduces Comedy Plus Time Equals Tragedy, a stand-up show that explores colonisation, racism and misogyny in what Radio New Zealand has touted as "Hilarious, original and political".

The Flying Femmes is here to bring the joy and allure of traditional circus to the Ōtepoti community. The accomplished all-female cast will take the audience on a journey to explore the history and progression of circus as an art form, paying tribute to its roots but offering a modern twist.

, (Love, Mum) is Cynthia Hiu Ying Lam’s autobiographical one-woman show, exploring the lives and relationships between herself, her mother and two grandmothers. After winning the Dunedin Fringe Tour Ready Award at the Auckland Fringe Festival 2022, Cynthia now brings her show to audiences in Dunedin. “I cried and laughed! Telling your story in such a beautiful and brave way is inspiring.” – audience member.

LESBIHONEST presents a one-woman comedy show from Toronto, Canada, following her journey of 'coming outs'. Relaying the unravelling and rebuilding of self-identity alongside societal shifts towards LGBTQIA+ people.

For one night only, award-winning comedian Jack Ansett will be trying new jokes as he gears up to compete for the 2023 Billy T Award. Are You Taking The Piss? is bound to be popular with TikTok crowds and beyond.

Looking for an interactive experience like no other? Spectacle brings you Play, a dynamic, immersive, participatory pan-art show in which six core artists and their collaborators guide you through an interactive dating experience. Where will you end up? Will you solve the murder mystery, or will you fall in love with a dangerous monster?

Dunedin's Lines of Flight is the long-awaited premiere film screening that documents the three-day experimental music festival in Port Chalmers. There will be live music preceding the film screening and then a Q&A session with Stephen Sinclair (Director) and Peter Porteous (Lines of Flight co-organiser).

Experience Dunedin Pride's Queer Poetry Night as you are invited to share your own poems in this relaxed, open-mic event. This is a safe space for local takatāpui and the rainbow community to celebrate queer voices in poetry and listen to a variety of perspectives.

Emerson’s Late Night Line Up will once again take over Te Whare o Rukutia every Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the Fringe, entertaining festival-goers into the night with a hand-picked itinerary of headline comedians, including Eli Mathewson, David Correos, Justine Smith, Donna Broobanks, Jack Ansett and James Mustapic; and musical talent including The Emily Alice Band, Ed and the Shadow Boys and Flying Man

Take Me With You is a piece of performative research by Curiouser & Curiouser. How does our environment affect us? Why do we go the way we go, and how do we navigate our choices? When was the last time you just drifted for no reason at all, and what did you find? Local actor and producer Rosella Hart will meet individual participants and take them on a wander full of questions and exploration.

When strangers ask Tracey why she needs a walking stick, she invents fantastical and sometimes hilarious stories to explain the reason for her disability. But what is she hiding? As a connection grows between Tracey and Marty, a regular customer in the dairy where she works, Tracey is challenged to explain the reason for her lies. But it will be a chicken called Hannibal Lecter who helps her to finally face the painful truth. Lessons Learned from Hannibal Lecter is an adaptation of the short story Lies, which won the Sargeson Prize in 2020. Proudly developed by the Ōtepoti Theatre Lab.

Two-time Billy T Award-nominated comedian and local Dunedinite James Mustapic will be exploring Into The Multi-Media-Verse, where he will travel to strange and new dimensions to meet different versions of himself, including Straight James, Psychic James, and more. Can James defeat his most evil enemies yet and find his way home while also delighting you with an hour of stand-up comedy involving sound and visual elements? Probably!

For more information and interview requests, contact Geni McCallum, Publicity and Marketing Manager, at

Dunedin Fringe thanks all their sponsors, supporters and friends. We gratefully acknowledge core funding from the Dunedin City Council, Creative NZ and the Otago Community Trust, and our principal sponsor, Emerson’s.

Festival Dates: Thursday 16th March - Sunday 26th March
Full programme: Release date for Programme Launch (Thursday 16th February) available online and as a printed guide.
What: Dunedin Fringe Festival is an annual 11-day multidisciplinary arts festival that’s open to anyone who wants to participate — any form of creative expression, any level of experience, anything goes! 
Images/logos: available here

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