“Holy dooley Huxley, you’re overwhelming us with so many lists of Northern Fringe shows I don’t know where to start!” If you think you’re overwhelmed from our few short listicles, you should check the incredibly long programs outlining every event on during the North Australian Festival of Arts and the Northern Fringe Festival – we haven’t even chipped the tip of the iceberg, yet.
However, if you believe you would have similar interests to a 26-year-old male who loves Harry Potter, Friends (the TV show – I wish I had real life friends), lasagne, naps and the beach, then these are the events for you:
Bernie Dieter’s Little Death Club: 4-14 July
We caught the opening of this show last night and I honestly have no words to describe it – you will laugh, you will gasp, you will stamp your feet, and you’ll wish you were a part of Bernie’s incredibly outrageous and extraordinarily talented family.
Dan Baker Album Launch: 13 July
It’s no secret that I am the biggest fanboy of Sam Wright and Nicole Cross at Neighbourhood Sessions, so was stoked to see Neighbourhood Live House hosting a bunch of local original musicians throughout the month. One performance I’ll be front row for is Dan Baker, who will be releasing his debut album (after a little nagging from Sam and Nicole, of course) as part of the Northern Fringe. You have to hear him to believe him – Dan could sing a crocodile to sleep.
The Vagina Monologues: 17-21 July
I was one of the unfortunate souls that missed out on tickets to Theatre iNQ’s 2018 production of The Vagina Monologues – so was over the moon when I heard they would be reprising the show during the Northern Fringe. I was even more excited when I heard Townsville exports Meg Bowden and Emma Lamberton would be flying up from Brisbane to be part of the cast.
Welcome to Adulthood: 19-20 July
Two of The Comedy Generation’s finest comedians will be hosting their own stand-up show at the Heritage Exchange over two nights- and if you’ve caught any of Laurie Page or Kieran McNabb’s sets before, you’ll know pairing them up is a recipe for success (or disaster?).
Glen Shorrock and the Help Is On Its Way Project: 28 July
I am so excited to catch this event for so many reasons: for starters, the Townsville choir joining Glen on stage will be conducted by local icon Rachel Cairns; the local choir will also be made up of emergency services, defence force and Council staff who were involved in the response to February’s floods, making for a very special grand finale; and the performance will occur on the main stage in Queens Gardens, making it completely free to attend: pack a picnic and enjoy yourself!
Pimlico in the Park: 27 July
On the subject of Queens Gardens, I couldn’t skip mentioning Pimlico in the Park. I’ve never been afraid to admit Pimlico Presents is one of my favourite productions every year, showcasing an unbelievable amount of local young talent – so for the students to be able to stage a public performance despite the closure of the Civic Theatre is really special, and is another one I won’t miss.
Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo: 28 July – 4 August
I’m sure I will be one of the many people living out my real-life Jurassic Park fantasies when this interactive performance stops in the Wonderland Spiegeltent as part of the Strand Ephemera. This will be a great one for kids to check out (I’m heading along with my godson so people don’t laugh at the lonely 26 year old man waving at the Stegosaurus), and is free – so book quickly!
If you want to make your own list of must-sees during NAFA and the Northern Fringe, check the programs out here and here! If you are also a 26-year-old male who likes all the same things I do but did not enjoy any of the above events, feel free to keep attending other events until you find one you love – because this July, there is an event for everyone in Townsville!