This year’s Melbourne Fringe festival—which runs from September 13 to 30—will feature more than 770 LGBTI-identifying artists.

A veritable kaleidoscope of diversity, the program features a range of exciting work that challenges traditional norms and pushes boundaries, tackling issues that have impact both within and outside of the queer community.

Fringe is a big, bold, and playful celebration of independent art that takes over the city, where punters can see established and emerging artists stand side-by-side.

Here are some of the queer highlights in this year’s program:

THY NEIGHBOUR (September 13, 14, 18 – 21)

‘Thy Neighbour’ is a fiercely relatable comedy about the true story of two queer women who were driven from
their home in a rural Victorian town during the same-sex postal survey. This show holds no punches as it dives into the dark story of two women and their neighbours.

LOU WALL’S DRAG RACE (September 23 – 28)

Couldn’t snag a ticket to the RuPaul’s Drag Race season ten finale in Los Angeles? Never fear, Lou Wall’s Drag Race is here.  Comedy superstar Lou Wall is hosting the fiercest and most fabulous queens in Melbourne for the world premiere of Lou Wall’s Drag Race. Faux queens, bio queens, female impersonators – it’s time for a new Queen Bee to rule this cis-gendered monarchy of men.

PILEPILETA (September 25 – 30)

Pilepileta by Sheree Stewart will investigate her experience of being a “big queer Aboriginal woman in a small redneck town”, encapsulating the resilience of the human spirit in a poignant and painful yet powerfully beautiful show.

CHURCH OF OYSTER (September 22 – 23, 25 – 29)

Church of Oyster is a 60 minute multi-disciplinary, queer, contemporary performance where continuity is put aside, and a sacred space for inclusivity is enshrined at the Melbourne Fringe Hub this September. The cast of five multidisciplinary artists explore themes of compliance, tension, and resistance through continual and mutual transformation.

CREATRIX TIARA: QUEER LADY MAGICIAN (September 13 – 15)

Can an overly honest person be a good magician? If you failed at something once should you never try again? And what’s with all these straight white men in orientalist drag? Creatrix Tiara, Queer Lady Magician, revisits a childhood love for stage magic with a strong sense of social justice – and a severe case of impostor syndrome.

BURLESQUE BY FORCE (September 20 – 23, 27 -30)

Backstage, a burlesque performer strips off costume and character to reveal the dark truths behind the bright lights of life. Walk the line between reality and coping mechanism, where humour, humility and poetry converge in an intimate story of consent and silence-breaking.

TRANS MAGIC (September 25)

Gender transcendent diva Mama Alto and non-binary chanteuse Mx Munro proudly present an evening showcasing, celebrating and worshipping the excellence, power, beauty and magic of transgender, intersex, and gender diverse artists. With a dazzling line up of exquisite and phenomenal performances, this will be a night of affirmation and empowerment – a night of trans magic.

ANATOMY OF A POWER PUSSY (September 15, 19, 22)

Anatomy of a Power Pussy will challenge perception and encourage thoughts, tackling issues including life as a queer, and a power pussy. Cabaret star Sophie deLightful’s signature powerhouse vocals will entice, inspire, and excite with heartfelt interpretations and reworkings of classic and modern songs – teaching there is power from vulnerability as much as boldness.

To search the full Melbourne Fringe 2018 program and to buy tickets visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au

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