Roundup: Fringe World (WA)

Highlights of 2020 Fringe World include visual arts with machine learning and creative responses to mental health challenges.
Roundup: Fringe World (WA) Kafka’s Ape comes to Australia after winning the Silver Ovation Award at the South African National Arts Festival in 2015 and the award for Best Public Performance at the HSS Awards, 2018. Photo: Mark Shiganana.

Nerida Dickinson

Monday 3 February, 2020

Perth’s Fringe World, now the third largest globally behind Edinburgh and Adelaide, leaves festival goers spoilt for choice with its massive line-up across art forms and genres at venues through the greater Perth area.

Kafka’s Ape
Presented by The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights and Yililiza
Created and performed by Tony Bonani Miyambo

Taking Franz Kafka’s short story, A Report to an Academy, Tony Bonani Miyambo presents a metaphor of contemporary South Africa through stunning physical theatre. He delivers dense text with casual physicality and incidental slapstick humour that highlights devastating observations about the true nature of humanity. With neatly interwoven political references, this early 20th Century monologue is an unlikely, yet well-selected piece to spark thought in contemporary audiences. Audiences will have the opportunity to see Miyambo’s highly controlled body movements in Adelaide as the show tours.

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GANify: Funhouse Mirror Machine
Created by the Perth Machine Learning Group and the Perth Artifactory

Oddly compelling webcam interactions create playful, personalised visual, sonic and career experiences in this award-winning visual arts exhibition. Blending funhouse mirrors with creative technology, viewers create dynamic progressions of distorted selfies inspired by art, biology and nature and take turns manipulating the musical soundtrack through tracked body movements. LitBot returns from creating personalised poetry at Fringe World 2019, now offering career guidance through analysing appearances and providing percentages against job titles – because we dress for the job we want! 

Ragnarøkkr
Presented by The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights and Variegated Productions
Lead writer and performer: St John Cowcher
Co-writers and performers: Joe Paradise Lui and Gracie Smith

Prog rock is sadly neglected in today’s mainstream music scene. St John Cowcher strides in on 7-inch platform boots to fill the void, blasting Loki’s narrative of Ragnarøkkr through epic chapters. Cowcher’s laconic accents direct the tale, with Gracie Smith making magic on the drums as Loki’s daughter Fenrir the wolf and Joe Paradise Lui blending long notes on his guitar with haunting vocals as his son Jörmungandr the snake. Together they take the journey from captivity to Hel and the final battle of Ragnarøkkr itself, with a sly dig at gods sleeping while the world burns. Travelling to Adelaide, this is a loud sonic and visual blast of original music and timeless storytelling.

This is not personal
Presented by PICA as part of Fringe World 2020
Created and led by Jen Jamieson

With her one-on-one performance experience, Jen Jamieson takes small groups through an interactive workshop to consider responses to casual mental health challenges. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their relationships and difficulties communicating needs in a moment, without creating confrontation or escalating the existing difficulties. With a formal presentation, participants receive a set of sharing cards to present in times of difficulty, with a handy carry case. Jamieson looks to develop the work further, with an expanded incarnation at PICA expected in 2020.

Fringe World
21 January-2 February 2020
Perth, WA

About the author

Nerida Dickinson is a writer with an interest in the arts. Previously based in Melbourne and Manchester, she is observing the growth of Perth's arts sector with interest.