Karen Koren: Shopping for Aussies at the Fringe

Faulty Towers. Pic: Comp
Faulty Towers. Pic: Comp
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THE Fringe programming is coming on a pace. It seems to get earlier and earlier each year. The first deadline for entering shows into the Fringe brochure is March 11 and the final deadline is April 8, right after Easter Monday.

This will create mayhem in my office if I have not managed to finish all the programming in good time.

So the race is on to get the best shows possible. The Gilded Balloon is well on the way but still has a long way to go to have a complete and well-balanced programme. We had 117 shows last year and this year hope to have more. It is our 30th year and we want to have a nostalgic edge to our programme, with new and exciting theatre and comedy.

In the middle of all of this I am going to Adelaide to be a judge at the Adelaide Fringe, which is exciting and I will hopefully pick up some good shows there, though competition is fierce for the best shows. There are representatives from Assembly, Underbelly and Pleasance in Adelaide at the same time and they are all trying to get the best work.

As I am a judge this year, I am being bombarded by performers asking me to come and see their show. My itinerary is already jam-packed and I am having problems fitting it all in.

I am quite conscious of the fact that I don’t want my line-up to be too Australian heavy, though it is hard when so many of them want to come and can afford to come, which is important.

The whole thing about the newcomers doing a show at the Fringe during August is they have to be well rehearsed and ready from the first day they open.

The performers need to have previewed their show somewhere before they arrive here.

I admire all these ‘would be stars’ who come and believe that they are going to make their careers. So many of them do, others fail, but the experience they get during August can be life-changing.