Karen Koren: Fringe inspiration Down Under

I'm in Melbourne on the last leg of my trip to New Zealand and Australia.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 8:56 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:08 am
Angel writer Henry Naylor. Picture: Toby Williams

I enjoyed the last few days at the Adelaide Fringe before travelling to Melbourne yesterday. The Fringe in Adelaide is a carbon copy of the Edinburgh Festival fringe, not quite as big, but substantial and a lot warmer – around 35 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, wonderful but too hot to sit out in.

My daughter Katy has been at the Adelaide Fringe for the full run, promoting three shows under the umbrella of the Gilded Balloon. First is Angel by Henry Naylor, which won a Scotsman Fringe First Award at the last festival in Edinburgh (pictured). The play has done amazingly well in Adelaide and won three awards – the Theatre Critics Award, Weekly Best Theatre Award and ANSA Best Theatre. Another show is Kinsey Sick in Dragapella, which also had a great run in Edinburgh over the last couple of years. They sold out and had a great run and have already talked with us about coming back next year.

The final show is Massaoke, which is mass karaoke. The crowd do the singing, it’s great fun, the band play live and throw huge balloons over the crowd and they play all the classic rock numbers.

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They have been performing at Gilded Balloon for the last three years and are growing bigger every year. Both Kinsey Sick and Massaoke will be back in Edinburgh this Fringe.

Katy and I were also part of the Honeypot delegation, which is like a trade arts market, meaning performers give a sales pitch to sell their shows to us.

It is quite amazing how many shows are interested in coming to Fringe. The standard is high and we have found a good proportion of shows that we would love to put on in Edinburgh.

The next few days are in Melbourne and I am going to the Comedy Festival Gala to see what is on offer this year, then fly back home on Friday.

It’s been a great trip and I have made some good contacts, which is the aim.

I’m now looking forward to getting back to Edinburgh and finishing our 2017 Fringe programming before Easter.