Weird and wonderful back for Fringe

23:42, Nov 28 2012
New Zealand Fringe Festival coordinator Hannah Clarke
MORE TO COME: New Zealand Fringe Festival coordinator Hannah Clarke plan to grow Fringe in Wellington.

After almost being canned due to funding cuts, the fringe festival is back in Wellington this summer with more than 100 shows  including 'beached whales' and sword-swallowing.

New Zealand Fringe Festival coordinator Hannah Clarke said festival, from February 15 until March 9 next year, was believed to be the biggest in a decade.

''We couldn't believe we had actually cracked 100.''

Those numbers compared to 58 shows earlier this year, and even less the previous year, when a funding cut meant the festival was almost canned, then scaled back to two weeks.

''It's definitely my goal to grow the Fringe. There's definitely scope for it in Wellington.''

While Clarke has a long-running involvement in the Fringe, both as an artist and organiser, this year is her first time as coordinator.

Publicist Brianne Kerr offered a sneak-peak at some of the stranger shows on the programme, which officially gets launched on December 12.


Shows include an Irish sword swallower at Civic Square who is one of the few people in the world capable of swallowing two swords at once.

Wellington theatre troupe Binge Culture were putting on three shows, including an audience participation ''stranding of whales'' outside Te Papa.

''No whales will be harmed in the making of the Fringe,'' Miss Kerr promised.

Comedian James Nokise was teaming up with musician Adam Page for a sing-along of 1980s and 1990s classic songs.

Contact Tom Hunt
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The Dominion Post