Punters are already hot under the collar anticipating Fringe World Festival 2016, opening in Perth for the sixth time on Friday.
The month-long annual arts binge, eagerly awaited by those who love their shows plentiful, quirky and sexy (not to mention cheap) helps make the most of Perth's increasingly appealing public spaces during summer.
The Cultural Centre will be packed as usual, complete with the beloved Urban Orchard pop-up bar, with the Pleasure Garden back at the other end of James Street. Essentially, you won't be able to walk for five minutes without tripping over another Spiegeltent.
This will also be people's first chance to stick their noses inside the new Elizabeth Quay development as well - the long-awaited January 30 opening of Perth's newest hot-spot is being celebrated with the first major Fringe event – Fringe World Fairground – which will have everything you imagine at a fairground, and plenty else you never imagined.
If you only see one show this Fringe, make it La Soiree. Photo: Supplied
For those on the fringes, as it were, numerous satellite shows take place in Fremantle, Victoria Park, Scarborough and Midland and there are also shows travelling to Mullewa, Northam, Kalgoorlie, Esperance and Ravensthorpe.
There's a huge range at fringe – cabaret, circus, comedy, theatre, dance and music, you name it. Bear in mind many are risqué (all rated to help you navigate according to comfort level from 'mild' to 'very hot' – in short, there will be boobs). But there are also plenty of choices for children and families and lots of free shows.
The range can be bewildering, with Perth's event now the third-largest fringe festival in the world and boasting a dense 144-page program – so here's my list of must-sees to get you started.
Full program here.
1. Cabaret: Cult Fiction
January 29-30, Empyrean Function Centre, $40
Local company Twisted Vaudeville Circus presents "a cabaret tribute to the sometimes subversive, unusual, despised and honoured film classics, mondo exotica, B-grade horror flicks and science fiction gold". Featuring Grindhouse girls, Villains, Dangerous Dames, Shake & Shimmy, Badly Dubbed Hong Kong Martial Arts Film and Exotica!
2. Cabaret/circus: La Soiree
January 22-March 6, La Soiree Spiegeltent, Perth Cultural Centre, $35-$89
Back after a hit season last year, this sex-soaked circus/cabaret has the best of last year and new acts too. It's one of the most exciting, breath-taking and hilarious shows I've ever seen in my life – and certainly the rudest. If you only go to one show, make it this.
3. Cabaret: Naked Girls Reading
Naked Girls Reading: self-explanatory. Photo: Jason Matz Photography
February 11-17, Casa Mondo, The Pleasure Garden, James Street, Northbridge, from $20
Self-explanatory. Or, as the makers explain it: "Naked Girls. Reading. Or, Girls Reading. Naked. However you need explain it to yourself is fine. And while you do, we'll be over here… Reading. Naked."
4. Comedy: Arj Barker: Keeper or Crapper
January 24-30, Rosie O'Grady's - The Boston and February 3-7 at Freo Royale - Monastery main room, from $34.50.
For those, obviously, who want high-brow entertainment. I reckon $34.50 for this is darned good value.
5. Comedy/cabaret/theatre: Noodle Palace
Central Institute of Technology, January 22-February 21.
Hundreds of comedy, cabaret and theatre performances across six theatres, rooftop bar, hawker food. Download the program here. http://www.noodlepalace.com.au/#about
6. Comedy: Ivan Aristeguieta's Chorizo Sizzle
February 6-10, The Shambles, Perth Cultural Centre, from $25.
Now this lovable Venezuelan is a permanent resident of Australia, I imagine the jokes about our cultural and culinary habits will fly even thicker and faster. This dude is guaranteed hilarious.
Comedian Ivan Aristeguieta.
7. Comedy: Deadly Funny WA state final
February 18, Cygnet Cinema, Como, free
Melbourne International Comedy Festival's national comedy competition seeks the "freshest, fiercest and funniest" Indigenous talent from around the nation.
8. Comedy: The Walking Dead
January 22-31, Deluxe, Perth Cultural Centre, from $15
"The beginner's guide to surviving the apocalypse, or at least the months between seasons six and seven. Join Dan Willis, Rick, the Governor and company for an hour of zombie-based laughs ... Dan Willis brings the sell-out smash-hit of the Edinburgh Festival to Perth Fringe World, setting his sights on saving the world - 100 people a day, live from his zombie proof bunker in the fringe.
I've got no idea whether this will be good, but my undying (get it) love of The Walking Dead compels me to include it.
9. Visual art: Hairy Maclary
January 22-27, State Library of WA, Perth, free
More than 60 original artworks by world-renowned illustrator and author Lynley Dodd, featuring characters including Hairy Maclary, Slinky Malinki, Schnitzel von Krumm, Sam Jam Balu and the Dudgeon.
10. Party: Crap Music Rave Party
January 31 – February 6, three shows in Perth, Fremantle and Mandurah, from $16
Drink and dance to Danni Minogue under disco lights. Especially considering host 'party monster' Tomas Ford will take music requests ('as long as they're crap'), I can't think of any way this could fail to be awesome.