Fringe Wives Club Glittergrass

By Lisa Clark 

The last time we saw The Fringe Wives Club they were a cheeky trio of Victoria Falconer, Tessa Waters and Rowena Hutson. Everyone who saw them was blown away, they seemed to be bourne out of the zeitgeist of the feminist movement who had had enough, but also fun, sexy, and very consensual. They won best Cabaret show at Adelaide Fringe and the Spirit of the Fringe Award at Edinburgh Fringe in 2018. This year they have been joined by Laura Frew (of Double Denim – she’s rushing between shows at different venues on her bicycle!) and Sharnema Nougar, as well as a couple of back up musicians and they’ve gone Bluegrass.

The Fringe Wives Club have been around the block or two and know their stuff. They are all very accomplished in the cabaret and comedy world and each are revered in their own right, coming together, they have created a powerhouse of a show. The harmonies are gorgeous, banter is a hoot and they all get their moment to shine.

Glittergrass is a sassy celebration of talented women with an underlying  rage.  The Grrrls are fierce but then not afraid to have a laugh and sympathise with the audience about how difficult it can be to own your privilege and deal with the changing language and the complex politics. In between the songs, some original, some gorgeous covers, they exchange stories and banter that often, ironically, reveal subtle social behaviors that repress women.

Last year’s show Glittery Clittery felt like a secret, naughty, subversive, raucous, feminist club where it was safe to gather and share our joy and anger with original songs that spoke of the modern woman’s experience in a bold, fresh way and had us in tears of laughter and sadness. Glittergrass is still furious feminist cabaret but feels a little more mainstream. Not that there’s anything wrong with an accessible show. Bring your family they’ll laugh their buts off with you while learning about lady bush rangers and 3rd Wave Intersectional Feminism.

Fringe Wives Club perform Glittergrass at The Coopers Malthouse


Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards for 2018

This year instead of being presented in the middle of the night at the Festival Club as is traditional, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were instead presented at 1pm in the afternoon at Belleville. It was more relaxed and civilised with drinks and nibblies (and better lighting for photos) and it was great knowing that everyone in the room was involved and invested in the results, but sort of sad that it was restricted to invite only. I was very lucky to be invited, but other fans on the rim of the festival, but just as invested would have been sad (as I was when this happened once in the past) to not be a part of that middle of the night wild excitement and joy when a favourite, or someone you’ve discovered wins an award.

I can’t deny that there was some surprise as well as delight for Sam Campbell’s win. Although he has been performing in Sydney for a while and getting some TV work (you may have seen him on The Checkout), he’s still pretty much under the radar of the general public. We fell in love with his work when we saw Zanzoop! early in it’s run in 2016 and spent the rest of the Festival telling anyone who would listen that they should go and see the strange talk show hosted by a wise cracking alien in a back alley nightclub. This year we loved both shows he was involved with; his own, The Trough and Anne Edmond’s Helen Bidou – Enter the Spinnaker Lounge where he played Helen’s long suffering, very awkward son Connor.


Hannah Gadsby Presenting The Barry Award from New York

Barry Award, for the best show: Sam Campbell The Trough  

Nominees for The Barry Award:
Alex Edelman (USA)- Just for Us 
Anne Edmonds – as Helen Bidou – Enter the Spinaker Lounge
Tim Key (UK) – Megadate
Lano & Woodley (Colin Lane and Frank Woodley) – Fly!
Rose Matafeo (NZ) – Horndog!
Celia Pacquola – All Talk
Natalie Palamides (USA) – Laid


The Best Newcomer: Danielle Walker Bush Rat 

Danielle Walker

This award was presented by Sarah Dodds of Soho Theatre who will be bringing Danielle to London to make her Debut at The Soho Theatre.

Nominees for The Best Newcomer Award:
Paul Williams(NZ) – Summertime Love
Stephanie Tisdell – Identity Steft
Garry Starr – Performs Everything
Lewis Garnham – The Smartest Idiot You’ll Ever Meet
Nadia Collins – Virgin Bloody Mary


The Golden Gibbo Award (for an artistic independent production): 

Cam Venn

Cam Venn for 
Charles Horse Lays An Egg
The prize is a Bottle of Red Wine and was presented by Lynda Gibson’s Niece Emma Maye Gibson, also known as Betty Grumble

Nominees for The Golden Gibbo Award:
Sophie Joske and Anna Piper Scott  – Almost Lesbians
Garry Starr  – Performs Everything 
Julia Rorke & Elysia Hall – Not Another F***** B**** In India
Michelle Brasier & Laura Frew
(Double Denim) – Double Denim Adventure Show]

Lano & Woodley

People’s Choice Award:
Lano & Woodley – Fly!

This award signifies that Fly! sold the most tickets at this year’s Festival.


The Directors’ Choice Award:
Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew for Double Denim Adventure Show



The Pinder Prize: Demi Lardner – I Love Skeleton 
This Award funds her trip to the Edinburgh Fringe
to perform at Assembly Festival.



Heath Franklin

Piece of Wood Award (Peer Award from other comedians):
Heath Franklin – Bogan Jesus 


Funny Tonne Winner: Alasdair Bryant (76 Shows)

Deadly Funny National Grand Final winner: Leon Filewood (QLD)

RAW Comedy Grand Final Winner: Bec Melrose (NSW)  
Bec has won a trip to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival to compete in So You Think You’re Funny?.
RAW Runners-Up: Gavin Sempel (VIC), Emma Holland (ACT)

Class Clowns National Grand Final Winners Liam Adam, Carlin Carruth & Kyle Bennett (QLD) as ‘Awkward’!
Class Clowns Runners-Up:
Dusty Diddle (VIC),
Nina Cowley-Mousinho (QLD)
Shiloh Rea (QLD)
Nicholas Doring (NSW)