11 mad days in May
By Sean Healy
BRISBANE — This month the 1991 Biennial, the international art festival come to Brisbane. With it comes the initiative of a wide range of local Brisbane artists, poets and performers — the First Festival Fringe.
The Fringe, May 18-28, hopes to give local performers a forum for displaying their work and talent and to serve as a counterpoint to the official Biennial, with a far more avant-garde and experimental focus.
The Jazz Club in Annie Street, Kangaroo Point, will be transformed into the "Fringe Club" for the duration and will serve as the venue for both the nightly shows and the major events.
Though music and musicians will predominate, the festival will also include comedy, theatre and poetry performances. A number of Brisbane galleries will be holding exhibitions coinciding with the Fringe — including the Michael Milburn, the Omniscient in Auchenflower and McWhirters with "Atomic Art". This pace of nightly events will all culminate with the "Big Event", midday to midnight, Saturday, May 25, at the Fringe Club.
Judging by the Fringe's first major event, the "Carnivale", held in the enormous Brisbane Town Hall on April 19, the entire festival offers to be extremely entertaining. The Carnivale incorporated Latin American salsa with Salsa Nostra, belly-dancing, jazz, Otto Grosso with their wheely-bins as percussion and a team of unannounced roving comedians who would melt into the crowd and wait for an opportunity to spring forward and wreak havoc.