Spreading laughter at the Sydney Fringe Festival
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Jewish acts shine

Spreading laughter at the Sydney Fringe Festival

'This year’s program is an incredible testament to the resilience and passion of the independent arts sector in Sydney'

Robyn Reynolds
Robyn Reynolds

As the largest independent arts festival in New South Wales, the Sydney Fringe Festival presents more than 450 events in over 70 venues each year. For the past two years, the Fringe Festival was reimagined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, moving to an online international collaboration. But for 2022, the festival is back and according to its website, bigger than ever.

Each year, festival organisers curate the open-access festival, providing a platform for Sydney stories by Sydney voices. It’s a festival for Sydney, by Sydney.

“This year’s program is an incredible testament to the resilience and passion of the independent arts sector in Sydney,” said festival director and CEO Kerri Glasscock.

“Despite the immense difficulty of the past two years we are uniting to bring you all the work that has been bubbling away under the surface during lockdowns.

“This is our city’s festival, and a celebration of Sydney stories, so get ready because Fringe is back and we need you!”

Originally from Britain, Jewish comedian Robyn Reynolds’ debut show Relatable Material was shortlisted for Best Comedy at the 2019 Sydney Fringe Festival. This year, she’ll be presenting CAKE – described as delicious, witty and scintillating.

“I was always a funny little weirdo, but I never knew you could just be a comedian. I stumbled into comedy completely by accident, after I moved to Sydney,” Reynolds told The AJN.

When asked what the show is about, Reynolds was even witty in her response – exactly what you’d expect from a comedian – saying, “Look, I’ll just say, from concentration camps to coffee cake – this show has something for everyone.”

Michael Shafar

The show features hilarious stories, incredible tales, and the best recipe for coffee walnut cake.

“Audiences can expect to have a giggle,” she said. “[They’ll] feel a warm, happy glow as tears of laughter stream their faces.”

Also on the bill is renowned Jewish comedian Michael Shafar, with his show For sale: New jokes. Never told.

As per Shafar’s request, come along and help determine the fate of his new material – you get to decide what topics he talks about.

Also on the billing is Jared Jekyll with Manic Pixie Dreamboat, who will attempt to deconstruct their life as a 34-year-old neurodivergent, non-binary, polyamorous queer Jew with bipolar and tourettes, the only way they know how; by sublimating all their pain into art for your entertainment.

A sought-after support act, having opened for international comedians Tony Hinchcliffe, DJ Douggpound, Ari Shaffir and Tom Green, Jared has played the UCB in New York, the World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood, been seen on ABC Comedy and the Comedy Channel, and heard on Triple J and FBi Radio.

Jared Jekyll

As described on the Fringe Festival website, “This will be the comedic equivalent of doing fractal geometry on trial psychedelics at an underground Berlin nightclub.”

This year, there is also a new micro-festival for artists with disability, pop-up venues featuring comedy and cabaret around the city and special events for kids and young people.

The aim of the festival is to give a platform to independent artists. As the festival website states, “As we emerge from the ravages of the pandemic we will need our independent artists, thinkers and creators more than ever. They will be a key contributor to the recovery process and a new vision for the future.

“Sydney needs its Fringe Festival more than ever before.”

For more information and to book tickets, visit sydneyfringe.com

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