If You Miss These 17 Unmissable Sydney Fringe Festival Shows That’s On You TBH

titanic the movie the play sydney fringe festival

Sydney Fringe Festival is back in full swing after two pandemic-cursed years, and by the looks of the lineup, this year is set to be better than ever.

Kerri Glasscock, Sydney Fringe Festival Director and SEO, said that this year’s program is “an incredible testament to the resilience and passion of the independent arts sector in Sydney“, noting “the immense difficulty of the past two years”.

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

Calling it “a triumphant return,” Minister for the Arts NSW, the Hon. Ben Franklin said: “The 2022 festival will feature over 500 productions and 2,500 artists, spread across nine festival hubs and over 50 participating venues”.

“To accommodate this massive program, the festival has been extended by an extra two weeks,” he added. “From small immersive experiences to large scale street parties, this year’s festival will showcase the diversity and energy of our creative community.”

From stand up comedy to live theatre and cabaret, there’s something for everyone at Sydney Fringe Festival, and if you’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice, we’ve got your back.

Here are 17 of the best Sydney Fringe Festival shows to check out this year.

Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett

bernie dieter

From: Germany

Runs: Wednesday, August 17 — Sunday, September 25

Venue: Runaway Gardens — Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent

Synopsis: Grab the gin, it’s time to celebrate! Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett returns bigger and more provocative than ever.

After her completely sold out Sydney debut early this year, Bernie Dieter brings a brand new troupe of bombastic bohemians for an unmissable night in the Spiegeltent. The gin-soaked haus band soundtracks a hazy night of dangerously funny kabarett, breathtaking circus, gender-bending aerial and fire-breathing sideshow at its most inappropriate, provocative and hilarious.

An electrifying cross between Lady Gaga, Marlene Dietrich and Frank-N-Futer in sequins, Dieter has cemented herself as one of the standout kabarett artists of her generation. She has stunned, aroused and terrified audiences from Berlin to Hong Kong, blending her soaring voice, sequins and her lascivious charm with a cut-throat wit, and a deviant eye for debaucherous mayhem!

There is no fourth wall, no rules, and no seat is safe in this dark and defiant den of iniquity. Grab your tickets quick and prepare yourself for a night of full-frontal fabulousness. It’s risqué done right!

Tickets: $65 — $110, buy here

Related: Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett Is the Ultimate Equaliser and It’s Exactly What We Needed

Crips and Creeps Comedy

CRIPS & CREEPS COMEDY Sydney Fringe Festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Wednesday, September 14 — Friday, September 16

Venue: 107 Redfern — Performance Space

Synopsis: Crips and Creeps is an inclusive comedy night with the funniest comedians in town. A sexy, accessible show celebrating comedians who are marginalised due to sexuality, race, gender or disability. With such a fabulous range of comedians, you are bound to find your new favourite. Party down post show with our special guest Aquenta, bringing the beats!

All shows include Auslan interpreting, wheelchair accessibility, hearing loop and chill space.

Tickets: $21 — $26, buy here

Dane Simpson — Digeridoozy

Dane Simpson — Digeridoozy sydney fringe festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Wednesday, September 21 — Friday, September 23

Venue: Factory Theatre

Synopsis: Winner Best Comedy Weekly Award 2022 Adelaide Fringe

As seen on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala, Would I Lie to You?, Celebrity Letters and Numbers, Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow, The Hundred with Andy Lee and Have You Been Paying Attention?.

With a string of sold-out shows across Australia as part of the hugely popular Aborigi-LOL, Dane’s new show is a (didgeri)doozy.

Tickets: $20, buy here

Edan Mcgovern — Ritalin Princess

Edan Mcgovern — Ritalin Princess Sydney Fringe Festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Thursday, September 1 — Sunday, September 4

Venue: Factory Theatre

Synopsis: Through the wonders of prescription medication, Edan Mcgovern has the opportunity to really get her life on track. She will instead be debuting her first solo stand-up comedy show.

Edan has been referred to as one of the most exciting additions to Australian comedy with her work said to be “encompassed with a quiet bravado and abundant skill” (State Of The Art Reviews), that “her track record can’t be denied” (Cool Accidents Magazine), and is “the most impressive ducker and weaver of schoolwork I have ever seen” (A substitute teacher she had in year 11).

After becoming a RAW Comedy State Finalist in 2019, having original musical We Are The (End Of The) World nominated for Best Musical at the 2019 Sydney Fringe Awards, debuting in her first spit bill comedy show Triple Threat for Sydney Fringe Comedy 2019, performing in iconic NYC clubs such as Creek and Cave, and amassing an online cult following of over 125,000 followers, her debut solo show Ritalin Princess has been highly anticipated and long-awaited.

Tickets: $12 — $17, buy here

English Breakfast

English Breakfast Sydney Fringe Festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: England

Runs: Saturday, September 10

Venue: The Barracks — Comedy Club

Synopsis: The kettle’s just boiled, fancy a cuppa?

Join AJ Lamarque in an uplifting and sentimental comedy show that tries to figure out what it means to be perfect in an imperfect world through AJ’s own journey as a mixed race/queer human.

You’ll love it if you’ve ever felt like you’ve never fit within the mainstream.

You’ll connect deeply if you’re mixed race, a Person of Colour and/or queer.

You’ll hate it if you’ve ever said “Comedians can’t say anything anymore!”.

Tickets: $25, buy here

Garry Starr Performs Everything

sydney fringe festival garry starr
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: Vic, United Kingdom

Runs: Tuesday, September 20 — Saturday, September 24

Venue: Reginald Theatre

Synopsis: Disgraced actor Garry Starr defies his critics by performing every genre of theatre possible, thus saving the performing arts from its inevitable extinction. Starr tears through styles with little regard for personal safety and even less regard for art, proving his talents to himself, his adoring fans and those who dare question his ability.

Directed by Cal McCrystal (The Mighty Boosh, Paddington 1 & 2, One Man: Two Guvnors).

Garry Starr is the alter-ego of Australian/British actor and comedian Damien Warren-Smith. Having struggled for much of his life to stick at anything, Damien discovered there was much hilarity to be found (for everyone besides himself and his long-suffering Mother) in attempting to do everything at once for the sake of art. Thus, Garry Starr Performs Everything was born.

Tickets: $32 — $39, buy here

I Don’t Know How This Will End

I Don't Know How This Will End Sydney Fringe Festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Tuesday, September 20 — Saturday, September 24

Venue: Emerging Artist Sharehouse — The Office

Synopsis:  As her parents prepare to sell the home and amid recovering from a depression “whoopsie”, Bea moved back in and help pack up. Considering some extensive hoarding, 35 years of memories and walls that you would want to shut up if they could speak; packing the house up was no easy task. Bea takes you through the journey of having to unbox — and confront — your own bizarre childhood through the art of stand-up comedy. Unpack it all with Bea in a hilarious comedy show about an upbringing bringing you down.

Bea Barbeau-Scurla is a stand-up comedian, screenwriter and producer. Her debut feature film, Suburban Wildlife won second-runner-up audience award at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival and was long-listed for an AACTA Award. As a comedian, she has opened for legendary acts such as Wil Anderson and Geraldine Hickey. Her voice has been described as manic, unique and sharp. Darkly funny and disarmingly beautiful (her secret is she’s mixed race, which is very trendy right now), Bea is a powerhouse and absolutely one to watch!

Tickets: $15 — $20, buy here

Killing Mr Barber

KILLING MR. BARBER sydney fringe festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Tuesday, August 30 — Saturday, September 3

Venue: Emerging Artist Sharehouse — The Boom Boom Room

Synopsis: Those Harrow boys are just the worst, aren’t they?

Killing Mr. Barber is a one-man play set in Harrow College — an elite all-boys’ private school. It’s the sort of school that invests millions of dollars in altitude-training rooms for their rugby players.

But our hero is not your typical Harrovian (yes, they indeed call themselves that). His name is Francis, and he’s a total sweetheart. He’s also gay and angry and not always himself.

As his last few days of school approach, Francis will share a lot. The headmaster’s daughter is a lesbian. Remy Marinelli has smegma. Harry Reed might be bi?!

Yet, Francis is perhaps finding it a little too hard to say goodbye. Why doesn’t he want to leave? Why does he keep avoiding the memory of a certain Saturday night? Why is he so bad — literally so bad — at keeping secrets?

For one hour only, enter a hyper-masculine and hyper-privileged world, with Francis at the centre. Careful how you go!

Tickets: $19 — $22, buy here

Killing Rove

killing rove sydney fringe festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: Western Australia

Runs: Thursday, September 1 — Sunday, September 4

Venue: Factory Theatre

Synopsis: Watch Patrick as Rove as Patrick blur the lines between homage, threat and mania in an hour of comedy that’s part stand-up, part audio-visual collage, part DSM entry.

Joined by a floating Peter Helliar head (the ‘Peter Hell-A.I.’), sponsored by Boko Haram and fuelled by a Neighbours-endorsed line of (amphetamine laced) nootropics, Killing Rove is a joke stacked whirlwind demolition of Australia during the Howard years, Australia now and Paul McDermott that demands that its audience keeps up.

Tickets: $12 — $17, buy here

Laura Hughes Presents: Laura Hughes, Laura Hughes and Some Other Laura Hugheses

laura hughes sydney fringe festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Wednesday, August 31 — Friday, September 2

Venue: Factory Theatre

Synopsis:  My name is Laura Hughes. I know, it’s a very common name. So common in fact, that I decided to create a google alert for it six years ago to see what came up. A lot. A lot came up. At least three times a week I get notified about a different Laura Hughes. From birdwatching to podcasting to committing violent crimes, Laura Hugheses are really doing it all! So I gathered some of my favourite Laura Hugheses together… and I would love for you to meet them.

Part stand-up, part character sketch comedy and 100% stupid, this show will be the dumbest comedy variety show you’ve ever seen — because all the acts have the same name. That’s it. That’s the gimmick.

Hosted by: Laura Hughes

Starring: Laura Hughes, Laura Hughes, Laura Hughes.

Featuring: Laura Hughes

Tickets: $12 — $17, buy here

Lou Wall — Bleep Bloop

LOU WALL – BLEEP BLOOP Sydney Fringe Festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Wednesday, August 31 — Friday, September 2

Venue: Factory Theatre

Synopsis:  After a sell-out season at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Lou Wall brings their smash hit show to Sydney for the first time.

Britney gave us “Toxic”. Beethoven gave us “Symphony No.5”. And Ginuwine gave us R’n’B smash hit, “Pony”. Now multi-award winner Lou Wall brings you their magnum opus, a pop-culture comedy album about life’s biggest BLEEPS and smallest bloops.

A raucous night of pop bangers, high-energy meta-comedy, breathtaking ballads and gossip. This album launch will have you screlting all the way homo. So cut your nails, hydrate and be gay. We’ll see you at the concert.

Tickets: $20, buy here

Rough Trade

Rough Trade Sydney Fringe Festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Tuesday, September 6 — Saturday, September 10

Venue: Seymour Centre, Reginald Theatre

Synopsis: Part stand-up, part takedown of capitalism, part wannabe dancing dildo musical, this one-woman play is a celebration of resilience, humour … and sex toys!

Through an intricate web of objects and a drive for community and connection, the members of Facebook group Rough Trade Sydney are giving the giant middle finger to capitalism, with trades that are funny, sexy, strange and touching. Inspired by these true stories, playwright Katie Pollock peels back the layers to reveal a character for whom life has taken a series of wrong turns, leaving her in a place where she is dependent on this internet community for her very survival.

A thrilling (and sometimes terrifying) examination of the ways capitalism and the patriarchy fail us, and the precarious position all women risk finding themselves in, Rough Trade is ultimately a story of hope in challenging times.

For lovers of Fleabag, Hacks, Better Things or Mom … If life gives you lemons, trade ’em for something sweeter!

Tickets: $32 — $38, buy here

Suraj Kolarkar — Work in Progress

Suraj Kolarkar — Work in Progress Sydney Fringe Festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: Victoria

Runs: Thursday, September 1 — Sunday, September 4

Venue: Factory Theatre

Synopsis: Suraj is a standup comic and actor, appearing on tv shows God’s Favourite Idiot on Netflix and the upcoming Apple TV and Paramount epic Shantaram in 2022.

He combines sharp observational material with affable storytelling.

He has performed everywhere from Melbourne Town Hall for SBS to aboard a moving train for Triple M.

He also has a big beard, which he has to retain for his acting contracts.

So don’t bring clippers to his show. No hair trimming equipment altogether. Shave before you arrive if necessary.

Apologies for any inconvenience. Combs permitted. Actually combs welcome.

Tickets: $12 — $17, buy here

Thomas Bleach — This Show’s Not About You

Thomas Bleach — This Show's Not About You
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: Queensland

Runs: Wednesday, August 31 — Friday, September 2

Venue: Factory Theatre

Synopsis: Thomas Bleach wants to make sure everyone knows that he has an ex boyfriend, and that his life is like an early 2000s Katherine Heigl movie. So much so that he’s created a whole show that explores all of the hilarity of being heartbroken, as well as navigates the bad advice he’s been given.

This Show’s Not About You is a show that is definitely about someone. If you’ve broken his heart at any point in his life, then it’s safe to say you’re probably a plot line. This show celebrates the human condition, and brings together stories from his forthcoming debut book Damaged Goods to the live stage. This fast-paced, energetic, ridiculous and hilarious show is storytelling at its most candid, and sometimes, most theatrical form. Get a wine or whatever other drink you find appropriate and get ready to laugh at how stupid people are, and feel old with some niche 2000s references.

Tickets: $12 — $17, buy here

Titanic: The Movie, The Play

titanic the movie the play sydney fringe festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: Queensland

Runs: Thursday, September 15 — Sunday, October 2

Venue: Australian National Maritime Museum — The Performance Platform

Synopsis:  Strap on your life jacket and get ready to board this comedic homage to the most epic romance of the ’90s.

Join aristocratic Rose and lowborn Jack as they discover love, loss and a lack of lifeboats on the ‘”unsinkable” ocean liner.

The original costly iceberg is on the loose, and (spoilers!) not everyone will survive. But if you’re lucky, you might get to have sex in a car.

Warning: contains Hollywood-ish special effects, that awful Celine Dion song and jokes about Billy Zane’s career.

Brought to you by the high-energy, low-budget brains that presented Speed: The Movie, The Play in 2019.

Tickets: $44 — $49, buy here

Related: A Viral Tweet Made Me Track How Often I Think About ‘Titanic’ — Here, I Present the Results

Travel Horror Stories

travel horror stories sydney fringe festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Tuesday, August 30 — Wednesday, September 14

Venue: The Barracks — Comedy Club

Synopsis: Each show, four Fringe festival comedians are invited to recount their worst travel mishaps. Comedians travel a lot, so we have some astonishing stories to bring you.

Tickets: $26, buy here

Who’s the Man?

who's the man sydney fringe festival
Sydney Fringe Festival

From: New South Wales

Runs: Tuesday, August 30 — Saturday, September 3

Venue: Castlereagh Boutique Hotel — The Sydney Fringe Cabaret Club

Synopsis:  As a dancing queen, musical theatre boy who grew up in an AFL family in a mining town in regional North Queensland, Teale Howie knows a thing or two about putting on a show. Before moving to Sydney and bursting out of the closet, he played Manly Man for 22 years to great acclaim and rave reviews. Now, he’s taking you right back to this ‘prohibition era’ to ask, “who’s the man?”

Who’s the Man? is a one-man vaudeville show that explores masculinity, growing up in the closet and performing in order to belong. Teale tells stories of love, friendship and fear and reveals just how he bamboozled his audience for so long. Directed by Hannah Barn, with musical direction by Andy Freeborn and arrangements by Steven Kramer, join Teale as he croons through a Broadway jazz set, serenades a rag doll and dances… hip hop?

Tickets: $22 — $26, buy here

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