Fringe Theory: Q&A with Jorian Gardiner | HerCanberra

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Fringe Theory: Q&A with Jorian Gardiner

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Calling fringe dwellers, the National Multicultural Fringe Festival starts in Civic tonight. Over four nights the boundaries of art and performance will be taken to the edge with comedy, rockabilly, burlesque and brass bands. There’s even a Kids Sanctuary all day Saturday featuring Indigenous dance workshops, magic shows, balloon making and fairytales.

This year the festival’s original Director, Jorian Gardiner, is back at the helm. In between putting the final touches to the festival, he took the time to have a chat…


What’s it like to be back in the hot seat?

Tiring. I am tired. Why did I ever think I could do this once I passed 40?

What’s the best thing about being Fringe Director?

The wonderful amount of artists that we have here in Canberra that I get to interact with.  We have such a huge amount of creative people – the city is over flowing with them.

Which then leads to….what’s the worst thing?

The hours – but it’s all worth it come opening night.

Where do you draw creative inspiration?

Besides the editor of [Author’s note: a little sucking up is always appreciated!] Director Barb Barnett, musician Cameron Smith, risk taking artists like Katie Woodward, Erica Field and Peta Ward.

What do you see as having changed in Canberra since the last time you were involved with the Fringe?

Well, like above, since we last did the Fringe the pool of talented performers (especially might I say female! ) have exploded here in the ACT.

What’s in store for us with this year’s line up?

Great opening night show (6:30pm tonight, Thursday 6 February) featuring a brand new composition just for the Fringe opening with about 60 performers, followed by the hilarious In Canberra Tonight with guests such as Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, 666 ABC Canberra’s Philip Clark , Sparrow Folk and hosted by Chris Endrey.  Our Friday night burlesque show and the Saturday night poetry slam will be awesome.


Do you have a personal favourite? 

The Friday night Burlesque night of course!

Where do you see Fringe going over the next few years?

Hopefully growing bigger and better and with someone else as the Director!

What do you look for when you’re scouting talent?

Raw enthusiasm – whether it be a busker or a well known rock band.  You gotta wanna be on stage and entertain.  The other thing – anyone who is looking to break new ground and take risks.

Who would be your absolute dream Fringe guest, from anywhere in the world?

Phillip Seymour Hoffman……..Oh.

Is organising the festival making you want to run away and join a circus? 

An animal-free one yes.

What would be your circus act?

The high-wire act!

the essentials

What: The National Multicultural Fringe Festival
When: From 6:30pm Thursday 6 to 7pm Sunday 9 February
Where: Civic Square and surrounds, Canberra City
Web: National Multicultural Fringe Festival website 

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One Response to Fringe Theory: Q&A with Jorian Gardiner

TrickyT says: 8 February, 2014 at 8:28 am

What a fabulous Friday night I had at Fringe last night – a beautiful balmy night with great music, entertainment, food & even a lounge chair to sit in, thanks to all performers and organisers.

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