Fringe Festival magician Bodane Hatten prepares to be stapled by an audience member during his Saturday night act, A Sleightly Funny Magic Show. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Fringe takes centre stage


The third Fringe Festival is hitting Nelson this week so the Nelson Weekly’s Brittany Spencer went along to one of the shows to get a taste of what the next six days will be all about.

Kicking off on April 29, the Fringe Festival has already hosted three workshops at the Nelson Musical Theatre and 10 shows at the Refinery Artspace.

One of which was Australian magician, Bodane Hatten’s ‘A Sleightly Funny Magic Show’ which featured a slew of card tricks, a lot of audience participation, and the potential for bodily harm.

Katie Pascoe
Katie Pascoe

Audience member Katie Pascoe says she loved Bodane’s show. “I don’t know how he did it, he was very entertaining and brilliant to watch.”

Like many others, Katie also attended a show on Sunday and has several acts lined up to watch later on this week.

Another member of the audience, Davy Jones, says Hatten was vaguely abusive, which he enjoyed. “It was outrageously good actually, I love spoof magic.”

Davy went to the Fringe Festival last year and says he loved it.

Davy Jones
Davy Jones

“You never know what you are going to get, so you take a punt and you’ll be surprised at how much you enjoy it. I saw this Wild Woman show last year and it was fantastic, really challenging and really great.”

Actor, improviser and musician Linda Calgaro was also in the audience and says Hatten’s cheeky performance was a great way to kick off the festival.

“I’m absolutely excited about this year’s festival and all the acts involved,” says Linda.

“I did the Fringe Festival last year when I was based in Sydney and I loved the festival and the people I was working with so much that I decided to shift to Nelson.”

Linda Calgaro
Linda Calgaro

With almost five times more shows and workshops than the first festival, organiser Laura Irish says this year’s festival combines local and international talent in edgy, experimental, and all original shows.

“It’s been awesome so far and the response from the community has been great, so far we’ve sold 1200 tickets and sold out nine shows.

“Before we started Fringe there was nothing like this in Nelson, so now we’re seeing more and more local artists emerging than we did before, there just wasn’t that culture but we’re creating that and it is very exciting.”

Shows and workshops will be running until May 7, with the programme and booking available online at