The bold and beautiful town of Broken Hill is pulling out all stops this October, with the Broken Hill Fringe on in this famous mining town. Where else do you get a mash-up of Abba and Johnny Cash (Abbacash), Cabaret at the Palace and Drag in the Desert, a family outdoor cinema under the stars and skydiving all in one event? This outback festival will celebrate the vibrant and diverse local community at the first regional hub of the Sydney Fringe, and boasts a program brimming with diverse free and ticketed theatre, poetry, music, and visual arts experiences.
Friday night is the Patton Village Street Party at Patton Park with live music, jumping castles, market stalls and a twilight screening of a family friendly feature film, The Rise of the Guardians, which features the voices of Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Chris Pine and Isla Fisher. There will also be a screening of the 12 minute film, Aboriginal HeArt, which was filmed in Broken Hill and premiered recently to great reviews at the Sydney Film Festival.
Get in touch with Broken Hill’s wild colonial past at The Palace Hotel. An illegal Two-up school operated for decades just off the main thoroughfare of Argent Street in Broken Hill until it was finally raided and shut down by police in 1984. This prompted City Council to successfullt apply for a permit to run the game every day of the year. In handing down its decision, the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing acknowledged that Two-up was “an established part of the cultural heritage of this mining city”. There are legally sanctioned, authentically ‘after-dark’ two-up games running as part of the festival.
Theatre 44 will be showcasing a program of short plays by mainly Australian playwrights, and screening short films made through ABC Open. Plus, swing by the Fringe Pop-up Bar which will be open for business throughout the festival providing entertainment and refreshments with local music, poetry and storytelling, guest artists and film screenings.
The Broken Hill region has attracted around 1500 contributions to ABC Open and has definitely been one of the nation’s stand outs when it comes to photography. Producer Jenia Ratcliffe has done an incredible job of gathering creative contributors from across the area and a collection of their photography will be on display throughout the Festival.