By Riley Hooper
Kicking off on July 17 at the Bondi Pavilion is Bondi’s fringe-style winter festival, Bondi Feast. Over 10 delicious nights, from Tuesday to Saturday, a line-up of over 160 comedians, actors, artists and foodies will perform across six spaces, with over 40 shows and a pop-up bar and restaurant. Now in its sixth year, the feast will showcase a brand-new Festival Garden with a Parlour Tent, featuring boutique art work installations and plenty of surprises.
“Bondi Feast celebrates the best in theatre, comedy, circus, cabaret and food. It is a highlight of Waverley’s cultural calendar and gets bigger, better and brighter each year.” said Waverly Mayor, Cr John Wakefield. “Waverley Council is an excited supporter of the arts and we’re proud to foster our home-grown talent.”
To the main and most important piece of the festival, the shows. Bondi Feast has something to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds, from something musical to something funny or something theatrical to something saucy. Either way the festival gives many reasons to venture out of hibernation.
To name just a few of the shows the line-up has to offer are Double Denim a comedy act, Future’s Eve for a bit of theatre, All Hail Me for some musical action and even a pop-up kitchen hosted by MasterChef wonder kid, Callan Smith.
One of the standouts among the many shows on offer though is Jack Rabbits production, Dirty People. From the show, Zoe Jensen said, “we think of the show as being a satirical take on the celebrity of politics through the eyes of self-obsessed millennials.”
Jensen plays a bad B-grade actress on a terrible TV show, who is self-obsessed with her career and fame.
“She’s a powerful, confident out-there woman but she’s very silly, so it’s a lot of fun to play her.”
Developed over three years since Charlie Falkner first wrote the script, back in 2016 for The Depot Theatre in Marrickville.
“We had a great response, loved doing it, so we thought we’d take it further and took it to Perth for the fringe festival last year, same cast, director, everything. This year we thought once again we can do a better version of this. It had to be updated just from the way the political landscape had changed. With a new director, this time around the show has a completely different attitude,” explained Jensen. “Its fast, silly and sharp. It’s the third time we’ve done it so it’s the best version that’s been done.”
As for the festival itself Zoe says, “it’s a lovely hub, it’s very exciting. Being so cold outside, getting the motivation to go to Bondi in winter is hard, so it’s a great way to get people out.”
Another eye-catching show is presented by Bondi based production company Plastik Soup, with a title to have festival goers salivating, The Late Night Buffet is an adult variety show featuring comedy, burlesque and amazing aerial and circus acts. Director Stephen Williams further described the show by saying, “the premise of the show is that anything that is culturally late night, it’s a buffet of those things.”
Joined also by producer Natalya Alessi, she explained “a lot of the time the structure of the show comes first then you see what you need to balance it out,” with Williams commenting, “finding the right balance of each thing that the audience wants to see is tough. You need enough sexy, enough interesting, there’s a balance in the cast of what ends up on stage. Natalya and I have both been in this industry for a very long time, so it wasn’t hard to find what we needed.”
As for the set Alessi said, “We haven’t seen the tent yet but we have our host Dani Cabs, who is like our 70s game show host, John Burges style. He has his own living room set up to the side. There’s the photo on the wall, big lounge chair with a coffee table with his glass of scotch.”
Besides the partial nudity and adult themes audiences should get to this show because, “they get to see something different. People are used to seeing circus as more of a family friendly performance whereas this is specifically for adults. It’s not a regular theatre experience, we encourage people to get involved, shout and scream, throw things. We are making an experience that you are in rather than a show you sit back and watch,” both Alessi and Williams chimed in.
For some quality entertainment to keep you warm this winter, make sure you head to the Bondi Feast Festival for an entrée, main and dessert of art, food, culture and amazing performances.
Jul 17-28. Various Venues & Prices. Tickets & Info: www.bondifeast.com.au