Sydney Fringe is the festival that turns the city's arts landscape into a glorious dirty mudbath.
Sydney Fringe launches on Friday September 7 with a free street party from 5pm at Newtown Square, outside the Hub. A host of DJs, performers and artists will line up for a night of celebration featuring a special live performance from old-school locals Itch-E & Scratch-E. Join us to celebrate the arrival of the Fringe.
In 2012, there'll be more chances to get cultural grime under your fingernails than ever. Sydney Fringe 2012 flings more than 250 events – theatre, film, comedy, music, visual arts and events that defy easy categorisation – at 75 venues – including the Seymour Centre, The Factory Theatre, Concourse and Sydney Opera House – for three weeks.
Here are Time Out's Fringe picks. You will remember to wash your hands before you eat anything?
6th Annual Google Exhibition
An art exhibition as dependent on search engines as it is on serendipity: a bunch of artists Google a single phrase and create work inspired by one of the search results.
Nigel Sense: I Work with Tools
A showcase of pop/neo-pop-influenced art using ubiquitous Australian products by Marrickville-based artist Nigel Sense, protege of Johnny Romeo, who curates.
DANCE, MUSICAL THEATRE, BURLESQUE
Australian Dance Festival
A dance extravaganza packed with dance workshops, performances, and competitions. The event caters for all ages and abilities, absolute beginners all the way up to hard core professionals. Meet dance celebrities Timomatic, and So You Think You Can Dance 2009 winner Talia Fowler.
Kelfi & Fikel
Naughty, piano-accompanied, character-based cabaret from dynamic duo Fiona Della Ca and Kellie Higgins, favourites of the Slide Cabaret Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival.
Gallery Burlesque: Oh Boy Oh Boy
Gallery Burlesque presents Australia’s only all-male regular burlesque event, Oh Boy Oh Boy. As an official event of the 2012 Sydney Fringe Festival, the show brings together some of the country’s best performers, including Mr Boylesque Australia, Rexona King of Cool 2007, Herbie Strangelove and Matthius The Libidinous.
Gallery Burlesque: Doppelganger Dames
An official selection of the 2012 Sydney Fringe Festival, Gallery Burlesque presents their popular Doppelganger Dames night – brought to you by Sheena Miss Demeanour. Be entertained by your childhood crush, a pin-up pop star or favourite actor as burlesque performers appear as Madonna, Lady Gaga, Goldie Horn, Dita Von Teese and Beyoncé, plus many more.
He was the larger than life star of last summer's hit show La Soiree. Now Le Gateau Chocolat (pictured above) returns to Sydney Opera House with his outrageous solo show from Saturday September 15, with everything from Bassey to Radiohead and Nick Cave to Puccini covered.
A new Sydney Fringe 2012 show written and performed by 2011 Fringe fave andGod's Ear actress Helen O'Leary, Last asks, What if this day was your last?
To open the Old 505's Fringe season, a play by playwright Jane Bodie (This Year's Ashes) about the morning after the night before. Two strangers wake up together after a very big night and try to piece together the events of the night before.
The debut solo work of PACT Ensemble artist Annabelle McMillan and inspired by Javanese performance, Porphyria's Slumber begins with a young girl whose unruly hair grows into a dark, beautiful forest.
World premiere of a new play by Pete Malicki. Five strangers wake up - Saw-style - in an empty room... with no chance of being set free.
The Pitchfork Disney
In Philip Ridley's dark hallucination of a play, a disturbed brother and sister whose parents have disappeared are visited by two vomiting, cockroach-eating showmen, Pitchfork and Disney.
Written by Darren Callinan (Spicks & Specks, Skithouse) and part of Seymour Centre's Reginald season, The Merger is the story of footy coach Troy Carrington of Bodgy Creek, recruiting asylum seekers to play on his ill-fated team.
Pearls Before Swine: An Evening with Orson Welles
A one-man show that explores the story of one of the great artists of the early 20th century, star of film, theatre and radio Orson Welles. Pearls before swine uses music from Citizen Kane and audio from Welles's own radio performances. A Sydney Fringe hit in 2010.
How to Get Rich
Rockwiz's Julia Zemiro directs Aleisha McCormack's story of taking online love offline. Aleisha embarks on a 23-hour flight to London to meet up with her virtual boyfriend. What could possibly go wrong?
Piff the Magic Dragon in Jurassic Bark
The La Clique alumnus, Edinburgh Fringe fave and Penn & Teller and Jonathan Ross-endorsed entertainer is bringing some Year of the Dragon fun to the Sydney Opera House for Sydney Fringe 2012.
Bard to the Bone
"My kingdom for a punchline!" Impro supergroup the Post-Haste Players create a new play worthy of Shakespeare's genius based on input from the audience. Improvisers include Marko Mustac, Jon Williams, Ewan Campbell, Michael Gregory, Matt McLaren, Bridie Connell, Oliver Burton and pianist Bryce Halliday.
Ronny Chieng: Can You Do This? No, You Can’t
As well as his university qualifications - Bachelor of Commerce/Law (Melbourne Uni), Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (ANU) - Malaysian comic Ronny Chieng is earning some impressive comic cred, including Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012.
Dick jokes and more (but mostly dick jokes) from the bespectacled brat who took out Time Out's Best Newcomer Award this Comedy Fest.
Genevieve Fricker: Lucky
Songs, stories and cat videos with the ever-felicitous Fricker - FBi star and one-time Karen O 'Virgen' - at the Factory.
Dan Ilic: Legally Ambiguous
In his 60-minute solo Fringe show, Hungry Beast alumnus and all-round funnyman Dan Ilic shares his most well crafted dinner party stories and shows off holiday snaps from Afghanistan.
Dominic Knight: Disaster Stories
Autobiographical anecdotes from the life of Dominic Knight, 702 ABC Evenings presenter, novelist and member of the Chaser least likely to be seen on screen in a Chaser programme.
Anti-mainstream comedy night that doesn't give a phuk.
Browse the program and make sure you get your Sydney Fringe