Runaway Festival Park

 Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett

 Melbourne Fringe Festival

Get ready for a brand new entertainment destination that will blow your mind as the Melbourne Fringe Festival celebrates its 40th year in flamboyant style!

Runaway Festival Park is a  sensational pop-up site – partnering with Runaway Collective, Testing Grounds and Queen Victoria Market – will bring an inclusive and spirited festival vibe to an iconic Melbourne location from 6–30 October.

Showcasing the very best of high-quality cabaret, circus and family friendly shows in a dynamic atmosphere, there’s literally something for everyone, whether you’re accommodating the entertainment needs of a toddler, a tween, a teen, an adult or a centenarian.

Runaway Festival Park will feature two magnificent performance spaces – the opulent Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent and The Vault – as well as a custom-built outdoor performance structure NEON FUNK by After Dark Theatre, which will provide free outdoor entertainment and music throughout the evenings.

Headlining in the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent is the über-award winning Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett with her band of bohemian misfits – they’re rule breakers of the best kind. With a dazzling spectacle of sword swallowing, hair hanging, burlesque, pole dancing and acrobatics, it’s an exhibition full of eccentrics you have to see to believe! Indulge in the best dark and debaucherous fantasies under the one tent, with the titillating performances backed by a gin-soaked haus band.

Explore the extensive program of events and celebrate talent from around the globe as you soak up delightful interactions, experience jaw-dropping moments and create unforgettable memories. Sip on drinks, grab a tasty bite to eat and enjoy Runaway Festival Park’s outdoor space designed to cater to everyone’s wants and needs.

The site will be decorated with custom pieces by Melbourne’s very own A Blanck Canvas with their unique works that blend technology and artistry, transporting audiences and transforming their relationship to nature and the world around them.

No matter what your age or interests, get your cheeks on a seat and try on something new for size at Runaway Festival Park: there’s belly laughs, storytelling, dance, live music, and physical feats that push the limits of human potential that will have you gasping, cheering and on your feet screaming for more!

ADULT (Ages 18+)

Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent/ 7:15pm on 7,8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 October
7:30pm on 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27 & 30 October
9:15pm on 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 October
The darkest, funniest and most debauched kabarett show East of Berlin! Join the deliciously salacious, utterly hilarious, über-award-winning queen of Weimar punk, Bernie Dieter and her troupe of bombastic Bohemians for an unmissable night in the Spiegeltent. It’s risqué done right!

Off Chops
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent & The Vault/ 
9:30pm on 6, 13, 19 & 20 October
Expect a wild time reminiscent of the dance floor cardio you never knew you needed, and the 3am stagger home you couldn’t avoid. Come along for a riot of comedy, high-flying acrobatics, and trashy dancing. Drink plenty of water, it’s gonna get sweaty!

Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent/ 
9:30pm on 16 October
Join performance critter Betty Grumble for a night of high vibrational heart stuff; a place to move and be moved by cross-discipline makers and shakers. It’s a dancefloor, a soft kiss, a listening body and a mantric wish for Thank You Body.

Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent/ 
9:30pm on 20 October
Born out of the New York underground queer nightlife scene, this show has titillated packed crowds worldwide who are enthralled with its uniquely whimsical and ridiculous performance combinations. Join us for an evening of sensually disastrous drag, burlesque and circus you won’t forget!

The Vault/ 
8pm on 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 October
A hedonistic dive into the lives of the ancient Gods of Olympus! Follow Cupid, Hercules and Dionysus as they bring you to the biggest party to hit Mount Olympus since 500 BCE. Head First Acrobats are known for being cheeky and sexy, and leaving nothing behind when giving a performance.

It-Me Time Traveller Beta Live x Social Dis Dance
The Vault/ 
9:30pm on 13, 14 & 15 October
Ever been invited to a rave by a mermaid from the future? Now you have. In the near future, Beta Version Cyborg-Mermaid (Betty Apple) travels back in time with a warning for humanity and transforms into the lead singer of an industrial techno band, Social Dis Dance.

YOUNG ADULT (Ages 15+, unless stated Ages 16+)

Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent & The Vault/ 5:45pm on 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22 October
6pm on 6, 9, 12, 13, 16, 19, 20 & 23 October
An all-Aussie, rock and roll powerhouse show! Expect larrikin humour, high-flying acrobatics, and a ripper night of comedy and circus. This absolute pack of galahs are taking what they’ve got and running with it, thrilling audiences and sinking a few tinnies on the way.

Shuffle Club Royale
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent/ 
9:30pm on 12 & 19 October
Combining an iconic, high-energy Melbourne jazz band with some of Australia’s finest circus artists, this feast for the eyes and ears is inspired by the European cabaret halls of the late 1800s. Both band and circus are centre stage, interacting and intertwining to delight all of your senses.

The Vault/
 6:30pm on 11 & 12 October
Brought to you by Company 22 and NICA. Inspired by the smell of earth after rain and the golden blood of Greek Gods,  features eleven acts of gravity-defying stunts and breathtaking displays of physical endurance.

The Greatest Show in the Universe Age 16+
The Vault/ 
9:30pm on 6, 7, 8 & 9 October
The most incredible and extraordinary performers from the far reaches of the galaxy are being assembled to delight and entertain the fine citizens of this planet!

The Vault/ 
6:30pm on 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 October
Inspired by the world of shadows where anything goes and the gritty underbelly of society, this blend of high-octane circus, cabaret and physical theatre draws influence from the late ’80s/early ’90s anime cyberpunk genre. It’s a flirt with the dangerous; high level circus up close and personal!

Smash It Up
The Vault / 
9:30pm on 21, 22 and 23 October
An intoxicating and exciting mix up adventure of your favourite tunes. Take a few tracks, smash them together with a creative twist, and hear songs in ways you never expected. Smash It Up with Kara and her incredible band for a show you can’t afford to miss!

KIDS AND FAMILIES (Ages 0 to 100+)

Monski Mouse Baby Disco / Age 0+
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent/ 11am on 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 & 23 October
Join DJ Monski Mouse and her dancers for an epic session of bonkers, bopping, beautiful fun. Expect high-energy smiling to retro beats and thumping nursery rhymes.

Yummy – The Kids’ Extravaganza/ Age 6+
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent/ 1pm on 9 October
Fringe favourites YUMMY are back with their first-ever kids show that has it all! Contortion! Juggling! Hula Hoops! Trapeze! Even a Space Unicorn! It’s the kids’ cabaret you never knew you were missing.

RECKŌNING-Future Ancestors/ Age 10+
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent/ 3pm on 8 & 9 October
Winner of four Melbourne Fringe awards, this cross cultural, multi art-form performance work fuses Indigenous cultures from New Zealand and Australia. Six artists combine personal stories of their ancestors with original songwriting exploring the power of connecting to their indigenous bloodlines.

Peter Combe in Wash Your Kids in Orange Juice!/ Age 4+
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent/ 3pm on 22 & 23 October
One of Australia’s best known children’s singer/songwriters, Peter’s latest show will feature new songs like Quirky Berserky the Turkey from Turkey, plus all the old faves including Toffee Apple, Juicy Juicy Green Grass and, of course, Mr. Clicketty Cane.

Children Are Stinky/ Age 5+
The Vault/ 11am on 15, 16, 22 & 23 October
An exciting award-winning children’s circus comedy by Circus Trick Tease, the show challenges children to step on stage and prove themselves worthy, smart, coordinated and creative against ridiculous circus performers with heartwarming and hilarious results.

Prehystarical / Age 3+
The Vault/ 1pm on 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 & 23 October
This hilarious circus show for children and parents of all ages follows three foolish Neanderthals as they struggle to survive the harsh natural world. Avoiding predators, navigating tough environments and learning to work together are all explored with amazing circus skills and hilarious slapstick.

CIRCUS – The Show / Age 5+
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent & The Vault/ 11am on 15, 16, 22 & 23 October
11:30am and 3pm on 8 & 9 October
3pm on 8 & 9 October
Prepare to enter a world of whimsical wonders where your imagination will soar like never before, in this completely re-imagined family circus spectacular under a Big Top! Featuring world-class illusions, impressive feats of acrobatics, mind-boggling juggling stunts and side-splitting comedy.

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