Powerful Women of Fringe

Fringe fever has officially hit Adelaide and our mid-February bonanza couldn’t come quicker. Think intertwining fairy lights, bodacious costumes, glittering faces that shine with sheer solace and the soulful sounds of live music permeating our city streets… we cannot wait to welcome the magic of the arts once again. 

In the lead up to our beloved Adelaide Fringe Festival, we were granted the opportunity to interview three strong, powerful and truly inspiring female artists set to rock our Fringe this year. These women are smart, skillful and downright charming, boasting a flair of elegance combined with edginess that only the truly talented can pull off.

In a world where feminism is neither this nor that, where even just the word ‘feminist’ is so often clouded by an aura of negativity, these ladies totally stomp on those scathing perceptions with their dynamic personalities and lovable natures. And while Amelia Ryan, Anya Anastasia and Missy each offer a warming sense of female empowerment, their shows seek to bestow a special something for just about everyone, too.

Amelia Ryan

HERO_Amelia Ryan is Lady Liberty_Lloyd Harvey (Large)

Quirky Adelaide-based performer, Amelia Ryan, has previously been a part of both Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festival with her entertaining and ever so humorous cabaret show Storm in a D-Cup. Now bringing in the sequel with Amelia Ryan is Lady Liberty, this funny, sexy and sometimes-awkward artist is set to win hearts at this year’s Fringe Festival.

What makes her so lovable, you may ask? Well, Amelia Ryan’s life has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, as foretold by Storm in a D-Cup. Being part of an incredibly unique and often challenging family with a father who came out as gay when she was just 10 years old, and her mother having an affair with their 23-year-old handyman, Amelia’s childhood had not been particularly easy. While she studied and performed musical theatre growing up, Amelia tried every occupation from personal training to stripping, continuing the up-and-down rollercoaster ride before she settled on her creative endeavor as a performer. And through all this madness and mayhem, Amelia has since made light of what was a truly tough situation.

“One of the best recipes for comedy is tragedy plus time,” Amelia explains, “So it’s just a matter of time before you can see light in these situations.”

Amelia website

Now at a more stable point of her life, Amelia decided to follow Storm in a D-Cup with her desperate quest for self improvement through the comical lense of Amelia Ryan is Lady Liberty. She explores the various ways in which we all seek to find liberation whether it be through fanatical health and wellness, alcoholism, meditation, sex, relationships or else. Amelia asks, ‘Which ways do we try to feel better about our lives? Which paths do we take? Which ones work and which ones don’t?’

And her show covers more than just the quest for self-betterment. Being quite a strong woman who’s passionate for women’s rights, Amelia touches upon values concerning feminism in Lady Liberty through a number of her songs. “I still feel that women are constantly measured in what we do and how we speak and behave,” Amelia says, “Knowingly or unknowingly, I’m pretty unbridled in my shows. I’ll swear and talk about whatever I want, whether that be about vaginas or who knows what else. I don’t have a filter.”

“The more shows I did, the more people reviewed me and the more my audience started to grow. I started to get conscious about my behaviour, wondering… perhaps I should be more ladylike?” Amelia goes on to explain, “But then I thought no, fuck that! This is what I stand for. My show is called ‘Lady Liberty’. It’s about being liberated.”

February 29 to March 13
Garden of 
Unearthly Delights
Tickets are now on sale via Fringetix at www.adelaidefringe.com.au

Anya Anastasia


Anya Anastasia is a colourful character like no other. In fact, in her 2016 Fringe show, Torte E Morte: Songs of Cake and Death, she takes on the role of a number of notable characters, playing the Devil, the Grim Reaper and Marie Antoinette. Being likened to peculiar artists Dresden Dolls and Tim Minchin, with the black humour of the guys from Monty Python, Anya has a stage presence that totally mystifies and intrigues any audience.

We’ve already had a small taste of Anya at the Royal Croquet Club program launch nearing the end of last year and we certainly liked what we saw, particularly in her role as Marie Antoinette.

After being commissioned by Alliance Francaise D’Adelaide to dress as the iconic Victorian queen for a cabaret performance in 2014, Anya soon became intrigued by the idea of Marie Antoinette. Her personality, the way she dressed, the way she was a rebel-rouser and made so many grand political statements… it all made perfect content for a satire, which Anya set on pursuing.

“There’s a few body image themes, which are quite relatable to today’s female audience,” explains Anya on Songs of Cake and Death, “The song I sing as the Marie character, ‘I Ain’t Got No Body’, is quite a humorous (and punny) way of alluring to the idea that you may not always see eye to eye with your body. You may not always get along with it or be happy with it. And in the case of Marie… Well, you literally have no body as the title insinuates.” (Decapitated head jokes anyone?)

In all characters of the show, however, Anya still presents her material as a strong body-confident and intellectual female (even though she’s taking the piss half the time). “It is really important to have young females in front of audiences demonstrating that sense of self confidence,” she goes on to discuss, “The character transformations of each female lead role are different, but promote this concept whether that be the Devil being super in touch with her sexuality or the Grim Reaper being in charge of an extreme power. These ideas all translate to contemporary issues in society, making my show one you can really relate and look up to.”

12 to 21 February
Royal Croquet Club

Tickets are now on sale via Fringetix at www.adelaidefringe.com.au



We’ve got to admit, the sounds of Love, Loss and Lattes really speaks to us. The show, developed and performed by pole performer and aerialist Missy, basically offers an insight into the life of a caffeine addict through physical theatre and performance. Let’s face it, it speaks to all of you too.

In creating the concept, Missy analysed her relationship with coffee and the way in which it accompanies her just like a supportive boyfriend through many occasions in her life. “Coffee dates have blossomed into love,” Missy divulges, “I have had many stressed-out all-nighters fuelled by coffee. I have also cried while clutching my coffee during times of great loss.” Well, if that isn’t the most wonderful relationship between one woman and her inanimate cup of hot liquid, then we don’t know what is.

Missy started with a background in gymnastics and dancing, doing both intensively until completing school. It was when Missy diverted from that path into pole dancing a few years later when she fell in love. Through her love of pole, she was introduced to the circus arts and soon progressed from eager student to professional performer and instructor. “I never looked back,” Missy explains, “I am really quite fortunate that I get to perform for a living.”

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Her passion for pole leads to a strong desire to crush the ‘strip club’ stereotype it is so often associated with. But for Missy, that’s not to say its stripping origins are ones of shame to recoil from. “I love the subversive nature of pole dancing and its stripping origins should, in fact, be a source of pride for the pole community,” she says, “Pole dancing has now evolved beyond strip clubs, enabling people to add their own flavour to the medium whether through acrobatic, gymnastic, ballet, hip hop or contemporary styles of dance.”

“I want to own and respect pole dancing’s strip club origins and honour the striptease artists whose innovation, bravery and stigmatised labour made it possible for pole dancers of all genders to explore sexuality and self–expression today.”

Missy executes a range of impressive pole tricks and sequences all while cleverly balancing a coffee cup in her show Love, Loss and Lattes. She uses pole dancing as a storytelling medium and a powerful contemporary art form, making her performance one of the most unique and modernised acts showing at the Fringe this year.

24 to 28 February
Tandanya Theatre

Tickets are now on sale via Fringetix at www.adelaidefringe.com.au

Images supplied.

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