March 28, 2019


The 2019 New Zealand Fringe Arts Festival has wrapped up another remarkable year.  On Sunday evening the Fringe team and artists gathered together at our good friend’s Te Whaea Theatre in Newtown, to reflect on the power art has to transcend diversity, to give voice to all aspects of humanity, to bring people together, and to celebrate those that make it.

This year’s awards applauded outstanding work in production, design, and performance, all of which surprised and delighted us in 2019 Fringe Season. Never an easy task for the judges, this year was of course no different with an abundance of incredible new works to experience.

With a more than 30% increase in ticket sales across the festival featuring everything from minute nuanced finger puppetry to Russian feminist punks, the 2019 Fringe has been a success and the team thanked everyone involved in making it happen.


Best in Fringe
Supported by His Worship the Mayor Justin Lester
Nominees: That’s What Friends Are For, (I)sland T(rap): The Epic Remixology of the Odyssey, Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery
Winner: Only Bones 1.0

Most Innovative Work
Supported by Wellington International Airport
Nominees: Watching Paint Dry, Coffee Bean-Queen Machine, Slow AntiHeroes
Winner: The Marvelous Musical Maiden 

The Grand Design Award
Supported by Inject Design
Nominees: System, Nobody Hears the Axe Fall, The Universe is Pretty Big and I’m Afraid of Sex, Full Scale
Winner: Tell Me What Your Name Is 

Outstanding Performer
Supported by Te Auaha
Nominees: Ella Gilbert (Soft Tissue/Cartoonaroony), Beth Kayes (Once There Was a Woman), Thom Monckton (Only Bones 1.0)
Winner: Austin Dean Ashford (I)sland T(rap): a Remixology of the Odyssey

Outstanding Ensemble
Supported by Gibson Sheat
Nominees: Missing Lids, That’s What Friends Are For, The Doubtful Sounds Go Underground
Winner: Au Ko Tuvalu

Most Promising Emerging Company
Supported by BATS Theatre
Nominees: Tangata Circus Company (REAL[ISE]), Ephemeral Theatre (period.), Soy People Productions (Some Sort of Boy), Well Fare State (Flying Down Sand Dunes)
Winner: Discotheque (Missing Lids)

Most Promising Emerging Artist
Supported by EAT
Nominees: Ella Gilbert (Soft Tissue/Cartoonaroony), Josh Davies (Josh Davies: Look! I’m Blind!) Maddy Warren (Dancing On My Own Because I Didn’t Invite Anyone Else), Jadwiga Green (Summer Camps)
Winner: Tavita Nielsen-Mamea (Au Ko Tuvalu)

Best Marketing
Supported by Phantom Billstickers 
Nominees: Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery, Slow Antiheroes, Waste Not Want Not Bethany’s Guide to the Thrift Life
Winner: Uther Dean Reads 300 Haiku

Spectacular Organised Chaos
Supported by Friends of the Fringe
Nominees: Bear North, “There are other worlds they have not told you of…”, Stack That Bass, Sweaty Pits – Pity Party!, Squirt
Winner: Auspicious Happening 

Spirit of the Fringe
Presented by Creative Capital Arts Trust 
Winners: Sameena Zehra, and Sophie Simons

The Parkin Development Award
Supported by Chris & Kathy Parkin
Winner: Flying Down Sand Dunes

Reciprocal touring awards:

Fringe in the ‘Stings
Winner: Squirt

Melbourne Fringe Festival*
Winner: Say Something Nice

Sydney Fringe Festival*
Winner: Say Something Nice

Adelaide Fringe Festival*
Winner: HarleQueen

San Diego International Fringe Festival
Winner: REAL[ISE]

*All Australian touring awards supported by the Australian High Commission

This year the Fringe started a new initiative, The Green Light List. A short list of works specifically to be celebrated for their mahi.

The 2019 Green Light List is:
Kōtuku and the Moon Child – Family Puppet Theatre
Massive Crushes
Adventures with Depression

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