‘Stories About My Body’ with Morgana O’Reilly was the top winner. Photo / Supplied
A masterful, comedic show about accepting your body was the big winner at Whangārei Fringe 2022.
Morgana O’Reilly’s ‘Stories About My Body’ took out the Best in Fringe Award for the most outstanding show in this year’s festival.
Judges described the solo show as an absorbing ride that charted O’Reilly’s relationship with her body through funny, sad, surprising, and sometimes cringe-worthy anecdotes.
“Her mastery of storytelling was evident, weaving together powerful punches of comedy and honesty that resonated with men and women alike,” their feedback said.
“It takes guts to talk about the struggle to accept yourself, and Morgana was raw and honest in a way that kept us invested in her journey while thoroughly enjoying the ride.”
The judges heralded a “generous and brave” O’Reilly as being at the top of her game.
A collective of Whangārei locals took home the Spirit of Fringe award for ‘The Imaginarium’.
The ever-changing performance installation in the window of MD Gallery on Rust Ave was led by Meg O’Halloran and Eursula Fleig, but included DJs from the Beagle Radio crew.
‘The Imaginarium’ encouraged passersby to peek through the window into the worlds of others.
Judges said the event best embodied the “let’s get weird” spirit of Whangārei Fringe.
“We saw Donald Trump ironing; a frustrated teenager; unicorns playing with other unicorns while blowing bubbles.
“They created something that surprised people out of their everyday routine […] We didn’t always understand it, but perhaps that wasn’t the point. They got weird and we loved it.”
Whangārei Fringe 2022 featured more than 120 arts events across 17 days and 21 venues. Half of those were staged by Tai Tokerau creatives.
Festival co-founder and producer Laurel Devenie was excited to see a surge of support from the community to help Fringe back to the stage.
“We had nearly 100 volunteers step up to help us and we couldn’t have run the festival without them.”
A full list of winners can be viewed at whangareifringe.co.nz.