New programs set to make Geraldton’s Funtavia bigger and better

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Gordon MacLeod guards a jar of golden doubloons outside the Funtavia laneway on Marine Terrace. The line-up for next year's three-day festival was announced at a pop-up party in December.
Camera IconGordon MacLeod guards a jar of golden doubloons outside the Funtavia laneway on Marine Terrace. The line-up for next year's three-day festival was announced at a pop-up party in December. Credit: Francesca Mann The Geraldton Guardian

The bumper program for Funtavia 2019 has been revealed, boasting shows that appeal to everyone — even the kids.

Geraldton’s Fringe World Festival Hub will set up shop in the West End from February 7-9, showcasing 28 Fringe performances starring homegrown talent, national acts and international stars.

Now in its fourth year, Funtavia caters for a wide variety of tastes, from comedy to cabaret, magic to music and everything in between.

But this year Funtavia has thrown two new festival programs into the mix — Funtavia Jnr and a music program.

Creative director Julian Canny said Funtavia Jnr featured five shows, two of which were original works by Geraldton youths.

“There’s a lot of young artists in town and they often feel like they have limited opportunities for development in the Mid West,” he said.

“We’re hoping Funtavia can act as a space for development of creative industries going forward, and we want to look at how we can provide that space for much younger people.

“It’s a pilot this year, and there’ll be a series of workshops and activities happening as part of it. We’d love to see it in the future develop into its own standalone event.”

Everyone’s favourite Perthonality Famous Sharron — who is very famous for nothing at all — will bring her hilarious Love Match show to Funtavia for one night only.

Disgraced actor Garry Starr will defy his critics and perform every genre of theatre in Garry Starr Performs Everything, directed by award-winning comedy director Cal McCrystal from The Mighty Boosh.

Canadian magician Pierre Ulric stars in two shows next year; Neo Magic for the adults and Wacky Magic and Mad Science for the kids.

Next year’s festival also boasts eight locally produced shows, including Songs from 6530 — a showcase of musicians from our own backyard.

Throughout the three days musicians will perform for free as part of Funtavia’s new music program.

With an ever-flowing stream of new ideas, Mr Canny said next year’s event was their most challenging and ambitious.

“We’re trying to do so many new things; it’s exciting but it’s scary at the same time,” he said.

“We’re taking a leap of faith here that the community really wants to invest in their own cultural identity.

“We want a festival that really feels like Geraldton, and Funtavia has its own unique feel to it.”

Funtavia Jnr will take place on February 9 from 9am to 1pm, while Funtavia runs from February 7-9.

Tickets are now available at funtavia.com.

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