Fringe performers thrill homeless centre visitors

TWO Mount Gambier Fringe Festival performers shared their talents at the city’s homelessness service when they entertained centre visitors and staff alike as part of the FringeOUT initiative.

A small but enthusiastic crowd gathered at the centre on March 27 to enjoy a community barbecue before American-born BasketballMan showed off his slick spins, dribbles and juggles that have made him known as one of the world’s top basketball trick performers.

While mixing his talents with music and humour, two young boys enjoying the show were thrust into the spotlight as BasketballMan helped them balance a spinning ball on their finger.

SPINNING SPOTLIGHT: BasketballMan helps one young resident become star of the show during his FringeOUT performance at the Mount Gambier Community Centre.

The show then moved indoors as Melbourne performer Miss C introduced the audience to the talents of a Balloonologist, sharing three circus balloon acts, ending up inside a giant yellow balloon.

“It was a treat to have BasketballMan and Miss C join as at the community centre to entertain and interact with the audience,” Limestone Coast Homelessness Service manager Kelly McGuinness said.

“We had some regular centre visitors manning the barbecue and despite the rain and last-minute show announcement, it was a great social event for our community,” Kelly said, adding for some people it was their first time witnessing a Fringe act.

BLOWN AWAY: Melbourne-based performer Miss C – Balloonologist hands out a balloon animal made as part of her circus act.

The visit was part of the FringeOUT initiative, extending Fringe performances into community spaces, also including aged care homes and schools, as part of an outreach program to take entertainment beyond usual venues as part of the festival.

“Events like these build on the diverse experiences we offer people, such as our community garden and upcoming Monday mindfulness sessions, as ways to engage and connect people, build confidence and skills, and bring some fun and joy into their day,” Kelly said.

Residents who visit the centre are encouraged to search Mount Gambier Community Centre Noticeboard on Facebook and join the community group to stay updated with events, food and other supplies and services available at the centre.

FRINGE FUN: Miss C – Balloonologist, marketing and communications manager Jason Wallace, Limestone Coast Homelessness Services manager Kelly McGuinness, BasketballMan and Fringe Mount Gambier artistic program manager Louise Adams at the Mount Gambier Community Centre.