Fringe Fever: We catch up with Daniel Kilby (Melbourne Fringe)

Daniel Kilby is in his first Melbourne Fringe with his first solo show. The Things I Learned in High School is about those coping mechanisms we develop in high school that form our adult personality disorders. It’s been many years since Daniel was at high school, but he still has to figure out how much of his education was a lie. Are there really nine planets in our solar system and does being gay make him inherently evil? And he’s performing at the super groovy Long Play bar in North Fitzroy.

A Quick Chat With Daniel Kilby…

1. What three words best describe you Fringe show?
High. School. Hell. (or possibly, Writing. Not. Finished.)
2. Who does your show speak to?
Disaffected thirty- and forty-somethings who still haven’t managed to work out what they’re doing with their lives.
3. What other Fringe show will you NOT miss?
There are a couple of people I’ve met through Fringe’s artist development program whose shows I would hate myself for missing. The main one, though, is Peter Condon from Markus de Port.
4. What other Fringe show do you wish you were in?
Bullet. It sounds like it would be so much fun to be involved in.
5. What do you love most about the Melbourne Fringe?
The variety of work available and the fact that, although you’ve got to kiss a few frogs, when you do get a prince, he’s a keeper.
6. How many Melbourne Fringes have you performed in?
This is my first.
7. If you could invite anyone to see your show (and you know they would come), who would it be?
My primary school sweetheart, so that we could get together and live happily ever after.
8. What is the best theatre advice you’ve received?
You can’t unmake a mistake; you’ve got to leave it behind, or it will infect the rest of the show.
9. What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
I once did a recital where not only did I go up on a lyric in the worst possible way (I had to re-start the number), and manage to fall flat on my face, but I discovered afterward that I had neglected to remove the dry-cleaning tag from my one of the rear belt-loops on my pants, so it had been visible for the whole performance.
10.  Do you have any pre- or post-show rituals?
I’m going to try meditation, just some breath flow exercises, to keep myself calm and focused.
11.  What’s your favourite theatre superstition? Do you believe it?
No whistling in the theatre, only because I have been guilty of it so many times.
12.  What was the last book you read?
Maryanne in Autumn by Armistead Maupin. I’m in the midst of reading Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers, but I’m finding it hard going, partly because I don’t get much time to read these days.
13.  What TV show do you never miss?
Oh, so many options. But I’m going to go with Doctor Who.
14.  What film will you watch again and again?
Wings of Desire, because I love Berlin and am a colossal wanker.
15.  Who will hate your Fringe show?
My mother. She thinks I should be grateful for the opportunities a Catholic education gave me. Like the opportunity to hate myself and engage in self-destructive behaviours.
16.  What show changed how you see theatre? Why?
When the MTC did Angels in America back in the late 90s, there was this moment (probably in Perestroika) where the backdrop fell away and left the back wall of the stage exposed. It was in that moment that I learned that theatre can have a visceral effect on the viewer.
17.  What was your first time on stage?
A terrible musical with the local church youth theatre group, called The Coolest Cat in Town. I played a middle-aged janitor, at the age of 15.
18.  What is the first theatre show you remember seeing?
A local community theatre production of Godspell when I was five.
19.  If you had access to the TARDIS, what performance would you see first?
Carrie on Broadway, because I am a gay.
20.  What director/actor/writer would you just die to work with?
Jeff Blumenkrantz, who is a New York-based performer and songwriter. I used to have one of his songs in the show, but I had to cut it because it just didn’t fit.
21.  What is your favourite theatre space in Melbourne?
For seeing theatre, it’s got to be the Playhouse at the Arts Centre, but for performing, I’d have to go with BMW Edge.
22.  Where in Melbourne do you always take visitors?
23.  How do you have your coffee?
Flat white, one sugar, not too hot.
24.  What’s the best pizza topping?
Meatlovers. Read into that what you will…
25.  What do love most about your Fringe show?
The fact that I can finally consider myself an arts practitioner. (What was it I was saying before about being a colossal wanker?)


Show Info:

What’s your show called?

The Things I Learned in High School

When is it on?

4–6 and 8  October  (no Friday)

Where is it on?

Long Play, 318 St Georges Rd, North Fitzroy

How do you get there by public transport?

Catch the number 112 tram and get off at Holden St (two stops after Piedimontes) or catch the train to Rushall station and follow the trail around to St Georges Rd.

Is there parking?

There is some on-street parking, but not a huge amount.

What time does it start?


How much are tickets?


Are tickets available at the door?


For more information, visit the Melbourne Fringe Festival Website

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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