2022 brings very exciting times for the Melbourne Fringe Festival as it celebrates 40 years! After a COVID related break, Melbourne Fringe is back and better than ever with a fantastic variety of shows to see.
Recently, I was lucky enough to sit down with hilarious and intriguing duo The Fry Kids (Holly Bohmer and Katie Currie) to have a chat and a laugh about their new 2022 show “THE NIGHTLIGHT ZONE”
Describe THE NIGHTLIGHT ZONE in three words: Grotty, Spooky, Characterganzaextravaganza
I see THE NIGHTLIGHT ZONE is a play on words of a popular sci fi / horror series. Are there
any other series or movies from that genre that you take inspiration from?
Holly: Oh god, so many
Katie: yeah, and some from outside the genre too
H: Staying in scifi/horror, I’d say Ozploitation flicks like Long Weekend and Razorback. Also things like Round the Twist and Children of the Damned—
K: Hitchcock’s works, Mars Attacks, The Blob–
H: However, I’d also say we took a lot of inspiration from 40s/50s cinema
Your duo is called The Fry Kids. Tell us more about this intriguing name and its origins!
K: Do you know about the McDonald’s mascots?
H: They had a whole range of characters, like Grimace, The Hamburglar, and Bertie, along with these weird puffballs with legs called the fry kids.
K: We were a little obsessed with them growing up, and you could get a free VHS from
McDonald’s with your happy meal. I collected all the tapes.
H: Anyway, the fry kids are now defunct, and a lot of people don’t even remember them as characters. They just kinda…disappeared
K: When Holly and I were thinking of a name for ourselves as a duo, we somehow came upon
the subject of the McDonalds movies (specifically “Scared Silly”) and we both exclaimed THE
FRY KIDS! It made us laugh, so we kept it.
Melbourne Fringe turns 40 this year, which is a great achievement and milestone – what
are you most looking forward to during the Fringe?
H: Seeing as many shows as I can! I love character comedy and sketch.
K: I’m just excited to see live art again. I’ve missed going to shows, and the online fringe last
year, though accessible, lacked a bit of the energy and vibrancy of preforming arts.
What movie or tv show scared you as a child, prompting you to leave your nightlight on?
H: E.T the extra terrestrial! That tiny little alien was so terrifying to me. Imagine seeing that face
staring at you through the window one night or those long twisted fingers stroking your cheek.
Also, the way you could see his heart through his chest… haunting. My sister had a jigsaw puzzle of his face and my mum had to hide it under the house because I would cry if I saw it.
K: I was an odd child because I didn’t get scared very easily. My older brother wasn’t allowed to watch certain things because he would have night terrors, meanwhile, 5yo me is sat up, watching Predator at 9pm and sleeping like a rock afterwards. Though there was one particular episode of Beyond Belief: Fact Or Fiction where a kid went missing in his closet, and I’ve never slept with my closet ajar since.
I’d have to say that this was one of the most entertaining interviews that I’ve had! So much nostalgia for me too, as I remember The Fry Kids (plus Mayor McCheese?!) and some of the other McDonalds characters plus E.T the Extra Terrestrial was also a popular film of my youth – though thankfully he doesn not occupy my subconscious!
THE NIGHTLIGHT ZONE is running at 7pm on Oct 9th, 13th and 14th at The Improv Conspiracy (lvl 1, 19 Meyers Place, Melbourne). Don’t delay – book your tickets here.