As far as summer jobs go, Renee Pilkington would have just about the coolest one in town.
Appearing as Miss Gail Force, Pilkington is one of 10 mermaids and mermen who take 20-minute turns cavorting and duck-diving in one of the more unusual performances of Perth's Fringe World.
The Mermaid Tank is one of the free Fringe World attractions, every night in the Perth Cultural Centre from 6pm.
Pilkington said it was making a big splash with children, who blew kisses and squealed with delight whenever a fishy tail drenched them in water from the top of the tank.
"We have had kids come in and ask for a shower," she said.
Another free attraction, the mechanical beast Mechronos, returns at the weekend after playing to many of the 55,000 people who attended Fringe World over the first four days.
Thirty opening weekend shows sold out in what organisers said was a promising start to the festival, which ends on February 24.
Former Perth girl Pilkington runs cabaret and circus production companies and said she had been encouraged to return here by the fringe's success after several years performing and teaching in the US, China and Europe. "It is so wonderful to see so many performers and artists coming to Perth into this growing metropolis," she said. "It is exciting to see a different culture permeate the city."
Pilkington performs on the trapeze and as a strong woman able to rip up a phone book.
Fringe World highlights today include Les Gateaux Chocolat, Barry Morgan, Frisky and Mannish, and the free lunchtime program at Woodside Plaza.