By Melissa Keogh
From creative antics to belly-wobbling comedy and all-round craziness, South Australian regions aren’t immune to the madness of the festival season in 2018.
Adelaide Fringe frivolities have spilled into regional areas, with several hubs popping up across the state, from Whyalla, Mt Gambier and, for the first time, Kangaroo Island this week.
Organisers of the KI Fringe say up to 2000 people attended the inaugural event, run by Country Arts SA, at Penneshaw on February 20.
The “gin soaked” cabaret Mother’s Ruin had the crowd lively, while black comedy Charolais, was also a hit.
So if you call one of SA’s regions home, or are just passing through, check out these following Fringe Hubs and catch some Mad March vibes.
WHEN: February 16–25
WHERE: 21 Wearing Street, Port Noarlunga
This one’s already kicked off, so be quick.
The frivolities are running over two weekends along the riverbank at Port Noarlunga.
The nerve-wracking Idris Stanton (below) will hit the stage with his one-man show this Saturday (February 24).
Think circus, comedy, and stunts all in one.
Live tunes, an artisan market, food trucks and bars are scattered across the grounds, while Tasting Australia festival director Simon Bryant is showing crowds how it’s done in his cooking demonstration.
Stirling Fringe, Adelaide Hills
WHEN: March 2-12
WHERE: Stirling Coventry Library lawns
More than 90 performances, 38 different shows and 80 artists from across the globe – it’s going to be another full-on Stirling Fringe for production company Bamboozled Productions.
Last year was a first for the Adelaide Hills town of Stirling, with a collection of shows sold out and the library lawns crawling with attendees.
Highlights include Adelaide theatre company Slingsby’s The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy, Double Denim’s Big Party For Little Humans, and Sticks Stones Broken Bones.
Desert Fringe, Port Augusta
WHEN: March 3–4
WHERE: Port Augusta Cultural Centre – Yarla Purtli
Now in its 11th year, Desert Fringe will unfold with a weekend packed of circus, comedy, music, dance, and visual art.
The event is big on celebrating culture, with a mix of local, national and international performers letting loose.
Deadly Funny, who has performed regularly at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, will be in town for the first time on the hunt for a promising Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander comedian.
Irish comedian Martin Mor will also share his (ticketed) show Mor Funny Stuff.
Fringe in Goolwa
WHEN: March 9–11
WHERE: Jaralde Park, Goolwa Wharf Precinct
This year’s Fringe in Goolwa program features a jam-packed weekend of shows across a variety of venues along the wharf precinct.
One venue worth a look-in is the quirky Goolwa Caravan, to be host to arts, comedy and music.
Art exhibitions, open mic sessions, a raffia wig workshop, live music, are just a few things to expect.
Fringe in Mt Gambier
WHEN: March 23–24.
WHERE: Cave Gardens, Mt Gambier
SA’s second largest city, Mt Gambier, will explode with colour in late March, following the success of the town’s Fringe in 2017.
Street food, a hypnotist and body artists are just a few things to be expected at the Cave Garden.
Get that Hawaiian shirt out and check out the pop-up Tiki bar just outside City Hall.
World class performers and local talents will take over Mt Gambier for another Fringe season. PHOTO: Trentino Priori.
UneARTh Festival, Whyalla
WHEN: March 30 and 31
WHERE: Foreshore and Ada Ryan Gardens, Whyalla
Another regional instalment returning after a successful launch in 2017, the Whyalla UneARTh Festival will return over the Easter long weekend in 2018.
It will provide artists and festival goers a final chance to indulge in Fringe fun with the Adelaide Fringe wrapping up two weeks prior.
The first UneARTh attracted more than 10,000 people, so expect big things from circus, music and cabaret scenes this year.
… as for the rest
Tanunda, Palmer, Robe, Victor Harbor, Lobethal, Mt Compass, Crafers, Mt Barker, Nairne, Auburn – will also be home to a Fringe event or two.
Head to FringeTIX for more information.