Hot picks for the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival


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By Kaia Wallis

It’s time to embrace the weird, the wonderful and the fabulous.

More than 7000 artists are making their way to South Australia this year for the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival to perform in 1326 events from February 15 – March 17, with some reaching far into regional areas including Mt Gambier in the South East, Port Augusta in the Far North and Whyalla on the Eyre Peninsula.

The heart of the action will take place at the Garden of Unearthly Delights (GOUD), with patrons able to enjoy carnival rides and shop at market stalls, and grab food and drinks between shows. Those seeking indulgence can visit SA-owned Gluttony – a Fringe hub adjacent to GOUD – for a taste of local beer, wine and spirits at the venue’s new addition, The Local Bar. Another popular Mad March venue – the Royal Croquet Club – will this year enjoy a new home at the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace campus.

However, the magic isn’t contained to these venues –  Yabarra: Gathering of Light, an immersive light show sharing stories from the local Kaurna culture, will illuminate North Terrace. Fringe events will stretch across the state including regional centres, cocktail bars, cafés, wineries and along historic streets!

Still trying to pick your first show for the season? Don’t fret, we’re here to help!

If you’re after… a Fringe highlight

Where: The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide
When: February 15 – March 17

Dark, unsettling and disorientating – these three words describe the experience UK production company Darkfield presents in FLIGHT. The 30-minute performance simulates a plane crash using binaural sound technology to create a 3D listening experience. If that’s not eerie enough, the show also takes place in a pitch black shipping container.

LIFE – The Show
Where: The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When: February 15 – March 16

Longing for the high-end spectacle and vintage glamour of BLANC de BLANC? You’re in luck.

The new performance from Strut & Fret Production House promises 110 minutes of entertainment, enlightenment and hedonistic theatrical anarchy mixed in with acrobatics, dance and high-energy music. What’s not to like about this adults-only show?

Chasing Smoke
When: February 15 – March 3
Where: Gluttony

Chasing Smoke is performed by Australia’s only all-Indigenous contemporary circus ensemble, Cases, and uses dance, aerial and sketch comedy to explore what it means to grow up in modern-day Australia as an Indigenous person. The show won the 2017 Green Room Award for Best Contemporary Circus and is not one to miss.

Chasing Smoke stars. Image: Adelaide Fringe

If you’re after… comedy

The Singing Psychic Game Show
Where: La Bohème, Adelaide
When: February 14 – March 16

Something interesting happens when you mix psychic readings, cabaret and a game-show format – especially when you throw in the ‘70s.

After sell-out shows three years running at the Edinburgh Fringe since 2016, The Singing Psychic Game Show is here for its Australian debut and will feature psychic audience readings, songs, ‘70s team games (Jenga, anyone?) and even prizes.

Fabien Clark – Footy Dad Fabs
When: February 15 – 22
Where: Ferguson Room, The National Wine Centre

Unfulfilled childhood dreams? Do as stand-up comedian Fabien Clark does and revive them with your offspring. Footy Dad Fabs tells the stories of the mums and dads who give up their Sunday mornings in the hope of (their kids) striking it lucky on the field. Presenter Fabien Clark took home the 2013 award for Adelaide Comedian of the Year and has put together a show sure to have all parents laughing.

Comedian Fabien Clark

Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court
Where: Theatre One at The Parks, Angle Park
When: February 20 – March 2

What do you get when you combine inspirations from Judge Judy, Jerry Springer and SA talent? A multi award-winning musical starring Adelaide music theatre actress Katie Packer! Set in a reality TV courtroom, defendants plead their case to Judge Jackie while the audience serves as the court’s jury – laughs are guaranteed as the chaos ensues.

If you’re after… something for the kids

Mickster’s Magic Gadgets
Where: Gluttony
When: February 15 – March 16 (weekends)

This 50-minute show takes children (and adults!) on a captivating adventure full of interactive digital media, magic and comedy. With fire illusions, live animals and elite trickery – your little ones won’t be able to draw their eyes away.

Bubble Show: Milkshake and the Winter Bubble
where: The Jade, Flinders Street, Adelaide
When: February 15 – March 16 (weekends)

High-energy, smoke and of course, bubbles – this one is sure to entertain even the fussiest of children. Square bubbles, smoke-filled bubbles and rainbows feature in this fun-filled extravaganza, with children given the chance to go inside their own bubble!

After something less child friendly? Bubble Laboratory is also showing an adults-only show for those looking for something a little more risqué.

If you’re after… something beyond the city

Desert Fringe in Port Augusta
Where: 6 Beauchamp Lne, Port Augusta

When: March 1–3

Local, national and international Fringe performers will head to Port Augusta for the 12th annual Desert Fringe for one weekend of comedy, music and dance. A range of artists will visit the regional centre to perform both free and ticketed shows over one fun-filled weekend.

Murray Bridge Fringe
When: February 23, 2019
Where: Murray Bridge, 2 Seventh Street

An explosive night of entertainment is set to take place in Murray Bridge when the regional Fringe on Tour program visits the town for the first time. A star-studded lineup – including Fringe ambassador and cabaret sensation Hans – will travel from Adelaide to join some of the region’s young performers for a four-hour street party sure to entertain the whole family.

Fringe performers. Image: Adelaide Fringe

Port Fringe ‘Dancing in the Street’ Party
When: March 2, 2019
Where: Commercial Road, Port Adelaide

The historic streets of Port Adelaide will this year host ‘Dancing in the Street’ as part of Port Fringe 2019. The street party encourages visitors to “expect the unexpected” and will feature live music, markets, pop-up spaces and a main stage for weird and wonderful Fringe performers.

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