Top 7 local picks at the Adelaide Festival


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By Melissa Keogh

A spell-binding orchestra featuring traffic cones and water coolers, long lazy lunches on The Palais and world-premiere productions.

Hello, Adelaide Festival 2018.

The annual festival has started with a bang and will bring four world premieres and 13 Adelaide exclusives to various venues across the CBD until March 18.

Audiences have enjoyed the Adelaide Festival for more than half-a-century, with internationally acclaimed performers, musicians, dancers, writers and artists sharing their masterpieces with the city.

So for the Adelaide Festival in 2018, we’ve unpacked the program and picked the top seven local productions, events or instalments, each with a strong tie to SA.

For tickets or to read the full program visit the Adelaide Festival website.

Helen Morse stars in ‘Memorial’.

1. Memorial

Adelaide-based Brink Productions is transforming the award-winning work by British poet Alice Oswald to create a truly moving performance.

Memorial personalises 215 fallen soldiers in a modern day approach to a war story.

The 215 soldiers will be brought to life by the same number of performers drawn from the Adelaide community, while the cast is lead by Aussie stage and screen actor Helen Morse.

This world premiere and will also feature a live ensemble of singers and musicians lead by Golden Globe nominated composer Jocelyn Pook.

WHEN: Friday, March 2 – Tuesday, March 6.

WHERE: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre.

Lost and Found features hundreds of locals taking part in the percussive performance. PHOTO: Steve McNicholas.

2. The Lost and Found Orchestra

One of the standout instalments in the festival program is this uplifting UK production featuring hundreds of local musicians.

The large scale musical spectacle features participants playing instruments made from musical saws, bottles, water coolers and traffic cones.

From the creators of STOMP, Lost and Found will be performed for the first time outdoors.

But it’s only here for the first weekend of March, so hurry along!

WHEN: Saturday March 3 and Sunday March 4, 8.30pm both nights.

WHERE: Adelaide Riverbank, Elder Park.

Long Lunches on The Palais will delight foodies.

3. Long Lunches 

The festival’s “beating heart” is The Palais, a floating venue on the River Torrens offering views of the city and parklands, evening breezes and sunset drinks.

Enjoy a variety of lazy long lunches aboard The Palais throughout the Adelaide Festival, in addition to a range of forums and talks.

Long lunches are prepared by a selection of culinary experts, all of which are connected to Adelaide by two degrees of separation.

More of an early riser? Head along to Breakfast With Papers, run by The Advertiser.

Grab a coffee and a spot on The Palais and listen to a panel of journalists, academics and thought provokers dissect the news of the day each morning from 8am.

WHEN: Check the program for various dates.

WHERE: Adelaide Riverbank.

21: Memories of Growing Up will explore the different experiences of people who have turned 21, whether it was decades ago or recently!

4. 21: Memories of Growing Up 

Ah, the age of 21. When life has truly begun.

What happened when you were that age? Swiss artist Mats Staub has asked this question to more than 100 people of various ages and backgrounds.

He recorded the participants’ stories before allowing them to listen back to their own voices three months later – and recording their facial expressions while doing so.

The oldest participant recounts the year of 1939, while another participant explains being 21 in 2015.

The result is an emotional installation at the State Library of SA.

The emotional installation also features a selection of Adelaidians who have shared their experiences within the milestone age.

WHEN: March 2 – March 18, 10am–5pm.

WHERE: Institute Building, State Library of SA.

In The Club’s world premiere is presented by the State Theatre Company.

5. In The Club

The State Theatre Company SA will bring this heavy production that is bound to have everyone talking.

However, In The Club is not for younger audiences as it tears through some pretty tough topics around sexual violence.

Australian author Patricia Cornelius wrote the script that looks into the dark corners of Australian football culture.

WHEN: Most nights until March 18.

WHERE: Odeon Theatre, Norwood.

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will reawaken the brilliance of American composer Leonard Bernstein.

6. Bernstein on Stage!

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late great American composer, Leonard Bernstein, this production will bring New York alive … in Adelaide!

The performance will take place under the baton of John Mauceri, founding director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, who worked alongside Bernstein for 18 years.

Celebrate the exuberance of one of the 20th Century’s greatest composers with hits such as New York, New York, and Maria.

WHEN: Friday, March 16 and Sunday, March 18, 7pm both nights.

WHERE: Adelaide Festival Theatre.

Can the colours of the rainbow be heard? PHOTO: Paoli Smith Creative.

7. Can You Hear Colour?

The Adelaide Festival will be the first Australian venue to showcase this delight of a production that explores a tale of when a child discovers a gift – the ability to hear colour.

This Adelaide-based Patch Theatre Company production was directed by Naomi Edwards and composed by the award-winning Alan John and is a good one to help kids explore their imaginations.

Can You Hear Colour invites children to discover the musical world of pitch, intervals, scales, rhythm and harmony.

WHEN: Friday March 9 – Thursday March 15.

WHERE: AC Arts Main Theatre.


Header image by Sia Duff

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