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Festivals finale: closing weekend highlights

Festivals

Mad March will draw to a close on Sunday, but there are still plenty of shows to see over the final weekend. Here are some highlights from all genres of the Adelaide Festival and Fringe programs.

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Adelaide Festival

Riverbank Palais: The final weekend of live entertainment on the Festival’s Riverbank Palais venue on the Torrens will include electronic band Urtekk and DJ Total Eclipse tonight (Friday), and  hip-hop act REMI plus Late Nite Tuff Guy tomorrow night. On Sunday there will be a closing night party kicking off at 5.30pm with live jazz from Adelaide’s Lyndon Gray and the Mixed Blessings, followed by DJs Zan Rowe (Triple J) and House of Beige.

Backbone: Presented by Adelaide acrobatic troupe Gravity and Other Myths, Backbone is described by InDaily reviewer Alison Flett as circus as you’ve never seen it before. “A genre-defying, thought-provoking, visual extravaganza.” – Dunstan Playhouse until Sunday.

Photo: Shane Reid

Gravity and Other Myths’ Backbone. Photo: Shane Reid

L-E-V – Killer Pig and OCD Love

Israeli dance company L-E-V is the creation of dancer and choreographer Sharon Eyal (previously with Batsheva Dance Company) and Tel Aviv rave party producer Gai Behar, who have wowed critics with their edgy and “spine-chillingly sexy” shows. For their Adelaide exclusive performance, they are presenting two shows: Killer Pig (Saturday, 8pm) and OCD Love (Sunday, 6.30pm) at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Gala: This show from French choreographer Jérôme Bel offers a very different perspective on dance – one with an emphasis firmly on finding joy through movement rather than displaying flawless technique or style. The cast comprises 15 South Australians of diverse abilities, ages and identities (mostly non-dancers), in a poignant and entertaining performance. “They’re honest, they’re funny, they’re beautiful and they’re human – you can’t help but get caught up in that while you’re watching the show,” casting co-ordinator Roz Hervey told InDaily. Read review here. – Scott Theatre, Kintore Avenue, until Saturday

Every Brilliant Thing: This one-man play tackles the subject of depression in a life-affirming way, with co-creator Jonny Donahoe describing it as “the funniest thing you’ll ever see about the least funny thing in the world”. Our reviewer writes: “Above all, Every Brilliant Thing reminds us that it’s easier to be hopeful if we take the time to notice all the aspects of life, from the trivial to the momentous, that bring us joy.” – Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, until Saturday

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Coral – Rekindling Venus: Artist and filmmaker Lynette Wallworth transports audiences to a beautiful underwater world in this immersive film experience at the Adelaide Planetarium. Originally commissioned by the London Olympics, it consists of 45 spectacular minutes of digital footage, projected onto the fulldome screen, showing fluorescent coral reefs, bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life threatened by climate change. Read our review here. – Adelaide Planetarium, Level 2, Building P, UniSA, Mawson Lakes until Sunday

Adelaide Fringe

Adam Page’s YouTunes: Multi-instrumentalist Adam Page is a musician who likes to push music boundaries. He is known for his improv looping shows, but also writes symphonies, produces records and plays in bands. With YouTunes, a weekly Fringe award winner for best music show, he set himself a new challenge: creating loops and soundscapes from sounds generated by the audience. Read his interview with CityMag here. – Royal Croquet Club until Sunday

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Blanc de Blanc: Given that it’s created by the production team that brought us Limbo and Cantina, this new circus show was bound to create a buzz. It’s a perfect blend of burlesque and circus, set apart from similar shows by its sense of humour, says our reviewer. “The entire cast is outstanding, from Masha and her high-flying hotel luggage cart, to Shun’s breakdancing yoga on steroids, and Hampus and partner Milena’s ascent on the aerial straps from spa tub to the heights of the tent roof.” – Garden of Unearthly Delights until Sunday

Driftwood: A very different sort of physical theatre is presented in this show featuring five acrobats from the Casus Circus ensemble (the group who won the Best Circus and Physical Theatre award at last year’s Fringe with Knee Deep). The performers rely on their own bodies, rather than props, to create beautiful acrobatics – still managing to have their audience gasping and smiling throughout. Read review here– Royal Croquet Club, until Sunday

Trainspotting: Winner of the Weekly Pick of the Fringe Award last week, this UK stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, a cult commentary on 1990s drug culture in Edinburgh, is truly immersive. InDaily reviewer Rachael Mead gave it four stars, describing it as “dark, raw and energetic”. But be warned, the prolific drug use, full nudity and obscene language mean it’s not for the faint-hearted.–Station Underground, 52-54 Hindley Street, until Sunday. Suitable for ages 16+.

Eleanor’s Story: Subtitled An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany, this one-woman play is based on the true story of a young American girl caught in World War II Berlin, and is performed by her granddaughter Ingrid Garner. “Her solo performance is remarkable – a thing of elegance that delivers unique insight into an important piece of human history,” writes Sebastian Cooper, who awarded the show five stars. –Tandanya Theatre until Sunday

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Little Death Club: “High-end comedy and eyebrow-raising debauchery” – who could say no? Weekly Pick of the Fringe winner Little Death Club is hosted by EastEnd Cabaret diva Bernadette Byrne as gin-swilling Miss Bernie and features a rotating line-up of other Fringe talent who dish up a highly entertaining blend of cabaret, sideshow and burlesque. Read review here– Royal Croquet Club, until Sunday

Bernadette Byrne as Miss Bernie.

Bernadette Byrne as Miss Bernie.

Matt Tarrant: SA magician and mentalist Tarrant – who you might remember from previous Fringe festivals or reality-TV show Australian Survivor – is once again wowing the home audiences with his show Honestly Dishonest, which was named best magic show in the latest Fringe weekly awards. It takes audiences on the journey of a magician, following the trajectory of Tarrant’s own career, with magic, mentalism and audience interaction. – Gluttony, until Sunday (Saturday’s show is already sold out)

Mentalist Matt Tarrant. Photo: Andre Goosen

Mentalist Matt Tarrant. Photo: Andre Goosen

Judith Lucy and Denise Scott: In a show titled Disappointments, comedy pals Lucy and Scott regale their audience with hilarious tales of the afflictions of middle age, ranging from the dysfunctional bowel to arthritic knees. “The patriotic finale incorporates rhythmic gymnastics, ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ and Those (Nude) Suits. What more could you want?” writes reviewer Nicky Titchener. –   Garden of Unearthly Delights until Sunday

Denise-Scott-and-Judith-Lucy---2017-Fringe

Hans, Willsy and Bob Downe – Triple Treat: “Three divas together on the same stage for the most camp show in town,” promises the Fringe program. Well, when the “Boy Wonder of Berlin” teams up with the “Prince of Polyester” and Anne “Willsy” Wills, it can’t be anything but a hoot. – Garden of Unearthly Delights, until Sunday

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