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Royal Croquet Club returns for 2018 Adelaide Fringe

Adelaide Fringe

The Royal Croquet Club will return to the Riverbank for the 2018 Adelaide Fringe with a full program of music, circus, theatre and comedy shows, despite suffering a financial blow after its parent company's disastrous venture last year in China.

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RCC co-founder Stuart Duckworth said in a statement this morning that the club was “determined to create another brilliant event for Fringe audiences” at Pinky Flat (Tarnda Womma), with a program featuring Australian performers as well as acts from Ethiopia, the United States, Ireland and the UK.

“Having the RCC continue as a staple of the Adelaide Fringe has always been a goal of ours, so to be able to announce that it is back for the 2018 season is tremendous,” he said.

“For 2018, we’ve curated a program full of some of the activations that Adelaide has grown to know and love – live music, physical circus, theatre and comedy – plus a whole lot of new shows and great artists, which will all be encompassed by a whole new look and feel.”

As InDaily reported earlier this year, the Royal Croquet Club Pty Ltd and its parent company, The Social Creative, were placed into voluntary administration after losing more than $1.1 million staging the rebadged Royale Adelaide Club at the Qingdao International Beer Festival in China in 2016.

At the time, Duckworth acknowledged it had been “the year from hell”, and that it left the future of the RCC in doubt.

However, although The Social Creative no longer exists, the Royal Croquet Club has now been restructured.

Duckworth told InDaily today there was a new team behind the organisation, comprising a range of SA business people who had offered both financial and other types of support, but whom he would not name at this stage.

As a result of the changes, he said, the RCC had the opportunity to continue building on past success and meet all its “financial obligations under the Deed of Company Arrangement which was agreed to by all creditors”.

He told InDaily: “We have had some amazing support and are very humbled by that – they want to see us keep trading.”

Roving performers from circus show Filament at this year’s RCC. Photo: Kate Pardey

Duckworth said that for the 2018 Fringe, the RCC would have “a smaller footprint than last year”, with fewer physical spaces, but would be “jam-packed with artists”.

Although most of the line-up is under wraps until tomorrow, when the full Adelaide Fringe program is launched, it will include the return of Adelaide physical theatre ensemble Gravity & Other Myths with their award-winning show A Simple Space.

“They helped solidify my love for the performing arts, so it’s very humbling to have them come back, bigger and better,” Duckworth said.

There will also be an outdoor concert series called Big River Motel. The performers will be announced in January, and he said they will include touring international artists, Australian headliners and local musicians – “the largest music line-up to ever come to RCC”.

Duckworth said the 2018 Royal Croquet Club would also feature a new food and drink offering.

The full 2018 Adelaide Fringe program will be released tomorrow.

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