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The 2021 Adelaide Fringe has sold a total of 632,667 tickets worth more than $16.4 million, with venues reporting a busy closing weekend and a string of sold-out shows.
Tracy Crisp takes storytelling to new heights with this poignant solo performance about the way we imbue treasured objects with our memories and the heartbreaking power they wield to help us grieve and, ultimately, heal. ★★★★★
After wowing audiences with their Adelaide Festival spectacular The Pulse, local company Gravity & Other Myths has announced a surprise ‘renegade’ Fringe season of another new show featuring eight acrobats and a five-piece jazz band.
Cabaret duo Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley draw on their own life experiences in an irreverent, award-winning Fringe show that seeks to debunk some of the myths about people with Asperger’s syndrome – including that they’re not funny.
Former Adelaide Fringe chair turned producer David Minear is set to present an open-air, all-Adelaide tribute to Bruce Springsteen – complete with rock musicians and a 15-piece classical orchestra.
Inspired by the drag brunch phenomenon in New York and London, Smashed is a daylight Fringe experience that is definitely for adults only.
Ask a group of people to define what it means to be Australian and you’ll undoubtedly receive a wide range of responses. In Celebrating Australia, the CircoBats performers throw their energies into expressing identity through the joy of human movement. ★★★½
This delightfully thought-provoking, interactive show, conceived by Adelaide star of stage and screen Tilda Cobham-Hervey, is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Or maybe a bit like something… But actually, no, nothing like it at all… ★★★★
With just five days of Fringe to go, here are some of the four and five-star shows our reviewers recommend – plus an extra special performance you won’t want to miss.
Singer, songwriter and actor Elaine Crombie puts her heart, soul and spirit on the stage in Janet’s Vagrant Love.
Touch, in all its forms, is essential to human connection. Gravity & Other Myths’ new Fringe show I Want to Touch You explores this idea in a warm-hearted and thought-provoking performance. ★★★★★
Jazz standards, folk-pop, a touch of rock, and an utterly transformed Kylie Minogue classic – singer Jo Lawry brought some serious class and versatility to her Fringe performances on the weekend. ★★★★
We’re told to bring an object to this art exhibition, which ostensibly looks like a room full of junk assembled around an ATM but sees us leave feeling richer than when did before entering. ★★★★½
A satirical Fringe show by The Chaser’s Charles Firth and The Shovel’s James Schloeffel will take you on a trip through wild COVID conspiracy theories and show you how to make your own Pete Evans BioCharger.
Set against the horrors of the anti-gay purges in Chechnya, Patrick Livesey’s Adelaide Fringe show asks difficult questions about the responsibilities we feel for people we’ve never met.
This intense monologue about first love and white privilege struggles to overcome a fundamental flaw in its conception. ★★½
Andi Snelling is a multi-talented, highly skilled performer who knows how to use theatricality – and roller skates – to explore what it is to be human. ★★★★★
Grit and dystopia replace glitz and glamour in this close-up and raw physical theatre act by Melbourne-based company After Dark. ★★★★
There’s nothing quite as funny as quality humour coming from a straight face, and Adelaide’s own Sam Simmons has it nailed. ★★★★
Johanna Allen and her crew take their audience on a journey to places exotic, funny and strange this entertaining Fringe show. ★★★★ ½
Love moves in mysterious ways in this two-woman show featuring plenty of silliness, handfuls of confetti and more than a few red noses. ★★★
Tex Perkins is known for his Cruel Sea and Beasts of Bourbon catalogue, but a stunning Adelaide Fringe performance with ARIA-award-winning guitarist Matt Walker proves – once again – the musician is not a one-trick pony. ★★★★★
This family-friendly show is a fusion of art and science in which audiences are guaranteed to learn new words while witnessing fun scientific experiments involving fireballs, explosions and a breakfast cereal blower. ★★★★
With mimosas, whip-cracking, a twerk-off, drag, burlesque and an acrobatic routine on a beer keg, Smashed is an hour of frivolity, flirtation and adults-only fun in the Spiegeltent – all before lunch. ★★★★
Hughman could be the happiest place in the world right now. With unbridled joy, Hugh Sheridan raises the bar, lifts spirits and serves up unadulterated fun. ★★★★★
Prinnie Stevens’ show recognises talented women of colour who communicated their suffering through song. In her own soulful way, she harnesses their blues music to present a powerful sampler of personal stories and larger themes. ★★★★ ½
Be open to being challenged, be open to having the conversation. Bred creates a safe space between audience and performers where ideas and emotions are unpacked and connections are made. ★★★ ½
Bum-rubbing, squid genitals and doll-decapitation; it sounds like the recipe for a very niche sex tape but is in fact the list of ingredients for a heart-warming solo show with a charming, child-like quality. ★★★★
Lost in Translation is a raucous, strangely artistic show featuring scripts from well-known early 2000s films that have been run through an online translator – not just once, but at least a dozen times. ★★★ ½
Rachel Rayner, Science Explainer, fuses physics with theatre and comedy in a glittering journey beyond the edges of the visible spectrum. ★★★★
Drenched in jokes delivered at breakneck speed and peppered with philosophical pondering, this ABC journalist turned comedian’s unconventional genesis story is worth a listen. ★★★ ½
An all-female comedy gala featuring fresh stand-up material from some of the nation’s best comedians provides an hour of sheer fun. ★★★★ ½
Adventure Rooms Adelaide plunges players into a nightmarish world inspired by everything horror with the terrifyingly fun new escape room The Abandoned Cabin. ★★★★★
Petit Circus invites young Fringe-goers and their families to step into a kitchen for an evening of chaos, fun and laughter with the new food-inspired circus show Bon Appetit. ★★★
History rubs shoulders with ghost stories in this unnervingly atmospheric tour of one of Adelaide’s oldest and most macabre structures. ★★★ ½
Scomo’s Sunday Service, in the tradition of a university revue, is raw, scatological political satire and lots of fun. ★★★★
Dom Chambers comes up trumps with a polished performance featuring card tricks and stories about his adolescent obsession with his deck. ★★★★
Improvisational genius Ross Noble takes his crowd on a rollercoaster ride of side-splitting eclectic anecdotes that are so insanely haphazard he has just as much fun not knowing where things are going as his audience does. ★★★★
London-based company Agent November Escape Rooms brings the excitement of escape rooms into your home with two adventures that plunge players into the thrilling world of spies and espionage.
Get comfortable, loosen your inhibitions and open up to Club Briefs International for a ride through debaucherous drag, gasp-worthy circus acts and sleek cabaret – with a carousel of costume changes, no less. ★★★ ½
To freeze or not to freeze: is that the question? It’s hard to know how Erin Fowler ultimately feels about motherhood in this hybrid physical performance. ★★★
Lobethal, Encounter Bay, the Burnside Village Shopping Centre – no stone goes unturned as Peter Goers takes to the stage with an ode to South Australia. ★★★ ½
Hidden in a dark, sprawling basement on Angas Street are four rooms that challenge the senses to imagine the startling possibilities of what the future may plate up. ★★★★★
Artivist Dan Acher literally paints the sky in this stunning, automated version of aurora borealis which is being presented over the lake in Gluttony. ★★★★ ½
Adelaide Fringe organisers say the festival’s ‘magic vibe’ will be very much alive as it opens today with 21,000 performances across 31 days and nights. One casualty of border restrictions, however, is cabaret singer Ali McGregor’s season of shows.
A young Australian man visiting Moscow hooks up with a Russian tourist guide but it emerges that each has his own secrets and agenda, as playwright Angus Cameron’s wryly engaging thriller takes us through a labyrinth of misrepresentation. ★★★★ ½
After infant Tom pushed a little girl because he didn’t want to be hugged, “he became That Boy”, his mother recalls, “and I became That Mother.” Martha Lott powerfully describes the lonely challenges of parenting a turbulent child when everyone else has given up. ★★★★
Two friends are cast in a school production of The Comedy of Errors. One is Greg Fleet, the other Ian Darling. One took the high road, the other the low. Forty years later they ponder where life has taken them – and which road was which. ★★★★
With the Adelaide summer festival season kicking into gear this week, we asked some of InReview’s contributing arts journalists and reviewers to share the Festival and Fringe shows they are most looking forward to – from visual arts to theatre, music and more.
This double bill of plays from SA creators aims to lift up Australia’s ‘lucky country’ veneer to reveal the complex, often dark, mess writhing beneath.
Festival fans can start planning their ‘Mad March’ calendar in earnest from today, with the Garden of Unearthly Delights revealing its full line-up and the printed 2021 Adelaide Fringe guide also now available.
Adelaide Fringe launches its 2021 program today, with tickets going on sale for almost 800 events across 285 venues – including open-air shows, light displays, laneway activations and drive-in performances.
Adelaide’s Holden Street Theatres is expanding its site and increasing its arts offering with the launch of a new venture: The Holden Street Theatres’ Arts Park.