Adelaide Fringe Recommendations #1

Adelaide Fringe Recommendations
I’ve used tinyletter to make a little newsletter for the Adelaide Fringe. I’ve come up with a stunningly original name: On The Fringe. You can subscribe to it here, but I realised it wasn’t at all searchable so I thought I’d put the recommendations in a blog post too.

Adelaide Fringe recommendations are, on the one hand, a dime a dozen … but I like finding the chatter on blogs and small-scale newsletters like this. The fringe programme is enormous, and so many people say that it’s overwhelming and they don’t know where to look, let alone what to book. For the past few years I’ve used the Zuckerberg Juggernaut to share the shows I’ve seen. But that whole algorithm thing is super-confusing. So I’m giving this newsletter a try. It’s highly niche, built around the interests and preoccupations of a middle-aged woman who who likes a laugh, art with political bite, music that soothes the soul, and sometimes a bit of a weep.

Here’s the text of the newsletter:

One: Women Like Us
Women Like Us starring Ellen Briggs and Mandy Nolan. Mandy is one of comedy’s stalwarts. When I see her perform, I laugh at pretty much every second word. Her humour looks like one thing on the surface but is really subversive. She started out in comedy when it was extremely blokey (well, even more so than it is now), and has been a champion and mentor to many women in the comedy scene. As for Ellen … well, I was in the Raw Comedy final with her (many moons ago), and my dad, who was my biggest fan, said Ellen should have won. She’s gone on to forge a wonderful comedy career and I have not. She’s seriously funny and has worked super-hard. So, yes, definitely getting along to Women Like Us.

Two: Felicity Ward
I’m sure she’s long-since forgotten me, but I was in an ensemble show called Titters! for a couple of years, and in one of those years Felicity was performing in it. At the time, I was struggling to find my comedy voice. I knew who I wanted to be on stage, but I didn’t have the confidence to push towards it. And I watched all of these women step on stage, leave everything else in the green room and embrace their comic persona. I still remember the first time I watched Felicity. She had only just started in comedy, but she was pushing the boundaries and creating a presence that was completely her own. Whip-smart, absurd and hilarious. She’s only doing one show in Adelaide, and it’s going to be in the wonderful Spiegeltent. Busting a Nut. I’ve already booked.

Three: Super Woman Money Programme
I don’t know anything about Elizabeth Davie, and I get heightened anxiety levels just thinking about my superannuation, but I’m intrigued by a show about superannuation that calls itself a comedy. And also it sounds like it’s got a bit of political edge beyond the ‘So, Trump, what’s with that … ‘. Super Woman Money Programme. I’m going to give it a go.

Four: A Stitch in Time: A Knitting Cabaret
Genius! I love knitting, and I can’t believe it’s the only knitting show in the programme. Prediction: shows about knitting are the Next Big Thing. The millenials are already all over knitting, but there’s going to be an explosion in its popularity when people discover it’s the best cure for hand-held device addiction.The show is presented by Emma Knights Productions…again, I don’t actually know Emma Knights, but I really admire her work. The fringe is not without its problems for South Australian artists, but she has fully embraced what it can do and is making a huge contribution to our local arts. So, yes, I’ll be at A Stitch in Time: A Knitting Cabaret and I’ll have my knitting bag.

Five: The Ironing Maidens
This looks like perfect fringe fare: quirky and experimental, but fun and accessible too. Irons and ironing boards as instruments performed in a launderette–The Ironing Maidens. It reminds me of one of the best shows I’ve ever seen at the fringe … an opera performed in the bathroom of the Piccadilly Cinema. The presenters, Shiny Shiny Productions, look fascinating, and there’s a bit of an insight into what to expect on their website.

Six: 30,000 Notes
I seem to have got a bit more into the music than I was expecting to, but I am really looking forward to seeing this show. Josh Belperio‘s Scarred for Life was one of the best things I saw at last year’s fringe. I went with my eldest and we both loved it. An original musical composition that was funny and poignant, heartbreaking and uplifting. 30,000 Notes looks like it will be more of the excellent same. The company, Under the Microscope is another group I really admire. They’ve taken some big artistic risks including running a wonderful performance space at last year’s fringe.

Seven and Eight: Molly Taylor’s Extinguished Things, and also a workshop
Another one of last year’s highlights for me was Molly Taylor’s Love Letters to Public Transport at Holden Street Theatres. For Extinguished Things, Molly says, ‘My neighbours leave their flat one morning but don’t return. Al and Evie, married 40 years, no kids. I have their spare keys. I cannot resist.’ She is a captivating performer, and I’m looking forward to seeing her new show.

I’m also thinking about going along to her workshop Writing a Dramatic Monologue with Molly Taylor.

Nine: Wallis Bird in Concert
I had not heard of Wallis Bird before I looked through the programme, but I’ve listened to a bit of her music online tonight. I’ve found a new artist to add to my playlist even if I can’t get along to her show (I’ve got a festival thing pencilled in for that night so I need to see whether I can move that). In fact, I’ve downloaded one of her albums already. She’s on at the Spiegeltent too and what a perfect venue that will be. Bookings here

That’s a wrap except for the self-promotion
I’ll be seeing everything thing at The Bakehouse Theatre where I am staging my show The Forgettory this year. I’m childishly excited about being a part of a programme in a venue with such a long history in Adelaide’s arts. I’ll tell you more about the individual shows in future newsletters.

Thanks for reading
And if you know other people who might like to get the newsletter, please feel free to forward and let them know they can sign up here

Talk soon, Tracy