Adelaide Fringe Venues

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. This is the text of newsletter #3 (although the newsletter hasn’t actually been sent out because there’s something not working with the account and the support people haven’t got back me to yet).

Hey-up! Thank you for subscribing to my little newsletter … the subscriptions have nearly tripled since the first one I sent out, so welcome if you are new, thank you if you forwarded it to someone and suggested they subscribe … and please feel free to forward the newsletter to anyone you think might be interested and let them know they can sign up here.

If you want to look at previous newsletters you can see them here. Each week between now and the end of the fringe I’ll be sharing a selection of (around) 9 shows I’ve seen, am planning to see, or think look interesting. It’s completely niche … the aesthetic is middle-aged woman who likes a laugh, art with political bite, music that soothes the soul, and sometimes a bit of a weep.

This week I thought I would talk about fringe venues … how to find your way to some of the wonderful venues beyond the major hubs. You can search venues on the fringetix website and it’s a really useful way of narrowing your search if you want to go and see something but you’re not sure exactly what.

1. Bakehouse Theatre
This is where I will be staging The Forgettory, and I really can’t wait to perform there. The Bakehouse has a fascinating history, from being an actual bakery to the home of Red Shed theatre company, and they do a great job all year of supporting local artists. There are two theatres, and each has three shows every night across the duration of the fringe.
What you’ll see: theatre, comedy, music by emerging and established artists in an intimate, welcoming theatre where the drinks are reasonably priced and the parking is pretty good.
The Bakehouse Theatre website is here and the programme listing on fringetix is here

2. Live at Tandanya
The programme at Tandyana National Aboriginal Cultural Institute has been growing steadily over the last couple of years, and this year’s programme has heaps that I’ve got on my list. I always go to at least one of the Improv shows with one of my boys who loves it as much as I do. But I’m also really keen to see Matriarch, a one-woman show that illuminates the strength and resilience of four generations of Gumaynggirr women”; as well as Hallowed Ground: Women Doctors in War presented by Shift Theatre which presents work with strong roles for women.
The programme listing on fringetix is here

3. Noel Lothian Hall: Adelaide Botanic Garden
I haven’t been to anything at this venue although I have intended to for the last couple of years. But I will definitely make it there this year. The programme has a strong focus on theatre (with some magic shows as well), and has always been a strong programme of exceptional quality. It is curated by the super-talented Joanne Hartstone of Hartstone-Kitney Productions who manages to also produce a number of shows each year as well as stage her own. This year she is staging That Daring Australian Girl about the South Australian actress Muriel Matters who became a significant figure in London’s suffragette movement. I saw the show when it was staged last year at Holden Street Theatres and would highly recommend it.
The programme listing on fringetix is here

4 and 5. Treasury 1860 Spaces and Adina Apartment Hotel
The word has been done to death, but quirky is a great description for the spaces in the old Treasury building. Located in the beautiful, story-filled Treasury building on the corner of King William Street and whatever that street at the top of Victoria Square is called, the spaces include the evocative Treasury tunnels, the cabinet room, the courtyard and the bar. I saw Anna Thomas’s How to Drink Wine Like a Wanker there last year and loved it, and the year before that Emily Steel’s 19 Weeks which was staged in the hotel swimming pool. There are some intriguing shows on offer this year, including the Underground Overtones in the tunnels (already sold out!) and Just Desserts by Michelle Pearson whose musical food cabarets are becoming something of a fringe institution.

You can browse these spaces on fringetix here

I’ve got these listed as one venue although I think technically they are two, but I really can’t work out the relationship between them … but for the purpose of being an audience member, they are both on the same corner.

6. Holden Street Theatres
The Holden Street programme is more curated than most other spaces in Adelaide’s fringe festival and its programme is consistently excellent. From bringing some of the best acts from Edinburgh to supporting local South Australian artists, it is a vibrant, vital space. Every year I go to almost everything that is showing during the fringe as well as most of the shows through the rest of the year.
The Holden Street website is here
And their programme listing on fringetix is here

7. La Boheme
The hub of the Cabaret Fringe Festival later in the year, La Boheme is a beautiful bar all year round and a full programme during this fringe. Its focus is (not surprisingly) on cabaret and music, but there’s a sprinkling of theatre, magic and comedy too.
La Boheme’s website is here
And their programme listing on fringetix is here

8. Nexus 
Nexus Arts has played a huge role in the development of Adelaide’s arts culture, starting its life as the Multifcultural Arts Workers Committee. There is always in interesting programme and they also open a beer garden which provides a great space for music, especially if you need a break from the big venues at the other end of the city.
Nexus website is here
And their programme listing on fringetix is here

9. Stirling Fringe
The Stirling Fringe is growing really quickly, and many shows in venues in the city also have short runs during this ten-day event. It’s a beautiful part of the city, and this hub is a brilliant development for the fringe.
The Stirling Fringe website is here
And their programme listing on fringetix is here