It’s only a few short weeks since the world’s second-biggest Fringe festival closed in Adelaide. Since mid-March, the world has changed beyond conception. Who knew, even then, that Fringe would be the last great gathering in the nation for some time to come?
It would be impossible to achieve now, but the Festival season was a huge success. Festival goers bought a record 850,000+ tickets over the month-long season. That’s a huge number, generated mainly by the inhabitants of a modestly-sized city of 1.3 million people, nestling benignly on the edge of the desert, off Australia’s main trunk routes. Significantly, Fringe sells ten times the tickets as the esteemed Adelaide Festival—the concurrent cultural showcase under who’s shadow it originally evolved...
The pre-parade revels in and around the Hyde Park lock-up zone, before the closing night of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, must offer one of the world’s most fabulous free parties.
Twelve thousand five hundred participants of every shape, colour, nationality, origin, gender, (dis)ability, age and/or even height, pour into the restricted enclosure. Together they coalesce into one joyful, breezily mashed-up love-in—all before anyone’s peaked or got trashed. Their prep must have included naps, as many look sparkling and primed for what will be a long, exhaustive but exhilarating night.
Which shows at Adelaide Fringe have been earning accolades on the core fringe circuit over the last year? The essential Fringe consists of Edinburgh, its origin point; and the world's second-largest in Adelaide. These two festivals act as trade shows for the performance world. For many Australian and international shows, they complement each other to form one highly effective and efficient creative incubator.
Adelaide’s prominent role within this evolutionary process suggests why Australian performers are so prevalent in Edinburgh. Remarkably, Australians out-represent Americans there, by roughly 800%, on a per capita basis. What emerges from this combined process must count as Australia’s most-significant ongoing contribution to the evolving broader culture, bar none.
We preview five shows that have been winning plaudits on this extraordinary circuit. See them just as they begin to make their broader marks.
From the forever receding, never-ever land of Retro, John Rowe dusts off the old tonight/chat shows to create the John Rowe Show. Through it, he presents his favourite music from his very favourite decades—the seventies and eighties. Those were the days when television was the comfortable centre of a virtual electronic village. Rowe lived it, loved it and worked it. He relives it again—for those who remember, and those who can imagine. Read the feature article...
26-27 Feb, Gingers, Taylor Square,
Mardi Gras Festival Tix
Transcendent chanteuse Mama Alto joyfully exemplifies the original meaning of the term Diva. She deplores it when people use it to disparage women, suggesting they are difficult and demanding. For Mama, It’s a barb with a misogynistic menace. She feels such use undermine many otherwise capable, talented and independent women. Read the feature article...
Are there any true, authentic and observable origin points for what is emerging into the broader culture?
The refining processes at work at the two major Fringe events of Edinburgh and Adelaide, opens portals to the firmament of developing shows, emerging performers and evolving ideas. From the thousands of shows on offer, a process of reviews, awards and word-of-mouth, suggests what goes on to tour–nationally and internationally. These core events operate as a parallel trade show, drawing in agents, festival organisers and theatrical bookers from all over the world.
These are the shows and performers that emerge from the process are the leading indicators for what and how we experience, comprehend and participate in our broader culture. Through Fringe it is possible to see the future coming.