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2016 Adelaide Festival on target for box office success

Adelaide Festival

Three exclusive shows have helped push 2016 Adelaide Festival ticket sales past the $1 million mark already, well ahead of the same time in previous years.

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Nelken, created by celebrated German choreographer and dancer Pina Bausch, has already reached 74 per cent of its box office target in the eight weeks since tickets went on sale.

Adelaide Festival chief executive Karen Bryant says this makes it the fastest-selling dance show in the Festival’s history.

Performed by 23 dancers and four stuntmen on a stage covered in silk carnations, with choreography that combines classical dance with theatre and humour, Nelken is presented by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, which hasn’t visited Australia since 1982.

The 11-hour trilogy The James Plays, which recounts the story of three Stewart kings who ruled Scotland during the turbulent 15th century, is halfway to its box office target.

While tickets are still available to all sessions of the play, presented by the National Theatre of Scotland and the National Theatre of Great Britain, the opening night of James I on February 26 at the Festival Theatre is close to capacity.

A scene from James II: Day of the Innocents. Photo: Manuel Harlan

A scene from James II: Day of the Innocents. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Bryant says 29,000 tickets have so far been sold across all 2016 Adelaide Festival shows – including more than 18,000 for opening-night audio-visual and pyrotechnics stadium extravaganza A Fleur de Peau, being presented at Adelaide Oval by French company Groupe F on February 27.

A further 2000 tickets have been added for the Oval show.

“These exclusive Australian debuts play a significant role in maintaining the Festival’s reputation as one of the country’s major destination events and driving the state’s tourism industry,” Bryant said in a statement.

“These shows have helped to tip box office sales past the $1million point this month, well ahead of previous years, and we’re thrilled that they have resonated so strongly with audiences.”

Bryant told InDaily box office sales so far represented 65 per cent of the Festival’s 2016 total financial target, although she was reluctant to reveal what the target was.

The 2016 Festival – from February 26 to March 14, 2016 – will be the final program presented by artistic director David Sefton, who is seeking to go out with a bang with a line-up that also includes Canadian dance company The Holy Body Tattoo’s monumental, UK theatre company 1927’s dystopian fable Golem, and a closing-night double bill at the Thebarton Theatre featuring American drone metal band Sunn O))) and French prog-rock ensemble Magma.

Read more about The James Plays in this interview with director Laurie Sansom.


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