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2018 Adelaide Fringe program 'more inclusive than ever'

Adelaide Fringe

Around 6000 artists will converge for the 2018 Adelaide Fringe, with a record 1223 events ranging from the ever-popular circus-cabaret extravaganzas to shows with a political edge such as Trumpageddon and The Pauline Hanson Musical.

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In launching the full 2018 program, Adelaide Fringe director and CEO Heather Croall said it was “more inclusive than ever before” and showcased an amazing level of diversity.

“Next year’s Fringe boasts a smorgasbord of unique experiences in unexpected places – from sipping tea with grandma in a caravan to a séance in a shipping container and speed dating on a ferris wheel.

“The festival is also full of shows that address issues such as mental health, disability and gender politics, and tell inspiring stories from artists who bravely put themselves in front of our festival audiences.”

The number of events is slightly up on last year’s 1160.

The 2018 Fringe will open on February 16 with a street party and the switching on of the previously announced Parade of Light, which will see colourful light projections on buildings along both sides of North Terrace that continue nightly until the festival closes on March 18.

Among the 442 spaces hosting shows and events will be 144 new venues – including the National Wine Centre, Plant 4 Bowden and Raj House (the headquarters of Feast Festival) –  with Kangaroo Island joining the regional hubs for the first time.

The Gluttony hub in Rymill Park will expand further next year, and as reported yesterday, the Royal Croquet Club will return to Pinky Flat.

A number of the popular and award-winning shows from this year will be back in 2018, including British theatre production We Live by the Sea, Adelaide playwright Emily Steel’s poolside theatre show 19 Weeks, cabaret-circus spectacular Blanc de Blanc,
The 360 Allstars, Sammy J: Hero Complex, cabaret artist Reuben Kaye, the Soweto Gospel Choir and Cirque Africa.

Trumpageddon. Photo: Murdo McLeod

Highlights among the new shows for 2018 include:


Fun House (Garden of Unearthly Delights): A new production from Strut and Fret (the makers of Limbo, Blanc de Blanc and Cantina) that begins with a swinging trapeze act outside the venue and ends with a “fun-house-style theme park”.

Tabarnak (Gluttony): “A rock-musical, a celebration of Heaven and Hell and everything in between”, from Canadian performance troupe Cirque Alfonse, who presented 2016-17 Fringe show Barbu.

Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams (Royal Croquet Club): A physical theatre show with an African twist inspired by the real adventures of two Ethiopian street performers who dreamed of joining the circus.

Rouge (Gluttony): A locally produced show blending acrobatics, “operatic cabaret” and “tongue-in-cheek burlesque”, from the creators of Papillon.

By a Thread (Gluttony): “Seven acrobats and 30 metres of rope” – a performance by Melbourne-based ensemble One Fell Swoop Circus that explores the relationship between trust and play.

Outside/inside the box:

Séance (Garden of Unearthly Delights): An immersive theatrical experience that takes place in complete darkness in a purpose-built shipping container.

Fleabag (Garden): An Edinburgh Fringe hit comedy stage show based on a BAFTA-winning BBC television show about a young woman trying to navigate modern life.

Flesh & Bone (Holden Street Theatres): An in-your-face, high-octane dark comedy centred on five characters living in an East London tower block (Holden Street Theatre’s 2017 Edinburgh Fringe award winner).

The Love Shack (Adelaide Showground): An 18+ event incorporating speed dating on a ferris wheel, stage shows, bars, “match-make attractions” and a silent disco.


Trumpageddon (Garden): Satirist Simon Jay takes on the role of Donald Trump in this Edinburgh Fringe hit show which invites audience members to ask their own questions of the leader of the free world.

The Colour Orange: The Pauline Hanson Musical (Raj House): The Sydney Fringe 2017 Critics’ Pick, The Colour Orange sees Senator Pauline Hanson with a big job ahead of her: saving Australia from imminent destruction.

Borders by Henry Naylor (Holden Street): A new play by award-winning UK playwright Naylor (Angel, Echoes) that promises to “challenge preconceived notions of the Syrian refugee crisis and Western responses (or lack of) to it” while also exploring the different forms of art.

The full 2018 Adelaide Fringe program is now online.

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