The cancelled shows include Action Star, a solo theatre performance by actor and martial arts performer Maria Tran, and The Demon, the debut play by award-winning author Michael Mohammed Ahmad (The Lebs) which was described as “an action-filled, neo-noir investigation into the history of White Australia”.

Also no longer appearing are The Long Walk, a new work by South Australian choreographer Sue Healey; Playlist, an event featuring Asian-Australian electronic and contemporary pop musicians, and the concert Ahimsa: Meditations on Gandhi.

OzAsia Festival artistic director Annette Shun Wah – who is based in Sydney – said in a statement that the festival team had been “working hard to ensure program continuity for our audiences” and continued to take advice from SA Health.

“Our hearts go out to all of our affected OzAsia Festival artists. We know this is a very challenging situation for them, and we realise how important artistic expression and delivering arts experiences can be in times like these.”

The festival will take place from October 21 to November 7, and encompasses events including dance, theatre, music, visual art, comedy and film.

The Adelaide Festival Centre, which presents OzAsia, says performances proving particularly popular include the food-meets-storytelling event Double Delicious, theatre-maker Anchuli Felicia King’s satirical play White Pearl, and a comedy special at Her Majesty’s Theatre which features a line-up including Nina Oyama, Lawrence Leung and Alex Lee.

The festival encompasses a new literary and ideas program called In Other Words, which has also been affected by the pandemic and will now be presented in a revised hybrid format that sees some of the more than 40 speakers appear on stage and others on screen. The full program for In Other Words, curated by former Adelaide Writers’ Week director Laura Kroetsch, was released on Monday.

The Moon Lantern Parade, usually a one-night event, will this year be presented as a Moon Lantern Trail spread over four days (October 21-24) with roving performances, workshops and live music. The Lucky Dumpling Market will also return to Elder Park for the duration of the festival.

Shun Wah said artists involved in the shows that have had to be cancelled will be invited to present work at OzAsia Festival 2022.

The full 2021 OzAsia Festival program is online. Read InReview’s interview with Annette Shun Wah at the time of the full program launch here, and our story about In Other Words here.

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