Adelaide Fringe Reviews


A stunning retelling of the story of Amba / Shikhandi ( The Mahabharata ) through the eyes of a woman abducted on her wedding day and subsequently rejected by all, which leads her to challenge notions of gender and time and to invoke the help of the gods in order to exact revenge on those who have wronged her.

Her story is told via brilliant contemporary Asian-influenced dance accompanied by music, sound and song.  The costuming and lighting is elegant and spare and enhances the powerful performances which hold the audience’s attention throughout.  The stage, cleverly representing time and also being used as a vehicle for dramatic percussion, is used beautifully to bring the story to life.  The musicians and singers surround the main characters throughout and symbolise how society restrains and sets boundaries for individuals, sometimes to the detriment of those individuals.

The spontaneous standing ovation that the cast received was well deserved.

” Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”    Ugbo proverb

Dunstan Playhouse

Fri 22 Sep   7:30pm

Sat 23 Sep   7:30pm



A non-narrative experimental theatre event using film, performance, dance, live and recorded music, and creative set design.  Scenes were written by various groups of students using the theme of voyeurism as a cohesive link between the pieces.

The audience were put in the position of being watched as well as being the watchers, sometimes simultaneously, and the cast were sometimes part of the audience.  This was a commentary on modern life where the boundaries between the watchers and the watched seem to have become more blurred than ever before.  Where everything is recorded and so much is experienced through screens, where people are attempting to find new ways of experiencing the world and to connect with one another. To reach out to people that they have never, and may never, meet.  Where perhaps we expect much more than 15 minutes of fame.

With excellent lighting, music from the band, and confident acting it is a shame that more schools do not offer arts courses of this calibre.


Appearing in the very small Cranny, where someone had accidentally turned off the aircon, in front of a sweaty audience who had seated themselves so as to be in the direct path of the airflow from the fan was Fabien Clark, heroically appearing at this years fringe despite the fact that he now shares his life with a very new baby and looks quite sleep deprived.

A very funny storyteller who takes the audience from a tinder date which wasn’t really a tinder date (So how did you two meet?) through to unexpectedly meeting her mother (in less than ideal circumstances) to babymoons, and beyond.

It’s easy to forget that this is stand up comedy when Fabien has the audience feeling that he is someone they have just met at a bbq.  Someone who is regaling them with hilarious tales of his relationships with mothers, women, and children.

At The Producers – The Cranny until March 19th.


Laconic : A Short Film Festival featuring film and animation by emerging South Australian film makers.

Presented in the intimate setting of Koffee Ink Cafe at Adelaide Oval where sofas, tables and chairs were arranged in front of a large tv screen normally used as background tv and live footage of sports events happening at the oval, it was good to see the space being used in a different way and it worked well.

Seven short films including 3 animations were shown over 75mins. The sound quality was very good although I found the noise of the airconditioner  occasionally distracting during quieter moments.  Other noise was avoided by the cafe only serving refreshments  during a 10 minute intermission once the showing had begun and being closed to the public for the duration of the ticketed event.  Koffee Ink is a licensed cafe with good coffee and a range of food.  The crowd on opening night was small ; perhaps partly due to the weather.

The films were quite varied.  The 4th film shown (whose title I unfortunately missed) was very well received, a comedy about online dating with a clever twist in the tale.  With the exception of one film from Vancouver, all the films were South Australian. The final film was a gentle and charming animation : Greta Bradman – My Hero with music and song from Oscar Straus’ Chocolate Soldier.

Arrive early to get a front row seat on the comfy couch.  There are a range of films to be shown throughout the season and the content will vary from night to night.  The remaining opportunities for viewing are on March 7th & 8th at 7:30pm.  For anyone interested in short film format this is a good opportunity to see the directions in which talented local artists are taking it.


Dylan Cole has either played Scrabble seriously or he must certainly have spent time around people who have.  This funny, sad, insightful show should appeal to both the Scrabble fraternity and also to those who have never touched a tile. 

This portrayal of world champion Austin Michaels, and the story of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on his life is brilliantly executed. Dylan moved effortlessly between the young Austin, the very cool Austin in love, through to the Austin struggling to hold onto his memories and subsiding into frustration, disappointment and anger.

Presented in this year’s cosy quirky Tuxedo Cat venue, this was an anagrammers heaven and I was surrounded by fellow practitioners who laughed along with the in jokes and at parts of themselves (and others) that they recognised.  I wondered occasionally if some of them might not have to be restrained from participating.


I had only ever seen short excerpts from this film so it was fascinating to see a full-length version of the F W Murnau movie based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and made almost 100 years ago.  With an expert live score featuring keyboards  percussion and electronic music, this full length (84 mins) version of the 1922 German vampire classic was presented by Tess Said So at the Mercury Cinema. 

The music was well suited to the action, at times a little monotonous due to the sometimes repetitive nature of parts of the story.  This is a film that has obviously had a large impact on popular culture, film, and the horror genre.  Seeing it made me realise that even quite recently made films have been inspired by its imagery and style.  (The similarity between the character of Nosferatu and that of The Mug in A Heroic Life is quite striking).

Experiencing this movie as it was originally presented, as a silent movie with live music, creates an interesting window into another time and place.



Charming performance of a modern fable based on an ancient Greek myth.

This is the story of Scylla/ Cilla/ Sid, the untwinned resident of Naiad Bay, an insomniac worker in a chip shop devoid of fish.  We hear of monsters, raspberries, messages in bottles, and mysterious lighthouse keepers.  And of Sid’s eventual discovery/losing of herself in the dark blue sea.

Featuring poetic storytelling and live musical accompaniment, and with humour, warmth and clever improvisation, the show held the audience’s attention from beginning to end.  Almost a monologue, simple props and the microphone were employed to great effect in the narration and the portrayal of the different characters.

Night Creature is presented by Joanne Hartstone and Lion House Theatre from the UK. Appearing at the Noel Lothian Hall in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens until 5th March 2017.


Fringe 2016 – Knee Deep – Casus Circus – The Garden – Rating 4* – Review by Julie Robins

Knee Deep,  presented by Brisbane-based Casus Circus, is an acrobatic dance performance in which the dancers work around themes of fragility and strength, both physical and emotional.  In the intimate setting of the Vagabond venue, sound, lighting and music  are expertly used to manipulate the mood throughout the show.

The troupe display exceptional physical skills with strength, control, and great timing.  The show is full of wit, humour and pathos. Some of the action seemed a little clunky at the beginning but this soon became smoother and they made even the most intricate moves seem almost effortless.

The beautiful and surprising images they create, especially those involving eggs and aerial ribbons, linger long after the show has finished.  (I imagine that many omelettes were made during the workshops that led up to the finished show).

Recommended for all ages.


FRINGE 2016 – Puddles Pity Party – Garden – Rating 4.5* – Review by Julie Robins

Riding into 1970s Adelaide on a city free bike, Puddles is a very tall gently menacing and rather depressed whiteface clown with a fabulous baritone singing voice and an engaging manner who has the audience onside from the moment he rolls into the room. Supported by Popeye, Kevin Costner, robotic failures and sad animals, the Puddles Pity Party is fifty minutes of rollicking good fun.

The audience could not help but join in with his renditions of songs such as Dancing Queen, Under Pressure, and the Angels’ : Am I Ever Going To See Your Face Again. He took us from decorous tea parties through cabaret and disco to popcorn explosions. Filming and photo taking were encouraged (Puddles is a master of the selfie) but no audience member was safe from his attentions. He chose his victims well and drew out their inner charms and talents.

A sad wise clown from Atlanta who sang with us, danced with us, schmoozed with us, he was effortlessly funny and entertaining throughout. The queue that formed after the show to wait for Puddles cuddles showed just how many hearts he won. Recommended for all ages with a language warning ( which is entirely due to the audience, not Puddles!)


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