A week ago Mum told me "It must be Fringe season. The buskers are good". And it certainly was a fantastic fringe season. Adelaide has the second largest fringe festival in the world - but it's grown exponentially this year - watch out Edinburgh!
In my new house I can jump on a bus that comes every twenty minutes and be in the heart of the city ten minutes later. Consequently any time I've wanted for anything to do in the last month I've just hopped on a bus to see what's on!
The Garden of Unearthly Delights celebrated its tenth year this fringe - it was enormous. A footbridge that's normally right near the back of the garden was almost at the front this year - they had so many more venues this time! With multiple shows starting every fifteen minutes in the evenings and very affordable pricing you never wanted for something to do.
Elsewhere the fringe was very much in evidence - this year was an Adelaide Festival year as well, but it was thoroughly outshone by the Fringe. Writer's Week, WOMAD, Soundwave and the Clipsal 500 also seemed to have shrunk in comparison. I suspect most of them actually grew, just not so much.
If you were a visitor to Adelaide you could be mistaken for thinking it's a quiet city with not a lot going on - unless you come in late February or the first weeks of March. Then you'd realise we've just shoehorned so much culture into four weeks that we're suffering from a sort of arts hangover for the rest of the year.
My favourite shows this year were Morgan & West, Time Travelling Magicians and Craig Hill - both were absolutely brilliant. Morgan & West pulled me out of the crowd as an audience volunteer and it was fantastic - though I did have to kill that poor balloon dog. Awww... Craig Hill was the funniest comedian I've seen in years. I laughed non-stop throughout and had a fantastic time - he worked a lot with material from the audience, and then he found out that Adelaide has a suburb called Kilburn - I believe he had a lot of fun with that. Tina C was a drag queen country music diva parody which was fun - and had everyone dancing, and Slapdash Galaxy was a fun shadow puppetry show with puppets that mostly appeared to be made of junk but made fantastic shadow effects - at one point using the shadow of a bald man's head as a planet to go in orbit around...
I honestly could not say that any of the shows I saw were bad, I had fun with each and every one of them. The four above, particularly the first two, were a cut above though. A little request to the comedians: every single one of you had a lot of content based around our accent and the suburb Elizabeth. It gets old after you've seen half a dozen comedians do the same thing. Find something new.
One day while walking home from the fringe I found a perspective chalk drawing under way - it was very sketchy but there was enough to identify a Doctor Who theme going on. I went past it again several times - the photo above was on my final visit. It doesn't look like there are many people in the mall - but there were. They're ALL behind me waiting to get into the best spot to get a view from the point where the perspective works best!
I had an amazing fringe this year. The biggest one I've had yet and the biggest Adelaide has had yet. I can't wait for the next one!