Adelaide Festival Centre launches 2016 season

AFCT CloudstreetNothing compares to the anticipation and excitement of sitting in a theatre as the lights go down and the action starts up. Get set to see live on-stage action all year round as Adelaide Festival Centre’s launches its eclectic and electric 2016 season program.

The 2016 program features more than 671 artists, in 234 performances throughout the year. With international artists from the UK, Spain, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, The Netherlands, USA, China and Italy, as well as more than 580 Australian artists including over 300 from South Australia. The 2016 season showcases five world premieres, five Australian premieres, 15 Adelaide premieres and 10 Adelaide exclusives.

“The launch of our new season program is always an exciting time and 2016 is no exception,” says Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier. “The thrill of live performance is enduring and 2016 is full of performances and exhibitions that will entertain and inspire our audiences.”

“Our new season’s program is truly diverse, and includes new collaborations with South Australia’s premier performing arts companies as well as an abundance of Festival action – our own Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival and OzAsia Festival all return with dynamic programs in 2016.”

For the first time Adelaide Festival Centre will present a two-week intensive summer school for children. It’s called On Stage, it will be led by star tutors across musical theatre, acting, dancing and singing across two age groups, 8-12 years and 13-16 years. Young guitar enthusiasts will also get a chance to hone their skills with the first ever Adelaide Guitar Festival Summer School – a week of intensive classical guitar learnings led by inspirational guitar teachers from around the country.

You know a show packs a punch if it tags itself as “no stage, no rules, no regrets”.  Welcome to the world of Club Swizzle. This is a night of sassy entertainment, where cabaret melds with acrobatics, revelry and anything-goes fun.

The first of the 2016 mega musicals kicks off with the incredible Ghost, starring Rob Mills and Jemma Rix. This spectacular show not only brings to life the iconic movie, but also includes never-before-seen special effects and a music score from Grammy Award-winners Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard.  Later in the year, the classic The Sound of Music opens in the Festival Theatre, as well the blockbuster musical, Cats.

Beatles fans listen up – All You Need Is Love in February will be a night to remember. Featuring 30 Beatles masterpieces sung by Jack Jones, Darren Percival and others, backed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, this is a must-see song fest.  Later that month, The Chinese Music Orchestra will celebrate Chinese New Year when they present a very special event, Treasures of a Nation.

Then, discover a new world of music, stunning visuals and virtuosity with songs of a different culture in Exile Songs of Irish Australia. This show features an astounding line up of artists from Australia and Ireland including song master Paul Kelly.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s array of festivals kicks off in June with Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Highlights include Tom Burlinson singing Sinatra At the Sands, the hilarious political satire of The Wharf Revue, and Starman – where Sven Ratzke inhabits David Bowie’s multiple personas.

Adelaide Guitar Festival has something for all guitar fans including, Girt By Sea – a musical and cinematic love letter to the Aussie coast, Don Juan featuring renowned guitarist Karin Schaupp, and the jazz magic of the Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio. And for the first time ever, the festival will feature a Symphony Gala featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and a who’s who of world famous guitar soloists.

OzAsia Festival celebrates its 10th birthday in 2016 and to celebrate we’ll be doing things a little bit differently. Get ready for a new and refreshed program featuring the best in Asian theatre, dance, music film visual arts and a new twist on the family favourite Moon Lantern Festival.

For dance lovers, Larissa McGowan and Insite Arts present Mortal Condition – which has futuristic themes of a brave new digital world.  For ballet fans, The Australian Ballet has two outstanding productions next year – the bewitching Swan Lake, and Nijinsky in October, which charts the rise and fall of visionary dancer Vaslav Nijinski.

In association with the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Festival Centre will present three outstanding shows.  Habitus from Australian Dance Theatre asks the question, will the artefacts of the modern world be reclaimed by nature?  Exquisite Corpse, featuring the Zephyr Quartet, is a large-sale composition for amplified string quartet performed with live projected art. Another Festival highlight is Nelken, the work of acclaimed choreographer and performer Pina Bausch.

There will be plenty to choose from for the kids in 2016. Things get wild when TV presenter, adventurer and writer Steve Backshall brings his Deadly 60 Live show to Her Majesty’s Theatre. Steve will show footage from and answer questions about his popular BBC series – this is his first ever Australian tour.

Patch Theatre’s The Moon’s a Balloon is an uplifting and beautiful piece of theatre showing in April. Something on Saturdays returns with more shows, special guests and activities for the kids in 2016. And beautiful and fun books come to life in a variety of children’s shows including The Little Prince, the classic book by Antoine de Saint Exupery, The 52-Storey Treehouse  by Andy Griffiths and The Bush Concert, where the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra plays a remarkable interpretation of Helga Visser’s much loved Australian tale. Another one for the kids is The Tiger Who Came to Tea – direct from a smash hit UK season, this is a musical play adapted from the delightful book by Judith Kerr.

Another book will burst onto the stage, this time for opera fans, in a ground-breaking world first when Tim Winton’s iconic novel Cloudstreet! gets the operatic treatment from State Opera of South Australia. Later in the year, the grandeur of Puccini’s Tosca will play the Festival Theatre.

No matter what your musical taste, Adelaide Festival Centre will cater for everyone in 2016. Fun and frivolity at Her Majesty’s with Little Shop of Horrors – outrageous fun as hero Seymour and the gutsy but guileless Audrey battle the famous, foul-mouthed singing plant!

Another musical highlight will be The Simon & Garfunkel Story – telling the fascinating story of how two young boys from Queens went on to become one of the world’s most successful duos of all time. Still with the Mrs Robinson theme, The Graduate comes to the Festival Theatre in November, starring the seductive and world-famous Jerry Hall as Mrs Robinson. For more drama, the complex world of Bob and Fran Price unfolds as master playwright Andrew Bovell and State Theatre Company of SA in association with the Adelaide Festival Centre and others presents Things I Know To Be True.

Community involvement is an important part of the Festival Centre’s commitment to audiences and there will be plenty of events and performances as part of World of Cultures, as well as Our Mob – celebrating our rich multicultural ties. Other favourites returning in 2016 include: Christmas Proms, Morning Melodies and our inSpace: Development program.

“As ever, we are committed to supporting the delivery of shows that wouldn’t otherwise be seen in South Australia, says Mr Gautier. “Audiences can look forward to a huge year of arts and entertainment ahead.”

For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Cloudstreet (supplied)