What’s HOT at the 2023 Adelaide Fringe

Bass-Fam-Creative-MansionAdelaide Fringe continues to cement its status as Australia’s biggest arts festival. The program is jam-packed with more than 1200 shows across comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, interactive, visual art and music. With so much on, Australian Arts Review takes a look fifteen events worth checking out:

The Vault @ Fool’s Paradise: 7 – 19 March
The original cyberpunk dystopian circus showdown is back for a final year! A dystopian world, industrial, cyberpunk in the not-too-distant future. Gangs overrun the neon-clad side streets, the underbelly and outcasts rule the pitch-black forgotten ruins of an old district. There is chaos, there is danger in the shadows. There is a showdown happening downtown; a lone wanderer stumbles amongst a crew of meta-human misfits, the BARBAROI. Will they have what it takes to be one of them? This is do or die, this is their initiation.

Be A Doll, Won’t You?
The Breakout at The Mill: continues to 5 March
A visceral, genre-bending look at gender, sexual fluidity, sex work, and the temptation to profit off your own indifference. In an intimate one-person production, award-winning actor/theatre-maker Ellen Graham will take you on an intimate journey through the sex industry and the increasing consumer demands on a femme body. Deftly directed by emerging director Zola Allen, Be A Doll, Won’t You? will astound, arouse, and disgust as you see a woman peel away her own self-image bit by bit, like the world’s most psychologically devastating strip show.

Church of the Clitori
The Garage International @ Adelaide Town Hall: 10 – 18 March
Welcome people with and from the clitoris. Slip into our folds as we share this body positive, joyous celebration of the holy Clit. The high priestess will deliver her service from the mound, worship ecstatically with song, be uplifted, engorged even, by the communal joy, the clit hits, the gentle touch of history, science and anatomy. Seek and you shall be rewarded at the Church of the Clitori with laughter, direction, truth and guidance to the highest of all worshipping acts – self-love.

Dolly Diamond and Tash York : Attention Seekers
The Kingfisher at Gluttony: 13 – 19 March
Two great friends, with two of the greatest egos. Each desperate for the limelight and each willing to do almost anything for attention. In this no holds barred quest for success Dolly Diamond and Tash York take you through the trials and tribulations of what it’s like to hold the centre of attention. Except a mixture of feel good tunes, hilarious partly true stories and an offering of sage advice to others suffering their affliction. Uplifting and hilarious, part Ted Talk and delusion, this award-winning cabaret duo will show why we all deserve attention … but they deserve it even more!

The Vault @ Fool’s Paradise: continues to 19 March
A hedonistic dive head-first into the lives of the ancient gods of Olympus! Follow your favourite gods like Cupid and Hercules as they paint the scene of Ancient Greece and bring you to the biggest party to hit Mount Olympus since 500 BCE. Your favourite group of comedy acrobats take their unique mix of storytelling, circus, and physical prowess to godlike proportions. Expect a bodyssey of gravity-defying stunts, true tests of heroic strength and muscularity, and surprise comic twists.

The Octagon at Gluttony: continues to 19 March
From the creative team behind the award winning box office hits MATADOR & ORACLE, comes this spine tingling, gothic fusion of dance, circus & burlesque. Newly widowed Mel Walker, her son Levi & daughter Rachel have just moved into the Mansion in search of new beginnings. Little did they know they were stepping into a paranormal, torrid love story, laced with lust, temptation, nightmares, heart break, and pure horror! The family starts to fall apart in the face of evil as seductive, demonic spirits exploit their fragility for their own entertainment. The eternal battle between good & evil is fought within the walls of the MANSION.

Million Dollar Maybe
The Piglet at Gluttony: continues to 5 March
Can you prove anything? Maybe with science, spreadsheets and storytelling. Million Dollar Maybe is a risky comedy experiment that takes love and identity head-on with laugh-out-loud comedy and Tinder statistics. Jump into the ring with award-winning comedian Robyn Perkins as she takes on stereotypes, the dating life of penguins, and a sexual orientation scientist. Award winning comedian Robyn Perkins combines real-life stories, her background in biology and her affable charm, to take audiences through not only some hilarious tales but she can scientifically prove how ridiculous they are as well!

Pupperotica: Seven Heavenly Sins!
The Lark at Gluttony: continues to 5 March
Let them lead you into temptation! They try to be good puppets, but sometimes a little sin can just feel so good… The all pleasurable, all consensual conglomerate of FRINGE WORLD naughtiest puppets are back in Adelaide with erotic readings, sexy songs, and inappropriate interactions that will make you feel guilty in the best possible way. Whether you’re an experienced sinner or taking your first steps off the path of righteousness, join Keren Schlink and Josh Walker for Pupperotica: Seven Heavenly Sins!

Reuben Kaye – Live And Intimidating
The Roundhouse at The Garden of Unearthly Delights: continues to 19 March
The multi-award winning Reuben Kaye returns to fringe in his intimate, stripped back new show, Live and Intimidating. The obscenely intelligent, rib-crackingly funny Reuben Kaye returns to Adelaide in an explosion of high camp and filthy humour. Backed by Shanon Whitelock on piano, this international cabaret star and award-winning cry for help is what happens when you tell your children they can be anything. With an acid wit and a casual sensationalism that is simply delicious, Reuben is fast, on the edge and brutally funny – a Swarovski-studded revolt against the ever-narrowing views of an increasingly conservative world.

Reuben Solo – Palindrome
Hell’s Kitchen at Rhino Room: 14 – 18 March
Join Reuben for an ill-fated evening of off-beat standup. There are jokes about paradoxes and parachutes and One Direction. There are 7 drawings and a minute of silence. There are no stories or puns. They’re for cowards and nerds. Bear witness as I shatter the form into a million little pieces and then attempt to reassemble it only to cut myself on the shards and bleed out and die. A no holds barred tour de france. Get on board or die trying.

Shakespeare Aliens
Goodwood Theatre and Studios: continues to 5 March
It’s the play Shakespeare would have written in the 1980s or James Cameron would have directed in the 1680s, Cassandra Hart and Rob Lloyd presents the South Australian premiere of Shakespeare Aliens at the 2023 Adelaide Fringe. Thirty-five years after James Cameron’s Aliens first appeared in cinemas, pop culture aficionados – nerds – Rob Lloyd and Keith Gow are recreating the film: mounted as if it was a history play written by the Bard himself. Audiences will re-live the tension, frights, scares and sly commentary on capitalism from the original film, while accompanying Ripley and the marines to an outpost that has been picked clean of colonists by Ripley’s most potent nightmares.

The Shy Manifesto
The Warehouse Theatre: 14 – 18 March
Seventeen-year-old Callum is proud to be shy and he thinks you should be too – because what this noisy, crazy world needs right now is a bit more self-restraint. Tonight, he is to address an audience of radical shy comrades and incite the meek to finally rise up and inherit the earth. But memories of the previous night’s drunken escapades at a classmate’s end-of-term party keep intruding, and threaten to upend the fragile identity he has so carefully created for himself. The Shy Manifesto is a bittersweet coming-of-age comedy/drama about a shy boy (expertly performed by Jake Matricardi) who is fed up of constantly being told to come out of his shell.

They Came From Uranus
Empire Cabaret Theatre at Wonderland Festival Hub: 10 – 19 March
The boldest, funniest and most fascinating event you don’t want to miss, this raucous show is a mash-up of 20 humanette puppets, shadow puppets and multi-media projections set to a soundtrack of retro music from the Supremes to Lady Gaga – is perfect Fringe fare! t’s an outrageous, eye-popping puppet feast for grownups. This 50 minute show tells the hilarious adventures of a deviant, highly sexually frustrated race of Aliens who travel from the planet Uranus to capture Miss Candy Carcrashian – a luscious burlesque performer.

Voices of a Siren
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute: 9 – 13 March
 the award-winning solo performance about women over three generations. A mystic siren calls out from distant shores to take the audience on an astral journey of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. The awakening of the feminine within through monologues, dance, chanting, and live music liberates a past bondage and leads to spiritual metamorphosis. Directed by Brenda Chan, award-winning playwright Ada Chan joins contemporary theatre performer Soraya Chau and multimedia producer cum musician Maggie Tan in the Australian premiere of Voices of a Siren, bringing together a variety of elements to the production.

My Lover Cindi: 8 – 11 March
A raw, hilarious and poignant show that is part comedy, part theatre and a lot of storytelling. It tells the true story of Courtney, a fat and funny lesbian, documenting her journey from a boy crazy, hyper feminine ‘pick me’ girl to a woman who quite frankly does not give a f*ck anymore about what people think. It’s been a long journey with failed diets, passive aggressive comments and crying in Sportsgirl changerooms, but she’s ended up alright. More than alright, actually. WHALE explores the ‘Funny Girl’ – a persona that uses humour to disguise weight. It’s critical of generational diet culture, the entanglement of fatness and sexuality and the fact that Courtney gets told she reminds people of Rebel Wilson because they are “kind of similar”.

The 2023 Adelaide Fringe continues to Sunday 19 March. For more information and full program, visit: www.adelaidefringe.com.au for details.

Image: Mansion – courtesy of Bass Fam Creative