16 Feb – 18 March
By Ben Nielsen
They say that The Garden of Unearthly Delights is so large this year that it actually resides within two separate postcodes. It’s true. As you walk the length of the garden path that travels from Adelaide to Kent Town, you realise that the Garden has come a long way since opening in 2002 with a solitary Spiegeltent.
In 2012, its 10th anniversary, Kadlitpinna or Rundle Park is again transformed into the bohemian splendour that is The Garden of Unearthly Delights. This year the Garden boasts an array of new and old venues, around 100 artists, a number of sideshow rides, and an eclectic range of art, crafts and food stalls.
The opening night party was nothing short of a spectacle. A brief gala variety performance, hosted by the hilarious Sammy J and Randy, gave a taste of the headlining acts of the 2012 season- including comedy, dance, theatre and circus.
It is hard to choose a standout performance or provide a recommendation, as each short routine was as equally spectacular. The Love Birds performed a raucous drag show style revue, The Magnets’ gave a sleek a capella mash-up of Adele and Stevie Wonder, a member of Soap contorted and twirled in a bath tub, and the youth performers of Flipside Circus showed great courage and maturity as they confronted issues of teenage angst in an act of gymnastic theatre.
To rephrase one of the organisers, the Garden really does act as an equaliser for a diversity of people; the performers and audience members both interacting within the lavish intimacy and eclecticism of the Garden. Above anything else, it is a delight simply to sprawl underneath the branches of a tree and soak up the many sights, sounds and flavours.
The Garden of Unearthly Delights is open in Rundle Park until March 18. Entry is free, for all ages (minors must be accompanied after midnight). For a full list of performances, visit www.gardenofunearthlydelights.com.au