No matter the sometimes lame efforts of the Fringe Office to promote otherwise (where is this year’s street parade going?), The Garden of Unearthly Delights is well entrenched as the spiritual home of the Adelaide Fringe.
As the years have gone on, so it seems the Garden continues to grow, now nearly occupying the entirety of its East Terrace / Dequetteville Tce block and home this year to over 100 shows across 13 venues.
After last year’s rush of circus acts across all venues, this year’s pared down offerings will no doubt be led again by the Garden’s prime time Velvet. Each night bar Mondays, the Spiegeltent will host the mandatory strong men, acrobats, musos and funny people. As much as one may lament ‘seen it all before’ that childlike excitement that a circus can inspire is ratcheted up by the atmosphere that is unique in the Garden’s favourite venue. Don’t miss it.
Of a related genre is Untapped, straight from Broadway to The Vagabond with its high octane extravaganza of urban tap, African rhythms and Australian humour. On our beautiful balmy late summer evenings, this show seems certain to raise your energy levels and have you crying out for more.
Perhaps one of the Garden’s program more hidden gems is the music program it brings to town. Often seemingly the Cabaret Festival in March, this year features singer, songwriter Jon Stevens, former Cabaret festival maestro Kate Ceberano, top flight entertainer Colin Hay (ex Men at Work) and perhaps the very special treat of Kate Miller-Heidke post her highly successful album O Vertigo and Helpmann Award winning musical The Rabbits.
As always the bigger tents further back in the set up will house another portion of the Adelaide Comedy festival that seems to have been absorbed into the fabric of the Fringe. Peter Helliar, The Axis of Awesome, Wil Anderson and Sammy J and Randy land (amongst others) are all back with new shows to delight as the evenings wear on.
For the novel, Massaoke, seems certain to be worth trying out. Taking Karaoke to the next level of a singalong for everyone in a club setting, this show has grabbed the imagination of UK punters from Glastonbury to the final of last year’s Rugby World Cup. Go to the Spiegeltent at midnight for that infusion of fun.
With its usual collection of free and freak shows, stalls, food and carnival lighting, the Garden of Unearthly Delights seems again certain to satisfy every Fringe lovers desires in 2016.