RAW: Slava Back as Artistic Director of Guitar Festival

Slava Grigoryan announced as Artistic Director for
2012 Adelaide International Guitar Festival

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier has announced Slava Grigoryan as the Artistic Director for the Festival Centre’s 2012 Adelaide International Guitar Festival which will be held from 9-12 August, 2012.

“Slava Grigoryan, one of Australia’s most significant cultural ambassadors, directed the very successful 2010 Adelaide International Guitar Festival and took the event to a whole new level so we are delighted that he will be directing the 2012 Festival. We are really looking forward to continuing to work with him,” Douglas said.

“Slava drew from his enormous musical expertise and international connections as one of Australia’s finest musicians to deliver a Festival that audiences well and truly embraced. It is testament to his great work that 13% of all tickets for the 2010 Festival were bought by interstate or overseas patrons,” he said.

“Following the incredible experience of last year’s Festival and the feedback from artists and audiences, I’m very excited to be working on a second Festival,” said Slava Grigoryan.

“There are so many extraordinary guitarists doing very exciting things with the instrument around the world and I’m really looking forward to bringing some of them together in Adelaide in 2012.”

The Adelaide International Guitar Festival continues to garner a reputation for presenting some of the finest musicians from around the world and Australia. Reviews and feedback from audience members and performing artists prove that the Festival is becoming an unmissable event:

“Organisers pulled off an impressive coup this time in securing Australia’s own internationally acclaimed virtuoso Slava Grigoryan as the festival’s artistic director. The classical guitarist has certainly put his stamp on the event, using his network and knowledge to attract some truly world class acts to Australia”

Chris Johnson, Canberra Times

“his (Manuel Barrueco) playing makes me want to get on a plane and fly to Adelaide. Lucky audiences there.”

Margaret Throsby, Classic FM

“It was great to be back at the Adelaide International Guitar Festival, just like the first time I performed in the Festival, audiences proved that they know how to rock!” Mason Rack, Australia

Minister Assisting the Premier in the Arts, the Hon John Hill congratulated the Adelaide Festival Centre for again appointing such a distinguished classical guitarist as Artistic Director of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival.

Slava put together a diverse and engaging program which was widely acclaimed and I am sure that the 2012 program will be just as amazing,” Minister Hill said.

Slava Grigoryan has forged a prolific reputation as an international classical guitar virtuoso. Born in Kazakhstan, he immigrated with his family to Australia in 1981 and began studying the guitar at the age of six. By the time he was 17 he was signed to the Sony Classical Label. His relationship with Sony Classical, ABC Classics in Australia, and now his own label Which Way Music has led to the release of more than 20 solo and collaborative albums spanning a vast range of musical genres.

His first tour, at the young age of 18 was with guitar legends Paco Pena and Leo Kottke. Since then he’s travelled the world as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras in Europe, Asia and North America, and has performed at dozens of national and international arts festivals and guitar festivals. He has won ARIA awards for Best Classical Album and performs regularly as a soloist with all of Australia’s major orchestras. Internationally, his performances have taken him to many of the world’s leading concert halls and festivals.

Collaborations have played a huge part in Grigoryan’s career, most notably the guitar duo with his brother Leonard Grigoryan. Their touring has seen them perform throughout Europe, America, Asia, Russia and the Middle-East. Other collaborations have been with ensembles such as Goldner, Flinders and Australian String Quartets in Australia, the Endellion, Skampa and Chillingirian quartets in Europe, the Southern Cross Soloists, pianist Michael Kieren-Harvey and baritone Jose Carbo and Grigoryan was a founding member of Saffire, the Australian guitar quartet. He has also collaborated with numerous composers and premiered many new works, significantly with composers William Lovelady, Nigel Westlake and Shaun Rigney.

Grigoryan has also had long term collaborations with MGT – a guitar trio featuring jazz icons Ralph Towner and Wolfgang Muthspiel, and a duo with Austrian electric bassist Al Slavik. A more recent project has been Band of Brothers, featuring Leonard Grigoryan and brothers, Joseph and James Tawadros, in a fusion of contemporary jazz, classical and middle-eastern music.

The New York Times describes Slava as “A guitar player of uncommon originality and authority. Musicality, expressivity and daring …a singular talent.”

RAW: Turns – Her Majesty’s Til 16th April – 3.5K

Two of Australia’s finest theatre treasures, Reg Livermore and Nancye Hayes, are in Adelaide to present Livermore’s Turns, ‘a pantomime with a twist’.

Essentially in two monologue halves given over first to Hayes, as Marjory Joy reflecting on her brilliant stage career and then Livermore, as her somewhat trivialised son, Alistar, Turns is a broad reflection on show business, matters of identity, of family and dependency and the trials we all have to face in our lives.

To be sure there are some strange elements to the production. First, Hayes’ stanza is done as a type of pantomime with her dressed somewhere between a rag doll and circus clown before a house setting that Van Gogh may have painted. Livermore sheds that baggage with a debonair smoking jacket and all is accompanied, musically and initially out of view by Vincent Colagiuri.

Hayes has the more difficult role as audience members struggle to come to grip with what they are experiencing – one near this reviewer passed the comment early on that it was all very boring – but it all comes together with class and impact as Livermore’s Alistar gives us that twist and turn.

But both give excellent performances, each drawing on all their experience to deliver rich profiles of their character.

A highly satisfying show from two of our greats.

Kryztoff Rating   3.5K

RAW: Cabaret Festival Launch – Festival Theatre – 2 April 2011

By Julia Loipersberger

A gala night of nights, the Festival Theatre packed in almost 2,000 eager Adelaideans desperate to find out which acts would be showcasing their talent at the 2011 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, kicking off in June.

MC’d ably (but somewhat superfluously) by the enthusiastic Amanda Blair, the evening kicked off with various speeches of gratitude and celebrations for what has become the largest festival of its kind in the world. A pleasing coup for our state, the enthusiasm of our Premier Mike Rann, the Artistic Director and CEO of the Adelaide Festival Centre David Gautier and the Chair of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival Committee Frank Ford was palpable.

But everyone was really only there to see – and hear from – the divine Artistic Director David Campbell as he announced the line-up for 2011, his swansong year in this role. Ever the showman like his famous father, David lit up the stage with rapturous accolades for each one of the local and international acts he had selected, including anecdotes about how they had come to be added to the line-up. A great touch were teaser performances by Tim Draxl (performing during the festival in ‘Freeway – The Chet Baker Story’), Gillian Cosgriff (a mini-Tim Minchin whose act is entitled ‘Waitressing, And Other Things I do Well’ and will be well worth seeing) and the inimitable Leo Sayer.

As someone who has never attended one of our Cabaret Festivals, I found myself growing increasingly excited about the prospect of attending this year.

Based on David’s passionate summaries, my insider’s top tips would have to be:-

  • Chita Rivera, the still ridiculously stunning septuagenarian Broadway performer and Tony award winner in ‘My Broadway’ , a collection of her greatest hits throughout a lengthy career;
  • Josie Lane in ‘Josie in the Bathhouse’, described as a Bette Midler retrospective;
  • the fabulous Leo Sayer in ‘The Show Must Go On’. Frankly, if he had been the headline act I would still have been thrilled;
  • Mark Vincent, the schoolboy wunderkind made famous by Australia’s Got Talent some years ago making us all feel old in his show Diciasette;
  • Toby Francis in Blokelahoma! performed by a 23 year old guy with a rebel’s perspective on life but the voice (as David assures us) of a rock god;
  • Urban Display Suite, a satire show which pokes fun at that most serious of institutions – the real estate industry; and
  • (of course)the headline act and huge coup for David, the gorgeous Olivia Newton-John

There is much more to appeal to every taste and preference in cabaret music. With an action-packed program of dozens of performers, including much local talent, the Cabaret Festival is definitely worth checking out during 2011. And, if you’re lucky, you might get to see David Campbell in the flesh.

(I’m sure the Festival will be worth) 5K

RAW: SA Government Prepares To Blast City Council Off Adelaide Oval Parklands

'We will work with the SA Government to deliver capital city AFL' - Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood

The SACA Information Book, now released to its members, reveals for the first time how the SA Government will deliver control of the Adelaide Oval precinct and car parking revenues to the SANFL in the face of Adelaide City Council resistance. It is going to legislate the ACC away from his historic role as guardians of the parklands under the Parklands Act.

The Information Book (IB) states ‘the State Government will grant a long term priority use licence to each of the SACA and SANFL to unrestrictedly and exclusively use Adelaide Oval for cricket and football during their respective seasons.’ Under current legislation it can’t do that.

Presently, the Adelaide City Council owns all the parklands for the benefit of South Australia under the Parklands Act. It then grants leases and licences to various entities to use portions for appropriate purposes. Presently, the SACA enjoys a lease that has a further 33 years to run over the main ground area. However, it does not have control over the so called ‘Adelaide No. 2 Ground’ nor Pinky Flat and the northern carpark which remain in ACC control.

The ACC have said they support the grant of a new lease to the SMA provided it (the ACC) retains ultimate control over the land and control of the car parking revenue from the various car parks (Pinky Flat and the northern car park.)

The SANFL has said that it requires control over the precinct and the car parking revenues in order for the move for it to be viable.

Now, with the benefit of the IB, these conflicting positions can be reconciled with the State Government moving to own all the parklands involved, being all of that between King William Rd, Montefiore Rd, Pennington Terrace and the River Torrens. It and not the ACC will then grant these licences to the SANFL and the SACA to do as they wish without the fetter of lease terms with the ACC (including them skimming the car park revenues.)

And so, the great history of this State, where the Parklands have been guarded over by the ACC will end.

So, the issues arising are: Will the Government stop at the Adelaide Oval area only or will it pursue Victoria Park as well so it can get its Clipsall 500 Grandstand also built?

How will the minority parties in the SA Legislative Council receive this proposition? As previously predicted by Kryztoff, this is where all this will finally come down to and the Government needs five of the seven independent or minority party votes to get there. Expect a lot of money to go their way for pet projects.

Just whether the SACA Members vote can stop all this is also now a moot point. As the proposed changes to the SACA constitution suggest, if the members don’t support the proposal at their meeting on 2nd May, the SACA board has no mandate to advance the issue with anyone and may well be acting in breach of its constitution (if it is not already doing so) if it tries to.

So, that would leave compulsory acquisition of the SACA’s leasehold interest (and then legislation) for the SA Government to pursue, which even the SACA’s own accounting would suggest will require another $100m at least and perhaps as much as $200m more.

If Stephen Yarwood thought his appeasement of the SA Government since becoming Lord Mayor was working in order to get back control over major development projects, then all can now see this is a Neville Chamberlain ‘Peace in our Time’ moment for him. He has got it horribly wrong.

And if the Liberal Party thought playing stum on this was good politics in the hope the SACA members would do their dirty work for them, then they too have just got a wake-up call. They need now to get involved in the Adelaide Oval debate because it is all now about the future control and use of the parklands, not just Adelaide Oval.

RAW: Public Money For Private Stadiums = Disaster

When looking at the Adelaide Oval debate, the US experience of the past 20 years is instructive and this has been reviewed by two sociologists, Kevin Delaney and Rick Eckstein in their book Public Dollars, Private Stadiums, a scenario that matches that proposed for Adelaide Oval today.

Their summary was that after the rash of stadium building in America since the mid-90s, in almost every case these stadiums involved huge sums of public money, and they all cost significantly more than they were budgeted at. At the start of the boom, the reason given was economic, but that reasoning came under attack. Stadiums didn’t give people more money to spend, it only caused them to move their spending from one location to another, with no net gain. The only real gains could come from tourism, but the sports tourism case was bad too.

As time went on, the argument changed to image and morale – the new stadiums would keep the teams in the city and would let them feel better about themselves. These “soft” arguments proved much more effective, especially with cities whose economies were in a downturn. The cities where this worked may just be setting themselves up for further cycles of this attack in future years.

The research also suggested that after an initial halo and feel good effect (of perhaps a couple of years) that showed up in attendances, support for matches played started to drift away, sometimes precipitously.

In the US, as with here, the debate for the developments were supported by corporate and personal opinion makers who posed as independent arbiters as to what was good for their city and citizens and had control of the media to ram home their point of view, masking all the time their self interests in the outcome at the cost of the public purse.

After reading Alexander Downer’s extraordinary puff piece this morning, it is not hard to see where we are at with the debate vis the US experience. This is a scare campaign based around our inferiority complexes relative to the eastern states, a complex that can only be assuaged by spending enormous amounts of public money in the hope that mummy and daddy Victorians and the New South Welsh will stop laughing at us and start to love us.

So here is ‘the idiot son of the Adelaide aristocracy’ (as Bob Hawke once described Downer) joining hands with Andrew Demetriou and other members of Adelaide’s intelligentsia (KG Cunningham, M. Rucci and Graham Cornes  – the Socrates of Sport) to tell us how good we will feel about this project. Yet none can tell us how much it will cost and what the terms of the lease with the Adelaide City Council will be and what’s in for cricket lovers.

As of tonight, the Adelaide Now poll of less than 500 voters had those in favour at around 57% but comments on the great man’s article were running around 4:1 against, not much different to a few weeks ago. The poll is no great statistical measure of anything other than those prepared to vote on it but even without singling out SACA members (who are the ones who actually have a vote and have cricket interests at heart) and noting you can vote more than once with impunity, at this point the SACA must be extremely worried that four weeks out and with all guns blazing they appear well shy of the 75% required.

Their Information Book will need to be good. Film at 11 on that one.

[Post Script – Kryztoff is indebted to a reader who prefers not to be named who brought this book to our attention and whose greater comments on it can be found at the following: \’Public Dollars, Private Stadiums\’ Discussion Forum]

RAW: AFL Round 2 Wrap

Karmichael Hunt - $2m for 5 Possessions - The Buy of the Century

By The Silver Bullet

If warning bells weren’t ringing at AFL House after Round 1, then they must surely be now or the Emperor needs to get out more. Where to start? How about with the Suns?

$144m on a new stadium, $7.5m for Ablett and $2m for Karmichael Hunt, plus buggering up the draft system for the other 16 clubs for some years and the best they could do is get thumped by 119 points – by the Silvertails! Oh yeah, we all know about the talk about a youthful squad and how hard it is to make inroads into rugby league heartlands but remember no new club (before now) has started with less than six wins in their opening season and no new club did not start without a fair bit of local support behind it – think Fremantle, the Crows, Port Power.

There is no way the Suns are going to rack up that many wins unless they draw Port and North Melbourne in the round robin tournament from hell that lasts 20 weeks!

All the Suns did on Saturday night was to remind one of the glory days of the Brisbane Bears when highly paid stars wandered around Cavill Avenue getting fat as quickly as they scored a tan and all the blame also then went to the young kids who needed time to develop. No one was ever sure whether they were referring to developing their skills or their melanomas.

The decision of Eddie Everywhere’s Mini Me, James Brayshaw to refuse to go to the Gold Coast themselves, armed with millions, is looking more and more silly as time goes on with both the AFL and the Kangaroos losers, not to mention the league as a whole as these silly draft picks go on for years and all those additional funds going to prop these ventures up aren’t spent where it might have been useful.

The Brisbane Bears are now of course the Lions and they too can now be officially be placed on the critical list – the curse of Brendan has really come home to roost after their drubbing today at the hands of the Dogs – along with North Melbourne and Port Power. Wow, what a fabulous cock-up was that and noone but poor Brendan has yet to be sacked.

As for Port, a beautiful Adelaide day, first home game of the year, Port Power and Port Magpies double header and the body count at its finish was a mere 23,214 (which incorporates a few strange vagaries of accounting that helps get the numbers up.) The geniuses at the SANFL in Adelaide think a move to Adelaide Oval will produce average crowds of 50% more – ye Gods, what have they been smoking?

Which leads to another AFL problem and that is crowd numbers. Last week produced the lowest Round 1 attendance for five years. This week no games got to 50,000 and three drew less than 30,000. Maybe fans are just a bit slow out of the blocks this season but this week’s rivalry round, including Friday night’s Carlton / Collingwood blockbuster will be a big litmus test. But remember this stat – Richmond / Carlton round 1 clashes the past two years have drawn 80,000+, this year, 60,000.

Finally, it is good to see Australia’s favourite recovering drunk and gambler progressing so well, this time playing for Narre Warren yesterday – sent off after a run in (including a guernsey tearing scratch fight) with a prime candidate for the cast of Australia’s Biggest Loser. Does Fev not realise that in the Amateur grades he now graces that he has to both stitch his own guernsey and wash it and the cost of replacing a jumper for his club is the equivalent of the proceeds of a Saturday night’s meat tray raffle?

Still, it’s good to see his old man cheering Brendan on from the side lines and me thinks the best chance Fev has of getting back into the professional ranks is for Dad to quickly get himself appointed to the committee of the club of choice and then do the Damir Dokic ugly parent shtick to get Fev a game.

Just for the moment, Fev is not one of Emperor Demetriou’s problems which is about the only good news he can enjoy after Round 2.

Leader of the Pack – Northern Light Theatre Company – 3.5K

In the mid 1960s, Ellie Greenwich was one of the songwriters behind many of the tunes playing on the radio. She wrote for well known groups such as The Shangri-Las and The Crystals and several of her songs have gone on to be re-released by new groups, right up to today. ‘Leader of the Pack’, named for her 1964 hit, is the story of her partnership – both professional and personal – with co-writer Jeff Barry; though it serves more as a showcase for some of their best known and most loved songs than as an engrossing character exploration.

The stage is built to resemble a jukebox, with the band inserted where you would once have found a “45”. While this is effective on some levels, having the band in such a position means that the stage can never be truly blacked out during scene changes and this ability to see what was happening, coupled with the length of some of these interludes, distracted somewhat from the flow of the piece. The band itself however, under the musical direction of Kim Clark, was a joy to listen to, providing tight and peppy backup to the singers.

As has come to be expected from Northern Light, the performers were all highly competent, with pleasant voices and energetic characterisations. Steve Rudd’s direction was suitable, and enjoyable choreography (Kerreane Sarti) added some panache to the musical numbers and made use of the multiple stage levels available. The costuming (Kristen Webb, Mardi Peal), while appropriate to the time period, seemed a little drab for the majority of the show and only in the later big ensemble numbers did it come together to add another vibrant aspect to the production.

Michelle Brow performed well as Young Ellie, however it was not until her final solo piece ‘Rock of Ages’ that we got to experience her true vocal ability. As Darlene Love, Melanie Smith gave a solid performance and managed to channel a young Cher during several numbers. Ultimately though, the highlight of the show was Kate Dempsey as Annie Golden, whose voice has just the right pitch for the songs of this era and who carried them off with style and feeling.

This was an enjoyable production. While lighter on plot than most musicals, it provided an opportunity to hear Greenwich’s hit songs performed live and gave a little insight into the woman behind the music.

Kryztoff Rating: 3.5K

RAW: Adelaide Oval – The Stench Just Gets Worse

The conduct of the board and management of both the SA Cricket Association and the Stadium Management Authority is coming under increasing scrutiny in the wake of their actions this week.

As covered by Richard Earle in this morning’s Advertiser, the SMA have chosen this week to redirect traffic from a website called saveadelaideoval.com.au to their Yes case coverage. This acts to potentially confuse those seeking information about the No case on their recently registered their website entitled saveadelaideoval.com.

This morning on ABC radio, SACA CEO John Harden seemed hapless in the face of the allegation of being devious and tricky by both Matt and Dave and callers.

Now it has become apparent the SACA have provided details of their membership list to a phone marketing call centre to enable them to contact SACA members about the proposal, even though their Information Book is only being posted today.

No case leader Greg Howe has advised Kryztoff that in response to their requests for access to the membership lists in order to inform members about the No case (given the SACA have declined to provide much detail themselves), through their solicitor the SACA advised they would not provide it on privacy grounds and further the SACA would not use it to seek out proxies.

This survey, which seems little more than push polling, would appear to be yet a further attempt by CEO Harden, President McLachlan and his SACA board to control the messages getting through to SACA members ahead of their meeting and vote on 2nd May at the Goyder Pavilion at the Showgrounds. Whether use of the list breaches SACA privacy provisions is now being investigated.

This would be fine in the cut and thrust of a political battle between say the Liberal and Labor parties. But this is not that. Here we are dealing with an association of members brought together hitherto by their love of cricket and the benefits coming from membership of the Adelaide Oval. Just why treating their members in such a contemptuous manner is okay is not obvious.

In case Kryztoff readers were of the belief that our last article that noted poor old Ken Cunningham’s about face on this issue over the past few months was a bit rough, here is what Graham Cornes’ take on the issue was also last year.

Writing his regular column in The Advertiser on 1 March 2008, Graham Cornes poured scorn over ‘Our state is being whipped into a frenzy because a couple of influential people want a new sporting stadium. As well as wanting to build a new one, they want us to sell Football Park and share this brand new state-of-the-art stadium with a couple of other sports. No chance.

‘Yes, we will do everything in our power to attract the World Cup of soccer to Australia in 2018, but Aussie Rules football can never surrender the autonomy that it enjoys by owning and controlling its own stadium. I’m sure the same applies to the SACA and Adelaide Oval’.

Tellingly, he went on to say ‘Besides, the SANFL could never really share its stadium with other sports. One-off international events are fine, but the AFL season overlaps with most other sports so it would be impossible and unfair to the other sports to allow the SANFL to own and control it’.

Although Cornes was referring to a new city stadium, isn’t this the very scenario for SACA if members approve the current redevelopment proposal for Adelaide Oval-domination by SANFL/AFL football at the expense of cricket?

Cornes observed ‘If money were no object, a new multi-purpose stadium could be built, but our state government at the moment cannot allocate enough funds to build it, at the expense of more fiscally responsible projects’. He said ‘the debate has to be about on which of our two main stadiums, Adelaide Oval or Football Park, should the most money be spent. Adelaide Oval has the traditional iconic status, preserved in part by its stunning location and aesthetics. It is a heritage that must be preserved, so any MCG-type development is out of the question’.

Whereas ‘Football Park at West Lakes, despite the mischievous and misleading descriptions of it being a relic, has many modern features in place that will be further enhanced by refurbishment. It is conceivable that the seated capacity could be increased to 60,000 and the process of modernisation continued’ he said.

Today Graham Cornes sings from a different song sheet, asserting that SANFL and SACA can co-exist at the Adelaide Oval, and that presumably all his previous statements are to be ignored.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) – Dunstan Playhouse – 4K

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) is described by director Adam Cook as the “piece of fluff” of this year’s STC season. While an apt description, this summary doesn’t do justice to the two hours of frivolity, absurdity and general mania that make up this production.

Opening with a brief introduction from Damian Callinan, this initially feels like a stand-up comedy gig. However, it soon takes on the atmosphere of a carnival as the stage is transformed by the appearance of Mark Saturno, an impressively adaptive caravan and some ludicrous costumes. Enter Nathan O’Keefe, bringing his trademark energy (and some hilarious accents) to every role he inhabits as he bounces around the stage like a monkey on speed, and the set up is complete.

Having seen the show a decade ago, I was intrigued as to how this particular production would be different. As it happens, there’s a lot of new material included – the majority of which can be credited to the performers, who have been workshopping the piece over the last month. Local references abound and so many of the jokes relate to current events that at times it’s difficult to determine which parts date back to the original script.

Despite the irreverent attitude towards The Bard’s work that runs through the show, there are also enough clever references to the original plays – whether through direct quotes, modern translations or groan-worthy puns – to make this educational for the uninitiated and especially rewarding for Shakespeare aficionados.

Not all of the jokes succeeded, but enough did so that laughter resounded through the auditorium. Although some individuals may find the lowbrow humour that is undeniably present in this show irksome, the opening night audience’s reaction indicates that the majority will enjoy it for the amusing and gentle mockery that it is.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

RAW: Adelaide Oval – What Has KG (and the Casino) Been Smoking?

The return of football brings with it not only winter but The Advertiser’s Friday morning football lift out including the return of Ken Cunningham’s weekly spray. This week’s KG included a hand written ‘Plea to SACA Members’ which opens ‘To all my fellow SA Cricket Association members, I am begging, pleading and imploring you to give the green light to the Adelaide Oval redevelopment when it is time to vote in May.

‘If this doesn’t go ahead we’ll be the laughing stock of the rest of the country.’

‘If it is all about drop-in pitches and ridiculous trivialities like not being able to see the Adelaide Hills from the western stand then you might as well turn off the light and forget about making the city and this precinct exciting and vibrant.’

And so it went on, praising the benefits for football.

Well Ken, it is not just about those things and you can see a fuller list now posted on Greg Howe’s website www.saveadelaideoval.com and it includes that other ‘ridiculous triviality’ of a cost of a minimum of $535m.

But that is not the issue here which is that this is the same Ken Cunningham who not once, not twice but three times condemned this move of football to Adelaide Oval in no uncertain terms in his very same column last year. Here he is on 21st May where after describing the redevelopment proposal as a ‘farce’ went on to say:

‘The more I hear and see, the more I am convinced the great plan to get AFL there (Adelaide Oval) … was nothing more than a rushed exercise in political point scoring. The Crows sure as hell don’t want to go there.’

Then again a week later:

‘Even Mr Magoo can see that’s a marriage made in hell and won’t work, so why is there is so much pressure being put on everybody? Sport will be the biggest loser out of this. AAMI stadium goes and then we’re left with only one major sporting venue. We’d be the only major city in the country that doesn’t have more than one stadium. It’s one step forward and two steps back.’

Finally at the end of July, under the heading of: ‘Hands Off Our Oval’, KG writes,

‘There is now a putrid stench surrounding the Adelaide Oval development proposal.

‘It’s all about the AFL and their greedy grab to dominate the landscape and dictate the terms that everybody must play by.

‘Why should we be forced to accept Adelaide as a one major football ground town when all the other cities have at least two? Is that forward thinking for the generations to come? No bloody way!

‘Expecting them (the SANFL) to leave West Lakes is like asking the Queen to move out of Buckingham Palace and shack up in rented digs.

‘If I were in (Leigh) Wicker’s boots, I would be calling Mike Rann, Kevin Foley, Ian McLachlan and Andrew Demetriou and telling them to stick it up their backsides.’

You do have to wonder what has brought about this sudden change of heart that matches Michelangelo Rucci’s front page scorn of Demetriou last year for picking up a $1m bonus for getting football back to Adelaide Oval but then this year trumpets him as the sage of the east we should obey after Demetriou told us it was good for us.

Corporate interests are not far behind and in a much more immediate timeframe.

Last month, Kryztoff (www.kryztoff.com/RAW/?p=2107) broke the story that the Adelaide Casino was the ‘private’ party that the SA Government was seeking to bank roll the shortfall in costs of between $100m and $200m for the Adelaide Oval redevelopment.

In response the Adelaide Casino contacted us and advised that that was not the case, that their development plans were quite separate and their future totally independent of what happened at Adelaide Oval. Further, the Casino’s planning timetable put it at another time of the year beyond when the Adelaide Oval redevelopment gets resolved one way or the other.

Not so it seems given by the coverage in yesterday’s Advertiser where it reported that ‘SkyCity chairman Rod McGeoch said the group would reconsider its investment if the oval redevelopment was voted down.’ Further, SkyCity managing director Nigel Morrison is reported as saying ‘the Oval remained (our emphasis) a key factor to convince the board to back the $250 million facelift’.

Mixed in with not revealing to SACA members the reality of drop in pitches for eight months by SACA President Ian McLachlan, Treasurer Foley forgetting about the $85m cost blow out, the AFL not telling the SANFL about the discussions with McLachlan that went on for a couple of years etc and Mr Demetriou’s bonus, you do have to wonder why anyone would believe anything said by any of the cheerleaders for this project at this point in time.

Indeed Ken, you were right, ‘there is now a putrid stench surrounding the Adelaide Oval development proposal.’ Even Mr Magoo can see that.