ff2016, Final Day

And that’s that – the end of 2016’s Festival season. With the exception of one piece of Festival visual art that I may be able to catch in a month or so, I’ve seen all I will be seeing at the Festival and Fringe this year.

  1. The Young King

Only 87 events all up (20 Festival, 67 Fringe), though that includes the three James Plays, and I saw two Fringe shows twice. So that’s something like 91 tickets for the year… well down on last year’s 170+.

More thoughts on the benefits of a quieter Fringe – and the hubbub around Fringe performers and audiences – will come later, I’m sure.

ff2016, Day 32

Monday night. Home by midnight. Pretty happy with all the shows (and chats) today.

  1. The Bike Trip
  2. The Eulogy
  3. Moonlight After Midnight

And so my Fringe event-going comes to an end; certainly for 2016, and maybe forever. I saw a mere 67 (unique) Fringe shows this year, and 28 visual art exhibitions (so far – there should be another couple to squeeze in over the next few days). It has been, by far, the quietest Fringe I’ve had in years; last year, for example, saw me attend 156 (unique) Fringe shows, with 50 visual art exhibits.

But that’s OK.

Just one Festival event left, now.

ff2016, Day 31

Three shows, and a bit of an ArtWalk. Easy, right?

  1. Down Down Lucifer
  2. Underneath
  3. Steve Hughes

But this was a surprisingly emotional day for me. Not only did I have to bid my Significant Other farewell after two glorious weeks (and almost the entire Adelaide Festival) together, but I attended what will probably be my final Fringe Awards ceremony.

Walking into the ‘Awards late (breezing past the scores of general public queueing for admission, thanks to my Media Pass) made me wish I hadn’t bothered; the Fringe Club (which had a much more open and friendly layout this year) seemed to be packed with people who gave precisely Zero Shits about the Awards themselves. Maybe all the people who had already won (or been nominated for) Awards had already retreated to the bar, but the back of the Club was one big “conversation” (read: yelling) pit; I had to squeeze to the edge of the small seating area to even hear the announcements.


I then scampered to Tuxedo Cat, where I had a lovely chat with Cass – and I (hopefully) managed to thank her for all that TuxCat has meant to me over the years. Sure, I’m back at Tuxy for three-in-a-row tomorrow, but tonight felt like The Last Night… like it was the End of Something. My last Fringe.

I may have teared up a little.

ff2016, Day 30

A sleep in, a great brekky, the Festival’s Boo! exhibition, two great shows (including the best musical set I’ve ever seen at a Festival show), and then the long-awaited A Young Man Dressed As A Gorilla Dressed As An Old Man Sits Rocking In A Rocking Chair For Fifty-Six Minutes And Then Leaves… 4.

  1. The Country
  2. Sunn O))) and Magma

Not even the two drunk lads who were loudly mystified during Gorilla could spoil that day.

ff2016, Day 29

A big day today – five shows, of which two were repeats (exposing my Significant Other to some highlights), and every one of them was a cracker.

  1. Echoes
  2. The Element in the Room: A Radioactive Musical Comedy about the Death and Life of Marie Curie
  3. Deluge
  4. Butt Kapinski
  5. Sam Simmons – Not A People Person

Deluge is, quite possibly, the best of this year’s Festival theatre pieces. A truly wonderful bit of work, with dialogue lines weaving together (and overlapping) to form a truly magical text.

ff2016, Day 28

I don’t get people who just have conversations in the middle of shows. Especially middle-aged people, who should have learnt appropriate theatre etiquette. Or maybe that doesn’t apply to Fringe shows.

Fucking arseholes.

  1. Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium
  2. Body of Work
  4. Harmon Leon in Porn, Corn & Body Slamming for Jesus

Also: rain and toe shoes do not mix.

ff2016, Day 26

Yet another cracking day of shows: despite the (frankly bullshit) humidity this arvo, the Producers Garden was still a great venue for my only Shakespeare(-ish) event of the Season, and both Golem and the return of Calypso Nights were technical masterpieces (though at opposite ends of the spectrum).

  1. Half hour Hamlet
  2. Golem
  3. Calypso Nights: Juan, Two?

So – there’s less than a week left in this Season, and I’ve only written about one event so far. Pretty impressive, given the relatively quiet year I’ve had!

ff2016, Day 25

Today was one of those days where everything just seemed to go right. All three shows were stellar, audiences were fantastic, and all the spur-of-the-moment fragments in-between just worked.

  1. Poet Vs Pageant
  2. Exquisite Corpse
  3. Nicole Henriksen – Techno Glitter Penguins

Some days are just diamonds.

ff2016, Day 24

I entered this day with a bit of an attack of the glums; by the time I got home, the glums had been soundly dismissed.

  1. The Flanagan Collective – Fable
  2. Unend
  3. Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Three great events today, some great food, and lots of great people. And the return of Vampillia! Totally wonderful they were, and the reappearance of the bizarre woman who was on the fence next to me at their last Adelaide concert was a somewhat expected delight.

ff2016, Day 23

As is becoming increasingly typical this year, today was a very quiet day. We had tickets for Day Two of Tectonics but, after reading the lineup for the day, decided to have a leisurely dinner at Parlamento instead.

  1. Monumental

Monumental was frustrating: I was ready to sing its praises after the first hour. But it then had a ten-minute chunk that just killed it for me: it’s still a great work, sure, but the loss of one particular segment would have had a much more positive lasting impact on me.

ff2016, Day 21

A cluster of shows – all entertaining in their own right – with a bunch of doom-and-gloom (with a ray of sunshine) chats about the future of the Fringe.

  1. The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer
  2. A Steady Rain
  3. The Ballad Of Frank Allen

The last of the planning for this year was done today, too. I reckon I’ll wind up seeing less than half as many shows as last year.

ff2016, Day 20

You know what I love doing? Sharing a simply stupendous experience with a loved one.

  1. The Events
  2. A Simple Space by Gravity & Other Myths

A Simple Space is still one of the best shows ever: immaculately presented, almost impossibly exciting, and brilliantly paced, it brought tears in my eyes (again!) to see such an amazing bunch of people present the show to a full house… and for that full house to be whooping and hollering with joy. I can’t think of a more deserving group of people :)