ff2009 Wrap


Just 315 days after the 2009 Adelaide Fringe finished, I’ve wrapped up my blog posts. Blimey, that was a tough year; a truckload of shows (one-hundred-and-three. 103!), blogging as much as I could, traipsing along to all the visual arts displays, as well as still turning up to the office (of the fourteen days annual leave I was supposed to be taking, I managed six).

It all started with a surprising discovery; the Illy / UCB on Rundle Street, preferred purveyor of caffeine for this little Festival Freak, was no more… leaving me to acquire coffee from other establishments of less pleasing quality. Still, Illy’s loss is Cibo’s gain, especially given the latter’s rock-solid leechable WiFi access.

For the record, I spent $2267.40 on shows this year; yes, fair reader, I really do buy all my own tickets. Of that, $277.75 went to FringeTIX – I was thinking of making some crass joke about ownership to one of the FringeTIX desk jockettes, but wisely determined that such a comment would be completely misinterpreted and liable to prosecution.

Just for shits and giggles, let’s look at the 2009 Adelaide Fringe Award nominees (and, in italics, the eventual winners):

BankSA People’s Choice Award
Circus Trick Tease
James Galea – I Hate Rabbits
Sound & Fury’s ‘Sherlock Holmes & The Saline Solution’
The Boy with Tape on his Face
Titters! A Showcase of Award Winning Funny Women

Crikey. As great as the Sound & Fury guys are, I’m not convinced that the People who made their Choice could possibly had seen Circus Trick Tease or the superlative-inducing The Boy with Tape on his Face.

BankSA Support Act Award
3xperimentia: Live Cut
The Attack of the 40 Foot Wedge
The Boy With Tape On His Face
The Grimstones – Hatched

Ah. There we are. Nice little consolation prize there.

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Established Fringe Venue (operational as Fringe venue for over 2 years)
Electric Light Hotel
Higher Ground
Holden Street
La Boheme
Nexus Cabaret
The Masonic Centre

Oooh, bit of a snub to Holden Street there; Higher Ground is still plagued by nasty sight-lines in the basement, though the café upstairs is pretty good.

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Emerging Fringe Venue (operational as Fringe venue for under 2 years)
Adelaide Airport
Edgewater Gallery
South Terrace Office Block
Tuxedo Cat

I don’t know three of those (in the context of being venues, of course), but I’ve waxed lyrical about the Tuxedo Cat plenty. I love it :)

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Puppetry
Dreamer In The Deep
Pegging Up The Sky
Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones
The Grimstones – Hatched

Fair enough, that.

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Dance
3xperimentia: Live Cut
AC Arts Dance
Crush – A Solo
Medico Manoeuvres II
Out Of The Dark
Serpent Dancer

As much as I adore the highlights of the Playground girls (and Capture certainly contained one of the Fringe highlights), I’d have given this to Out of the Dark.

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Cabaret
A Company of Strangers
Accordion Boys Do It Better
Die Roten Punkte – Robot/Lion Tour
The Wet Spots

No. Just… no.

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Music
Abbie Cardwell & Her Leading Men
Adam Page Solo
Black Ruby – The Step-Sister of Little Black Dress
C. W. Stoneking
Dallas Frasca
Jane Badler

No Washington? Jess Ribeiro was also a revelation.

Eran Svigos Award for Best Exhibition By An Individual
Art In An Alleyway
Ice, Ice
Once Upon An Intrigue
Rope Art Exhibition
Touching Base

Can’t really comment on this, though Ice, Ice was darkly wonderful.

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Exhibition By A Collective
Adelaide Ink 2
Home Safe
Revealing Meaning In Cloth
Toes To Prose

Again, I don’t really feel qualified (ho ho – like I’m ever qualified) to comment on this one either.

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Emerging Comedian
Cellblock Booty
Jason Pestell Jumps The Shark

Cellblock Booty is “emerging”? Is that a poor physical pun?

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Established Comedian
Deanne Smith Lacks Focus
Judith Lucy’s Not Getting Any Younger
Mickey D – Barb Dwyer
Stevl Shefn’s Little Comidy Spots
The Boy With Tape On His Face

Whilst it was great to see DeAnne Smith & Steve Sheehan get nominated here, the result here is probably fair enough – apart from the fact that I’d never heard of the “established” Sam Wills prior to this show ;)

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Theatre Production
After The End
Death in Bowengabbie
Six Minute Soul Mate
The Tailor of Inverness

One of the few categories where I’d seen all the nominees, this was probably a toss-up between Death in Bowengabbie and Six Minute Soul Mate… I would’ve gone the other way, myself, even if Soul Mate did provide some of the most confronting moments of the Fringe.

Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Theatre Performance
The Brown Council (ensemble): Six Minute Soul Mate
Hannah Norris: After The End
Guy O’Grady: Rough For Theatre II
Matthew Zajac: The Tailor of Inverness

Another one I’d seen all of; it’s pretty hard to go past Guy O’Grady for me.

Spirit of the Fringe Award
Karen and David Hyland

What’s this one all about, then? The Sydney Morning Herald tells it best, though The Advertiser reported that this was awarded to the Hylands on the basis that they’d seen a “record” 80-odd shows. Bless.

As for my own highlights… well, the shows are mentioned here, but more important for me was the experience. The people I met. The couple that offered me the best seat in the house for Washington. The girl with the gorgeous eyes at Holden Street, remembering my birthday with a smile and a plump glass of wine. Michelle, yet another one of those arty people who simultaneously inspire and depress me with their innate ability.

And, most importantly, all the artists. Every single one of them – whether I loved your show, or thought it was worthless crapulence, I utterly admire your ability to step onto that stage and attempt to deliver your vision.

And so, to 2010… it’s time to start scheduling!

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