ff2010, Day 6

I tell you what, I’m a pretty happy chappy right now :)

Not only have I got a couple of awesome comments on this little ol’ blog, but today I had dinner & drinks with the expanded group of Simpletons, a great (if tongue-tied and confused) chat with Melanie in the Fringe office, a lovely giggle with some Great Hair in a couple of shows, and a slightly awkward but fun yak with Liz. Blimey, I’m enjoying this Fringe lark – and it hasn’t even started yet!

  1. The Needle And The Damage Done
  2. The List Operators

I can’t wait to write about The Needle And The Damage Done. Friday or Saturday, at the earliest. In short – if you love, or hate, or are even occasionally jostled by music, see it. Ace :)

ff2010, Day 5

Arrrgh – my first cancellation of the year. Normally, I wouldn’t mind so much, but I’d pretty much structured the entire evening around Beat Munky, so I was a little miffed. Philip Escoffey proved to be a decent substitute, though, even if the timing was a little tight.

  1. Michael Bowley – Stories & Exaggerations
  2. Sarkadi’s Budapest Marionettes
  3. Philip Escoffey: Six Impossible Things Before Dinner
  4. Red Bastard

I mentioned the other day how the guy that breathes through his eyes would’ve been pissed with The Garden’s layout; well, he’s already moved. That’s me bringing you the hard gossip.

ff2010, Day 3

The Garden is already a dustbowl of bark chips and greying grass. There’s still a fair few people around, though the crowds thin noticeably once the free concert thingy finishes around 7pm. I guess that’s the price most people are willing to pay.

Tonight they got bloody good value, too – amongst other acts, Sam Wills (who, somewhat ironically, can vocally coerce the crowd amazingly well) had them in stitches, and then his beautiful bride Lili La Scala let loose with some gorgeous operatics.

Another Garden note: I reckon that freaky blonde bloke with the scary eyes – Hans Zimmerman, maybe? – must be super-pissed with the new Garden layout. He’s getting no foot traffic.

  1. Pigs In Wigs
  2. Skitch Tease
  3. Circus Trick Tease
  4. Zeitgeist

Into double figures! Baby steps, baby steps.

ff2010, Day 2

So – my first big-ish day, with a lazy five shows at The Garden. The 2010 rendition of The Garden has sprawled further into the Parklands than even the 2009 version, resulting in lots more open space. And bars… there seems to be heaps more bars this year, which kinda shows the inclination of The Garden’s management. And, of course, it pays off big-time for them, if the seething drunken queue just to get into The Garden at midnight was any indication.

Wandering through at 5pm, however, revealed a plethora of people lounging on deck-chairs in the shade, beer nestled nearby; there’s a very hungover sort of vibe that’s only disjointed by the raucous tunes emanating from the ferris wheel and dodgems… and the screams of children interested in both. The Spiegeltent has, of course, been claimed by the Festival this year, so all the Fringe shows listed as being at that are being held at Salon Perdu, right at the back of the garden… but, vexingly, right next to Rundle Road.

  1. A Curious Day
  2. War Notes
  3. Often I Find That I Am Naked
  4. Sam Simmons – Fail
  5. Tall Stories

In the five-hour gap between the first and second I popped into Cibo to write some posts & leech some WiFi. Jostling for a power socket, I wound up sitting next to a chap playing an online poker tournament on his laptop. After he talked at me for about an hour, he got up to leave: “I’ve got to go to work.” “Oh,” I said, thankful for the upcoming silence and hopefully tying a bow on the conversation, “what do you do?”

As he packed away his shiny new laptop into a lovely new laptop bag, he said “I sell ‘The Big Issue’.”

And so it begins again…

It only seems like a fortnight ago that I finished writing about 2009, and here I am, treading water before the start of my arty binge for 2010.

And, despite my best intentions of taking it a little bit easier this year, the shortlisting process of trawling through the Festival and Fringe Guides didn’t exactly fill me with faith in that regard. The “short” list amounted to…

196 shows.

One hundred and ninety-six shows. And that’s just the things that caught my eye, piqued my interest, with their little fifty-word blurb (in the case of the Fringe) or full-page glossy spreads (bless the Festival Guide). And that excludes any visual arts exhibits, and all the shows that trusted friends will tell me are awesome and which I’ll desperately try to squeeze in.

My blogging instinct, when faced with a number such as the above, is to quip “if I see half that many shows, I’ll be happy.” But that’d be ninety-eight, which would be a fucking miracle (especially in a Festival year). Still, I’m studiously scheduling away; I’ve only got tickets for 29 at this point (including all my Festival picks – though I’m not super-enamoured by the lineup, and even less pleased that the Festival Talk for Shanghai Beauty has been moved to an inaccessible time), and 13 shows have already dropped off through sell-outs, cancellations, or blocks.

And, despite being initially unexcited by the acts on offer this year, I’m now entering that giddy stage… waiting for it all to start. Waiting to start squeezing Stuff into my mind. Waiting to experience.

And, inevitably, waiting to get so far behind on my blogging that it ceases to matter ;)

A Launch, A Look Ahead, A Gentle Reminder…

And so the run up to FF2010 begins; not with a bang, but with a… ummm… absentee fan.

Last Thursday marked the Launch of the 2010 Adelaide Festival program, both with a “private” launch for the Friends of the Festival, followed by a public ceremony. I was invited to both; I managed to make it to neither. The reasons why are irrelevant, but I can’t help but feel that I’ve really missed out by not making it; previous launches have been breathless affairs, with excited Directors imparting their enthusiasm unto me, the gasps and oohs and aahs of the audience providing an indication of the Hot Tickets. And, bereft of these pointers, I admit to being a little nonplussed during my wander through the Guide that I received Friday.

That didn’t stop me from pencilling in about two-thirds of the performances, though, and there’s still some stuff there that’s fired my imagination already (Le Grande Macabre looks great, Good Morning Mr Gershwin looks to lead the dance troupe, and Mahler 8 still feels like it will be a cracker – even if all the super-duper lush seats have already sold out). But… I dunno, I’m just not feeling it (though the little thrill seeing my name in the back of the Guide is still there ;)

Then again, I went through a number of phases last Festival, too – excited at the Launch, fading to perfunctory at the scheduling, and then back to giddy as Opening night approached. So I’m hoping my lethargy is some form of translated disappointment from not being able to attend, and not just a reaction to the Fringe-esque content of the program (the Spiegeltent as a Festival venue? Edinburgh hits as frontline Festival works?)

However, the Program Launch has inspired one very important thing: it’s reminded me I still have 50 – fifty! – shows to write up from 2009. Hey, they were over six months ago; they should be a doddle, right? Six months of rumination should encourage these musings to just pop out of my head, yeah?


…Oh dear. I’d better get writing.