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February 20, 2024

The Carla Lippis Guide to the Adelaide Fringe

In 2024, the Adelaide Fringe guide is an intimidating 168 pages long. Who has the time? Dear reader, certainly not you. Instead, let Carla Lippis guide you through the festival season.

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  • Interview: David Simmons
  • Pictures: Nash Blight

One of Adelaide’s most eccentric stars, Carla is a loud and proud performer and her trusted taste will leave you with an unforgettable few weeks in sunny Adelaide. From food to shows to simply knowing where to have a drink and a laugh post-cabaret, the Certified Carla Fringe Guide™ is your one-page express ticket to the best this season has to offer.


This article first appeared in our 2024 Festival edition, which is on streets now.

CM: What’s festival season like in Carla’s Adelaide?

Carla: This year it’s a big one! I am in two shows – the award-winning rock & roll extravaganza, 27 Club, and a new work that I am co-creating with Restless Dance Theatre for Adelaide Festival titled Private View. The work is something new for the company: an exploration of the inner private world of the dancers and their desires around love and sex, which is often a taboo subject in the disability space. My creative partner Geoffrey Crowther and I are writing all the music, and I’ll also be in the show to guide the audience through the experience. The team of creatives working on this show are some of Adelaide’s best, so I’m honoured to be involved. 

CM: You’ve been involved in a range of shows at the Fringe over the years – what have been some highlights?

Carla: When I moved back from London in 2020, I started to work on what would become my current band/project: Mondo Psycho. We premiered this new sound to two sold-out crowds at The Queens Theatre during the 2021 Fringe season. It was a departure from my cabaret days, and it definitely shocked my usual audience! This was an artistic turning point for me.

While I still appreciate the cabaret genre, there was another beast brewing inside of me, and with the help of some of Adelaide’s best musicians, we created this new project. The 27 Club has been a really joyful experience for me too – it’s incredible how four big rock personas can come together and make magic. We genuinely get along and have a bloody great time, and that is truly rare in the entertainment business. We all bring a different musical sensibility to the classic hits of this infamous club, and we have a ball every single show.

BTS of Mondo Psycho’s ‘I Paint With The Brush of Violence’ music video, directed by Conor Mercury.

Carla Lippis Guide to the Adelaide Fringe

CM: What about some hidden gems of the festival season even pro-Fringe-goers might miss?

Carla: I always recommend taking a punt on a smaller show – many of the major shows have huge marketing and production budgets – however, you never know what tasty creative morsel you will find lurking in venues that aren’t in the major fairgrounds. It’s the original heartbeat of Fringe and should be supported. There are venues all over Adelaide; take a risk and pay for a ticket to experience something you might not usually see. It will mean so much to the artists and you might be the first to see Australia’s next rising star of theatre, music or circus.

CM: Where’s the best spot to eat and drink during the Fringe?

Carla: I’m not sure if this food stall will be making an appearance this year, but the Veggie Galley in The Garden of Unearthly Delights fairgrounds is hands down my most favourite food truck. Hail Seitan!

ôNG Vietnamese restaurant on Rundle Street does a smashing corn rib, and for a special night out, Golden Boy is divine.

To water oneself outside the various Fringe hubs of the park lands, I recommend venturing slightly up Hutt Street to The Olivia Hotel, or for something closer I head straight to The Cranker.

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