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February 25, 2016

Finest of the Adelaide Festival

The Adelaide Festival opens tomorrow, and these are the must-sees you should fit into your already jam-packed festival season schedule.

  • Words: Farrin Foster

Adelaide Festival kicks off with the literal bang of À Fleur de Peau’s pyrotechnic spectacular at Adelaide Oval this weekend, but it’s the quieter and more contemplative works that have us enthralled.


Writers’ Week also begins this Saturday, and shouldn’t be missed. And keep your eye out next week for our preview of Deluge – the debut work from new Adelaide theatre company Tiny Bricks, which is showing as part of the Festival too.


The stylistically extraordinary Golem is coming to Adelaide with its parent company – the United Kingdom’s inventive and oddball 1927 ensemble.

Each of 1927’s works blend performance, live music and animation to create an entirely unique on-stage output, which has been heralded as “must-see” by critics worldwide. Golem is the third show of their own devising and makes the most of the company’s multi-disciplinary bent. The titular character – an unformed, hard-working, vaguely humanoid mass inspired by the golem of mythology – appears via claymation projection that evolves as he comes to life and is redesigned over and over. Real actors accompany and interact with him on stage, and thanks to clever design they fuse easily into one cast.

Set in a universe just a little bit unlike our own, and in a time where the people of this not-quite-earth still had use for pencils and paper, Golem focusses in on humanity’s relationship with technology and the consumerist mindset that goes along with it. In unravelling the effect our obsession and reliance on machines is having on our human behaviours the company presents an explicitly cautionary tale.

Infused with haunting music, highly stylised sets (many of which are sketched via projection), idiosyncratic costuming and an all-encompassing yellow-lit hue, Golem creates a world of its own. Kids and adults alike are drawn deep within the conjured universe, only to emerge thinking differently about their own.

March 8 – 13 at the Dunstan Playhouse
Picture (above): Bernhard Muelle



The influence of Pina Bausch’s instinctive blending of theatre and dance can be seen on stages worldwide. Nelken – a piece that has endured and resonated since its inception in 1982, combines Bausch’s dramatic and comedic instincts with an unforgettable staging upon which scenes of power struggle, human interaction and random events play out.

Performed by Pina’s own company – Wuppertal Tanztheatre Pina Bausch – the national Premiere of the work at Adelaide Festival will be the group’s first Australian appearance since Pina’s sudden death in 2009.

March 9 – 12 at Adelaide Festival Centre
Photo: Alexandros Sarakasidis

Go Down, Moses


Director Romeo Castellucci leaps backward and forward through arbitrary time frames as he summons the tales of Moses from the Book of Exodus – not as history but as a frame to explore the human psyche and the myth of lost children.

Bearing all the hallmarks of theatre made to fully exploit the physicality and immediacy of the medium, Go Down, Moses is a visceral rather than narrative experience designed to swing the audience from one extreme to the other in a bid to communicate something beyond the intellectual.

With a net curtain strung permanently between viewer and performer there’s the chance to see everything from shimmering stars to blacked out obscurity on stage and, given Romeo’s reputation for abstract extremism, there’s the possibility you’ll see almost anything else. Or nothing at all.

February 25 – 28 at the Dunstan Playhouse
Picture: Guido Mencari

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