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February 18, 2019

David Sefton’s top 11 RCC Fringe shows

Artistic director David Sefton takes us through his top picks for the inaugural year of RCC Fringe.

  • Main image: Andre Castellucci
  • Other images: Supplied

David Sefton is one of the most talented curatorial minds in the Australian arts community, and following on from his work with Unsound Adelaide late last year, he’s programmed an incredible and diverse range of artists for the inaugural year of RCC Fringe.

So jam-packed is the RCC Fringe brochure, we reached out to David for a run down of what we should absolutely not miss, as the festival takes up its short-term residency in the University of Adelaide.




This is a show like none other you will experience. It was at the Adelaide Festival 25 years ago, extraordinarily, and it’s still totally a revolutionary piece of freethinking, feminist, sexy, erotic, outspoken, political agit theatre.

Tickets: Penny Arcade: BITCH!DYKE!FAGHAG!WHORE!






Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story is an extraordinary piece of music theatre. If Fidler on the Roof had been written by Tom Waits, this is what it would sound like. And I hate musicals.

Tickets: Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story






Bourgeois and Maurice

Bourgeois and Maurice is just fantastically loose, fantastically camp and hilariously funny – a real treat to have on the program.

Tickets: Bourgeois and Maurice







Shôn Dale-Jones: The Duke, Me & Robin Hood, and The Ladder

Shôn Dale-Jones will be here with three shows, and I’m so pleased. It’ll be a trilogy of shows, the third of which is brand new and starting with us. He’s one of the world’s great monologists, and it’s a must-see trilogy.

Tickets: The Duke, Me & Robin Hood, The Ladder






Above: Orbital.

Orbital + Severed Heads

Orbital and Severed Heads is a bit of a labour of love on my part. They’re both bands I’ve adored as long as they’ve existed. They’ve never played together before but I know that Orbital are massive Severed Heads fans, and actually that’s why they took this gig. And Severed Heads have reformed for me once, and they’re doing it again.

Tickets: Orbital + Severed heads






Pussy Riot: Riot Days & Pussy Riot Live

Pussy Riot, obviously iconic activists of the 21st century, an extraordinary energy, it’s an amazing show. They’re a little slice of history. Obviously the complications around bringing them is huge, but they agreed to come really quickly.

The live gig out on Maths Lawns is a band show. They’re playing as a band and it’s the core members of Pussy Riot. It’s never happened in Australia and it will probably never happen again.

Tickets: Pussy Riot: Riot Days, Pussy Riot Live





The Tiger Lillies present Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunted Palace

My love of The Tiger Lillies is fairly well documented in this country and every other country I’ve worked in. The Poe’s Haunted Palace show is classic Tiger Lillies. The same team that did Rime of the Ancient Mariner at the Adelaide Festival, under me [as director]. Just great theatre, great music, dark as all get out and extremely entertaining. Very funny.

Tickets: The Tiger Lillies present Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunted Palace





Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir

People talk about one of a kind, but Reverend Billy truly is one of a kind. He’s an incredibly serous activist and agitator who’s been arrested many, many times for protests. But this is an OBIE-winning show. It’s won major awards in New York in the mainstream entertainment circuit. The Stop Shopping Choir is a proper show with a true heart. It’s politics and entertainment mixing in a way that proves they can.

[And] it’s [in] the most church-like venue we could find. Given that it’s the Church of Stop Shopping, we figured that was a good way to go.

Tickets: Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir




Quality Novelty

Quality Novelty, Marawa is amazing and this show is being put together here for the very first time. It’s got this very serious intent to bring all these people together who are in the Guinness Book of Records for all of these crazy hula hoop and roller skating stunts, but to make a quality show out of it. It’s a really nice idea and I’m really pleased we’ve got it.

Tickets: Quality Novelty







Cirque Alfonse: BARBU & TABARNAK

Cirque Alfonse, already beloved of Adelaide Audiences; Barbu is still one of those shows people talk about, seeing people in underpants and roller skates and beards going down Rundle Mall – it’s those people.

It’s a lap of honour for Alfonse because they’ve got such a huge following here in Adelaide. Genuinely, they’re what Fringe really should be about because they’re so much fun.






Briefs: Close Encounters

Briefs, another one that barely needs an introduction to this community. One of a kind. The most men’s bottoms you’re likely to see in one place at one time. Just fabulous. A great energy. It’s politics, and it’s saucy, and it’s circus. Again, people know them so well in this town that it’s kind of one of those greatest hits shows coming in.

Tickets: Briefs: Close Encounters






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