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February 11, 2020

Fringe shows in strange places

To experience Adelaide Fringe at its fringiest, sometimes you need to step outside the Spiegeltent – into a tunnel, a bus, a chapel, a recording studio, a shipping container or even a boat.

  • Words: Suzie Keen & Josh Fanning
  • Pictures: Supplied

Considering the relatively short period of time Fringe spends popped up in the CBD, its associated garden party multi-venues – like The Garden, Gluttony, and even the younger RCC – feel strangely like home.

If the purpose of the Fringe and Festival period is to tread into experimental waters and explore the further reaches of creative culture, then perhaps every other night of the Fringe should be spent away from those familiar grassy knolls and packed-out tents hosted by Channel 10-affiliated comedians.

To aid in this quest, CityMag reached out to InDaily‘s arts correspondent, Suzie Keen, for her picks of Fringe shows happening in strange places.



Inside the Treasury Tunnels. This image: Josh Geelen

For a true underground experience, take yourself down to the Long Room in the Adina Treasury Tunnels to see Plastisphere – an immersive installation exploring the inter-generational impacts of climate change. Created by a theatre-maker, a climate scientist, a composer and a filmmaker, it is work where art meets science: “Ghostly projections will animate plastic structures formed from society’s detritus, distorted music and whispers will envelop the space, and future generations will push their warnings through layers of time and plastic.”

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Talk is Free Theatre

This small Canadian theatre company is presenting three Fringe shows – none of them in an actual theatre. Tales of an Urban Indian is a one-person show about a contemporary Indigenous man which is staged on a moving city bus; For Both Resting and Breeding is presented in a house and set in a future in which humans have become gender-neutral; and Every Brilliant Thing is a collective storytelling work presented in the living room of a house. Audiences for all three shows will begin their “immersive theatrical journey” at The Bus Stop, to be located near the Botanic Gardens’ International Rose Garden and Noel Lothian Hall.

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I Get It, You Moved To Melbourne

Not content with just one venue, “Adelaide-bred, Melbourne-fled” curator Tahney Fosdike presents this show at both the tunnels at the Lion Hotel in North Adelaide and the old chapel at the Migration Museum. It’s labelled a “pop-up social museum” in which the pair satirise tensions triggering social abandonment through the semi-fictional stories of ex-Adelaideans, visual art and more.

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We love a show in a shipping container … especially when it’s a dark shipping container. Coma is the latest experience from Australia’s Realscape Productions and UK company Darkfield, which previously presented the anxiety-inducing Fringe hits Séance and Flight (also back in 2020, also in shipping containers in the Garden of Unearthly Delights). It’s a half-hour, multi-sensory experience that “invites audiences to slip into a collective dream … imagine the moment of waking is actually the moment when your dream begins.” Claustrophobic types best steer clear.

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Dream Boat

This image: Daniel Marks

All aboard the next generation Popeye for a party cruise along the Karrawirra Pari River Torrens. This event brings music to the fore and gives audiences the unique experience of cruising the tiny bit of water Adelaide has between the Zoo and our par 3 golf course in the west. A unique experience, trust in the music gurus from Endless Grooves to put on a fun jam night that can bookend your Fringe day / night out.

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Rich Bitch

We discovered this Fringe venue while interviewing the founder of the For Good Foundation, Marina Pullin, last year. Built and then abandoned by a short-lived creative agency, The BASEM3NT features a Green Screen and recording studio. Down Featherstone Place, tucked behind Rundle Mall, and adjacent the Independent Order of Oddfellows building on Gawler Place, The BASEM3NT is exactly the sort of venue you want to discover during Fringe. Cristina Lark’s all-too-real (and hilarious) take on the self-help, get-rich-quick, and social media influenza world in her solo comedy / theatre show Rich Bitch will pair well with the padded room surrounds as she holds a hilarious mirror up to the insanity of Internet society.

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