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February 28, 2019

Three shows to see at Adelaide Festival 2019

There's a lot to see at Adelaide Festival this year, but don't despair - CityMag is here to help.

  • Words: Farrin Foster
  • Pictures: Supplied
  • Main image: Still life from Grand Finale (picture by Rahi Rezvani)

Adelaide Festival has again produced an array of incredible shows in its 2019 programming, making it as difficult as ever to decide which are most worthy of your time and hard-earned cash.

CityMag has leafed through the annual Festival pamphlet, and below are three picks we reckon you’d be silly to miss.


Check out the full Adelaide Festival program at the link.



Picture by Victor Frankowski, Sydney Festival

The Man With The Iron Neck

The combination of tragic subject matter and physical theatre requires perfectly measured writing and direction to be successful. Early reviews of Man with the Iron Neck indicate the creative team of Ursula Yovich, Josh Bond, and Gavin Robins have struck that ideal balance with this show, which explores the fallout after a suicide amongst a tight-knit group of friends.

The work takes its name from the legacy of The Great Peters – who would leap off bridges with a rope tied around his neck and survive. The old-world stuntman becomes an obsession for one of the piece’s characters, whose probing of the barrier between life and death through the lens of extreme physical feats promises to be strangely poetic.

The Man With The Iron Neck will show at Dunstan Playhouse from 8-11 March. Purchase tickets here.


Picture by Regis Lansac


Internationally acclaimed dance legend Meryl Tankard has choreographed this work in collaboration with the artists of Adelaide’s Restless Dance Theatre.

A musing on Grayson Perry’s eminently quotable line, “Weeds are just flowers in the wrong garden,” Zizanie draws on the beauty to be found in difference. Featuring costume and set design from Jonathon Oxlade – known recently for his ongoing work with Windmill Theatre Company – the piece plays in a space of colour, joy, and whimsy that is rarely explored in the world of contemporary dance.

Zizane will show at Space Theatre from 14-17 March. Purchase tickets here.


Picture by Rahi Rezvani

Grand Finale

London-based choreographer Hofesh Shechter has broken the mould of contemporary dance with Grand Finale, which combines the energy and audacity of a live music gig with the emotion of a dance show and the intellectual rigour of theatre. Almost universally welcomed by four and five-star reviews, Grand Finale is a high-intensity meditation for our times that deals obliquely with concepts like groupthink and the increasing irrelevance of truth.

Hofesh was undoubtedly influenced by the seismic political shifts happening around him while creating the piece, but says those influences express themselves in sometimes unfathomable ways.

“In a way it is completely abstract, and in other ways it makes us think about very specific things,” he says.

Grand Finale will show at Festival Theatre from 15-17 March. Purchase tickets here.



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