So week two draws to a close and we are at the halfway mark for the 2011 Adelaide Fringe.
Some interesting things.
Good stuff :
The Garden seems less mega-packed this year. Often there is a monster mama-jammer queue to get in and when you get in it's quite empty-ish. Of course there are often a few thousand people inside shows at any given moment, but in previous years the Garden seemed much busier. It does make getting in a bit harder, but being in the garden a somewhat nicer experience.
Festival attendance numbers seem to be up yet again and it's great to see the SOLD OUT sign on so many deserving shows. Again, the only downside of that is it makes it somewhat harder to see everything you want to see.
If you are having trouble deciding on what to see - check out Rush Tix in the Garden or look on the Fringetix website. These are often half price or less and if you want to see something but not sure what, this is a cheap and easy way of filling your Fringe schedule. Plus there are free shows in the Garden most days and also in the Mall at the Fringetix caravan.
There are a number of showcase gigs on during the Fringe this year. They are a bit like a tasting plate and it's a great way to have a great night see a whole bunch of comedians doing ten minute spots and perhaps inspire you to go and see their full gig.
These include :
Heath Franklin's Chopper : Hosted by Chopper usually three guests, all very established acts.
The Phat Cave : Hosted by Mickey D with up to EIGHT guests.
The Rhino Room Late Show : Probably the best best of the tasting plates for comedy. Different hosts and up to eight acts a night.
Marcel Lucont, Etc - A Chat Show : Hosted by the magnificent Monsieur Lucont, two or three guests.
Late Night Band Thing : All comedian live band karaoke on Saturday nights, excellent fun.
Great to see Adelaide's BURLESQUE BEAUTIES selling out shows and having to add more performances at Rhino. Two sold out shows today, more shows added next weekend.
Bad Stuff :
If I can pass on one bit of wisdom about this years fringe it would be this. When you are looking for a park near the Garden and you see a killer parking space on East Terrace (opposite PJ O'Briens or near the Fringe Club) DO NOT PARK THERE. The signs say it's ticket parking til 8pm or something, but there are other signs that say 'PARKING CONDITIONS HAVE CHANGED'. What this means is every car that parks in those spots gets a EIGHTY FIVE DOLLAR FINE. Yep $85 which is utter robbery and very much not in the spirit of the Fringe there Adelaide City Council. When I see somebody pulling into one of those spots I always try and warn them. Now I'm warning you.
There have been a number of black-outs in The Garden and Gluttony resulting in shows being delayed, postponed or in a few cases - performed in the dark (hat's off to you Felicity Ward and Guy Pratt).
Those creepy locust/cricket bugs all over town are mega-yuck. Also The Gluttony site seems to have a lot of possums and Golden Orb spiders, so watch where you are walking.
People are still working out where Gluttony is. If you stand on East Terrace facing the Garden it is to your right just over Grenfell St. I was wondering why they don't have a big-ass sign saying Gluttony over the entrance (that you could see from the Garden) and apparently there is a such a sign. On it's way from China. Should have been here last Wednesday. Still not up. And the is Fringe half finished... At least it will get here in time for next year.
Tuxedo Cat has a great new home this year. It's a bit post-apocalyptic looking but that is a good part of it's charm. They have done a terrific job creating an exciting new Fringe space and should be applauded. Couple of tiny niggles few too many seats in a couple of the rooms making it uncomfortable and some traffic flow issues (holding some people downstairs til after their shows have started), but these are just teething problems that I hope are now sorted.
General other stuff
If you haven't had a chance yet some shows to catch
BARRY MORGANS WORLD OF ORGANS - I loved this show.
DEAD CAT BOUNCE - CAGED HEAT Some initial sound issues sorted and my favourites last year, DCB return with a great new collection of awesome songs of fantastically questionable intent and marksmen like precision.
DEAD CAT BOUNCE - BOOTLEGS. It's funny but not a comedy show. It's all about dancing as the lads do a 90 live band mash-up set which is guaranteed to have you dancing your pants off. (Mondays 10:30pm Gluttony)
TOM GLEESON - Up Himself. He's not, very funny man
MARCEL LUCONT - Greatest living faux Frenchman.
FELICITY WARD - Honestly. She's fantastic - honestly.
DAVID QUIRK - THE DAY I ATE WOMBAT. If your tastes in comedy runs to the darker side, Quirk is the man for you.
SAM SIMMONS - THE PRECISE HISTORY OF THINGS : Sams best show ever.
SAMMY J & RANDY - BIN NIGHT : Still trying to get in for this show, often sold out SJ&R always awesome.
TOM BINNS - IAN D MONTFORT - SPIRIT MEDIUM : Think comedic John Edwards.
Great shows starting this week
BEC HILL : BEC HILL DIDN'T WANT TO PLAY YOUR STUPID GAME ANYWAY.
Adelaide's own makes a most welcome return after being based in the UK for bloomin' ages.
DEANNE SMITH : ABOUT FREAKIN' TIME. Canadian gal who is regularly smart and witty and well worth checking out.
HANNAH GADSBY : MRS CHUCKLES last years show one of my favourite shows, intelligent, deadpan, fantastic.
GREG FLEET : BIG LOVE. Fleety returns with Mick Moriarty (Gud/Gadflys) for laughs and music.
ONE MAN LORD OF THE RINGS : If you saw his one man Star Wars trilogy, you'll be as excited as I am to finally get to see his LOTRs show. The whole story "from the Shire to the fire" in one hour.
TOM BINNS - IVAN BRACKENBURY'S HOSPITAL RADIO SHOW. After a criminally under publicized run last year, this gag heavy show return for 2011. He did a guest spot at dead cat Bounce the other night and had the entire audience in fits. "This goes out to Greg who is in Emergency with a Spiderman figure suck up his bum (queue mPeople) "You've got to search for the hero inside youself".
THE AXIS OF AWESOME - SONGS IN THE KEY OF AWESOME : Are going to be MASSIVE this year. Touring internationally and finding a huge audience in the UK, USA and Europe. Catch 'em while you still can.
THE AXIS OF AWESOME - & FREINDS SING SONGS : Promises to be an all-star sing-stastic freak out. Three nights only.
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC - IN CONCERT : Yes the real actual Weird Al. trust me when I say - he is UNBELIEVABLE in concert, 15 costume changes (including the FAT suit from Eat It), crams in songs, medleys, video sections and much more. Do yourself a favour.
See you at the Fringe kids.
xx dj ian