Premieres, Returns & Crowd Favourites: 10 must see shows of the 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival!

Even though Adelaide’s reputation as The Festival State may have taken a hit in recent years with the loss of two major touring festivals, the city still remains a hub of activity through February and March when the Adelaide Fringe Festival takes over seemingly every nook and cranny of the CBD. Second only to Edinburgh in size, the Adelaide Festival remains the largest of its kind in the Southern hemisphere and always, always brings in people from all over the world, ready to have their expectations met, blown away and expanded upon.

With the Fringe officially opening for another year on Friday, we turn our focus to the Garden of Unearthly Delights, Gluttony and new contender, the Royal Croquet Club, for a brief selection of shows that we cannot wait to see. Some shows make their debut this season while others make their anticipated return but in all, there’s some diverse talent to be enjoyed.


Where?: The Panama Club @ Royal Croquet Club
When?: March 1st – March 14th (exc. Mon 07/03 & Tues 08/03)

When the BRIEFS crew come to town, you know you best turn out to the most fabulous and fierce degree. Winners of the Best Circus title at the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Awards, the multi-talented and ambitious troupe of performers return triumphant to the Royal Croquet Club with a show that will dazzle you, make you laugh, make you blush and definitely leave you wanting more. A truly international show and delivered with such flair that has made them renowned all around the globe, let the BRIEFS boys taken care of you at the Panama Club.



Where?: The Octagon @ Gluttony
When?: February 23rd – March 14th (exc. Mon 29/02 & Mon 07/03)

Another choice circus production of this year’s Fringe Festival comes in the form of PAPILLON – it’s debaucherous, wild and brilliantly clever, definitely will keep you on your toes. Blending circus, comedy and cabaret into a 90 minutes production, the 2016 PAPILLION show is incorporating a variety of new acts in with some favourites from years past. There’s no pre-requisite to have seen the show before – just rock up prepared to be amazed.



Where?: The Spiegeltent @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When?: February 12th – March 13th (exc. Mondays)

Easily one of the standout shows of the 2015 Adelaide Fringe season, VELVET returns to the Garden for another stomper season. The Boogie Wonderland established by Director Craig Ilott and his cast of unforgettable performers including Brendan Maclean, Marcia Hines and Mirko Köckenberger is one that begs the audience to become involved, to let the music completely intoxicate and to let the vibrancy work its way into every dark corner of the venue. It’s sexy, emotional and brilliantly executed – drop your cash on tickets for this show.



Where?: The Spiegeltent @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When?: March 11th

People may know iOTA from his recent role in Mad Max: Fury Road, but to many others, his is a talent that has been flourishing for years now within Australia. There has remained a sense of mystique and indeed, intrigue, surrounding iOTA’s creative presentation; he can manipulate light and dark textures within his performances to evoke a wide spectrum of emotion and to watch him perform is truly an experience in and of itself. iOTA brings a catalogue of music spanning his entire career to the Fringe, including material from his forthcoming album, WOLF NUMBER NINE. Let him captivate you.



Where?: The Spiegeltent @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When?: March 3rd

The Pierce Brothers return to Adelaide, having cultivated quite the following for themselves off the back of recent successful visits. They’ve played during the festival season previously and have proven to know how to hold the attention of crowds who are having all different types of shows flung at them from all directions. With their Into the Dirt EP going down incredibly well, not to mention international touring dates under their belt alongside The Cat Empire and showcases at CMJ in New York last year, the brothers are working their way more and more on to the radars of many around the world – Adelaide hasn’t faded from theirs though, thankfully!



Where?: The Spiegeltent @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When?: March 2nd

Set to grace The Spiegeltent with her presence this Fringe is the indomitable Kate Miller-Heidke. Her music is tailormade for the quirky, all inclusive nature of the Fringe Festival, so we’re stoked to see what kind of show she brings to Adelaide next month. Kate’s spent the last few months working on and enjoying the success of her latest album O Vertigo! and the musical The Rabbits, but has also been working on new material, some of which may sneak its way into her set this time round.



Where?: Corona Theatre @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When?: February 12th – March 13th (exc. Mondays)

It wouldn’t be the Adelaide Fringe Festival without a bit of Sammy J and Randy antics. The duo bring a brand new show back to The Garden fresh off the back of their successful ABCTV gig. Three million dollars and a new theme park to their name? We can only imagine what’s in store…



Where?: The Menagerie @ Royal Croquet Club
When?: February 23rd – March 6th (exc. Mondays)

The recipients of the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Cultural Fund, the HOT BROWN HONEY ladies return to the RCC with a show that’s taken the heat up a level, as well as the ambition levels and boldness audiences were first introduced to last season. A furious blend of comedy, spoken word, music, striptease and dance, the HOT BROWN HONEY show is not for the weak-hearted; these women will entrance you, challenge you and entertain you all the while, making you think.



Where?: Corona Theatre @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When?: February 29th – March 13th

Sam Simmons returns home to Adelaide for a long-awaited run at the Fringe (and perhaps a cheeky Tapir visit?) with his new show, Not a People Person. Back in the country but for a brief moment, Simmons is bringing back with him a stellar international reputation that he was been cultivating through 2015. His brand of weird is innately biting and clever and is worthy of your attention when you go to see his show; it’s the type of gig that may seem bizarre on the surface but you’ll come away from it, the cogs in your head still turning and putting the humour together.



Where?: The Deluxe @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When?: February 12th – March 13th (exc. Mondays)

Puddles Pity Party is something that can’t quite be explained (especially for punters who are deathly afraid of clowns), but there’s something about this show that is so melancholic and beautiful that keeps crowds coming back in droves. The show was one of the highest reviewed at Edinburgh last year, while Neil Patrick Harris hand-picked Puddles to perform during the opening and closing of his ‘Circus Awesomus’ event during Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival in 2015. A definite must see – join the party.

The Adelaide Fringe Festival runs from February 12th through until March 14th. For more information, head to the Adelaide Fringe website!


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