Adelaide Fringe 2019: the good, the bad and the downright ugly….


Orpheus is back. Last year a local lad played the narrator, whilst this year the original creator of the role got here on time. A very different venue, outdoors at Holden St Theatres. Not suitable for people with mobility issues as there are steep and narrow steps to deal with, but they made sure that we were provided with proper shade and that will be important in day sessions to come as the temperatures head towards forty.

It was really interesting to have an experience of two different narrators: I wouldn’t care to say which was better, it’s just a great piece to perform and I suppose any actor would jump at the chance to do it. Head of The Flanagan Collective Alexander Wright is a talented writer who (I assume) is responsible for Eurydice, showing at the same venue during this Fringe. I will report.


Sweet as Swing was an unexpected delight. Not only a unique take on some Australian pop standards, but the patter was hilarious. And nice to see a girl on doublebass backing four guys. Their short season has finished. I have two reasons for omitting a star. Firstly I would have liked another song, it stopped a bit short timewise. And secondly, surely these guys are going to come back next year with a bit more experience under their beanies and really shine.


Ensemble Galante like Sweet as Swing played at La Boheme in an even shorter season. New to me, they have a deservedly strong local following.

I have an idea that one chooses what Fringe productions to go to based on the venue. Good venues pick good shows. La Boheme has yet to let me down over a few Fringes, so if in doubt….trust that it’ll be a good show.


Old Stock is one of the more expensive Fringe shows, but much better value than some all the same. It’s spell-binding utterly professional story-telling at its best. Nothing falls down, the music, the acting, the instruments, the evocative set. My only reason for being mean about that last star is that they are all miked and I have a strong preference for natural voice. Maybe if I heard it unmiked I’d change my mind. Certainly it played to a relatively large venue, Elder Hall and it was intentionally loud, something akin to the experience of a musical I guess. Highly recommend this to anybody looking to part with Fringe money without being disappointed on the way out.


Box and Cox: Married and Settled We had high hopes for this, having thoroughly enjoyed Part one last year, but this one disappointed for various reasons. It was too short, padded out at the start. And perhaps it simply didn’t warrant a sequel.

Monsieur Bunbury This is performed by a group of French students, as I understand it, and I will say no more than that the performance of the chap playing Algernon is the highlight. As somebody involved in the development of apps for helping people in places like Australia with improving their French pronunciation, I was appalled by some of the accents. Whilst appreciating that Australia is the worst place in the world to learn French (the furthest away from hearing it commonly spoken), nonetheless, the excuses don’t hold up the way they used to. Teachers should be doing more to encourage students to get what they need from online!