It’s that time of year once again! With the Adelaide Fringe Festival taking over the city and surrounds from February 16-March 17, we’ve put together a guide to finding the most literary events in the program.
Check out our list below with some of the shows featuring local members, visiting authors, poetry and spoken word, and literary-themed events. Happy Fringe!
Tracy Crisp: Pearls
In the search for a string of pearls, a daughter travels to her abandoned childhood home and a mother travels from Port Pirie to Paris without ever leaving home. Memories are ignited, then questioned. Fractures deepen until finally a heartbreaking but healing truth is revealed. A profound lesson in what it really means to live each day is if it were your last. ‘Pearls’ will make you laugh, then cry, then laugh again.
Tracy Crisp: Stitches
In my sixth solo show, I’m trying something new: finishing a new dress at each performance. And not just any dress, the dress I’ll wear to my funeral. (Don’t worry, there’s nothing’s wrong, I’m just being prepared–if I leave it to my family they might send me off to the afterlife in something that doesn’t have pockets). Each new dress will be added to a mannequin on stage, meaning the show slowly evolves over the season. Everyone sees the same show, but with a slight difference. A story about the way we piece our lives together bit by bit, told with the mix of laughs and poignancy you’ve come to expect.
My wedding dress was the last thing my mother sewed for me. On the 30th anniversary of her death I unstitched the dress, using it as a canvas to stitch the text of my play ‘Pearls’. ‘Pearls’ is the story of my mother, a compassionate and complex woman whose final lesson was to teach me what it truly means to live every day as if it is your last. Creating this show was a time of deep reflection, thinking about grief, family, the power of art, and what it means to live a life true to your values. Accompanied by a catalogue of essays and short video, this is a space for quiet contemplation.
Menopause – the Masterclass
Members Jillian Smith and Megan Dyson present a light-hearted but informative exploration of nutrition in menopause, based on some of the themes in Megan’s book 5 for Life: Healthy Ways for Healthy Weight.
A showcase of spoken word artists and their fandoms and obsessions. Featuring nine performers, including members Pam Makin and Caroline Reid.
Haiku For You
Three lines, three acts: guaranteed to make you live, laugh, love. Help us write a haiku on stage then leave it to us to improvise a play in three parts. Will it all come together at the end? Who knows! A hilarious evening of poetry and comedy – improv at its fabulous, feminist best.
Hyperaurea: Equinox charts a course through Antarctica, the last frontier on Earth, as experienced by Sean Williams, Arts Fellowship expeditioner to Casey station in 2017, and palaeontologist Professor John Long. Ambient music (Williams) and hypnotic visuals (Katie Cavanagh and Shane Bevin) combine in two unique presentations: an intimate, fully-immersive ambisonic experience, and an open-air iteration in the natural amphitheatre of Flinders University’s Bedford Park campus.
Reid creates unique boutique performances combining dance, physical theatre and video projection in unusual locations, including underground tunnels, train carriages and convent hallways. “Cabin Fever,” originally set in a cabin for Adelaide Fringe 2019, then re-developed into a vintage caravan for a maximum of 8 audience members. Expect to move and be moved in this half hour encounter with a woman contemplating escape.
Sweet Home Songs
Join award-winning songwriters Doctor D, Fergus Maximus & Marta Bayly in a historic setting for an intimate acoustic performance of original South Aussie songs and stories reflecting on the theme of home.
Authors and Writers
Lydia Lunch & Joseph Keckler – “Tales of Lust & Madness”
Two of New York’s most one-of-kind performers join forces on this double bill, marking a triumphant return to Australia for Lydia Lunch and a debut for Joseph Keckler. In back-to-back sets, Lunch’s legendary, spellbinding prose and Keckler’s haunting and tricksterish songs promise an intimate evening of musical and linguistic intrigue.
Nexus Arts Gallery
Matcho Makata is a Filipino actor, writer, performance poet, movements artist & teacher. He is a force of spoken word and poetry whose works demonstrate the transformative power of language. Matcho’s work sheds light on the challenges and struggles of growing roots in a foreign land while sharing your identity from your homeland.
Everyone Needs A Liam: Librarian Saga
Meet Liam: he’s a fun, geeky and nerdy, science-fiction and fantasy writer and cartoonist. Step into his captivating universe of visual and plot-twisting stories as he takes the stage to share his unique journey as a writer with Autism and Intellectual Disability, and brings his “Librarian Saga” novels to life through recitations of his work.
Let’s Write Your Life Story
This fun 2023 Fringe Workshop is back by popular demand. In 2024 the workshop includes a copy of Lucille Orr’s autobiography, “LUCILLE – A Lifetime Empowering Women.”
Set in a Melbourne no longer recognisable, four characters speak from different points in time, their stories overlapping and interweaving with tantalising uncertainty. From playwright Ben Ellis, winner of both the Malcolm Robertson Prize and the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award comes a piece of post-apocalyptic poetry posing as a play.
YOGATRY where yoga meets poetry
On the 24th of Feb and 16th of Mar at 6.00pm, poetry and yoga come together and meet at the mat. When yoga teachers include poetry in their dialogue with the class, it’s magical. As an audience member you can choose to do the Yoga or relax in chairs provided for a seat audience.
The internationally award winning storytelling phenomenon returns to Adelaide Fringe for its 5th year, for 9 shows only. A tale of impossible, death defying love told through hair raising spoken word and soaring soulful music.
Premiering at Adelaide Fringe 2024, Madam Nightingale’s exciting collaboration with Cloutie Will ‘New Beginnings’ is a gripping musical performance including spoken word and interpretive dance, elegantly storytelling what it means to be human.
The Gods The Gods The Gods
An exhilarating weave of big beats, heavy basslines, soaring melodies and heart-stopping spoken word. We are called to the crossroads of Greek mythology and modern life to mourn, to love and to hope. An uplifting communal experience which invites you – the gods – to take up your own power.
The Bacchae (*Renmark event)
One day a team of queer, neurodivergent country teens picked up this 2000-year-old script and said, “we want to do this play because it is gay and chaotic.” And Fleur Kilpatrick, award-winning playwright and director said “are you sure? People get torn to pieces.” And they said “Mood.”
El Jaguar Book (Fight) Club
8 randomly selected books enter the literati ThunderDome, only 1 leaves. It’s like High Lander, but with books. The former WWF wrestling superstar brings together his 2 deepest loves, books & fights for a hilarious evening of robust book club discussions followed by a deadly battle between some of our favourite books.
Turning The Page
Words… I love reading them and I love writing them. The right mix can transport us. For my new original music show, I created a collection of songs inspired by words. Some songs are inspired by one line from a book, others are made entirely from the author’s words reimagined. Featured books include Pride and Prejudice, We Should All Be Feminists, LOTR: Two Towers and Signs & Wonders!
An Evening With JK
In this rare and exclusive literary event, join world-renowned children’s author JK (as played by transgender comedian Anna Piper Scott) for an exclusive, hard hitting one-on-one interview. This original play places two oppositional forces against each other in an attempt to unmask the millionaire and reconcile the feelings of former fans and those on the fence. A must-see for book-lovers, feminists, and women of all backgrounds.
Why Runs The Abhisarika
What makes the Abhisarika (a heroine from Indian Sanskrit poetry) run to meet her lover on dark stormy nights through forests infested by snakes, demons, and other motifs? This picture recitation with visuals in set design, English spoken-word poetry, and Indian dance investigates the neuroscience of her passion.
Songs of Middle-Earth
Come on a magical journey with acclaimed harpist, singer and story-teller Emma Horwood as she explores the fantasy world of Middle-Earth, with music set to poetry by J.R.R. Tolkien from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and dramatic readings from the books.
Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act
Revealing the man behind the myth… exposing the great detective’s fears and weaknesses, the devastating consequences of the dramas of his formative years, and, unexpectedly, his cutting sense of humour.
Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic novel ‘Rebecca’ meets ‘Farmer Wants a Wife’ in this searing new solo show.
Garry Starr: Classic Penguins
The polar ice caps are melting! Soon penguins will have nowhere to live. Having already saved pretty much everything else, Garry Starr is now taking it upon himself to single-handedly save our flightless, feathered friends from extinction by performing every Penguin Classic novel ever written. In an hour. Mostly naked (but with flippers).
Tales in a Teacup
‘Tales in a Teacup’ is a tantalizing blend of tea tasting and storytelling. Immerse yourself in a world of flavors as you journey through captivating tales of Goddesses, spirits, magicians and merfolk.
Adelaide Fringe Festival runs 16 February – 17 March, full program here.
Have a show you’d like to add to the list? Let us know.
If you’re looking for a literary workshop or event, don’t forget to check out our summer program.