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The five acts not to miss at Adelaide’s Fringe Festival

Every year, thousands of people flock to South Australia to experience the weird and wonderful shows on offer at the Adelaide Fringe. Here are this year’s highlights.

By Lucy Jones
Published: 17 February, 2017

The Adelaide Fringe is unashamedly wacky, a brightly coloured, sparkly spectacle of fun that takes over the city in the twilight days of summer. This year’s unofficial mascot is the unicorn, which represents the festival’s mythical and magical spirit. You’ll see a quirky pop art version on posters around town, the winning design of French-born artist Jennifer Rimbault who now lives in the nearby Barossa Valley wine region.

In 2017, more than 5000 artists will perform in 1100 shows, making it the second largest fringe festival in the world (coming in just behind Edinburgh). There’s everything from children’s bubble theatre to sex skills masterclasses – just be sure not to mix those two up.

Parasites Lost

Parasites Lost, Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia

When: 17 – 18 February
Price: $

The tagline for this show is “You’re never alone when you’ve got a parasite,” so be prepared to get a bit uncomfortable. Part stand-up comedy, part educational TED talk, Parasites Lost is the debut solo Fringe show from public health practitioner/comedian Alanta Colley, who has spent the past decade working with various creepy-crawlies in Africa and Asia. You’ll learn some things you never thought you wanted to know.


Madame Tulalah's Magnificent Box

When: 23 – 25 February
Price: Free

Remember the mechanical fortune teller Zoltar from the movie Big? This show offers the chance for your very own Tom Hanks moment with the mysterious Madame Tulalah. Each performance is a seven-minute one-on-one session with the drag queen/machine in an interactive experience created by Melinda Hetzel and Richard Chambers. Take a journey as Madame Tulalah delves into the realms of fate, future and free will using some rather unusual tricks.


Murder, Mystery & Mayhem Night Tour

Murder Mystery and Mayhem Night Tour, Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia

When: 23 February – 17 March
Price: $-$$

West Terrace is South Australia’s oldest cemetery and has been the final resting place of the state’s finest citizens since at least 1839. Venture in after dark, with just a lantern to light your way, and it becomes a spooky maze of darting shadows and creaking branches. This guided sound and light tour takes you through the cemetery’s history on a journey that’s both eerie and intriguing.

Post Dining, Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia

When: 4 – 10 March
Price: $$

Post Dining is much more than just a meal. Created by local duo Hannah Rohrlach (a dietitian) and Stephanie Daughtry (an events coordinator), it’s a multi-course, multi-sensory dining experience that encourages guests to interact with the food and with each other. In 2017, the show is drawing on ideas from the Australian Academy of Science's Australia 2050 project to explore the future of food and the possibilities that imagination can bring to the table.


A belly dance fringe flashmob

When: 18 – 19 March
Price: $

Don’t be shy, festival goers – Nayima Hassan, South Australia’s leading lady of belly dance, will soon have you dancing in the streets. The event starts with a workshop, where attendees learn a fun and playful routine before they shimmy down to a local venue to surprise the punters with a performance. It’s one of four flashmobs that will be happening during the festival, so keep your eyes peeled for other amateur dancers popping up around the city.