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ItemWomadelaide Previewed. Womadelaide 2001 [preview](The Adelaide Review, 2001-02) Bramwell, Murray RossIt is February and the “off-year” for the Adelaide Festival, so it must be time for Womadelaide. This is the sixth incarnation -including the Pimba train ride and the McLaren Vale boutique version in 1998 - and expectation is now higher than ever. This event has come a long way since its inception as part of the 1992 Festival of Arts. ItemBig World. Womadelaide 2001 [review](The Adelaide Review, 2001-03) Bramwell, Murray RossWomadelaide Mark Six has come and gone and its remarkable continuity is again assured. The key to its success is clear. It is well-funded, well managed and has a modus operandi that not only works but is shared by the up-to-25,000 crowd that fills Botanic Park at its peak attendance. Few outdoor festivals enjoy the support that Womad has - from Government departments, quangos, NGOs, arts organisations, Botanic gardeners, St John, the police, caterers and stall holders, all the many contributors to its organisation. ItemCabaret in May. "Adelaide Cabaret Festival". [review](Adelaide Review, 2001-06) Bramwell, Murray RossThe recent "Adelaide Cabaret Festival" has been a curious event. The result has been a mixed menu of middle of the road favourites, jazzy morning melodies, an outing for the ASO, a few choice items from here and there and a fair amount of the sort of popular comedy which we saw at the last "Adelaide Fringe". Some shows went wild - the "Sing-Along-Sound-of-Music" for starters- and, with modest box office targets and a built-in subsidy , performers such as Ross Skiffington, James Morrison, Julie Anthony and Judi Connelli were going to do well also. ItemFestival Update. 2002 "Adelaide Festival". [preview](Adelaide Review, 2002-02) Bramwell, Murray RossNo sooner has Artistic Director, Sue Nattrass got things moving and she is handballing the presentation to Karl Telfer, one of five Associate Directors present - of the ten listed in the Program’s staff list. It is his task, with his sister Waiata, to take us through the Kaurna Palti Meyunna, the Opening Ceremony featuring Indigenous people from around Australia and South Australia, as well as representatives from Aotearoa New Zealand, the Zulu Nation of South Africa, Gyuto Monks from Tibet and the Zuni people from New Mexico. It sounds like it will be a majestic event, proceeding from the four outlying squares into Tandanyungga (Victoria Square) for a Spirit Fire ceremony and a dreaming named for an esteemed Kaurna ancestor, Tjilbruke. Other events collectively entitled "Home/Lands" follow over eight more nights, each with a theme such as "Holding Your Ground", "Carrying Country", "Inheritance", "Cross Connections" and "Resilience". "Reminiscence", it turns out, is a free outdoor screening of "Storm Boy", "Heaven is Here" is the ASO under the stars with the "Adelaide Chamber Singers" and the "Philharmonia Chorus" performing, under the baton of Richard Mills, a new work, "Star Chant" by Ross Edwards. "Take Me Home" is a closing concert of country music which is scarily short on line-up details - so far listed are "Seaman Dan" from the Torres Strait, the "Drowners" from Mt Barker and Todd Williams from outback NSW. Country fans may need more blandishments than this. ItemFringe Events. "Adelaide Fringe Festival". [review](Adelaide Review, 2002-03) Bramwell, Murray RossThe Fringe is in full swing for 2002. Even before the Friday night Opening Parade, which attracts a crowd upwards of fifty thousand, plenty of venues are well under way. At The Garden of Unearthly Delights in Rundle Park East, the Amazing Lunar Tent has already opened for circus biz while the Spiegeltent, which made its first appearance in Australia in Adelaide several Fringes ago, has again opened its elegant Edwardian doors for a full tilt menu which continues until the last knock on March 17. Under Katrina Sedgwick’s direction, this year’s Fringe has a more than usual zest to it. ItemCinematic Focus Richly Rewarded. Adelaide Film Festival - Shedding Light and Casting Shadows [review](The Australian, 2002-03-08) Bramwell, Murray RossThe Adelaide Festival films have always been one of Peter Sellars’ pet ideas, and they have turned out to be among his best. With various funding, including $1.5m from the Festival, Shedding Light Director and SBS Independent executive, Bridget Ikin produced four features which premiered this week. Three of the four have Indigenous perspectives focusing on Truth and Reconciliation. ItemFestival Fractured By Chaos. Adelaide Festival 2002 [review](The Australian, 2002-03-15) Bramwell, Murray RossThe 2002 Adelaide Festival has been full of earnest innovations, sparkling surprises and reflective moments. It has also, for audiences at least, been an organisational shambles. ItemFringe Notes. "Adelaide Fringe Festival". [preview](Adelaide Review, 2002-04) Bramwell, Murray RossThe press kit reminds us that there are 381 registered events, including 76 in comedy and 102 in theatre. There is also a huge visual arts and film and video program, the schools tour YEP event, regional programs, the ATSI indigenous arts project, special schedules for families and the Fresh Bait initiative for young artists. ItemA Fringe Wrap. "Adelaide Fringe Festival". [review](Adelaide Review, 2002-04) Bramwell, Murray RossThings were always going to go well for the Fringe this year. Everything, from the logo launch of that underdog-looking little bambi to the setting up of its ambitious on-line ticketing, had an assurance and energy about it. This not only came from director Katrina Sedgwick, CEO Jodie Glass and an army of workers and volunteers but was evident in the vibrant response from an Adelaide crowd looking for something more edifying, and certainly more entertaining, than the previous six months of divisive politics, and national and international trauma. People were ready to have fun and grab the last of the summer we almost didn’t have. And the venues worked better this year. The use of the Adelaide Uni Union and Cloisters area created a central and coherent group of performance spaces which included Union Hall and the Scott Theatre, and existing catering facilities were handy as well. Then, the carnival atmosphere at Rundle Park, with the circus adrenaline of the Lunar Tent and the Edwardian charm of the Spiegeltent, made the whole of the East End again the buzzy place to be. ItemThe Festival That Was. "Adelaide Festival". [review](Adelaide Review, 2002-04) Bramwell, Murray RossIt has been said that the 2002 "Adelaide Festival" has been misunderstood, that it was too innovative and far-sighted to be fully comprehended. That its impact will not be realised for years, say some. For a decade, says the former Director. It has been reported that many valuable cultural interchanges took place - in the "Intertwine" project and during other cultural residencies. Among the scheduled performances, "Black Swan’s" "The Career Highlights of Mamu" presented a complex and sometimes rickety mix of oral history, theatre and traditional dance. In "Skin" "Bangarra Dance Company" contrasted an aestheticised tableau of traditional women’s culture with the contemporary trauma of deaths in custody, alcohol addiction and alienation among Aboriginal men. In "Bone Flute", "MAU Dance" directed by Lemi Ponifasio, brought together, ponderously and unsuccessfully, elements of Japanese butoh with Polynesian rituals and traditions. It was obvious that attendances everywhere were thin. The excellent "Shedding Light" program of commissioned films had nearly full houses for "The Tracker" and the controversial "Australian Rules" - although there were only three screenings in each case - but the premiere for Ivan Sen’s superbly understated "Beneath Clouds" was scandalously under-attended, as was the first night of Tony Ayres’ "Walking on Water". Similarly the expanse of empty seats at the latter performances of "El Nino" was an eerie sight. The additional program added by Sue Nattrass at the behest of the Festival board seems never to have grafted on to the original framework of Peter Sellars’ plan. The Barbara Cook ticket prices were steep and the other solo shows - BJ Ward, Patrick Dickson’s Via Dolorosa, Max Gillies and the dance works by Ros Warby and Helen Herbertson, while individually creditable, seemed forlorn and disconnected. ItemRocky Horror and a Pack of Droll Models. Adelaide Cabaret [review](The Australian, 2002-06-10) Bramwell, Murray RossIt may look like the blitz outside, but in every available performance space inside the Adelaide Festival Centre the joint is jumping. The major removal of the concrete crust that used to be the Centre’s Plaza is still continuing but that hasn’t deterred the second Adelaide Cabaret Festival with its seventeen day program featuring more than seventy different shows. First up is Sleepless Beauty, a rocky horror featuring Christa Hughes, lead singer of indie band Machine Gun Fellatio.The Rat Pack might have trouble recognising themselves in the form of Paul McDermott, Mikey Robbins and Sandman but the Adelaide audience is in raptures anyway. ItemOther People's Festivals. "Edinburgh International Festival", "Melbourne Festival", and "China Shanghai International Arts Festival" [review](The Adelaide Review, 2003-01) Bramwell, Murray RossOver a ten month period last year I had the chance, including the Adelaide Festival in March, to attend four international festivals. I haven’t had such an opportunity before and it will be about the time of Halley’s Comet before I am likely to again - so, with our own 2004 event little more than twelve months away - maybe it is worth some impressions and comparisons. ItemThe World To Come. Womadelaide 2003 [preview](The Adelaide Review, 2003-02) Bramwell, Murray RossWomadelaide celebrates ten years next month and it is now a leading fixture on the city’s cultural calendar. In 2004 Womadelaide comes full circle. Established in 1992 for Rob Brookman’s Adelaide Festival of that year, it will again be incorporated into the program of the Adelaide Festival and organisers will be hoping that the 34% of the Womad audience who travelled from interstate and overseas in 2001 will, next year, stay around longer for some Festival and Fringe consumption as well. ItemNew Works for New Audiences. "Come Out" 2003. Australian Festival for Young People. [review](Adelaide Review, 2003-04) Bramwell, Murray RossThe 2003 Come Out program, compiled by Artistic Director Sally Chance, has stronger and more varied theatre offerings than we have seen in some time. This is, in part, because of the presence of two works from the freshly established and well-supported "Windmill Productions" - under the capable stewardship of Cate Fowler, now a leading figure both nationally and on the international children’s theatre circuit. It is also because the vexed area of repertoire for adolescents has been well served with presentations from "Fresh Track Productions" and emerging local company "Budgie Lung". Coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of the Ash Wednesday tragedy, "Bushfire", a new work commissioned by the Festival Centre Trust, is based on two books by Marguerite Hann Syme, whose own family lost everything in the fires. Directed by Alyson Brown, the cast of four - Michael Finney and Amber McMahon as two young children, and Justin Moore and Astrid Pill as their frazzled parents - present a family under stress, caught on the day of the emergency in different parts of town. With spirited comedy and sharp detail the actors capture the often fractious aspects of domestic interaction. Finney and McMahon move readily between the intensities of imaginative play and the anxieties of isolation while Moore and Pill present a realistic account of a marriage under pressure. ItemNew Works for New Audiences. "Come Out Festival 2003". [review](The Adelaide Review, 2003-04) Bramwell, Murray RossCome Out has been reappearing every two years since 1974 which my add-ups tell me is just short of thirty years. This is an extraordinary achievement and a tribute to the continuing commitment of artists, administrators, teachers and funding agencies in establishing and maintaining, not just a festival for young people, but a focus and a forum for the presentation and preservation of youth arts. ItemWorld Peace. Womadelaide 2003 [review](The Adelaide Review, 2003-04) Bramwell, Murray RossWomadelaide is not just a highly successful musical occasion, it is a key fixture in the Adelaide cultural calendar. That is made clear enough at the afternoon press call before the Friday night opening. All the major players are there. In 2003, Womadelaide is as amiable and familiar and populous as ever. ItemThe Funny Business of Sex in the City. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2003 [review](The Australian, 2003-06-16) Bramwell, Murray RossThe Adelaide Cabaret Festival still has a week to go and the newly refitted Festival Centre is jumping - as well it might, hosting 400 artists and 152 performances over just seventeen nights. With a program including crooners, comics, smooth jazz exponents, a mind reader, even a techno-haka group, the Festival Centre hasn’t been such a hub of activity since... the last Cabaret Festival. ItemOver the Border. Melbourne Festival [Preview](Adelaide Review, 2003-10) Bramwell, Murray RossThe Melbourne International Arts Festival opens this month from 9th to the 25th. This is the second year for Robyn Archer as Artistic Director and, because she learnt a great deal from her time at the Adelaide Festival, Melbourne is definitely the city to watch - and watch out for. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, for instance, who featured here in 1998 and return in the first weekend with "Cursive II" incorporating calligraphy into their ravishing stage picture. Jan Fabre performed here nearly fifteen years ago but his work is still as controversial as ever. "I am Blood" is his sanguine investigation of all that bleeds. Other international acts include Dumb Type with "Memorandum", Lepage collaborator Marie Brassard’s "Jimmy", "Johan Pada" from Dario Fo’s Teatrale Fo-Rame and from Austrian- based Barry Kosky - "The Lost Breath", a work blending the stories of Kafka with the music of Schumann. ItemGlobal Appeal. Womadelaide [preview](The Adelaide Review, 2004-01) Bramwell, Murray RossWomadelaide will soon be upon us: from 5 -7 March, to be exact. And, yes, it does seem like only a year ago. Now an annual fixture, Womad, this year, is tucked under the wing of the Adelaide Festival- as it was for its inaugural presentation back in 1992. ItemFringe Favourites. "Adelaide Fringe Festival" Fringe Theatre. [preview](Adelaide Review', 2004-02) Bramwell, Murray RossThere are the classics - beginning with David Malikoff’s performance of the Anglo-Saxon monster epic "Beowulf and Midsummer Night’s Dream Reloaded" from Scrambled Prince at the Mercury Cinema. Local company, Rough Magic is staging Ibsen’s "Ghosts at the Holden Street Theatres", directed by Alice Teasdale and featuring Michael Baldwin and Carl Nilsson-Polias. Twentieth century Absurdist works are well represented - "Waiting for Godot" from Fourdoors theatre, "The Caretaker" by Harold Pinter from Brink Productions - excellent contributors in past Fringe line-ups also - and Ionesco’s "The Lesson" will be conducted on the Museum Lawns. The international contingent again includes Seattle’s Theatre Simple with "Notes From Underground" based on the text by Dostoesvky, other works from this company include "The Big Time" and "Parrot Fever". "The Blue Orphan" from Canada’s Catalyst Theatre looks intriguing, and for quality children’s theatre, "Smashed Eggs" written by Phil Porter and presented by Sulis Productions is of interest.