ItemCabaret Funnies - Fond and Furious. "iBob" by Bob Downe, "We Don't Have Husbands" by the Kransky Sisters, and "The Big Con" by Max Gilles and Eddie Perfect. Adelaide Cabaret Festival [review](The Adelaide Review, 2005-07-08) Bramwell, Murray RossThe Adelaide Cabaret Festival, in part, arose from the need to separate from the avalanche of stand-up comedy that dominates the Fringe. However, there has been no shortage of funny business in the Festival Centre recently in a program that has included the CNNNN jokers, Sandman and Flacco, Wil Anderson - and Bob Downe. Even after twenty one years, it seems, you can’t keep an irrepressible man down. Bob Downe, the acrylic and polyester alter ego of Mark Trevorrow, has - you might say - come of age. But he hasn’t quite arrived either because he belongs in a long and hilarious line of repressed entertainers, those, like Norman Gunston, whose vaulting ambitious outweigh their talents, and whose geek-detectors are permanently switched off. ItemRunning, Jumping, Not Standing Still. "Come Out Festival 2005" [review](The Adelaide Review, 2005-04-01) Bramwell, Murray RossCome Out, the Australian Festival for Young People has been showcasing new work for more than thirty years and its achievement is impressive. For much of that time, Come Out was not just the leading festival for young people in Australia, it was the only one - and an important opportunity, through forums, performances and collegial exchange, to take a look at the state of the arts for audiences ranging from pre-school to late adolescence. In 2005 Artistic Director Sally Chance has again brought together all the many aspects of Come Out - schools touring, outreach programs, Allwrite the literature and creative writing branch - as well as theatre, music and dance. It is an ambitious brief and includes many thousands of children across the state. ItemHearts and Box Office Won, Minds Yet to Follow. "Adelaide Festival 2004" [review](The Australian, 2004-03-16) Bramwell, Murray Ross2004 would be the Recovery Festival for Adelaide. That has been the received wisdom ever since the 2002 event ended in inglorious shambles. The experience with iconoclastic American director Peter Sellars had been financially and organisationally traumatic. He had embarked on an ambitious series of community arts programs which he then left to a team of Associate Directors with neither experience nor clout. 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. ItemFestival's Defining Moment. [review](The Adelaide Review, 2004-04) Bramwell, Murray RossLet’s start with "Gulpilil". A project initiated by Festival director Stephen Page and Belvoir Company B director Neil Armfield, this theatre monologue featuring one of Australia’s most distinguished screen actors was the subject of much speculation. There was talk that the rehearsals weren’t going well, that they were taking place in a cave in the Blue Mountains, that David Gulpilil was finding it all too much and had gone back to his home in Ramingining in Arnhem Land. Even Page conceded, with his trademark candour, that he was worried that this Festival commission might not happen. 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. ItemPurveyors of Delectable Derision. "Kit and the Widow", "Peter Berner 'Live'", and "Greg Fleet". Adelaide Cabaret Festival [review](The Adelaide Review, 2004-07) Bramwell, Murray RossKit and the Widow are smutty and smart, topical and very tight. Sex toys, laptops, Joan Rivers’ plastic surgery are all fair game, as is The Leopard, a straight song about Hesketh-Harvey’s native Malawi. And, after eviscerating Steve Irwin with new lyrics to I Will Survive, Wit and the Kiddo have us community singing a curry house menu to a chorus from Turandot. It is one crowded hour. The Cabaret Festival has programmed a range of Australian stand-ups from the Fringe circuit. Some, such as Flacco and Sandman, Mary G and Lano and Woodley are inconveniently after our deadline but familiar faces Peter Berner and Greg Fleet have paraded their rumpled wares. ItemFringe Benefits. "Adelaide Fringe Festival" Fringe Theatre. [review](Adelaide Review, 2004-04) Bramwell, Murray RossThose long lines down Angas Street, out of the Nova on Rundle Street and the big mobs around the Scott Theatre were all for comedy acts. Some were worth the wait - the eccentric Daniel Kitson, Lano and Woodley’s hypermanic slapstick on "The Island" and the slowburn Dave Hughes. Others such as Brit Com-edy and the usually staunch Rod Quantock were not. The first week is clearly the time to strike and the excellent "Horse Country" and "Cincinnati" were in and out before the Festival and Womad could start distracting the punters. Also in early was one of my favourites, UK act Peepolykus’s show, "Mindbender". With Sidekick Bernard and not-very-subtle audience plant, Raymond, Michael Santos (aka David Sant) is the Mindbender, reaching into the audience to tell us - Raymond’s radio mike permitting - our names, addresses and our deepest thoughts. It was hilariously cheesy with mime gags, palm readings, lounge music, big jewellery and no-one will forget Bonko, the gypsy bear. At the FringeHUB venue in the Adelaide Uni Union we saw a number of excellent shows over three weeks. Theatre Simple from Seattle served us well, particularly with "Notes From Underground" as did Fresh Track with "Morph" and "Songs For the Deaf". 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. ItemComedy Preview. "Adelaide Fringe Festival". [preview](Adelaide Review', 2004-02) Bramwell, Murray RossBefore television re-discovered Australian humour and FM breakfast executives began strip-mining the stand-up industry, comedy at the Adelaide Fringe was all one big lucky dip where Funny Stories, LosTrios Ringbarkus, the Doug Anthony Allstars, Flacco, the Jet Black Cowboy and the Castanet Club could all be found. Now we know our comics through Rove and ABC vehicles like The Glass House so many comedians already have a profile and a pedigree. Some legends are listed here. With "Gud", Paul McDermott presents his patented line in vehement wit, mixed with music from his own fine pipes and the talents of Cameron Bruce and Mick Moriarty. Dave Hughes comes out of the glass house and back to his true calling in the colosseum of stand-up and Rod Quantock, the most reasonable, funny and politically corrosive commentator in the country will provide therapeutic counsel back at the Nova. Also, Lano and Woodley, are back with the "The Island" a new show undoubtedly garnished with all the pratfalls, regressed physicality and social incompetence which has made them hilarious and irresistible in the past. 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. 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. 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. ItemGems At Risk of Being Swamped. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2004 [review](The Australian, 2004-03-11) Bramwell, Murray RossWith an estimated crowd of one hundred thousand cheering the opening night parade, a lively buzz at Rundle Park’s Garden of Earthly Delights, and, by yesterday, a gross of $2.9m and 163,000 in ticket sales, the Adelaide Fringe is a conspicuous success. Boisterous doppelganger to the Festival, the Fringe is second only to Edinburgh, and like its counterpart, not only continues to thrive, but is presumed by many to be the Festival itself. 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. ItemNaked Observation to End Festival on a High. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2004 [review](The Australian, 2004-06-25) Bramwell, Murray RossWhen you go to a show called Private Dancer what exactly might you expect? Dancer, performance artist, satirist and hostess, Wendy McPhee makes it very clear when she appears dressed only in a studded choker. After being captivated by the vivacious Micheline Van Houtem and her band Mich en Scene, the Cabaret Festival has to change gears for Paris Combo’s more eclectically cool style. ItemSimple Strength Betters Virtuosity. Adelaide Festival 2004 [review](The Australian, 2004-03-09) Bramwell, Murray RossThe eyes have it for theatre at the Adelaide Festival. Toronto’s CanStage even opens its accomplished performance of Gogol’s sardonic story with projected titles - just like the movies. Anyone familiar with the vibrant colours and evocative details of Ngarrindjeri man, Ian W. Abdulla’s paintings will be especially drawn to Windmill’s new work, Riverland. ItemGotta Get Out of Displace. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2004 [review](The Australian, 2004-02-24) Bramwell, Murray RossThe first weekend of theatre in the Adelaide Fringe has opened strongly with a number of works interestingly clustered around the theme of imprisonment within the self. ItemLong Cool Drink From Brel's Well. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2004 [review](The Australian, 2004-06-15) Bramwell, Murray RossWith 26 performances of its two week program already sold out, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival is bringing a winter boost to the often dark Festival Centre. The opening weekend alone has some 11,000 punters in every nook and cranny of the building, eagerly grooving on musical styles from smooth soul, hip Cuban, and retro Broadway to contemporary Australian and French boulevard ballads.