If you spend any time in Adelaide, then you know that Fringe time kind of turns it into something of a big top circus. It’s hard not to get lost in the sea of shows and treats suddenly assaulting your senses. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a pleasant assault, which usually ends in about five extra kilos on your waistline and potentially a few nights where you can’t quite remember where you left your right shoe, but ultimately it’s worth the insanity.
Nevertheless, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. So here’s my how-to-girl guide to making the most of a night on the Fringe in Adelaide.
Grab your best friend.
This step is pretty vital. The Fringe can be intense, and the crowds can get nuts. If, like me, such overcrowding is enough to send you into a claustrophobic spiral of social anxiety, it’s really important that you choose your company well.
Start out by checking the general open areas of the Fringe. Which you choose kind of depends on your mood and interests. If you like a boho kind of feel, then The Garden of Unearthly Delights might be for you.
The Garden can be crowded (and dusty), so it’s not for the faint of heart. But if you don’t mind braving the crush, it’s an awesome place. There’s a lot of great places to eat and drink, and often a few interesting characters out promoting their shows. I highly recommend the bar with the swings for seats. The swings are hot property so you might have to stake it out for a while, but it’s worth the wait. Nothing quite like catching up with a friend while swinging yourself into relaxation under the glow of fairy lights.
If boho is not for you, then you might prefer the Royal Croquet Club. Depending when you get there, the feel can be very different. If you’re looking for a relaxed meal and chance to chat to the awesome company you selected beforehand, try arriving around 5-6pm. If you want a night on the town dressed to the nines, after 7 is the go (but you’ll have to pay for entry). The RCC is quirky and cool, yet somehow still feels classy. It’s definitely one of my new favourites.
If even smaller places are your thing, why not just wander up and down Rundle Street? There are plenty of street performers, great food, and the Ebenezer markets!
Grab a drink. If in the RCC, I highly recommend one of the jugs of Pimm’s. Ridiculously delicious. If you’re in the Garden, try one of the fresh coconuts. Yummmm!
Get some FOOD! This step is integral to success. There is so much delicious stuff around. If in the Garden, try 48 Flavours Ice Cream. They are amaaaazing! Alternatively, Ghetto Smoke Show does incredible sweet potato fries. If in the RCC, I highly recommend a KFP (Kentucky Fried Pork) burger, or a Scroll Ice Cream (or both!)
Check out a show. It seems fairly obvious, but in all the razzle and dazzle of the general Fringe vibe, it’s easy to forget there’s actually really amazing theatre and performances going on behind closed doors. There’s international comedians, circus, drama, indie comedy and pretty much anything that you could possibly imagine.
As for my picks, comedy-wise you can never go past Stephen K Amos. If international comedians are out of your budget, try a show like Dinosaur Park or Unplotted Potter. Both are excellent if you’re a big fan of Jurassic Park and Harry Potter respectively. Truly the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
Overall, the Fringe is a killer time of year in Adelaide. There’s one week left, so I really recommend that you check it out while you still can! Just remember though: there’s always next year too!