The Adelaide Fringe offers an amazing smorgasboard of creative experiences for audiences to soak up regardless of their age, interests or abilities. Fringe Festivals operate all over the world and offer an open access opportunity for creatives to share their work with new audiences and for audiences to try new things. But with 800 shows being presented in 2021 across 285 venues it can be totally overwhelming trying to choose what to go see, especially after a year where we’ve played it safe and mostly stayed home.

So to try make things a little easier, I’ve been progressively working my way through the Fringe Guide to pull together a list of shows I’d like to go see as well as ones I’d highly recommend you check out. This is likely to be a list that grows over the next couple weeks, especially as I progressively have a bit more time to soak up Fringe experiences outside of my own season of Love at a Distance!

If you are in a position to head out to the Fringe this year, i.e. you are well enough and have the finances available to buy a ticket or two, then please get out and about but comply with all the COVID19 regulations in place regardless of what venue you visit. I encourage you to take a punt on something you’ve not seen before, see a random show in a venue you’ve never seen, book a $10 ticket for an artist you’ve never heard of before, wander through an exhibition or see work in a medium you don’t usually check out.

Whatever you choose to do make sure you support the artists! Going to the Fringe does NOT mean going to the Garden of Unearthlies to have a drink and some food- that is simply visiting a pop up venue for dinner and drinks. The Fringe is about the artists and the creative experiences we have been working hard to share with you our audiences. Of course the venues are integral to this, but they wouldn’t exist with out the artists who are presenting work. This is a sector that has been especially hard by the Corona Virus Pandemic, so if you can, please dig deep and book some tickets!

This Artists Recommends…

For the past couple years the Adelaide Fringe website has included a ‘This Artist Recommends’ below their listing. This is a space where we let you know about 5 shows that we highly encourage you to check out, its hard to whittle it down to just 5 but here are mine for 2021!

Kym’s Overall Extravaganza Showcase is a project that is very close to my heart.

a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone
Kym Mackenzie – All Round Entertainer

After I began performing solo shows as the Ukulele Dream Girl my dear friend Kym Mackenzie (a multi talented, award winning artist who has been treading the boards nearly as long as I’ve been alive) told me he felt inspired to do his very own solo show one day for the Fringe and asked if I’d be his Director/Mentor. What an immense privilege it has been to work with Kymbo and our creative team Kat, Emma-Kate, Patrick & Amelia. This show is a smorgasboard of Kymbo’s abilities across spoken word, character comedy, music and dance, but it’s so much more than just that. Kym, wanted to create a show that would make people feel proud that an artist with disability could get up and share their work in a solo show and this week after Kym, Kat & Myself were awarded the “Spirit of the Fringe” award, I don’t think anyone could be prouder. There is just one night left of Kym’s Overall Extravaganza Showcase at the Pancake Kitchen, but it’s already sold out! But nevermind – this artist extraordinaire is now on social media so you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram and stay tuned for more surprises…

Millicent Sarre is dressed in a modest blouse and appears cheeky but deep in thought
Millicent Sarre of Friendly Feminism for the Mild Mannered

Friendly Feminism for the Mild Mannered by the wonderful Millicent Sarre!

This mega award winning show is an incredible piece of cabaret theatre, it playfully explores so many experiences that women deal with on the daily. Mim’s music is on point (believe me I woke up with her song “Tea” stuck in my head this morning!) and its messages will stay with you for a very long time. This is Friendly Feminism’s fourth Fringe season so it’ll be your last chance to catch this amazing show and there are only a handful of shows left before she’s debuting her new show “Awkward Activists” with the super talented Joshie Belle.

Catch Friendly Feminism & Awkward Activists at The Lark at Gluttony (omg I get to share this stage with some amazing artists!)

The Book of Faz is a playful, cheeky one person show that explores the experiences of growing up queer in Tasmania. Faz is a very talented writer and under the directorship of the highly commended Kristen Doherty and together this team explore how a good little Catholic Boy grew up to be a not so good raging queer. For those of you who may have seen The Book of Faz in Fringe 2020, there have been some new additions to the story exploring gender and diet culture amongst the hilarious choir of arch-hags and family funtime stories. The Book of Faz is playing in an intimate space at the Astor Hotel on Pulteney St.

Queer artist Faz wears a pink sating jacket, heavy green eye makeup, large earrings and appears shocked before the camera
The Book of Faz
Love 2 Laugh - A graphic illustration of a red love heart with big eyes and a smiling mouth.
Love 2 Laugh

Love 2 Laugh is a comedy showcase by local champion Wendy Torbet at the Legends Bar on Pulteney St which is looking much cleaner and less sticky than the last time I went through… likely on a pub crawl. Yes Legends has become a mini hub for comedy shows and with Wendy at the helm you’ll be seeing a collection of local up and coming artists keen to cut their teeth with a Fringe season with audiences eager for a giggle. Get along and support these folks, you never know who you might uncover from an unexpected showcase like this one. Love 2 Laugh only has three shows and one has been already – check it out!

The team from Boss Squad - 6 strong female circus performers posing for the camera
Boss Squad

Boss Squad are a powerhouse of female circus legends, challenging the status quo and showing us just how amazing big femme energy can be! This team of acrobats and circus performers will take you on a journey of calling out the cat callers and changing the stereotypes of women in circus. This collab between Point & Flex Circus and Wildhouse Circus is one that you should definitely book in for – the team are clever, kooky and incredibly strong. I’m so honoured to be sharing a stage with these amazing women at The Lark at Gluttony. Their season starts after the March long weekend and should not be missed.

There are stacks more shows that I’ll be recommending over the Fringe, but I also encourage you to jump on the Fringe Website and use their various search functions to find shows that may make you “laugh until you cry”, “Challenge you” or “move you”.

There is so much to soak up and we are so immensely lucky to be able to create and present work live, in person during this pandemic. So please, support the arts this Fringe, follow the safety directives and get out to see some awesome work!

With much love and gratitude,

Ukulele Dream Girl xX

Adelaide Fringe 2021 recommendations (part 1!)