Adelaide Fringe Festival – Art and Culture with Kids
By Anna Itkonen
First there was one kid, now there is two and as it seems, gone are the days when I would stroll along in a museum for hours followed by a thoughtful, lazy coffee to digest what I just saw and experienced. But it doesn’t have it be like that, at least not quite. So how to make the most of art, culture and kids. Festivals must be one of the more obvious answers.
Adelaide Fringe festival has long been one of the most interesting and multifaceted festivals in Australia. The 56 year-old festival has grown to be the largest open access art festival in the southern hemisphere and for 31 days and nights in February and March each year it is the beating heart of art and culture in Australia’s festival state. Adelaide Fringe is proud of its open access nature and as risky as this could have been in the beginning, over the years the program has gone from strength to strength and attracts some of the best-known national and international artists and performers of their field.
I will be tackling Adelaide Fringe with two little dinosaur expert superheroes. Over our 3-day visit to Adelaide we are spoilt for choice. And even if in this instance I follow the whims and likes of two little boys, believe me the choice is equally as plentiful for little girls, teenagers, seniors and adults alike. No matter how you like your culture served, you will find it here. And to give you a taste of the program, this is our short, yet eagerly anticipated plan for Adelaide Fringe.
Our first must-go and a show we simply cannot pass, is Andrew Roper’s Superheroes for Kids. Even if I wasn’t visiting the festival with my kids, I might have to go and see this one. When the program reads “Direct from debuting to Sold Out shows at this years Edinburgh Festival, Superheroes for Kids is the same celebration of Comic Book Superheroes as the adult version, just with a lot more silliness” I am sold.
And then from superheroes to dinosaurs.Dinosaur Time Machine is another show I want to see, if for no other reason, to see the delight in my 5-year-old son’s face when he gets emerged into the thrilling world of T-Rex, Stegosaurus and Parasaurolophus. Awarded the Best Children’s Show 2016, this production is a combination of circus, puppetry, audience interaction, science and fun. What more could a five year old palaeontologist (or his mother) ask for?
If you have timed your trip to the Fringe to the beginning of the program, FoRT would have to be amongst your picks. It delves into the art of play and the creation of worlds from everyday objects. It is part of the now famous Garden of Earthly Delights and “is full of ridiculous clowning, spectacular acrobatics, poetic visual imagery and celebrates the kind of creative genius that has been known to turn lounge rooms into volcanoes, trees into castles and cardboard boxes into racing cars.” But next we will take our Fringe experience to the markets.
There are markets throughout the 31 days in south of the city, north of the city, outside of Adelaide, just about anywhere and any time. We will head to the Fleurieu Fringe in the charming beachside village of Port Noarlunga, south side of Adelaide. We are after all those Fringe experiences; performing arts, workshops, artisan markets and art installations but in the slightly more relaxed environment nestled between the river and the sea. And I want some of that glorious food the region is famous for accompanied by a glass of Barossa Valley’s finest wine.
As all you mothers know, there are only good intentions, the rest is up to chance. So this is my boys and I taking our chances at Adelaide Fringe hoping for the best. This time around there won’t be galleries and museum but circus, puppetry, outdoor installation and festival atmosphere. And surely, this will all add up to a life-long love affair with culture of all kind for my two boys.
Adelaide Fringe opens this weekend in various locations across Adelaide and South Australia. To find out more visit https://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/.