Adelaide Fringe 2023 starts in less than 4 weeks! To help you with your planning, we’ve found all the shows with French and francophone links for you. You’ll find artists coming to Adelaide Fringe from France, performers with French circus school training, and shows featuring French songs, or about French people. Read on to find out more.
SHOWS FROM FRANCE AT ADELAIDE FRINGE 2023
CIRCUS / INTERACTIVE
Vertiges by Farid Ayelem Rahmouni SEASON UNFORTUNATELY CANCELLED
FRENCH LINK: Farid Ayelem Rahmouni is from France and the show is being brought in partnership with the French Government.
A vertigo inducing, audience-led interactive experience from France’s finest aerial performer. Vertiges looks at the injustice of those living in the margins of society and turns the despair into a beautifully moving, world-class aerial performance, directed through an App which is controlled by all members of the audience.
FRENCH LINK: From France
The dark and retro-futuristic music of PERTURBATOR returns to Australia in 2023 including a first ever performance in Adelaide! Accompanied with new music and further reinventions, PERTUBATOR have signalled a drastic sonic movement and ushered fans into deeper unchartered territory.
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH LES COMMANDOS PERCU HERE
FRENCH LINK: Les Commandos Percu are from France
A spectacle of percussion, pyrotechnics and fireworks, launching Adelaide Fringe 2023.
Les Commandos Percu present a storm of sounds and fire that resonates deep, the silence before the storm. The slow muffled rolling of the drums rises from the depths becoming a deafening noise. A rain of metal fills the air, sheet lightning overwhelms the sky. Time is suspended, all is frozen.
Dressed up with metal, musicians move forward amongst a blinding light. Coloured bodies and layered pieces of metal form a moving shape with sharp angles forcing itself upon the audience. Powerful rhythms intersperse with silence creating a tension that will not fade.
VISUAL ARTS & DESIGN/ EXHIBITION
Exhibition and sale of Mediaeval manuscripts
FRENCH LINK: Frenchman Dominique Schmidt presents this exhibition and sale
Dominique Schmidt presents a curated selling exhibition of exquisite mediaeval illuminated manuscripts on vellum, including leaves from Books of Hours, Gregorian Chants and Antiphonals, from the 13th century to the 19th century.
ALL OTHER SHOWS WITH FRENCH LINKS AT ADELAIDE FRINGE 2023
READ OUR REVIEW OF THE SHOW HERE
FRENCH LINK: The “Let Them Eat Cake” act
Australia’s Queen of Burlesque, Imogen Kelly, presents her most celebrated acts in a single, spectacular show! Interlaced with stories from her life as a world-famous show-pony Imogen proves that YES! Striptease can save the world!
Featuring her world-famous “Let Them Eat Cake”; the incredible “Great Barrier Reef” and “Flamingo Go!”- the act that saw Imogen crowned World Queen of Burlesque in Las Vegas.
FRENCH LINK: Set in Paris, and with French chansons
Occupied Paris, 1941. Cabaret artiste Lulu Ledoux finds herself murdered just before she was to perform The Greatest French Song Ever Written. Refusing to let her death stop the show, Lulu re-enacts her murder from 3 perspectives and discovers her killer’s identity – and all in less than an hour.
With real and imagined French chansons and a surprise finish, ‘A Night to Baguette’ is an absurdist cabaret/whodunnit tragi-comedy about passion, performance, collective grief – and bread.
Read our interview with Eliane Morel about Carmen the cabaret here
FRENCH LINK: Inspired by, and about, French opera Carmen
If Carmen is a ‘femme fatale’, why does she end up dying? If Carmen inhabited your soul, how would it feel? Using all the hit tunes from Carmen, award-winning cabaret team Eliane Morel (singer) and Daryl Wallis (accompanist), directed by international opera legend Ghillian Sullivan, comically interrogate the opera’s story and music, and explore how performing Carmen affects those who dare to take on the role…
A world premiere at Adelaide Fringe 2023, Carmen the Cabaret will have you laughing, crying, singing along and wondering how you knew all the tunes from an opera you’ve never seen.
Chansons: Piaf, Brel & Me – A musical cabaret about France
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH STEFANIE RUMMEL HERE
FRENCH LINK: A cabaret about France
German multi award-winning singer & musical theatre actress Stefanie Rummel brings her musical cabaret to Australia with Chansons, a musical cabaret journey through life. ‘Soul-touching’ stories performed in ‘brilliant showmanship’ about life and passion, from Ne me quitte pas (Brel) to Milord (Piaf). Reflect on life the French way.
Spoken in English, and sung in French, English this show makes you travel beyond borders. Accompanied by pianists such as Bogdan Pieleanu, Bob Egan, Tom Schlueter. Chansons inspires our own lives by looking at other cultures.
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH SINGER LOUISE BLACKWELL HERE
FRENCH LINK: A cabaret about French woman Juliette Gréco
Celebrated Adelaide actress and singer Louise Blackwell brings to life the inspiring story of French singer Juliette Gréco. It is a musical celebration of love, life and liberty as it occurred in the Left Bank of Paris at the time of its liberation from Nazi German occupation. Backed by a superb 6-piece band led by musical director Mark Ferguson, Louise performs songs which evoke the joy and revelry of liberation as it occurred in the legendary underground clubs of Saint Germain des Prés, the bohemian district where Juliette found refuge during the war.
Philosophers, writers and artists gathered round Juliette as she made her debuts in cabaret nights that presented a myriad of different performers, poets and musical acts, and she is still known as the muse of Saint Germain des Prés.
READ OUR REVIEW OF THE SHOW HERE
FRENCH LINK: A cabaret of French-language songs
A glittering Cabaret of beloved old and new French-language songs, interwoven hilarity with a dash of philosophy. You will be swept away by the beauty of the music; Simon Walters’ fabulous piano and Georgia’s incredible voice and stage presence. Comedic characters, Cecile & Julienne Carotte, provide hilarious highlights along the emotional journey.
Come ‘Under the Paris Sky’, beneath the great dome of the Ayer’s House Ballroom with its chandeliers. A magical experience awaits…and you don’t even need to speak French!
A night at the musicals 3: Summer Lovin’ Tour
READ OUR REVIEW OF THEIR PREVIOUS SHOW HERE
FRENCH LINK: Le Gateau Chocolat was raised in Nigeria
‘The French and Saunders of Drag’ Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo are finally BACK and they’re bringing a brand new show. Dragging you through all of their favourite musicals in a raucous night of ballsy ballads, delightful duets and slaughtered showtune singalong fun.
With bigger wigs, crazier costumes, more questionable choreography, and a mountain of laughs, this is one show you’ll be dragging your friends along to see again and again.
FRENCH LINK: A French-inspired name
Cult cabaret superstars Bourgeois & Maurice return to Adelaide with a spectacular new show that puts the FUN back into our fundamentally pointless existence!!!
Packed with whip-smart original songs, jaw-dropping outfits and hilariously savage wit, ‘Pleasure Seekers’ is a gloriously unhinged yet bizarrely life-affirming homage to hedonism in all its filthy, fabulous glory.
FRENCH LINK: Set in a back-alley French brothel set deep in the red-light district of Paris
Tone & Cheek welcomes you to Club D’amour; a back-alley French brothel set deep in the red-light district of Paris, where guests are treated to a night of fiery fun through a flirtatious fusion of dance, burlesque, circus, and live music.
Think Moulin Rouge combined with 50 Shades of Grey and a dash of Rocky Horror, Club D’amour chains together Australia’s sexiest talent and explores a story of forbidden love. The show will deliver jaw locking gags, filthy fun, and debauchery in a hilariously energetic showcase of the world’s oldest profession.
FRENCH LINK: Poster girl (the one in the red dress), Michaela Burger will sing in French
All the spectacle of a circus with a deliciously deviant, adults-only twist – ROUGE is a mind-bending blend of death-defying acrobatics, grandiose cabaret and deeply twisted burlesque. A titillating celebration of astonishing proportions that’s surprising, subversive and supremely sexy.
Rouge returns with acts you’ve loved alongside brand-new performances that promise to shock, tease and delight the senses. This is Australian circus cabaret at its climax.
READ OUR REVIEW OF THE SHOW HERE
FRENCH LINK: A show dedicated to swearing in French led by Franco-Australian Arnaud Benassy
Have you ever wanted to learn how to say ‘go f**k yourself’ in French?
After sold out shows and five-star reviews, Talk Dirty, Stay Classy with the irrepressible Arnaud Benassy is back at a new venue, Club de Petanque d’Adelaide (full bar available)! Join them for a night of laughter as you learn ALL (well, most) of your favourite swear words in French. Shows are loud, rude, and hilariously fun.
Les fleurs du mal (the flowers of evil) based on the poetry of Baudelaire
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH SHAKTI ABOUT THIS SHOW HERE
FRENCH LINK: Inspired by the poetry of French poet Baudelaire
A confession of hopes, dreams, failures and sins, The Flowers of Evil attempts to extract beauty from the malignant. One must evoke the artificial and paradoxical aspects of life. Beauty can evolve on its own, irrespective of nature and fuelled by sin. The ideal transcends over the harsh reality where all senses are united in ecstasy.
FRENCH LINK: singer Jean-Marc Spiler is Franco-Australian and the band perform French music
Adelaide based Les Flâneurs Volants will turn the spotlight on the diversity of upbeat styles and rhythms of music from the French speaking world from the iconic French sounds of the 60s to the R&B influenced groove to the Creole beats of far-off lands.
2 violins, 8 strings: Classical Music Gems
FRENCH LINK: Bériot’s ‘Duos Concertante’ will be performed
Adelaide Virtuosi Trio is comprised of musicians from Slovakia. In this performance, there is a focus on Romantic, in the musical meaning (i.e. 19th century music). Expect to see this trio perform Dvořák’s ‘Miniatures’, French extravagant and colourful violin duets as Bériot’s ‘Duos Concertante’, as well as a world-premiere instrumentation of Zeljenka’s ‘Musica Slovaca’, Skoryk’s ‘Melody’ from a famous movie, or Kats-Chernin’s Tango in Aussie style.
FRENCH LINK: About Australian French Resistance leader Dame Nancy Wake
In France’s darkest hour in World War II, it was an Australian woman who helped turn the tide against the Germans. This is the story of Dame Nancy Wake, fighter, lover and a force of nature, set during her time as a leader of the French Resistance. Emily-Jo Davidson returns as Nancy in this re-make of the 2020 Fringe hit that sold out, twice over.
Another brilliant historical expose by Peter Maddern of an extraordinary Australian drawing deep on their reserves of courage and sense of duty to prevail against relentless foes.
PERFORMERS WITH FRENCH CIRCUS SCHOOL TRAINING
FRENCH LINK: Oliver Cowen trained at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier
Would a shark look better wearing skinny jeans or cargo shorts? Do french cats say “meow-oui” or “moi-eow”? Would you ask Barney the Dinosaur to help you bury a body? What’s the best way to ‘Yeet, Pray, Love’?
Who knows! You’ll find the answers to none of these questions and more in this very serious comedy show of puns, props, sketches, one-liners, funny songs and one extremely foibled boible. We tried to get Dakota Fanning for the show, but she was looking at a horse, so instead we’ve got Oliver; a bread bowl of a man who will probably tell some funny jokes, and maybe even have a theatre-based breakdown.
FRENCH LINK: Kyle Walmsley studied at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier
An entire unproblematic history of Australian sporting culture.
Sports is COOL! Matty Johns, Israel Folau, Wayne Carey: Heroes. It’s the BEST part about Australia, and there’s nothing problematic about it. This is a marathon of comedy and sports bullying to the stage. There will be blood (fake), sweat (real), and tears (who knows).
FRENCH LINK: Jeromaia Detto studied at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier
Jeromaia Detto presents another journey of absurdity into a collection of wild and wonderful characters and concepts, that will make you laugh, cry, and ponder why?!
This show delves into the mushy brain of a man who once believed he could run faster in little athletics by ‘swimming’ through the air. He came last every time.
FRENCH LINK: This international theatre troupe, The Latebloomers, formed after studying together at Lecoq.
Scotlaaand! Come along for a wild ride with fishing, hunting, whisky, shortbread, rhythm, folk songs and the spirit of Scotland! A hilarious, award-winning physical comedy.
KEY INFO FOR ADELAIDE FRINGE 2023
WHAT: Adelaide Fringe 2023, the second largest Fringe festival in the world!
WHERE: various locations in Adelaide and South Australia
WHEN: 17 February – 19 March
HOW: Purchase your tickets to the events above via the links given or see the whole program at www.adelaidefringe.com.au
HOW MUCH: Ticket prices vary depending on the event
Which shows are you going to see at Adelaide Fringe 2023?
For events with French and Francophone links happening this month, check out our What’s on in January article