From the 12th to 14th January 2018, the Adelaide Festival Centre is putting on its inaugural (yes, this is going to be a yearly thing now, so support it to make sure they don’t change their mind!) Adelaide French Festival.
There is a lot on so for now I have categorized it by day but I may do separate posts later for each category, such as music, theatre, cinema, food and drink, etc.
Friday 12 January
The French Festival will start with So Frenchy So Chic in the park on Friday night – the first So Frenchy So Chic in the park for Adelaide and the first night-time SFSC in the park across all the cities where it is held. Buy your tickets for So Frenchy So Chic now!
During the entire weekend
On the 12th and 14th January, the film “Loving Vincent” will be screening at the Mercury cinema. This film is the first ever entirely hand painted film. Tickets cost $15.
French Photographer, Michael Setboun, will show his first ever Australian exhibition, “Paris Dark Light”. It is like a love song to Paris. Entry is free and it is on from 12 to 14 January in the Dunstan Playhouse foyer.
Also in the Dunstan Playhouse foyer will be an exhibition by Paul Vasileff of South Australian brand, Paolo Sebastian. In ”Paolo Sebastian : A Journey to Paris”, we will see photos taken of his dresses while he was exhibiting in Paris (the first South Australian designer to do so!) but also of his take on Paris with photos of the beautiful Parisian architecture.
There will also be guided tours of the European collection, featuring many French pieces, at the David Roche Foundation House Museum in North Adelaide. Tours take place at 10am, midday and 2pm on each day of the festival. Entry is $20.
Saturday and Sunday
On the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, the Riverdeck of the Adelaide Festival Centre will be transformed into a French village and a gastronomy delight with food by La Buvette, The Smelly Cheese Shop, La Provence, Crêpe Bar and drinks poured at the Pol Roger bar and by Kronenbourg. French sounds will be courtesy of Louise Blackwell & The French Set, the group La Mauvaise Reputation, DJ WiPod, DJ Guillaume Vetu, Coconut Kids and Bamboozled. There will also be a market of products from local South Australian makers.
There are also children’s activities. On both Saturday and Sunday, French classes will be given for children between 4 and 10 years of age. Froggie’s Club,will make learning French fun with songs, story books, games and craft activities. These classes cost $10.
There will also be free children’s activities during the Festival. Box Wars features cardboard armoury and fake battles. Great fun for kids and adults alike. It has been to many festivals around Australia, including WOMADelaide a few years ago and was a great success.
The Teensy Top would have to be the world’s smallest circus tent with only 3 audience members able to enter at once. Inside, short and sharp shows take place.
Little Picasso, which gives art classes to children throughout the year will have Little Picasso Art Workshops.
Do you want your hair done like the French? On Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 8:30pm in the Dunstan Playhouse foyer, you will be able to have your hair done by Creative Hair Sculptures from Orbe Hair and Le Barber.
Speaking of hair, there will be free Make your own Flower Crown workshops to have the festival “it” headpiece.
Segwaying from hair to the mind, there will also be free yoga classes instructed in French for those inclined.
More details on these activities to follow once available.
« Songs and Stories of the Paris Lido » will transport you to the Lido in Paris where French singer, Caroline Nin will take us on a journey with Lola Lola, lead singer. She will sing songs by the greats including Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf, Shirley Maclaine, Liza Minnelli and Noel Coward. She is known for her smoky voice with jazz influences. See her on Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 7:30pm at the Dunstan Playhouse.
On both Saturday and Sunday of the festival, Carrick Hill, about a 15 minute drive from the city centre, will also celebrate the French festival on its grounds. There will be many free or low-cost activities such as pétanque, language and art classes, classic cars to see and French food to eat. Festival entry to the grounds is free but if you want to visit the house at Carrick Hill you can do so for $17. More details and links to follow once available.
Saturday 13 January
On Saturday 13th having danced all night long to the delights at So Frenchy So Chic, you can continue your French experience with a French perfume masterclass, in which you will learn not only about the history of and how perfume is made, but you will get to make your own personal perfume. The masterclass will be taught by The Powder Room and costs $50. It is on at 11:30am and 2pm and lasts an hour.
There is also going to be a Pol Roger champagne masterclass. Instructed by Trevor Maskell, sommelier at the Cordon Bleu, you will learn about how champagne is made and how it is different from sparkling wine as well as the differences between vintage and non-vintage champagnes, This class will take place at the Bistro and costs $50.
At 1:30pm on Saturday, chef Jenni Key will demonstrate her know how in the «Le Cordon Bleu – Pâtisserie Demonstration». You’ll get to try her creations and learn skills to impress your guests at your next dinner party. Tickets cost $30.
If you want to test your knowledge or learn more about French culture and France then “Think you know France” led by the Alliance Française d’Adelaïde is right up your alley. It goes for an hour, starts with a glass of champagne (if only all classes did) and costs $25.
The learning and fun isn’t just for the adults though with Le Cordon Bleu’s
“Junior Sous-Chef Workshop”. Children will get to decorate their own cupcake in this workshop which lasts an hour and is on at 11am and midday on the Saturday. Tickets cost $7.
French theatre troupe, Vélo Théâtre, will tell us a nocturnal story in “There is a rabbit in the moon”. The show will be on at 11 and 2pm. Tickets $25 for adults and $15 for children.
If you want to pretend you’re on the River Seine? In “A Twist of Parisian Jazz”, The Baker Suite will play aboard the Popeye. The show starts at 6pm, lasts 90 minutes and costs $45.
Exposing Edith won Best Cabaret at the Adelaide Fringe in 2016 and has been nominated for a Helpmann Award. The show will return to Adelaide for the French Festival at the Space Théâtre on the Saturday night at 7pm. In this show, Michaela Burger sings songs of and tells the story of Edith Piaf, while Greg Wain accompanies her on guitar. Tickets cost $30.
At 7:30pm, The Adelaide Festival Centre Banquet Room will be transformed into a French Salon for La Soirée Cliché. The evening will feature a meal prepared by the restaurant Cliché, live art by Emma Hack and music from the wonderful Baby et Lulu, who sing both French covers and their own original French inspired songs.
At 8pm, Frànçois & the Atlas Mountains will perform at the Dunstan Playhouse. This group is missing from the Adelaide So Frenchy So Chic line-up but Adelaide doesn’t miss out entirely. Your chance to see them the night after SFSC.
Sunday 14 January
If you like to have cheese with your champagne – there will be a masterclass on the Sunday taught by Valerie Henbest of The Smelly Cheese Shop and Trevor Maskell, sommelier at the Cordon Bleu, who is leading the Champagne Masterclass on the Saturday.
At midday, the Mercury Cinema will screen three short animated films, Le Méchant Renard et autres contes. These are suitable for children and tell the stories of farm animals getting up to mischief – for example a fox who behaves like a chicken. Tickets are $10 for children and $15 for adults.
You could stay on at the Mercury Cinema for another French film at 2pm: “The School of Life” (« L’École Buissonnière »). This film tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an orphaned child and a poacher who takes him in to his and his wife’s home. Tickets are $10 for children and $15 for adults.
At 3pm, at the Space Theatre, “Art Stories : An exchange with Zephyr Quartet & Guests” will be an hour-long talk about the voyage of French explorer Nicolas Baudin and his mission to exchange music and art as a tool of peaceful communication. It will be bookended by the music of the Zephyr Quartet. The discussion will be led by people from the South Australian Maritime Museum as well as people from the community. Tickets cost $10.
At 4pm, Couture Collection is a fashion parade of the Adelaide-made collections of Greta Kate, Eliza French, Varacalli, Calèche and Sylvy Earl. Watch the parade with a glass of champagne included in your ticket price of $50.
At 5pm, at the Nexus Arts Centre, a special event A Trip to the Moon is a tribute to the films of one of the pioneers of cinema, Georges Méliès. His silent films will be played while three ensembles will put their own soundtracks to them. Tickets cost $15.
Also at 5pm, but at the Dunstan Playhouse, French pianist, Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter, will play French composer, Claude Debussy’s arrangements in “Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter plays Debussy” Tickets cost $40.
At 7pm at the Space Theatre, the Seraphim Trio will play Maurice Ravel’s songs in “Seraphim Trio Plays Ravel”. This is a rare chance to see the trio play not just as a trio but separately with a piano solo, a violin and cello duo and then again as the piano, violin and cello trio. Tickets cost $40.
Also worth noting that if you buy tickets for 4 of the shows in the one transaction (not the films), the Adelaide Festival Centre will provide a discount on the tickets.
It really is a festival that has something for everyone. Now we are counting down the weeks until the festival arrives on 12 January!
It would be great to see an event that showcases Franco/Belgian comic book literature (La bande dessinée.)
La bande dessinée is at the heart of French and Belgian culture and is celebrated to all generations of French families in many genres.
A French festival would not be complete without such a presentation into this important area of French culture.
That’s a fantastic idea and a very valid point. Perhaps, it is one that you should also put to the Adelaide Festival Centre so they could perhaps incorporate it as a late addition or even put it into the 2019 event – it’s meant to be an annual thing from next year!