11 shows with French themes to see at Adelaide Fringe 2022

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Adelaide Fringe 2022 sees a return to international performers but it is still very much the local acts who are putting on shows with French links. This year there is a heavy focus on music and cabaret with some theatre and comedy in the mix as well. Read on to find out about the shows with French themes.

Adelaide Fringe 2022



A night in ParisAdelaide Fringe 2022 - Louise Blackwell

Adelaide Fringe favourite, Louise Blackwell and the French Set transport you to Paris with an afternoon of French chanson interspersed with tales of Louise’s time in Paris.

With a four-piece all-star band featuring Mark Ferguson on piano, Julian Ferraretto on violin, John Aué on double bass and Joshua Baldwin on drums, Louise Blackwell and the French Set perform songs by the great artists of French popular music including Edith Piaf, Léo Ferré, Georges Brassens, Barbara, Charles Trenet, Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg. on this evening of French chanson.

Read our review of A night in Paris from Adelaide Fringe 2021


Baby et Lulu

Baby et Lulu finally return to Trinity Sessions on their Album Trois tour. Expect a celebration of love, life and passion… with a sultry, sometimes outrageous French accent from this faux-French pair and their formidable band.

Read our interview with Lara Goodridge, aka Lulu


Adelaide Fringe - Chansons de Jacques BrelChansons de Jacques Brel

Australian actor and singer John Waters performs the songs of the iconic Belgian crooner, Jacques Brel.

Read our interview with John Waters



Adelaide Fringe 2022 - DisenchantedDisenchanted: A cabaret of twisted fairy tales

Why was the Wolf in Grandma’s bed? Did Sleeping Beauty have an opinion on consent? Were the ugly sisters’ feet really that big? And what does a goose have to do with the French revolution? Join vivacious Madame d’Aulnoy in her 17th century Paris salon, to hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the twisted truth about fairy tales.


Jacques and Madeleine

Adelaide Fringe 2022 will see the final instalment in the emotional love journey of Jacques and Madeleine as told thorough songs sung by Les Flâneurs Volants. Expect “more French, Quebecois and Cajun songs than you can point a baguette at.

Read our interview with Les Flâneurs Volants from Fringe 2021


Marvellous Music at Mary Mags

The first of a set of three concerts of choral music at Mary Magdalene’s church in Adelaide is entitled “Songs of Longing and Belonging”. In this 27 February performance, you can expect to hear choral gems from mediaeval England, renaissance France and right through to contemporary outback Australia.




Adelaide Fringe 2022- Blanc de Blanc encoreBlanc de Blanc Encore

Enter Blanc de Blanc’s glitzy, glamorous & extravagant world of vintage French flair, risqué humour, spectacular aerials, sparkling comedy and big dance numbers.




Rouge is circus for grown-ups. Michaela Burger, who you may have seen in her Helpmann Award winning Exposing Edith show about Edith Piaf, sings in French and in English in operatic cabaret style completing this line-up of acrobatics and tongue in cheek burlesque.




Talk Dirty, Stay Classy

A night of laughter as you learn an f*-load of your favourite swear words in French. Shows are loud, rude, and hilariously fun.

Read our interview with Arnaud, teacher of this French swearing class here

Read our review of the show from the Adelaide Fringe 2019 here



Of AuburnAdelaide Fringe 2022

Of Auburn written by Steven Oppes of Les Flâneurs Volants, weaves together the life and poetry of CJ Dennis.  With the narration of WW1 nurse Madge Yeatman, the performance stirs emotions through theatre, poetry, personal testimony, live music and AV technology to tell the stories of Dennis and the women of World War I.




Originally slated to be part of the Adelaide Fringe program, French troupe Les Commandos Percus will now bring their unique percussion, fireworks and pyrotechnics masterpiece to Australia in October.


For other events with French links happening in Australia and online this month, take a look at our What’s on in February 2022 article


Which shows are you planning to see at Adelaide Fringe 2022?



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Louise Blackwell takes you for A night in Paris at Adelaide Fringe

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Last Sunday evening, we went to see Louise Blackwell and her ensemble of 6 musicians for her show A night in Paris. St John’s Anglican Church was full, and the crowd attentive.

Photo: Cat McKenzie

Louise Blackwell & The French Set sing well-known French songs as well as lesser known French songs. Yes, you will hear songs by Piaf, but you will also hear from artists such as Greco, Charles Aznavour and Georges Brassens. And some Serge Gainsbourg, bien sûr! In A night in Paris, Louise Blackwell sang, among others, “Le Petit Commerce” by Boris Vlan, “Parlez-moi d’amour” written by Jean Lenoir, “Aux bois de mon cœur” by Brassens. Her version of “Ou sont passés mes pantoufles” by Marcel et son orchestre was very amusing. We laughed a lot and it was the perfect end to the show.


Louise is trained in jazz, having studied it for two years in Paris. She sung in the Parisian jazz bars, including L’Ogresse Théâtre des marionnettes, Sunside, Les Sept Lezards, Le Franc Pinot and Café Universel. She sings accompanied by her group The French Set, which is made up of 6 very talented musicians. Julian Ferraretto plays violin and is a reputed and very much in demand violinist. Mark Ferguson plays piano but is also so much more, also being a composer and arranger. Joshua Baldwin plays the drums. John Aué is on double bass. He is also a lecturer of bass and jazz in Adelaide.  Gary Isaacs is the guitarist and Alex Taylor is on brass.


Something that Louise does, which so many others who sing in foreign languages either forget or choose not to do is to explain a little about what each song is about. We cannot assume that the francophile audience is also French speaking. In particular, in A night in Paris, we loved her summary of Yves Montand’s “LaBicyclette” especially when her Australian side shone through (and we love her even more for that). It’s about “4 blokes with a crush on one girl”. It also shows just how down to Earth Louise i. She is refined but she also knows how to build rapport with her audience.


We are used to seeing Louise perform at Nexus Arts, so when we saw that she was going to do a show in a church, we were very interested to see how it would be different to her other shows. In these other shows, we are more used to cabaret seating. Here, being in rows, seated one behind another was a change.


Unfortunately, there were some sound issues. Sometimes when Louise spoke between songs it was very difficult to understand what she was saying. Her voice was being muffled. It’s sad because her explanations of the songs and of their singers are always interesting and sometimes amusing.


It’s rare these days to see a show with a full ensemble. It’s always a pleasure to see Louise Blackwell & The French Set. And A night in Paris was loved by all. Everyone in the church had their eyes firmly fixed on them. Louise Blackwell & The French Set won the Fringe Weekly Award for Music last year and I think it is highly possible that they will win it again this year.


I also wanted to express my condolences to Louise Blackwell and all of her family. Her brother Paul Blackwell, well-known in Australian theatre circles passed away on the morning of the show. We would have all understood if Louise had chosen to cancel the show given these circumstances. Her performance was even more impressive given these events.


Louise Blackwell & The French Set are a group you must see. Sometimes they play throughout the year and we strongly recommend that you purchase tickets. You won’t regret it!




Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Adelaide Fringe


A night in Paris has three more performances at the Adelaide Fringe – this Tuesday and Wednesday 26 and 27 at Stirling Fringe and this Thursday 28 February at Nexus Arts, where we are used to seeing them perform. Unfortunately for you  though, these shows are already sold out. You will have to get your tickets early next time around.


However, you can see their other show at the Gilbert Street Hotel on 8 March. They will play twice that evening. There are still tickets available for their second show of the night at 9:30pm. Tickets cost $27.50 plus any booking fees. You can purchase your tickets here.


You can also read our article with 22 must-see shows at Adelaide Fringe here.