Adelaide Fringe 2023: 23 shows with French and francophone links to see

Reading Time: 10 minutes

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.

Adelaide Fringe 2023



Adelaide Fringe 2023 - Vertiges
Image: Anne-Laure Chemin

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.




FRENCH LINK: Les Commandos Percu are from France

Image: Veronique Balege

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.



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.





La Grande Folie


Adelaide Fringe 2023
Image: Leslie Liu

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.



A night to baguette

FRENCH LINK: Set in Paris, and with French chansons

A night to BaguetteOccupied 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.


Carmen: the cabaret

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


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.


Love on the left bank 


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.


Under the Paris Sky


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 


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.


Bourgeois & Maurice

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.



Club d’Amour

FRENCH LINK: Set in a back-alley French brothel set deep in the red-light district of Paris

Adelaide Fringe 2023Tone & 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

Image:: Brig Bree Photos

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.



Talk dirty, stay classy


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

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.




Laissez les bons temps rouler

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.



The White Mouse


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.




Foible Boible

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.


Go Sports

FRENCH LINK: Kyle Walmsley studied at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier

A man.

A treadmill.

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.



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

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



Enter your email to subscribe to new article notifications about all things French and francophone in Australia

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 first 15 films announced

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This week, to whet your appetite, the first films for the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 were announced. Read on to find out about 15 of the films which will screen at this year’s festival plus where and when it will be on (including some new cities).


Fun fact

Did you know that the Alliance Française French Film Festival is the largest French film festival outside of France? Or that it is actually the biggest nationwide film festival in Australia? Yep, even though Australia has lots of Italian migrants, even the Italian Film Festival doesn’t come close to the size and popularity of the Alliance Française French Film Festival!



The first announcement also gives us a preview of some of the categories the films within the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 are being put into. These include:

  • Finding comic relief
  • Limitless hope
  • L’amour in all forms


Now let’s discover the films!


Saint Omer, France’s nomination for Best International Feature at the 2023 Academy Awards, tells the gripping story of a young novelist forced to confront her own complex family history when she attends a notorious murder trial.



In Masquerade, Adrien (Pierre Niney, Black Box AF FFF 21) is an injured dancer who succumbs to laziness and turns to relying on his beauty to seduce older, wealthy women, who happily support his lavish lifestyle. Happily living with doting Martha (Isabelle Adjani, The World Is Yours, AF AFFF19), a fading film star, until he meets Margot (Marine Vacth, If You Saw His Heart, AF FFF18), who is in a similar line of work.



Everybody Loves Jeanne is a film that we were hoping would make the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 line-up as we’ve seen it feature in a number of the film festival programs throughout 2022. Starring Blanche Gardin, (Delete History, AF FFF21) as Jeanne, this wickedly funny film lets us in on the embarrassment and self-doubt internally plaguing the outwardly confident, smart golden girl.


Opening the Cannes Film Festival 2022, Final Cut is a reimagination of the Japanese zombie comedy classic One Cut of the Dead, Michael Hazanavicius’ Final Cut follows a crew, setting out to remake the film depicted in the original motion picture. Romain Duris stars as the film’s director struggles with a low-budget and a less than enthusiastic cast until real-life zombies overtake their set.


Two tickets to Greece is feel-good a film with Laure Calamy, Olivia Côte and Kristin Scott Thomas as childhood friends tentatively reuniting for a trip to Greece, specifically to Amorgos, where The Blue Lagoon was filmed – a place the now adults had dreamed of visiting as teens.



Favourite Marion Cotillard with Melvil Poupaud (The Young Lovers/Les Jeunes Amants at the 2022 AFFFF) star in Brother and Sister as estranged siblings forced together after decades apart when a family emergency strikes. It tackles the dynamics of family ties and rivalries, exploring pride, jealousy and how (perceived) slights and infringements of the past can linger beyond logical explanation.


Lie with me, based on Philippe Besson’s award-winning autobiographical novel of the same name, takes audiences on an adventure of sexual awakening, heartbreak and the healing power of truth. Renowned novelist Stéphane Belcourt returns to his childhood hometown of Cognac as a guest of honour. There, he unexpectedly meets Lucas, who turns out to be the son of his first and greatest love, Thomas Andrieu. The very “Thomas” who appears in every one of his novels.


One Fine Morning is an exploration of the ageing and fragility of human life from director Mia Hansen-Løve. Sandra, is a widow, single mother, and carer to her father who battles a devastating neurological disorder. She is devastated by his worsening condition, seeing the former writer’s words and knowledge, which encompassed so much of his being, slowly disintegrate before her eyes.


Other people’s children is inspired by the director’s own experiences as a step mother. Virginie Efira stars as Rachel, a 40 year old woman who is content and childless. The she meets Ali (Roschdy Zem, Oh Mercy, AF FFF20), who proves himself to be a wonderful partner and father to four-year-old Leila. Before long, Rachel finds that she has mostly fallen for Leila, a child she is painfully aware is not and will never be hers.


The Innocent is also inspired by this director’s own experiences including that of his mother marrying a prison inmate. In the film, Abel (Louis Garrel, A Faithful Man, AF FFF19) is the doubtful son of mother Sylvie (Anouk Grinberg) who announces her third marriage in ten years; this time her fiancé Michel (Roschdy Zem, Oh Mercy! AF FFF20) is in prison.


Director Christophe Honoré’s Winter Boy, starring Vincent Lacoste and Juliette Binoche, is his most autobiographical film to date. It follows a young man, Lucas (newcomer Paul Kircher) on the cusp of adulthood who, after being sent reeling by an unexpected loss, looks for comfort in all the wrong places. His mother Isabelle (Juliette Binoche) is unable to find the means to console him.



Annie’s Fire is another promising film, and winner of the Variety Piazza Grande Award at the 2022 Locarno International Film Festival. It brings another outstanding performance for Laure Calamy (Antoinette in the Cévennes, Full Time, Call My Agent!) as the titular Annie, who in 1974 unexpectedly falls pregnant with abortion not legally accessible. It’s a a life-affirming story of solidarity, suffering and liberation, honouring the bravery of the women and men who waged a campaign of civil disobedience, helping women gain control of their own reproductive rights in France.


From academy award winning director Jean-Jacques Annaud is Notre-Dame on Fire, a documentary-style retelling of the tragic blaze which destroyed much of the Notre-Dame cathedral in 2019. In this action-packed recount, Annaud masterfully retraces the steps of emergency rescue services in their courageous rush to save this globally cherished monument.


NOVEMBER brings together Jean Dujardin, Sandrine Kiberlain, Anaïs Demoustier, Jérémie Renier, Lyna Khoudri, Cédric Kahn in a film exploring the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks from the perspective of  French anti-terrorism services as they work against the clock in the aftermath of the attacks. It was the biggest French film box office hit in France with 600,000 admissions in one week!


Paris Memories is also set in the aftermath of the horrific November 2015 terrorist attacks in the heart of Paris and follows survivors as they try to come to terms with a tragedy that would change the course of their lives forever. Virginie Efira (Madeleine Collins, AF FFF22) stars as Mia enjoying her birthday at a restaurant who crosses eyes with Thomas Benoît Magimel, Peaceful, AF FFF22) before the sounds of Happy birthday being sung is interrupted by the sound of bullets.



So without further ado, quick drumroll … the dates are:

Sydney, NSW: 7th March to 5th April

Melbourne, VIC: 8th March to 5th April

Perth, WA: 8th March to 5th April

Canberra, ACT: 9th March to 5th April

Brisbane, QLD: 15th March to 12th April

Byron Bay, NSW: 16th March to 5th April

Adelaide, SA: 23rd March to 19th April

Parramatta, NSW: 29th March to 2nd April

Rooty Hill, NSW: 29th March to 2nd April

Victor Harbour, SA: 3rd and 10th April

Bendigo, VIC: 21st to 23rd April

Gold Coast, QLD: 29th March to 16th April

Margaret River, WA: 31st March to 2nd April

Hobart, TAS: 9th to 19th March



In the meantime, you might like to read some of our reviews of films from last year’s festival to whet your appetite for the 2023 addition.

After Blue (Dirty Paradise)/After Blue: Paradis Sale

A Tale of Love and Desire/Une histoire d’amour et de désir

Fly Me Away/Envole-Moi


Mali Twist/Twist à Bamako

Men on the verge of a nervous breakdown/Hommes au bord de la crise de nerfs

OSS: 117 From Africa with Love/ OSS 117: Alerte rouge en Afrique noire

Paris 13th District/Les Olympiades

Paul W.R.’s Last journey/Le dernier voyage de Paul W.R.

Rumba Therapy/Rumba La Vie

The Braves/ Entre les vagues


Also, don’t forget the My French Film Festival 2023: a worldwide streaming film festival is currently available online at



Enter your email to subscribe to new article notifications about all things French and francophone in Australia