In a festival state that nurtures organically grown backyard arts companies of global renown and that is persistently abuzz with travelling troupes of performers, it is impossible to see every show on offer.
To do that, would require methamphetamine, a time-machine and a diligent personal assistant in charge of your calendar. SA Arts writer James Murphy, fuelled only by coffee and constrained by the current laws of space time recalls his personal artistic highlights for 2016.
'Cloudstreet!' by State Opera of South Australia
Opera companies around the world regularly try to innovate within the strict confines of operatic tradition by modernising traditional pieces, usually by altering the time and setting of the piece while remaining faithful to most other aspects. 'Madame Butterfly' is about a stranger to a foreign land, so why not set it on Mars? 'Cloudstreet!
' did not safely tinker around the edges of convention, it shattered them like a block of ice from the bottle-o to put into the esky. It was Australiana within the grandest art form of all.
'Straight White Men' by State Theatre Company of South Australia
Young Jean Lee’s satire of male privilege
was bitingly relevant even before Donald Trump was elected, despite his proud proclamation that he enjoys grabbing unsuspecting women by the pussy. It was an entertaining and accessible social commentary that will only continue in its relevance in the coming decade.
'SK!N' by TERRYANDTHECUZ
Interactive theatre is a prevailing trend for a smartphone generation that no longer accepts passive observance. 'SK!N
' during OzAsia Festival was a profound, forced transportation into the fraught existence of refugees; participation was not always pleasant, but any discomfort was inflicted to educate ticket holders beyond their narrow existing awareness.
'Die Roten Punkte' at Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Some gags never get old; the physical humour of this faux German rock band is timeless. Their show
fit snugly into the subversive and cutting edge Cabaret Festival Program curated by Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect.
'Butt Kapinski' at Adelaide Fringe
While the Adelaide Fringe now houses large established performing companies and celebrity comedians, film noir detective Butt Kapinski embodied the essence
of the Fringe; it was more 'what the hell is going to happen next' rather than 'I hope he tells that joke that I saw on the telly'.
Here's to an even better and more artsy 2017.