The Adelaide Festival of the Arts in 2016 will feature an 11-hour Scottish epic, newly commissioned work by Romeo Castellucci, while French fireworks troupe Groupe F will take over Adelaide Oval.
The newly unveiled program features 30 events, 21 of which are Australian premieres, seven of which are world premieres. In a showcase of homegrown talent, a third of the events are by South Australian companies. The remaining shows will draw more than 500 artists and writers to Adelaide from over 14 countries. Rona Munro’s The James Plays were much lauded in the Edinburgh Festival last year, and will be migrating to Adelaide for our festival soon. The trilogy covers the bloody political intrigue in the court of three Scottish Kings, have drawn favourable comparisons with Shakespeare and Game of Thrones. The trilogy can be watched over separate evenings, or all at once in an 11-hour marathon sure to put the six-hour Roman Tragedies of yesteryear to shame. More conventional in running time, though less conventional in every other aspect, will be the Australian debut of Go Down, Moses from famed Italian director Romeo Castellucci. Promising to be “striking, esoteric and abstract”, the dark and weighty work takes for its subject matter the Book of Exodus. Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal’s seminal dance piece Nelken will be performed exclusively in Australia as part of the Adelaide Festival. It will be the first time the company has visited Australia since 2000. Also on offer is a new piece by Phillip Kavanagh (a winner of The Patrick White Playwrights’ Award) and Nescha Jelk (whose recent State Theatre Company production of Othello was, worthily, well received). The new South Australian theatre company Tiny Bricks presents Deluge, a work that explores the effects of the angst-riddled in information age. Eight South Australian companies will present works at the 2016 Festival, including Australian Dance Theatre, Australian String Quartet, Zephyr Quartet, Slingby and Vitalstatistix. In music, popular North American musical acts Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sufjan Stevens will perform shows, and Unsound Adelaide returns, featuring musicians from Nine Inch Nails and Mogwai, amongst others. The avant garde stylings of Sun 0))) and Magma will draw in experimental music fans from across the country. The line-up for Adelaide Writer’s Week has also been announced. Expect talks from, and interviews with, Charlotte Wood, Tim Flannery, Kerry O’Brien, and many more. WOMADelaide is back and headliners include Angelique Kidjo, Violent Femmes and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. You may already have seen television advertisements for the Festival’s biggest draw, the spectacular stylings of Groupe F. They’ll be taking over the Adelaide Oval in a one off special event. It is the fastest selling event in the Festival’s history with more than 10,000 tickets sold in three days. The Adelaide Festival of Arts runs from Friday, February 26 to Monday, March 14 adelaidefestival.com.au