Current Issue #488

Fringe Awards Nine "Daring" Artists $40,000 in Grants

Nine Australian artists, including four South Australian acts, will share $40,000 of Fringe funds between them in order to establish work for next year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival.

The nine grants are courtesy of the Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund, which was established in 2014 with the intention of providing financial support to artists who otherwise might not have the means to make their show a reality.

The funds, which can be put toward sets, travel, costumes and publicity, is intended to make the Fringe more accessible to creative entrepreneurs. The funding and platform of the Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund has seen previous recipients go-on to share their show on international stages.

Brisbane burlesque troupe Black Honey Company received the Fringe funding in 2015, before performing across Australia and abroad at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival. With that in mind, Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall says this year’s selection are works that will “surprise and wow audiences”.

“We received so many impressive submissions; the nine successful artists were chosen because they displayed an intention to present work that was contemporary, daring and diverse,” she said in a release.

The 2017 selection features work from four South Australian acts as well as five from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Covering a cross-section of genres, the chosen acts include theatre, dance, visual art and cabaret.

Adelaide-born cabaret queen Anya Anastasia will return to the Fringe following the success of her award winning 2016 show Torte e Mort: Songs of Cake and Death One of the four local artists to receive funding, Anastasia will deliver her Rogue Romantic to Fringe audiences next year. As an artist who relishes the many multifaceted characters one individual can contain, Rogue Romantic will be an exploration into two sides of one woman: the Diva and the Writer.

A melting pot of physical theatre and circus elements paired with serenades and poignant confessionals, Rogue Romantic promises to create an environment “akin to a…mad and wonderful speakeasy”. Directed by Clare Bartholomew (Die Roten Punkte), with musical direction from Lucian McGuiness (Scotch and Soda, Company 2) alongside percussionist and co-performer Bec Matthews (Yana Alana, Circus Oz) Rogue Romantic is a creative collaboration sure to enthral its audiences.

Another artist delighted to be a recipient of the funding is Emily Steel, writer of the play 19 Weeks. “It means a lot to us as local artists, particularly in the current funding climate,” Steel says of the Fringe funding.

“It makes it possible for us to take risks and respond quickly to real stories.” 19 Weeks tells of Steel’s own experience terminating a pregnancy at 19 weeks after the baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

“Telling this story so truthfully is scary for us [the team behind 19 Weeks], but it’s necessary, to make a piece of theatre that lets members of our audience know that they are not alone,” she says. Directed by Daisy Brown (Mützenball, Ruby Bruise) and starring Astrid Pill (Tartuffe, Me & My Shadow, Cake), the team behind the production will take up residence poolside at the Adina for the course of 19 Weeks’ performance.

Accompanied by a live cellist, the partially submerged story will lead audiences through a host of physical metaphors as they watch the woman in the water try to stay afloat.

Remaining funding found its way to South Australian expat Dan Daw (Restless Dance Theatre, Australian Dance Theatre and Force Majeure) who’ll bring his boundary blurring On One Condition to the Fringe Stage.

A reflection of Daw’s experiences at the juncture of queerness and disability, On One Condition will dance between the lines that both join and divide our ideas of ‘normal’: exploring questions of home, of need and of belonging.

The fourth local to receive a share of the Fringe Artist Fund is Rebecca Mayo (Deluge) for Live in The Dark; a theatrical work steeped in nostalgia that presents adults with the chance to be told stories in the dark again.

“Part radio play, part theatrical story telling”, Live in The Dark will see director Tim Overton pool the collective talents of actors Elizabeth Hay (Red Cross Letters), Rebecca Mayo (Deluge) and Nathan O’Keefe (Things I Know to be True) to create a show that promises to transport its audiences.

Full list of Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund Recipients:
Emily Steel – 19 Weeks (Theatre – SA)
Rebecca Mayo – Live In The Dark (Theatre – SA)
Anya Anastasia – Rogue Romantic (Cabaret – SA)
Dan Daw – On One Condition (Dance – former SA)
Adriano Cappelletta – This Boy’s In Love (Cabaret – NSW)
Melita Rowston – Shit Tourism presents The Giant Worm Show! (Theatre – NSW)
Aaron Bradbrook – The Working Class (Visual Art – VIC)
Adam Seymour and Rural Ranga – Pussy Play Masterclass (Event – VIC)
Elements Collective – M.I.N.D.E.D (Dance – QLD)

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