Australian Adventure #5 - The Adelaide Fringe
Half one in the afternoon. It's fourty degrees, I am hovering in the shade like a vampire. My arms are now a constellation of freckles and my feet are the colour and shape of inflated blistered red peppers. Someone stupidly forgot to put suncream on their feet yesterday... the results are severe.
Adelaide Fringe is a unique beast, so different to its cousin, Edinburgh.
Imagine you are very good at Basketball. You are consistently good on the court, and are keen to improve. You know the rules, you play it daily with your friends on a regular rectangular wood-floored court. You feel confident and you feel like you have a good understanding of how the game works. Then imagine you are invited to play Basketball somewhere else. The same rules. You feel good. Why not? However, the match is in sub-zero temperatures, the court is astroturf and the ball is much lighter. Small changes. Same rules. Entirely different game.
That's the best way to describe the difference between gigging in the UK to coming to Adelaide.
After only four shows I've made considerable changes to the show in order for it to adapt and work with an Australian audience. The key factor is the immense heat that we are all performing in . It affects the audience and performers drastically. The jokes land differently, so intonation and delivery has changed. My comedy muscles are getting a considerable work ut. As is my body too. My skin and body have changed due to the weather. Unlike in Edinburgh where you can consume alcohol like water, here that would be too dangerous. Water has never tasted so wonderful.
One awesome thing about the fringe is that unlike in Edinburgh where there are multiple 'private' members bars for different performers performing at seperate venues to drink and network in- here there is only ONE artists bar, which everyone is allowed access to. The best way to describe it is to imagine the set for every penultimate pool party in a teen-rom com from the late nineties. It's brilliant. The atmosphere is relaxed, everyone lies back on the grass drinking Coopers, a DJ plays music and everyone socialises. There is no looking over someones shoulder to find someone else. It has the same open charm of Latitude Festival and due to the wide diversity of artists performing at the fringe, (comedians, actors, puppetteers, clowns, contemporary dancers, circus acts), the dance floor resembles a modern version of the dance sequence from FAME. The openness to engage and interact with others is the most wonderful aspect. Last night I drank with a collection of comics in the garden before heading to The Rhino Room before THE LOCK OUT. My first proper night to unwind and celebrate Valntines Day.
The Lock Out - is not as sinister as it sounds. When someone described it to me I thought of the premise of the film The Purge. This is not the case. After 3am in Australia you can not re-enter a bar. By 3am you HAVE to have worked out where you are going to stay and drink for the rest of the night. If you leave at bar at 2.59 to get cash-out, you can't re enter ANY club/bar in Australia. You are 'locked out'. It's possibly the stupidest rule I've ever heard, as it causes a state of absolute panic amongst drunk people at 2.30am as they start to work out if THIS CLUB is where they want to spend the remaining hours or if they should RUSH somewhere else. It's like a drunk version of rushing for the last tube at London.
Anyways, I'm now off to flyer and sell my soul to the masses.
Have a wonderful day. I send an internet snog to you all. #valentines