The Adelaide Festival Centre 2016 season

The Adelaide Festival Centre has launched its 2016 programme. The season features a range of international artists from the UK, Spain, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, The Netherlands, USA, China and Italy, as well as more than 580 Australian artists. The season also includes 5 world premieres as well as 5 Australian premieres.

Douglas Gautier, CEO Adelaide Festival Centre
Douglas Gautier, CEO Adelaide Festival Centre

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier said: “The launch of our new season programme is always an exciting time and 2016 is no exception. The thrill of live performance is enduring and 2016 is full of performances and exhibitions that will entertain and inspire our audiences.”

From the creators of La Soirée comes Club Swizzle (“no stage, no rules, no regrets”) a show combining cabaret, acrobatics and “anything-goes fun”. Also, expect a boozy, raucous, special NYE show.

Fun, games and learning for the kids

With the ankle biters still on holidays, January sees an emphasis on kids, fun and education within two programmes. First, a two-week intensive summer school for children called On Stage, led by tutors across musical theatre, acting, dancing and singing for age groups, 8-12 years and 13-16 years. Second, young guitarists will also get a chance to hone their skills with the first ever Adelaide Guitar Festival Summer School – a week of classical guitar lessons from qualified Australian guitar teachers.

There will be plenty more to choose from for the kids throughout 2016 as TV presenter, adventurer and writer Steve Backshall brings his Deadly 60 Live show to Her Majesty’s Theatre. Backshall will show footage from and answer questions about his popular BBC series. Patch Theatre’s The Moon’s a Balloon shows in April and Something on Saturdays returns with more shows and special guests. Books come to life in a variety of fun children’s shows including The Little Prince, the classic book by Antoine de Saint Exupery, The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and The Bush Concert, where the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra plays an interpretation of Helga Visser’s Australian tale. Another one for the kids is The Tiger Who Came to Tea, direct from their UK season, this is a musical play adapted from the book by Judith Kerr.

Festivals, Drama, Music and Musicals

The 2016 musicals kick off with Ghost, starring Rob Mills and Jemma Rix, bringing to life the iconic movie, but also including some new special effects and a music score from Grammy Award-winners ex-Eurythmics/SuperHeavy composer David A. Stewart along with Glen Ballard. Later in the year the classic Sound of Music opens in the Festival Theatre, as well as the ever-popular Cats.

From February, Beatles fans might enjoy All You Need Is Love which features 30 Beatles tunes primarily sung by Jack Jones and Darren Percival who will be backed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. February also sees The Chinese Music Orchestra celebrate the Chinese New Year when they present Treasures of a Nation. Then, visuals and musical virtuosity combines with Exile Songs of Irish Australia. This show features a line up of artists from Australia and Ireland including Paul Kelly.

The AFC’s Festival season begins in June with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Highlights include Tom Burlinson singing Sinatra and Starman, a show where Sven Ratzke inhabits David Bowie’s various stage personas.

The Adelaide Guitar Festival will include Girt By Sea, a musical and cinematic love letter to the Aussie coast, Don Juan featuring renowned guitarist Karin Schaupp, and the jazz magic of the Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio. Also, for the first time, the Festival will feature a Symphony Gala featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra including a range of guitar soloists.

Brainchild of Douglas Gautier, the increasingly popular OzAsia Festival, celebrates its 10th birthday next year and to celebrate they’ll be doing things a little bit differently. Promising a new and refreshed programme featuring the best from Asian theatre, dance, music, film and visual arts as well as a new twist on the universally liked (and persistently botched) Moon Lantern Festival.

Music sees Tim Winton’s novel Cloudstreet get an operatic treatment from State Opera of South Australia while later in the year Puccini’s Tosca will play the Festival Theatre. Other musical shows include a production of Little Shop of Horrors and Niki Vasilakis returns with her popular Cocktail Concerts series. Soprano Mirusia will sing such classics as ‘Ave Maria’ and ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, and Katie Noonan joins the UK’s Brodsky Quartet in a show inspired by the poetry of Judith Wright. In association with the International Piano Series, Adelaide Festival Centre again presents Morgan’s International Piano Series, this year featuring Alexander Gavryluk, Nikolai Demidenko and Alexei Volodin.

(Jerry Hall gets her claws out)

The Simon & Garfunkel Story tells the fascinating story of the famous duo. The obvious segue from that is The Graduate which shows in November. It stars the 59-year-old world-famous model and ex-partner of Bryan Ferry, Mick Jagger and current squeeze of octogenarian Rupert Murdoch, Jerry Hall (“I actually prefer older men because I look better next to them”) as the infamous cougar Mrs Robinson. The drama continues with Things I Know To Be True during the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

Modern Dance and Ballet

Dance lovers can see Larissa McGowan in Mortal Condition, which has futuristic themes of a brave new digital world. Habitus from Australian Dance Theatre asks the question, will the artefacts of the modern world be reclaimed by nature? Another Dance highlight is Nelken, the work of acclaimed German choreographer and performer Pina Bausch. Balletomanes might like The Australian Ballet’s two productions next year – the eternally popular Swan Lake and in October, Nijinsky, which charts the rise and fall of Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinski.


Our Mob, World of Cultures, Christmas Proms, Morning Melodies and inSpace: Development, GreenRoom programme (18-30 year olds) and CentrEd programme (primary and secondary students) all return in 2016.


For full Programme details go to

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