Who’s Exploring Mental Health at Adelaide Fringe 2021?

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By Anna Jeavons

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There are some great shows with mental health themes and content coming up this Fringe season. We’ve compiled a few descriptions to read below. To find out why we review, and learn about our Adelaide Fringe Mental Health Awareness Award check out our recent blog post Why mindshare’s Reviewing Your Fringe Show in 2021.

Sincerely Survivor
Dance / Spoken Word
Sincerely Survivor seeks to amplify the voices and stories of people who have lived experience of the Victorian Mental Health System. We create art, to enable our empathy; advocating for mental health through the arts. In this work, dancers take on the role of pilgrims, exploring asylums of old. We acknowledge that the experience of mental illness is not representative of someone that is lesser but instead speaks to the strength of the human spirit against adversity.
More info and tickets here

Does it Please You
Theatre
Are we individuals or were we born to please? We will try to comprehend the universal struggle of mental health; how do we all deal with existing in our own complicated and unique minds? Join us through song, music and storytelling as we embrace the grotesque and the beauty of being a human in this f**ked up world.
More info and tickets here.

EMBER
Theatre / Digital
EMBER is a window into the mind of a young woman who, waking up one day, realises she doesn’t know who she is. Fleur lives the dream of any millennial, but instead of happiness and satisfaction, she is left with an inescapable anxiety for the future.
This is a tale debuting Isabella Perversi’s talented storytelling which explores the Australian psyche of the “she’ll be right” attitude and the journey to create one’s own identity in a world full of clichés.
More info and tickets here

Fiona O’Loughlin – The Unreliable Witness
Comedy
Fiona’s searingly honest book ‘Truths from an unreliable witness’ is already a stage show. Fiona has always known the power of a great story and a good joke to show us a truth about ourselves. It is why she is one of our most loved comedians. This is not only an unforgettable show, it is an inspiration to anyone who has lost the way. In sharing her story, Fiona shows that there is always the promise of better days. Don’t miss ‘The Unreliable Witness’ herself as she regales you with a new show with even bolder content than ever before.
More info and tickets here.

Parsnip of Power
Cabaret / Cross-Artform
From Joshua Kernich, international storyteller and multi-modal performer, comes one man’s honest and humorous story of navigating his own blooming sexuality. A peak into the dark places of a young man’s relationship with his body, pornography, anxiety, love, and loss. A rich mix of storytelling, live music, and nostalgic visual wonders.
More info and tickets here

Coming Clean
Comedy / Stand Up
John has a secret, it’s time the carpet cleaner came clean.
In 2012, John Peacock was carpet cleaner of the year. Now he’s a middle aged man with a bee in his bonnet and several mental health issues. Cleaning carpets provides John with a lot of time alone with his wand to consider the World. It’s not perfect (the World that is) but he has a plan. A deep thinker with social anxiety and middle age spread. He might also be gluten intolerant. Aged 47, John Peacock worked out what he wanted to do when he grew up. Unfortunately he is yet to grow up and remains largely unfulfilled. Discover how a secret formed from a lie, which was supposed to be a throw away but stayed with him throughout his life. John Peacock is Coming Clean.
More info and tickets here

Teardrops on my Dildo
Comedy / Stand Up
Breathtakingly brilliant, this queen of sass will delight you with her honest accounts of parenting, dating and all things female. If you shouldn’t say it in public, you can guarantee she will. Taking a break from her literary project, ’50 First Dates’ (aptly renamed ‘Teardrops on my dildo’), Vanessa ‘Larry’ Mitchell is a cannonball of confidence and a firing squad of laughter on the stage. The one woman driver behind Northern NSW comedy club ‘Larry Laughs Loud’, Vanessa guarantees to leave visual imprints in your brain, of her completely unique signature jokes. She’s one of the most sought after comedians on the Northern Rivers. She’s Larry. And she’s bringing her leisure suit.
More info and tickets here.  

Proud and Sassy
Comedy / Stand Up
John Peacock and Vanessa Larry Mitchell are ‘Proud and Sassy’.
Two middle aged comedians from Byron Bay and Nimbin. He’s as Proud as a Peacock and She’s as Sassy as a Salty Sailor.
Vanessa Larry Mitchell is standing out in the crowd with her brave and honest humour – she dares to go there. She’s putting the class back into the cattle yards. With an air of confidence that can only be developed through intense self loving, Vanessa brings her stories to life in a way that will leave you both shocked and delighted.
A deep thinker with social anxiety and middle age spread. He might also be gluten intolerant. Aged 47, John Peacock worked out what he wanted to do when he grew up. Unfortunately he is yet to grow up and remains largely unfulfilled.
So Proud. So Sassy.
More info and tickets here

I Thought I Was Having An Existential Crisis, But It Was Just A Gluten Intolerance.
Theatre / Comedy
I was fine with existence preceding essence and the universe being inherently cruel and absurd, but then he kicked me out of the family group chat.
A stage play about various things.
By Sophie and Conor.
More info and tickets here

Grief Lightning: A Satire In 78 Slides
Theatre / Comedy
Part-theatre, part-standup, part-PowerPoint Presentation. One lecturer desperately tries to prove a popular ‘Grease’ fan theory: that Sandy drowns in the opening beach sequence and the rest of the film is her coma fantasy.
Over the course of 13 scenes, 78 slides, and a flood of custom animations, the lecture warps. Lost in a storm of conspiracy, the lecturer drags the audience down into a world of wigs, jackets, and surreal projection.
Through this postmodern journey through Reddit, film, and academia, ‘Grief Lighting’ explores ideas of gender, pop culture, and obsession. If ‘Grease’ is nothing more than a fantasy, is Sandy’s narrative really the best we can hope for?
This work has been assisted by The Helpmann Academy and the SA Government through Carclew and The Adelaide Fringe.
More info and tickets here

I didn’t know I was drowning, till I saw the shore
Visual Arts and Design / Arts & Crafts
This collection of images aims to provide a visual narrative of how abuse looks through the eyes and psyche of the abused. The victim’s day to day compass for living is distorted and broken. The aim of the work is not to shock but provide a deeper emotional understanding of what it is like to live with the impact of trauma. The exhibition’s title refers to the unconscious adoption of living a life thin in connection, inward and outward.
Initially the artwork created an outlet to express unresolved issues. However, as the work has progressed, its aim has developed into a need to spread the story into the wider community. This sharing will hopefully connect with those who have experienced domestic violence, as well as those who work with domestic violence survivors.
More info and tickets here

Fady Kassab: Borderline
Comedy / Stand Up
Australian National Raw Comedy Winner 2019, Fady Kassab, a child of war of 17 years in Lebanon, flashes back to wild, turbulent times in the Middle East, a region that keeps on giving… great material. Fady, a former SBS Radio Arabic program host, tells horrifyingly funny tales about war, migration, family, kids, racism, health and ageing.
More info and tickets here

Kym’s Overall Extravaganza Showcase
Comedy / Cross-Artform
Kym Mackenzie is a seasoned Adelaide performer, having lit up stages across Australia and around the world. Now, for the first time, he is appearing as a solo act presenting this exciting showcase. Come and witness a smorgasbord of abilities including comedy, dance, music and spoken word that will leave you with a proud smile!
More info and tickets here

Luke Benson – ‘Coming to Australia’
Comedy / Stand Up
Luke brings his best jokes and stories about finding love, coming to Australia and settling with his quite spectacular lady in a showcase of wit, physical comedy and avoiding humble brags.
More info and tickets here.

Magic on the Edge – Success
Magic / Illusion
Dad used to say, “anything worth having comes at a price”. Are you willing to pay what it takes for ‘Success’?
Success is not always a direct path, not everything works out like we planned. Maybe, we think we are just not good enough. Overcoming self-doubt and fighting those destructive thoughts may be the biggest battles we experience.
Share the excitement of a new adventure as it lights a fire, drives us to aim higher and try new things to reach our goals. Journey the roller-coaster of progress in a light-hearted, magically punctuated, storytelling showcase of wonder.
This is a show for the whole family. Although mental health themes are addressed, it is in a form suitable for primary ages and above. Everyone will enjoy the sense of fun as we strive for ‘Success’.
More info and tickets here

Someday
Music / Cabaret
Musician and coach Jennifer Trijo invites you to be mindful as she serenades you with her own form of music therapy. As an avid reader of positive psychology and neuroscience texts, she’s transformed her research into uplifting original pop music to create a cabaret-meets-motivational-talk show. Trijo is a Filipino-Australian creative with broad influences from Alicia Keys to Alan Menken. Influenced by her professional theatre background, dramatic storytelling is at the heart of her songwriting. Her theatre-meets-pop approach encompasses soaring melodies and dynamic arrangements which highlight her characters’ plights and aspirations. “Powerful voice, expressive range” Theatre People. “Trijo brings technical excellence and true stage presence, as well as subversive wit” Stage Whispers.
More info and tickets here

A Slight Exaggeration
Theatre
She’s been in the same room for a while now, and things are starting to get weird. Out of a smokescreen of dirty laundry and shaggy dogs, a mysterious voice challenges her to cut the bull. But can she work out how?
Does unravelling the truth mean unravelling herself in the process?
If the foundation of sanity is knowing fact from fiction, was it the outside world or her own brain that first started feeling a bit shaky?
When the hell is the sun going to come up?
Join emerging writer and performer Poppy Mee as she attempts to punchline her way through a very dark night of the soul.
More info and tickets here

Happy-Go-Wrong
Theatre / Physical Theatre
Powerhouse performer Andi Snelling is in the fight of her life after a tick bite plunged her into dangerously ill health. Little does she know, she is about to orchestrate her own rescue in this visceral odyssey that blends clowning, storytelling and roller skates.
Through a profound celebration of mortality and resilience, Andi aligns the personal with the universal and makes the invisible visible as she shares her ongoing plight with unflinching honesty and gut-punching comedy. The show’s message of hope amidst uncertainty is even more relevant now than ever.
With rave reviews, standing ovations and making multiple ‘Best Of 2019’ lists, this show is simply unmissable.
More info and tickets here

Nat’s What I Reckon: On Purpose Tour
Comedy / Stand Up
Nat’s What I Reckon: On Purpose is an epically entertaining evening of piss-taking and previously unreleased videos.
Join content creator, comedian, rock musician, isolation cooking champion and mental health advocate Nat as he takes his unique brand of content and comedy offline in his debut hour-long multimedia stage show and video party.
More info and tickets here

Too Much
Theatre / Comedy
Too silly, too sexual, too loud and too authentic – but the perfect amount of courageous and funny. Angela Faith is as profound as she is ridiculous. Prepare yourself for deep insights and cringe-worthy stories that she probably should have kept to herself. Joyful, deep, saucy and provocative.
Quirky, irreverent and boldly authentic, Angela Faith goes straight for the hearthole and tickles your feelings into a frenzy. Ange has written and performed shows all over Melbourne, crossing the spectrum from musicals about consent for children, to utter raunch for adults.
More info and tickets here

Baby, What Blessings By Siofra Dromgoole
Theatre / Performance
Meet Billie. 19. Hilariously self-aware and hopelessly naive. She’s at the age where every single new thing she experiences causes her to entirely reassess her life, and the newest thing to happen to her, is Amal.
Billie is beginning to understand that most of her actions exacerbated a delicate universe Amal was already aware of – the politics of being the only black man in a white space. Katherine Sortini’s captivating, compelling performance grapples with honesty and responsibility; how far we are bound by our own realities and the intricacies of truly being heard.
More info and tickets here

Fabien Clark – The Quick And The Dreads
Comedy / Stand Up
While on his ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ path to enlightenment, award winning comedian Fabien Clark must battle the thoughts in his head as he finds himself on the front line of a turf war, accidentally dressed as the enemy.
More info and tickets here

Ukulele Dream Girl: Love at a Distance
Cabaret / Theatre
Sometimes, in a world promoting human connection via screens, the most genuine moments can still feel distant regardless of the space between us. “Love” is often modelled in rigid ways, but what about the stories beyond the honeymoon or summer love phase? Join the Ukulele Dream Girl for a tour of love across diverse perspectives in a world where ‘distance’ is something more relevant in our relationships than ever!
More info and tickets here.

 

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2 Nuts for Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation
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Music

7 Day Notice
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Theatre

Add Hot Water and Stir!
Music

Adelaide Crows Women
Visual Arts and Design

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Music

AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE with Dr Kim Le
Comedy

Ali McGregor – A Sweet Beginning
Cabaret

AUSTRALIAN songs & yarns with ME ‘N ME MATES
Cabaret

Behind Closed Doors
Visual Arts and Design

BREATHE
Circus and Physical Theatre

Dark Wind Blowing: The Play
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Endo Days
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Fat Witch
Cabaret

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Comedy

Glass Town – from NYC
Music

G-NAT!ON ‘Our Time’
Music

Hatch, Match and Dispatch
Cabaret

Hello Good Thanks – Better Out Than In
Comedy

How To Drink Wine Like A Wanker
Theatre

Iris goes in …
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It’s A Place I Know
Music

Jason Pestell: Kmart to the Rescue
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Comedy

Life According to Kate
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LOCKDOWN
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MAN-BO
Comedy

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Nathan Cavaleri
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Theatre

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Cabaret

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Music

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Comedy

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Music

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Children’s

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Comedy

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Theatre

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Theatre

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wild
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