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human requiem, Adelaide Festival

What to see and do at Adelaide Festival 2018

From 2-18 March 2018, Adelaide Festival celebrates creative culture in all its forms, offering an internationally-renowned feast for all five senses.

For over 55 years, the Adelaide Festival has breathed life into long summer days and illuminated starry nights with elaborate venues, internationally acclaimed theatre productions, world-class musicians, breathtaking dance pieces and striking visual arts displays.

Visionary directors Neil Armfield AO and Rachel Healy have concocted a spectacular 2018 program with a smorgasbord of new events, venues and shows on-offer, here’s our guide to this year’s Adelaide Festival, guaranteed to ignite your creative fire.

Hamlet, Adelaide Festival

Hamlet, Adelaide Festival.


The 2018 Adelaide Festival program will stun audiences with an outstanding mix of internationally acclaimed theatre productions, an eclectic array of world-class musicians, breathtaking dance pieces, renowned writers and striking visual arts displays. Check out our list of what to see below.

The Lost and Found Orchestra kicks off the Adelaide Festival with an unforgettable bang. The symphonic event will blast the hats off the whole family, featuring a huge number of performers creating amazing tribal rhythms from recycled hosepipes, bottles, oil drums and bellows, saws, plant pots and rubbish bins.

The Lost and Found Orchestra, Adelaide Festival.

The Lost and Found Orchestra, Adelaide Festival.

Rundfunkchor Berlin (one of the world's greatest choral ensembles) and leading German dance makers, Jochen Sandig and Sasha Waltz, craft an immersive experience of remarkable artistry in Adelaide exclusive, human requiem, where the standing audience moves organically with the production, and division between performer and audience, life and death, light and dark all seem to dissolve. 

human requiem, Adelaide Festival

human requiem, Adelaide Festival.

Toneelgroep Amsterdam return to Adelaide with this gripping study of political cynicism, again conceived by Dutch director Ivo van Hove, recently described by The New York Times as “perhaps the most influential director of his generation in international theatre”. A thrilling conflation of five plays by Shakespeare (Henry V, Henry VI Part I, II and III, and Richard III), Adelaide exclusive, Kings of War is performed by a company of 17 actors on a massive, faultlessly detailed ‘war room’ set.

Kings of War, Adelaide Festival

Kings of War, Adelaide Festival.

Performed by Yves Jacques and seen in 45 cities around the world, Adelaide exclusive, Far Side of the Moon is the story of two brothers who gradually become entwined in the history of the Soviet-US space race. The struggle between ambition and idleness, the practical and the idealistic and the ordinary and the otherworldly are played out in the work’s magical fusion of video, theatre and puppetry.

The Far Side of the Moon, Adelaide Festival

The Far Side of the Moon, Adelaide Festival.

Dutch live-animation theatre company, Hotel Modern, confront profound horror with epic intimacy in The Great War. Performers arrange and animate miniature worlds created from sawdust, rusty nails, parsley and other houesehold items with tiny cameras, projecting works onto a giant screen. All the while, composer/artist Arthur Sauer synchronises amplified match strikes, manipulated sheets of old metal, sticks on drum pads and triggered digital samples to create a haunting, powerful soundtrack. 

The Great War, Adelaide Festival.

The Great War, Adelaide Festival.

After rapturous reviews from its world premiere at the renowned Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the UK, Neil Armfield’s production of Brett Dean’s Hamlet comes to Adelaide Festival 2018. Shakespeare’s best-known tragedy is given new life as a darkly complex opera, in this Australian premiere and Adelaide exclusive. The timeless tale of love, betrayal and revenge is taken to new levels through Brett Dean’s vivid and richly lyrical music, highlighted by sensational arias, ensembles and choruses. 

Hamlet, Adelaide Festival

Hamlet, Adelaide Festival.

Alice Oswald’s universally lauded Memorial personalises the deaths of the 215 soldiers named in Homer's Iliad. One of the leading actresses of her generation, Helen Morse brings her decades of experience in theatre and recitals to the transforming poetry of Alice Oswald’s Memorial, and performs the superb dramatic text with a new score by Golden Globe nominated UK composer Jocelyn Pook.

Memorial, Adelaide Festival

Memorial, Adelaide Festival.

The Palais, Adelaide Festival

The Palais, Adelaide Festival

The Palais

The Palais
is back in 2018, lighting up the Torrens with huge international and big-name Australian bands, DJs and live acts.

Strap your dancing shoes on tight and get down to awesome international bands and DJs, sit back and soak-up the atmosphere in the mezzanine bar, get the scoop each morning with Breakfast with Papers, or take your after-work drinks to the water while listening to some of the world’s most compelling writers and artists at Festival Forums

The Long Lunches legend continues in 2018 with world-renowned chefs including Janet Jeffs, O Tama Carey and Jared Ingersoll preparing long lazy lunches on The Palais and celebrating Adelaide as a centre of food and wine culture. Check out our list of what to see below.

Brisbane’s Regurgitator hit the scene in 1994 and quickly established themselves as an articulate and witty purveyor of the Australian music scene – assembling a mishmash of funk, punk, pop and electronics. 24 years and 15 albums later, Regurgitator continue to infuse their live performances with the same exuberance and mania they were first famous for. See them 9 March at The Palais.

Weaving together floating harmonies, folk and baroque pop, this Brooklyn four-piece were already one of the 00s most acclaimed indie acts when 2009’s ‘Two Weeks’ from their third album introduced them to a huge new audience. Now, Grizzly Bear are one of the world's best-known indie acts. See them 6 and 7 March at The Palais.

Perfume Genius aka Mike Hadreas is one of the most important artists of our time; a queer icon as well as a dearly loved indie artist who has broken through dramatically from his early days as a bedroom artist to become a riveting live performer. See him 8 March at The Palais.

Bringing a meld of dreamy indie pop and confessional alt-country to the Adelaide Festival, Australia's Julia Jacklin is a critic's favourite, nominated for multiple awards in 2016 including APRA Australian Song of the Year, Triple J Album of the Year and selling out the Metro Theatre in Sydney. See her 11 March at The Palais.

With over a quarter-of-a-billion Spotify streams in under a year and a sold out headline tour in 2017, the electronic tones, airy beats, jazz-inspired guitars and soulful vocalisations of this self-described “hopeless romantic” have quickly won him fans the world over. See Lauv 17 March at The Palais.

Pink Moon Saloon, Adelaide

Fast fine drinking and dining at Pink Moon Saloon.

Fast Fine Dines

It’s a fact: quality entertainment goes hand-in-hand with quality food (and wine, obviously). Adelaide Festival’s Fast Fine Dines program brings you pre and post-show offers from some of Adelaide’s best food and wine establishments including Bank Street SocialSean's KitchenMagill EstateKaffanaMayflower Restaurant and Pink Moon Saloon.

Fast Fine Dines runs from 3-19 March with each partnered establishment offering considerable discounts and specials. For a full list of participating establishments, see the Adelaide Festival website.

Writers' Week, Adelaide Festival

Writers' Week, Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Writers' Week 2018

From 3 to 8 March, the lush lawns of the beautiful Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden in Adelaide will be home to the Adelaide Writers' Week 2018 directed by Laura Kroetsch. Take a seat and listen to some of the world's best (and greatest up-and-coming) writers discuss their innermost thoughts; this year, the theme of Writers' Week is 'change' with stories of murder, mayhem, love, loss, hoarding, reporting and chronicling. 

For a full list of authors featuring at Adelaide Writers' Week 2018, see the Adelaide Festival website.

See an extensive list of Adelaide Festival shows below and find out what's on today.

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