Adelaide Festival Centre turns it on for 2018

Posted by Adelaide Festival Centre on Monday 30 October 2017

Adelaide Festival Centre is raising the curtain on its 2018 season, including six major musicals, 17 world premieres and 26 Adelaide premieres and exclusives.

The Festival Centre’s new entrance and redeveloped foyers and northern promenade, featuring a star-studded Walk of Fame and new dining and drinking venues will be open for Richard O’Brien’s electrifying Rocky Horror Show and there’s plenty more sass when Club Swizzle hits town from 12 December. Adelaide Festival Centre’s Christmas Proms will get everyone in the festive mood, and New Year’s Eve revellers will be spoilt for choice with packages available for both The Rocky Horror Show and Club Swizzle.

The major musical offerings of 2018 include Green Day’s American Idiot, The Wizard of Oz, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Mamma Mia! and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Adelaide Festival Centre also presents four of its own world class festivals in 2018, beginning in January with the Adelaide French Festival, a parfait weekend of music, fashion, food and wine. Winter will be brightened by June’s award-winning Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Guitar Festival in August will be headlined by affable legend Tommy Emmanuel, while OzAsia Festival will be back with enticing contemporary culture later in the year.

School holiday fun in January includes the return of two family favourites with new shows: therapeutically terrific twins Dr Chris and Dr Xand from ABCMe hit Operation Ouch! and animal adventure expert Steve Backshall who kicks off his national tour in Adelaide with the world premiere of Deadly 60 Down Under.

Other tasty choices for children and families include the exquisite puppetry of Windmill Theatre Co’s Grug and the Rainbow, as well as the world premiere of epic land and sea story Amphibian. Patch Theatre’s farmyard crew do their darndest to cheer up Cranky Bear, while the house just gets bigger and bigger in The 78-Storey Treehouse with characters from the beloved Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton book live on stage.

Roof tiler turned comedy favourite Carl Barron will bring the Festival Theatre house down with Drinking with a Fork, while maestro Ben Folds invites aerial song requests in his Paper Aeroplane Request Tour in February. 

A special Chinese New Year Concert from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and international guests will celebrate the Year of the Dog, while the ASO’s George Michael: Listen to Your Heart pays tribute to the much loved - and missed - singer, songwriter and pop legend.  In a fresh look at another popular music icon, the innovative orchestral arrangements that made George Martin the fifth Beatle are explored in All You Need Is Love.

Your spot is reserved on nightlife’s most notorious dancefloor when Kate Ceberano and Doug Parkinson lead a stellar cast in The Studio: 54 Reasons to Party, before the ASO joins forces with State Opera of South Australia to bring exquisite Korean singer Sumi Jo with dashing Argentine born Jose Carbo in Mad for Love. State Opera returns later in the year under the masterful direction of Graeme Murphy and featuring Greta Bradman’s jewel-like vocals in The Merry Widow.

Jazz heavyweights Vince Jones and Paul Grabowsky combine their unique talents for Provenance, based on their 2016 ARIA-winning album, and thrilling in every key are international pianists Simon Trpceski, Paul Lewis and Piers Lane as part of Morgans International Piano Series. The Zephyr Quartet return with their acclaimed and transcendent journey of light and sound, Between Light.

Brink Productions bring acclaimed Australian actress Helen Morse to the stage to perform the dramatic text of Alice Oswald’s Memorial, re-telling Homer’s Iliad set to a new score by Golden Globe nominated composer Jocelyn Pook, while State Theatre Company South Australia’s ensemble bring sparkling new life to Jane Austen’s classic Sense and Sensibility.

The middle of the year will shake up the foundations with the world premiere of Alison Currie’s Concrete Impermanence, Australian Dance Theatre’s ritualistic The Beginning of Nature featuring Kaurna language vocals, an exhilarating physical retelling of the Fates from Greek Mythology in The Spinners, and The Australian Ballet’s opulent reawakening of The Sleeping Beauty.

Two distinct Australian landscapes and cities are home to Aboriginal performers/choreographers Henrietta Baird and Ngioka Bunda-Heath, who contemplate the complexities of a transplanted life in Spirit Festival’s Divercity.

The program for innovative and experimental works of the future, Adelaide Festival Centre’s inSPACE, presents the next wave of South Australian talent with new works from artists including Tim Overton, Ellen Steele, Finegan Kruckemeyer, Daisy Brown, Tobiah Booth-Remmers and Daniel Evans.

Adelaide Festival Centre is home to community groups from diverse backgrounds, and will host a colourful variety of events and performances in World of Cultures, including the return of Amazing India featuring dancers from Kalalaya School of Indian Performing Arts and the launch of In Our Own Voices, a powerful new book about Middle-Eastern settlement in SA in a joyous concert of music, songs, dance, poetry and stories.

A new year of curated exhibitions will feature new works by international and home-grown digital media artists, exhibited through the year on multimedia screens in the renewed Festival Theatre foyer and Northern Promenade. The exhibition Telling Our Story will focus on Adelaide Festival Centre from its beginnings to today, with Kaurna people past and present and the Adelaide Festival Centre’s architects, founders and designers.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier says: 2018 is our biggest season yet – we are so delighted to work with so many talented South Australian and national performing arts companies as we reopen the Festival Theatre with a packed program.

“2017 has been an important and challenging year for Adelaide Festival Centre and we appreciate the patience and support of our patrons and community throughout the redevelopment. All around us, Adelaide Riverbank is in the midst of transformation and the precinct is really coming alive. We are grateful to the Government of South Australia for their immense and ongoing support, and our loyal audiences, partners, sponsors, and home companies who are so important to our success.”


For full program details including co-presenters visit

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