60 Years of Adelaide Festival - A Retrospective

Celebrate Adelaide Festival’s 60th birthday with an exhibition that highlights the many directors, performers and people who have shaped this festival over the years.

28 February – 27 March 2020

Venue: Festival Theatre foyer
Times: Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm, Sat 9am – 5pm, plus theatre performance times

Through an eclectic array of ephemera including; costumes, posters, set designs and photographs from Adelaide Festival Centre’s Performing Arts Collection this exhibition explores sixty incredible years. 

A taste of what’s in store:

These miniature AFA posters on the front of these packaged matchboxes are not only adorable and useful souvenirs, they also celebrate 10 years (1974 to 1986) of the festival’s ever changing and eye-catching marketing. The Festival encourages and promotes Australian artists not only in the design of their posters but through exhibitions which explore and experiment with visual arts.

These beautiful puppets were used in a traditional water puppet performance in the Botanic Gardens ornamental lake by the Vietnam Central Water Puppet Theatre in 1988. The puppets are skilfully manipulated by underwater puppeteers to fight, spit water, jump, collide and chase each other to exotic music and fireworks. It was only the second time the show had been performed outside of Vietnam. The Festival is well loved for bringing some of the world’s best artists and most avant guarde and culturally diverse performances ever seen in Adelaide.

The rich colours, traditional cut outs and Polish motifs deeply inform this emotive set design for Excursions of Mr Broucek performed in 1974 by New Opera of South Australia by local Polish designer Stanislaw Ostoja-Kotkowski.  The opera was directed by John Tasker and starred Thomas Edmonds, Marilyn Richardson and Lyndon Terracini. The Festival has always given space to include the very best of Australian talent in opera, theatre and dance on the international stage that is, the Adelaide Festival of Arts.