Celebrating disability at 2021 Adelaide Fringe: Shows to watch

Posted 3 years ago by Emily Erickson
Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley explore their Aspergers Syndrome in ‘Aspie Hour’. [Source; Adelaide Fringe]
Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley explore their Aspergers Syndrome in ‘Aspie Hour’. [Source; Adelaide Fringe]

While the Adelaide Fringe will look a bit different in 2021, there is still plenty of entertainment to be enjoyed in person and online.

Here are 11 Adelaide Fringe shows with disability representation that explore and celebrate the everyday experiences and talents of people with disability through theatre, music, dance, and comedy.

Ignition Point – No Strings Attached (Theatre)

2020 – the year to remember (or perhaps to forget…?!). In this unique collaborative creative process, No Strings performers explore their experiences of COVID shutdowns, connecting online, and breaking out of ‘the box’!

No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability works with performers living with disability. Their people are the stars, not just the support act. 

No Strings Attached performances deeply move audiences to the point where disability disappears. They aim to break the “fifth” wall – tackling barriers associated with disability.

The Aspie Hour – Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley  (Musical Theatre) 

 Described as irreverent and informative, this cabaret redefines what it is to be an “Aspie”. 

Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley explore their Aspergers Syndrome and navigate the neurotypical world via music theatre. Ryan travels to New York; Sophie turns her life into a musical.  

The Georgia Hogan Experience (Music)

Performing publicly and writing songs since she was 10 years old, Georgia is out to prove that even those in wheelchairs can achieve anything they put their mind to. 

Her music blends anything from pop, rock, to jazz or country, and her songs detail stories directly from her life, often addressing the challenges faced by those in wheelchairs.

By sharing her story of triumph, challenge and perseverance, Georgia encourages and persuades her audiences to rethink the perception of disability. 

Alien in LA – Teresa De Gennaro

From Port Adelaide to Hollywood! Teresa De Gennaro follows her dreams to Los Angeles where she unveils the grit behind the glamour.

This inspirational story of overcoming the odds, features an eclectic mix of songs, comedy and personal experiences as her secret of living and performing with multiple sclerosis (MS) is revealed.

The Boomerang Show – Just Keeps Coming Back by Josh Warrior

Joshua travels around Australia prescribing some of the best medicine a doctor could offer… laughter!

His audience will get a dose of the good stuff and listen to some ‘Warrior Comedy’. He had his first international shows in London 2017 and is regularly travelling around Australia with his tales of being a half blind parent and his Aboriginaltiy.

Kym’s Overall Extravaganza Showcase – Kym Mackenzie

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!

Tim Ferguson – Smashing Life (Motivation For Idiots)

Legendary comedian Tim Ferguson delivers the world premiere of his radical new show, Smashing Life, (Motivation For Idiots) at the 2021 Fringe Festival.

How does a guy battling MS make movies, teach thousands, tour non-stop? How can a guy in a wheelchair be so damn happy? Tim’s secret will change your life!

Still Alive (and kicking) – Gill Hicks with Julian Ferraretto / Robert Wallace

In facing death, Gill has a new appreciation for what it means to have a life, to see potential in challenging times, to see beauty when the outlook may seem bleak. 

‘Still Alive’ is her response to finding a way through the hardships, to standing tall when you literally don’t have a leg to stand on! 

Call of the Malleefowl – Bluestocking Theatre Co.

“Call of the Malleefowl” is a one-act drama set in current-day Adelaide, taking place over a single winter. 

Told from the perspective of Evelyn, a young woman on the autism spectrum, the story shifts in and out of the present. Evelyn recollects her initial encounter with the enigmatic and beautiful Frankie at The Lookout, a place where Evelyn goes to birdwatch. 

As the events of the winter unravel in Evelyn’s tale, we learn the sinister truth of what happened and why.

Add Hot Water and Stir! – Heaven Knows Acappella and Tutti Arts Inc.

The haunting harmonies of ‘Heaven Knows’ and the sublime sounds of ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ woven together with the heartfelt spoken words of poet Judy Dally make a performance you won’t want to miss. 

Tutti Arts is one of Australia’s leading disability arts companies where artists with a learning disability create visual art, music, theatre, dance, film, new media and installations for a growing local and international audience. 

Flukey Lukey: A New Hope – Luke Mann

Following a life threatening brain injury in 2018, Luke Mann merges comedy, rap and motivational speaking to create something unlike that which you have seen before.

What shows are you looking forward to seeing at the Adelaide Fringe? Let us know in the comments below!