By Kevin Short

In 2020, a visit to the Adelaide Fringe Festival had to be cancelled due to bush fires and then the beginning of Covid. Now, in 2023, I am here supporting the wonderful John Otway on an equally wonderful boat called ‘Popeye’, an iconic river cruise venue (one of three) which offers great events as it gently floats down the Torrens River.


We are half-way through our week’s run, with probably only one show left on Sunday March 5th by the time you read this but, rest assured, it has been the trip of a lifetime, and as well as entertaining the Australian crowd, as always, I and my partner in crime (Kathryn Kraus) are also reviewing some of the shows at the festival.

As a veteran of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Adelaide, in comparison, might be described as the best of Edinburgh gone by. It is smaller, generally more accessible, and the city is cleaner, warmer and, dare I say it, friendlier to the outsider. I have loved Edinburgh (notably the biggest Arts Festival in the world) but over recent times it has become a commercial mine field which favours profit beyond all else.  Adelaide may not be the biggest, but it gets my vote as one of the best, so, thank you to all the organizers and to the great Popeye team.

Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy our reviews from down under, and here’s a link to quite a comprehensive review of the show we are performing here:

Plus, a couple of fun photos of John Otway and myself in between performances:


              By Kevin Short & Kathryn S Kraus




Many comedians perform shows that are strictly based on how many jokes they can fit into their set. Pam Ford isn’t one of them. She creatively weaves hilarious, yet touching, stories about her life working in a care home in England. Moving seamlessly from sitting exercises for the residents, to a well-meaning assistant who decided to bulk wash dentures, Pam’s delivery had the audience crying with laughter. She makes these stories hit home when talking about surviving Covid amongst the elderly population, and her own struggles to make ends meet during that difficult time. There are not many comedians that deliver comedy with heart, but Pam is one of them. Bravo!                                                               

(Reviewer: Kathyrn S Kraus)

Pam Ford – Don’t You Dare! (Put Me In A Care Home) Performance schedule:

Sun 5 Mar 5:45pm
Tue 7 Mar – Sun 11 Mar 5:45pm
Tue 14 Mar – Sun 19 Mar 5:45pm
The Boardroom @ The Griffins Hotel
38 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide.


NEW BLOOD – the musical

The day before I was set to see the musical New Blood, I came across the company outside a café as they were going through their scripts – serendipity indeed – we had a brief chat and their openness and obvious commitment to their show cemented my interest in seeing it. A packed town hall venue greeted me, and I was immediately immersed in this original show written and devised by the company of five, playing multiple roles. The themes of small town living and all its community trials and tribulations as dreamers, developers, and other unwanted suburbanites descend upon their heavenly haven, really packs a punch.                                                  

In a series of narrative tuneful solos, duets, trios, and other dynamically harmonized songs, the five performers deliver performances truly grounded in reality, a meaningful set of relationships, personal and collective dilemmas that challenge our perspectives, something rarely done in musicals these days. They only play two performances, sadly, but as the standing ovations will confirm, this is a show that will develop and continue to grow, so bravo to all!  Congratulations Joel Cooper, Melia Naughton, Anouska Gammon, Mikey Bryant, and Elodie Crow, you deserve all the success that will surely come your way. 
(Reviewer: Kevin Short)




Now, here is a new musical chalk and cheese review. Following the wonderful originality of New Blood, I enter the packed audience of The Marvellous Elephant Man – The Musical.  Is it marvellous? Is it really the Elephant Man we have known from history and the wonderfully touching film? Neither could I answer yes to. Then, what is it? Yes, it is a musical, albeit a burlesque-style one, with a few exciting show numbers. The opening number really lifted one’s spirits and hopes, but when the white-faced Elephant Man appeared, anti-climax after anti-climax followed, and a convoluted non-convincing romantic narrative was interrupted by some genuinely unoriginal songs of gratuitous innuendo after innuendo, together with some Rocky Horror shadow screen theatrics.

To be fair, all the performers were excellent, great voices, movers and shakers but, for me, they were flogging a dead elephant. I think, perhaps, using and exploiting The Elephant Man story in such a meaningless way is what makes it a travesty of bad intent. Yes, they had a part standing ovation, yes, most of the audience loved it, and most reviews, no doubt, will be favourable but, alas, I found it hollow and unoriginal. Nevertheless, please go see, and judge for yourself.

(Reviewer: Kevin Short)

The Marvellous Elephant Man – The Musical performance schedule:

Fri 3 Mar: 9:30pm
Sat 4 Mar: 6:30pm
Sun 5 Mar: 6pm
Tue 7 Mar: 8:30pm
Wed 8 Mar – Fri 10 Mar: 9:30pm
Sat 11 Mar – Mon 13 Mar: 8:30pm

Wonderland Spiegeltent at Wonderland Festival Hub – Hindmarsh Square

Hindmarsh Square / Mukata, Corner Grenfell and Pulteney Street, Adelaide, Kaurna Country.



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