The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

346 – Adelaide Fringe at home and about

346 - Adelaide Fringe at home and about - The Adelaide Show Podcast

Adelaide Fringe at home, in a park, or in a theatre? Take your pick!

The Covid-19 pandemic and ever-changing response protocols have prompted Hartstone Kitney Productions to make it possible to do the Adelaide Fringe at home this year, more than ever before. Joanne Hartstone and Tom Kitney formed their production company in 2017 and in recent years they have invested heavily in filming and streaming live shows. Amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, all their Fringe shows this year will only be available via livestream or on-demand.

A reminder that Steve Davis and Ekkia Evans will be reviewing Fringe shows again this year. Read our Adelaide Fringe reviews here, throughout the Fringe.

For the SA Drink Of The Week, local comedian and show producer, Wendy Torbet, will share a Coopers Pale Ale while discussing some stand up comedy insights.

And Melbourne-based performer, Tash York, who lives in Adelaide every Fringe (and has done for many, many years), will share her insights on Fringe, interstate acts, and the glam/big hair aspects of cabaret.

And in the Musical Pilgrimage, we finish off with a track by Nick Vulture, that will feature in a show he’s putting on called Southern Sounds.

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Running Sheet: Adelaide Fringe at home and about

00:00:00 Intro

Introduction to the show.

00:04:53 SA Drink Of The Week

This week’s SA Drink Of The Week is a Coopers Pale Ale, as recommended by Wendy Torbet, a comedian and producer who’s producing some live, in-the-flesh comedy shows again this fringe.

Shows mentioned:

Open Mic Comedy at Legends Bar

Fashionable and Fabulous

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

00:08:19 Adelaide Fringe at hom with Joanne Hartstone and Tom Kitney

In 2020, when Covid-19 struck and theatres went dark, the State Theatre devised an ingenious program called Decameron 2.0; a weekly hour of 10 short monologues broadcast online. It was a hit and the production qualities were very high. Some amateur companies also experimented with livestreaming or prerecorded theatre with mixed results, typically due to lower budgets and lack of experience. Our guests today have truly honed the art of filming and streaming live theatre, so much so that for the Adelaide Fringe in 2022, all their shows will only be viewable online. Joanne Hartstone and Tom Kitney, welcome to the Adelaide Show.

Shows mentioned:

The Girl Who Jumped Off The Hollywood Sign by Joanne Hartstone / Hartstone-Kitney Productions

The Reichstag Is Burning by Hartstone-Kitney Productions

EGG by Erin Fowler Movement

Spaces Between Us + Epilogue by Lewis Major Projects

Satori + Unfolding by Lewis Major Projects

You Can’t Hide In The Desert by Tracy Crisp

Something In The Water by Scantily Glad Theatre Company

Prepping For Theatre by Dr Lane

Myths, Legends and Fantasy by Emma Knights

Or just click HERE to see all Hartstone-Kitney Productions shows for the 2022 Adelaide Fringe.

I had my first virtual experience of Black Box Live, which is the manifestation of your livestreaming and on-demand theatre, last year. I’d missed Dr Gill Hicks’ theatre debut, Alive And Kicking, so watched your on-demand version. It was wonderful experience and I’m glad I got to see it. I also know that because of her connections to the London bombings, there were readymade audiences in England who got to watch the broadcast performances. What are your recollections of that show and your other shows during the 2021 Fringe? And did audiences split evenly between in-theatre and online, or was there a skew?

Can you take us through your thinking process for opting to only do Fringe shows online this year? Was it prompted by some heartbreak last year when restrictions were brought in right on the day before a big new season launch?

Did you watch any of the Decameron 2.0? Thoughts?

Apart from your productions, what livestreamed or on-demand theatre thrilled you over the past few years?

I hear some people, Peter Goers is one of them, who poo poos livestream theatre, saying theatre is meant to be live, in the flesh. I think if you go back a few years to filmed productions that had one or two cameras and sound being recorded from the auditorium, then I would be with him. But I’ve seen some stunning and thoughtfully filmed theatre in recent years and have become quite a convert. Do you still encounter this sort of staunch resistance? Or is that fading like the claims of early luddites who railed against the printing press in 1492, claiming handwriting was the moral superior to mechanical printing?

Martin Scorcese was once asked what was more important, vision or sound. He said, sound. And I agree. What’s the trick for capturing good sound when livestreaming?

How do you plan when to be close up and when to have a wideshot or even follow the action?

I was at Essential Theatre’s Shakespeare In The Vines at Sevenhill Cellars last weekend, and their actors had wonderful skills around projection. Would they blow your mics? Is there a different discipline required for actors on your sets?

Are all shows suitable for filming?

I think we’ve covered many aspects but can we just reflect on some of the pros and cons related to producing theatre for the screen. For example, one person can buy a ticket but a whole family could watch (so you bleed some ticket sales). Similarly, I am sure there are actors who thrive on audience feedback. On the plus side, theatre on screen allows for greater access for people with disabilities, plus a greater chance of fitting theatre into lifestyles. What have I missed? Are some of these factors more or less important than others?

What do you have in store for 2022?

I need to ask about critics. There seem to be some different assumptions about the role of critics. In an ideal world, how does the role of critic fit into the journey of your production?

All reviewers got this note from the Fringe last week, in which it said: Due to the impacts of COVID, venue capacity limits and in an effort to not take seats away from artists and venues, Media will be able to select 1 complimentary ticket per event. We will still issue 2 complimentary tickets for Kids and Family events for parents/guardians to accompany children. If you need to request a second ticket for extenuating circumstances for an event you are attending, you may send a written request to [email protected]. Please note that this request will be evaluated by our MediaTIX team and in consultation with the artist and in many cases may not be approved. What makes me think there is some wrong-thinking happening in the Fringe head office is the notion that critics “take seats away from artists and venues” when, in fact, critics help spread the word about shows to potential audience members. It is completely shortsighted and seems to come from a notion that when I get a “free” ticket, I’m just in seventh heaven going on a junket, without any thought OR RESPECT for the 1-2 hours it will take me to invest my own time in reflecting on the show and writing and promoting a thoughtful review. Comment? Oh, and for the last three Fringes, I have run 4 events and there is no way I would ever have limited a critic to a single ticket.

When you were producing “proper” theatre, you’re obvious competitors were other producers of “proper” theatre. But now that you’re in the online space, do you feel you are competing against TikTok and YouTube stars, let alone Netflix, Stan, and all the rest? How do you make sense of your marketplace?

01:33:55 Tash York

Tash York is a Melbourne performer who lives a month of her life every year in Adelaide. Amid rumours that some people are saying that all interstate shows have been cancelled this year (yep, that’s been discussed in the Fringe artists’ Facebook group), I thought I’d have a quick chat with Tash for some “proof of life”.

Shows mentioned:

Tash York’s Happy Hour

Wine Confessions with Tash York

Tash, when did you start coming to Adelaide?

What changes have you noticed with the Fringe and with Adelaide over this time?

What is your mood and your thinking in relation to these pandemic times?

Tell us about Happy Hour?

Do you really improvise an original song, live?

And tell us about the goon!

You’ve also recently joined the cast of Confessions.

Finally, you have big hair, your sidekicks do, also, along with big makeup. Most of us don’t walk down the street like this. What is its appeal? Do you think it’s voyeuristic escapism, eg, we watch you and marvel that we could never do that?

01:51:43 Musical Pilgrimage

In the musical pilgrimage, we have a song called Perfect Storm by Nick Vulture.

Show mentioned:

Southern Sounds

Nick is part of Southern Sounds, a one day event on Sunday February 27th 2022 between 1pm (doors from midday) to 7pm at the beautiful Port Noarlunga Arts Centre.  It will be celebrating some of the amazing original singer songwriter talent from the south of Adelaide with award winning acts such as Loren Kate, Tilly Tjala Thomas, Jen Lush, Steve Ashley and, of course, Nick Vulture.  There are plenty of nearby eateries to grab a feed before and/or after, and drinks will be available inside the Arts Centre.  This is a one off event with amazing musical talent, so get on board and support this amazing bunch of musos and enjoy a day by the beach at the same time!  Tickets at Fringetix – just search Southern Sounds!

Here’s this week’s preview video

This week’s preview video.

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free SFX from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal SFX, the wine pouring and cork pulling SFX, and the swooshes around Siri.

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