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Slim pickings for Fringe fun on weekdays
This year, as well as the regular huge newspaper program, is a compact Fringe By Day Guide. This booklet is smaller and only lists all the Fringe events that are on during the day up to 5pm. It also lists all major events, both day and night.
The Fringe By Day Guide is being marketed at seniors in our community as there are two full-page ads by Adelaide Metro and the Seniors Card, enticing seniors to venture out and attend a Fringe event during daylight hours. The program in itself is a great idea and not only for seniors. Plenty of people, such as shift workers, parents with kids at school and those who simply do not like to go out at night may like to attend the Fringe. And planning where to go and what to do is so much easier with the Day Guide. Well, that is what I thought when I picked up the program at my local library. Mind you that is the only place I ever saw it again, not even at any Fringe ticket booth.
Some seniors out and about at a Fringe event. Image by Kat May.
The guide is set out in the same as its big brother, so pick the section you are interested in such as "Theatre", "Visual Arts", "Cabaret" and many more, then with a texta in hand, go through and circle the shows you are interested in. The day time shows will be in bold colour and other sessions are in a bold font.
Daytime shows are highlighted in the program. Image by Kay May.
It all looks very good and I have read every single listing in this program. However, while there may appear to be many choices during the day, most of the day listings for theatre and shows are weekends. There is very little on during the week days. There are a few shows with some special prices for "Cheap Tuesday" and Good Morning Comedy at the Mercury Cinema. The Bakehouse Theatre and the Holden Street Theatres are running selected day time theatre events. I saw an excellent short play by some energetic and talented Victorian teens at Bakehouse entitled "Gretel" which had me in awe for one hour. The best choices for weekdays are to head out and see some of the outstanding visual arts exhibits. You can read more about arts venues in the city here or see the program for suburban listings.
Heather Croall, Fringe Director, urges us in the Day Guide to, "see as many shows as you can, and in venues you've never set foot in before". Sadly, no-one can get into the Fringe city hubs of Gluttony, Garden of Unearthly Delights or The Royal Croquet Club as gates don't open until 5pm, so unfortunately, there are no shows at all during the day there. I saw crowds of seniors queuing up for the Soweto Choir at 6.30pm, so surely a show like this can pull a crowd during the daytime.
So come Fringe organisers, if you are going to market the Fringe to seniors, then schedule more on during the weekdays. Believe me, we will turn up next year, that is, if you get the message and the program out there. Pop into the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival or the British Film Festival and you will see every seat is sold. Because, we seniors like go to day time events and be on the train home before the peak hour madness.
Sorry, there was nothing on so we went home. Image by Kat May.
One more thing to consider if you are marketing to seniors is to ensure shows are age appropriate. We don't want to go and see twenty-something comedians swear and we don't want to hike all over the city or catch many buses to get to shows. Open the gates where the action is at night and let us in at least on one weekday afternoon.
The Adelaide Fringe Festival goes on for two more weeks with both free and ticketed events. You can purchase tickets online at adelaidefringe.com.au There are still some options for day time outings, both during the week and weekends, so call your Gran and get her out of the house. Or maybe she is already out at the Fringe.