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The Victoria Square redevelopment is a new focus for the Fringe Festival in Adelaide this year as the destination of the opening night parade and the setting for a dazzling fireworks display in the evening of Friday February 14.
It will be a fitting opening for the Adelaide Fringe's quirkiest new super venue, the Royal Croquet Club which will occupy the northern half of the newly renovated square with a colourful village of billowing tents and of course a green where you can play croquet.
The vibe in Victoria Square will be a significant drawcard to a host of other Fringe Festival 2014 venues in the precinct. The new Tiki Tai Rooftop Bar, the Arts Theatre, the Royalty Theatre, La Boheme, The Promethean, The Science Exchange, and Tuxedo Cat at Raj House are just some of the places that will be buzzing in the immediate area.
The Royal Croquet Club has been created by the team behind the very successful Little Miss Mexico and Little Miss Miami bars, and contains four separate performance spaces. There are so many acts and events being held at the family friendly RCC that this article will concentrate just on the Club and performance spaces themselves.
Site security guards were over enthusiastic about preventing photos being taken from public property nearby during construction, and part owner Stuart Duckworth refused photo access, so I just had to do my best to get photos other ways. Many thanks to the kind folks at IntecGroup and the Hilton Adelaide who helped out!
The Panama Club will host major performances until the bewitching hour when it becomes an exotic late night party venue where "dancing is compulsory". We're promised world renown DJ's and music acts to make visiting here a late night must.
The Panama Club's highly visible twin peaked red and yellow big top is something of a landmark in Victoria Square, and will be perfect for hosting the biggest circus acts including the spectacular South Australian acrobatics ensemble Gravity & Other Myths.
Puerto de Loco is Inspired by Jamaican fishing shanties of the Caribbean. This shabby shoal of shacks will host many of the Royal Croquet Club's comedians and solo artists. The more intimate open air space seats a maximum of 80 people in a casual layout which will bring the performers into a closer connection with the crowd.
Ukiyo is the Japanese word for "The Floating World", and Wikipedia says it described the urban lifestyle - especially the pleasure-seeking aspects, of the Edo-period in Japan between 1600–1867.
The lavish Ukiyo tent aims to recreate that very experience for its visitors, although I'm not sure that the more hedonistic aspects will be recreated. Organisers hope that you will be transported into a floating world of culture and transient beauty. Let us know where your journey ended in the article's comments section.
Rastelli is Painted in the Colours of the Italian Flag
The Rastelli tent is named after Enrico Rastelli, an outstanding juggler and vaudeville artist who was famous for being able to juggle 8 plates, 8 sticks and 10 balls simultaneously. This distinctive red, white and green tent seats up to 50, and will showcase street artists and performers including The Half Naked Chef, Becky Hoops, Magic Brian and Olivia Juggler.
Of course the heart of the Royal Croquet Club will be a croquet lawn on the Victoria Square redevelopment's virgin grass, and guides from Croquet SA will be on hand to help you swing with your partner. All ages are welcome to play croquet, and there are croquet tournaments every Wednesday & Thursday during the Fringe from 6pm until 8pm. Try your hand at this popular ball sport as a warm up for the main events of the evening.
Bars All this entertainment at the Royal Croquet Club will guarantee that you develop a thirst, and there are bars aplenty to ensure that you don't dry out in Adelaide's balmy summer evenings druing the Fringe Festival 2014.
Expect the decorative main bar to be back after its success slating the thirst of cricket fans at the Adelaide Oval. It's situated near the main gate to ensure dipsomaniacs don't dehydrate.
A rustic mix of decrepit detritus decorates and reflects the Caribbean shanty theme for Puerto de Loco's bar. At the Ukiyo's bar adjacent the tent, geisha girls greet new arrivals on weekends before they indulge in Yukatori inspired Japanese cuisine.
Two Days Before Opening and the Royal Croquet Club is Still a Construction Site
The pre-event hype from the Royal Croquet Club's publicity press is almost enough to stimulate a cultural orgasm before the Adelaide Fringe even began, find it in your Facebook feed or download the program from the website.
I love the fact that you refused to take no for an answer when it came to the photographs!
And thanks for commenting on a security firm who wouldn't let you take pics from public property. That can't be legal, can it ?