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Fun things to do for all ages
The Entrance to The Royal Croquet Club in Victoria Square
The Royal Croquet Club made its debut at last year's Adelaide Fringe festival, opening the newly redeveloped Victoria Square in Adelaide.
As a Fringe venue it was highly successful, with themed bars, street food, and fun things to do including (surprise) croquet and paddling for the kids in the fountain.
Earlier this year it looked like the Royal Croquet Club might be a victim of its own success after the new Lord Mayor criticised its impact on local traders. Eventually a compromise was reached with club promoter Stuart Duckworth after support was received from several prominent parties.
In 2015 the Royal Croquet Club is bouncing back with a vengeance, occupying both north and south parts of Victoria Square. The northern half once again includes the main stage and fun things to do including the croquet playing field and a new feature - Dotmaze. Dotmaze is a giant outdoor hedge maze filled with installations, soundscapes, a cast of the uncanny and a somewhat unpredictable minotaur. It sounds a bit like Hindley Street on a Friday night!
The north half of Victoria Square also has bars and an eclectic mix of food stalls including Quiet Waters Lebanese (an icon in Adelaide), Jamaican Me Crazy, and Miss Lee's Fun Buns. South side are Pimm's Garden Bar and the Royal Raj bar, with food stalls including The Grace Smokehouse, Spice Kitchen, and Mania Mangia by Andre's Cucina.
Two huge tents on the north end will house the Panama Club (400 seats) and The Menagerie, while Ukiyo and Rastelli return to house more intimate audiences. In the middle of Victoria Square expect to see roving performers and street theatre on weekends, when Grote Street is closed to through traffic.
Friday February 13 is the first day of the Adelaide Fringe, with the festival ending on March 15. The Royal Croquet Club opening night party on Friday kicks off with UK electronic DJ, producer and cartoonist Mr Scruff and a mammoth four hour live AV show that's has been specially created for this show in Adelaide. A changing line-up continues every Friday and Saturday for the remainder of the month long festival
Entry to the Royal Croquet Club is free until 7pm, and a mere $5 after - good value to rub shoulders with all the other hipsters and ne'er do wells looking to bask in the splendiferous themed glory of this Fringe festival hub. It seems that even old codgers like myself are welcome, as I received a cheeky grin from entrepreneur Stuart Duckworth as I loitered taking photos of the venue being set up.
A Seagull's View of Royal Croquet Club 2015 Being Set Up
Whether you're going to one of the 50 plus shows or just looking for a new place to relax after shopping at the Central Market, Victoria Square is the place to be now.
With seven venues to house performances, the Royal Croquet Club has a balanced range of things to see and do - including a few shows specially targeted for kids. You can view the program online, or download it to read later.
Kids Love to Paddle in the Victoria Square Fountain
On Sunday February 15 the Fringe Festival meets Fork on the Road at the Royal Croquet Club, as the fleet of food trucks zero in on Victoria Square. Lunch will be available from 11am until 3.30pm at this popular venue in Adelaide. It will be a great day as Fork on the Road always has activities for kids and family entertainment as well as the obvious food attraction. An interesting bit of cross promotion.
To get all the good oil on the Royal Croquet Club, head over to the website and Facebook page. Adelaide took to this venue well last year, it's a fun place to be - imaginatively executed, with appeal to all ages. Don't stay out too late now kids!