Apricity Adelaide Fringe 2024

Adelaide Fringe. The Vault at Fools Paradise. 27 Feb 2024


It is the hottest day of the Fringe for this year, and we are in a plastic terrarium pretending to be a dome named – for some unknown reason – The Vault. The dim light used in The Vault (I’ve now seen 3 shows in this venue) sometimes detracts from the sheer power and athleticism of this show; two men and three women are showing virtuosity in their use of simple. Individual performance tumbles into teamwork, the groups move fluidly from one routine to another, and I find out later the cast of Apricity didn’t even get a technical rehearsal due to the heat.


Increasingly, they are playing with fire, quite literally as they work with cupped candles, then take on the metal rings for suspended acrobatic work. Perhaps for the first time the lighting is fully adequate, and the music completes the vignette, Moses Sumney’s Doomed providing an ethereal and moody aural backdrop.


As I hear this, and make note of it, an act which most nearly resembles the Whirling Dervishes routine unfolds on the stage, accompanied by one of the many versions of the absurdly catchy Yeh! Yeh!, on this occasion from los 3 sudamericanos. In some small way it made sense.


This is a show of proficiency and skill, of grace and acrobatics where the apparatus is less important than the performers’ ability to show mastery of it. It is a performance of strength and precision. It is engaging, but I’d love to be able to see more, particularly of the early part of the performance, it engages with the audience and takes them into the heart of the action but does not pander to crassness as other shows may do. It is, in all respects, outstanding.


As an aside I note that following the ravages of Covid, the Fringe has an opportunity to reclaim and reposition itself. For the first time in many years standup comedians are not in the majority, and the Fringe has become the haunt of burlesque and acrobats and of itinerant jugglers. It is much the better for this; it becomes much more the people’s festival, lively and engaged in guilty pleasures rather than allowing too many touring comics to drain the local economy.


Alex Wheaton


When: 27 Feb to 3 Mar

Where: The Vault at Fools Paradise

Bookings: adelaidefringe.com.au