Getting around between Fringe shows can be challenging at the best of times. Navigating the Garden of Unearthly Delights in the dark or scaling the grassy hills of the RCC, trying to find which tiny tent you’re going to pour yourself into, or which epic line you’re going to join for some food on the go. And that’s sober. Add some drinks and it’s basically a choose-your-own-adventure, where one of your friends inevitably sprain an ankle, but you walk away with some amazing memories.
While we’re all out enjoying the best of Mad March though, have you spared a thought for those who find it a little more challenging to get out? Well luckily for for the residents at Southern Cross Care aged care facilities, two amazing women are bringing the Fringe to them. Ashley Sierp and Julianne Pierce, both of whom have mothers residing at Southern Cross Care, have taken this mission to task, and are bringing joy to the elderly who haven’t been able to do something that we all take for granted – catch a Fringe show.
Margot Ludowici, Ashley’s mother and a lover of the arts, came up with the concept last year after living at Southern Cross Care for two years. With her sponsorship, and the support of Southern Cross Care and Adelaide Fringe, the not-for-profit program was able to bring 6 shows to one location in 2016.
Following on from the success of its first year, in 2017 Sierp and Pierce organised 5 local and international performances at 3 different Southern Cross Care sites. Sierp also did the creative production to bring a taste of the Garden to each of the three sites with Art Space Days, which showcased food, drinks and roving performers over 4 hours of entertainment for the residents.
Performers included UK-based stand-up, magician and escapologist Tony Roberts; acrobatic, clowning, hula hooping wonder Eloise Green; the brilliant comedy magician Paul Dabek; Movin Melvin Brown; the Deco Dolls; and Michael Griffiths.
With a hope to expand the program next year to other aged care facilities, Sierp tells us she’s excited to continue bringing the Fringe in to aged care communities. And the residents? They’re loving it. To quote Margot Ludowici… “Art is the product of one’s imagination.”