Adelaide Fringe

Behind The Scenes: The Inner Workings Of A Fringe Artist’s Mind (Part One)

The cogs are turning…

The Fringe. It is coming!! With just over a week to go until all of the craziness, fun, colour, action and buzz of the Adelaide Fringe begins, we thought that it would be interesting to delve deep inside the mind of a Fringe artist. What does it take to organise a show, how does one feel in the weeks leading up to said show, and how on earth do you stand out?

We hit up award-winning performer and writer (because we only ask the best), Ruth Wilkin as she heads back to the Adelaide Fringe with a delicious satire of songbook shows, tribute cabarets and celebrity life. Her show, Tribute is an ingenious and self-aware hour of comedy cabaret characterised by Wilkin’s signature blend of witty songwriting, intelligent commentary and a healthy dose of self-deprecation… She seemed like the perfect person for the job!

And so here we are…


(Week 1)

I’m sitting in my home, enjoying a lovely cool evening in the midst of a Melbourne Summer. It’s a moment of calm before things get really busy for me. You see, I’m one of the many artists coming to your lovely city to be a part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Soon, a bunch of actors, musicians, comedians and other artsy fartsy types will invade your streets, peddling their wares. The city will be plastered with colourful posters, people will be thrusting flyers at you (even though you’ve desperately tried to avoid direct eye contact) and The Garden will become home to all of us carney folk.

I’ve been twice before, and this marks my third time as a Fringe performer. I love walking down Rundle St when they’ve closed it off at night and racing from one venue to another to fit in just one more show. Last time, I saw one of my very first music idols perform in concert. I danced like no one was watching, I sang along to our favourites, I shouted out requests – “Sing ‘Newspaper Mumma!’” I yelled. And Peter Coombes did. We left in such a state of euphoria one of my friends was accidentally whipped by a street performer as we skipped off into the crowd.

But it’s not all Juicy, Juicy Green Grass and accidental whipping shenanigans. Doing Fringe right means lots of hard work leading up to and during your run if you want a room filled with more than just you and your producer. There are over 1000 shows this year so cutting through to audiences is a tricky business. One I’m willing to share a bit of insight into over the coming weeks…

Meanwhile get ready. My fellow performers and I are coming.

Even Peter Coombes.

Ruth Wilkin is an award-winning cabaret performer and writer, bringing her self-deprecating and witty comedy to Adelaide with TRIBUTE: The Story of [INSERT CELEBRITY]’s Rise to Fame at the Tuxedo Cat from Mar 3 – 14 at 9:45pm.

Follow her at @wilkinruth / Ticket info is here.

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