Adelaide Fringe 2010 has landed and it’s inevitable you’ll be swept up in the festivities. The Fringe Parade last Friday night unleashed the performers on Adelaide in grand style and the enormous inflatable ballerina astronauts around town are hard to miss.
The Fringe has been an integral part of Adelaide culture since 1960 with the festival bringing international talent to our humble abode as well as being a launching pad for many local and national acts. What better way to celebrate the Fringe’s 40 year history than celebrating local talent in a production set right here in good ol’ Adelaide.
Local actor and musician Jimmy Marin is part of an ensemble cast that bring to life the best of Adelaide. Open Mic, presented by Never Ender Productions, tells the story of musicians, comedians and one lonely poet as they vie for the audience’s attention and each other’s approval, all set in the Adelaide pub scene. Night after night they compete for glory as the performers are stuck in limbo between high-school and the rest of their life.
Marin, lead singer of local band Liquid Phoenix, has always had a passion for entertaining and performing and to be part of Open Mic is a dream come true.
“The director is really collaborative and believes in contributions from the whole production, whether cast or crew. It really allows you to grow as a performer. I’ve even had the opportunity to write original music for the performance which has been really exciting”.
After years of being part of the local pub music scene and participating in many karaoke and open mic nights himself, Marin really identified with the character that writer/director Marcel Blanch-de Wilt was trying to portray.
“The play is set in Adelaide which is an extremely rare thing. People from Adelaide will really identify with the scenes but it’s a universal story so everyone can identify with the themes”.
Open Mic is the third production from Marcel Blanch-de Wilt and Never Ender Productions, following on from the incredibly successful 2morro Will Do and Mache: No News Like Good News.
“I have expanded my search for great Adelaide talent and have constructed my shows so they showcase all the abilities of the cast”, says Blanch-de Wilt, “I first entered the Fringe when I found myself dying to perform and deciding making my own show was the best outlet for what I wanted to do. Since then it’s become an addiction to do what I love and the Fringe allows you to do whatever you want”.
Beginning writing Open Mic in December of 2008, Blanch-de Wilt advertised the play on the Adelaide Theatre Guide mid-way through last year. That’s where Marin came across the play and fell in love almost immediately.
After an open audition process that consisted of group work, improvisations, music and monologues, the cast and crew began rehearsals in November ready to rock our socks off come the Fringe in March.
Local theatre is always fraught with challenges, none more obvious than monetary ones. All cast and crew gave up their own time out of sheer passion for the production with fundraisers organised to raise money for costumes, equipment and the set as well as the all important advertising and promotion for the production. Social media, specifically Facebook, has proven an essential tool to opening up the networks of the local performing arts scene in order to deliver their message.
So what sets Open Mic apart from the other 700 Fringe shows that Adelaide is currently offering? Aside from the fact Open Mic is actually set in Adelaide and the original score and poetry, Open Mic is not the same every night. The show spills out into the audience with the action taking place in the whole space, not just the stage. Audience participation and improvisation ensures no two shows are the same.
“As the performers get into the groove of the show, you can be guaranteed that the first performance and the last one, will be completely different”, says Marin. I guess more reasons to go more than once!
For only $12 a ticket, attending Open Mic is a fantastic way to support the local arts scene and really get a feel for what Adelaide has to offer. A show with laughs, beer and fantastic live music, what more could you ask for?
Opening night is tonight so head down to the Queen’s Arms. Tickets can be purchased at the door!
When: 22 – 24 February; 1 – 3 March; 7-9 March and 14 March
Where: Queen’s Arms, 88 Wright St, Adelaide
Tickets: $12, 1300 FRINGE or www.adelaidefringe.com.au