Here’s 7 Shows To Check Out At Adelaide Fringe Festival If Its Ginormous Catalogue Overwhelms You


Adelaide‘s annual Fringe Festival kicked off on the weekend, with a month’s worth of shows of every kind ready to entertain you. But with more than 1,400 shows and 6000 artists performing across hundreds of venues, it can be kind of overwhelming to wrap your head around.

I attended Adelaide Fringe Festival for the first time in my 25 years of life to check out its opening weekend, and let me just say: Sydney could never.

The scale of Fringe is huge. Perhaps I should have known, given it sold a record-breaking 1 million tickets last year, but it still left me reeling. Add in its (surprisingly vegan-friendly) food market, the ambiance of its vibrant grounds, and the zillions of shows on, and it’s, well, a lot.

There are so many things to do, and certainly not enough time to do them all, so if you want to check it out and but don’t know where to start, I’ve got you.

Here’s my list of recommendations on what to check out, and how you can spend your time at this year’s Fringe!

What to watch at Fringe if you like cabaret, comedy and musicals

Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched: My Big Fat Gay Greek Pakistani Wedding

Comedy that can make you cry and laugh at the same time is good comedy. Image: Adelaide Fringe Festival.

A surgeon and GP who moonlights as a stand up comedian, Dr Ahmed tells the extremely chaotic story of how he met his spouse, and the journey that was their massive Pakistani-Greek gay wedding. If you are obsessed with TikTok storytimes about wedding drama, dates-gone-wrong and rogue MCs, this is for you.

This was my favourite show at Adelaide Fringe Fest. Drama, intrigue, tragedy, moments of vulnerability and earnestness that had me literally sobbing (not kidding, I was a mess), all delivered amidst joke after excellently crafted joke — it has everything. I seriously believe this set should be turned into a Netflix special. 2024 outs: Bo Burnham. 2024 ins: Dr Ahmed.

But just be warned — if you are ethnic and/or gay and have a complicated relationship with your family, this is going to destroy you (in the best way). Five stars.

The Late Nite PowerPoint Comedy Showcase

I am not even going to try to explain what was going on here. You can ask Firdi Billimoria yourself. Image: Nick Robertson / Supplied.

In this cult classic show hosted by PEDESTRIAN.TV’s own Sweeney Preston alongside comedy partner (notably not IRL partner) Ethan Cavanagh, a rotation of six stand up comics perform mini-sets aided with a powerpoint to give their performance a certain oomph. It’s like those chaotic PowerPoint nights on TikTok but, IMO, way funnier.

This is a great show for people who love stand up comedy but can’t choose who to see from the thousands of sets happening across the festival. This way, you get a little taster of six different comedians, and then if you really liked any of them, you can check out their full routine by buying tickets to their specific show.

Honestly, I love a variety show at festivals like these because not only do they cater to a wider audience, but they’re budget friendly — you get to see a bunch of comedians without having to spend as much money. Slay!

Interactive events or exhibitions to check out at Fringe


Kaleidoscope is essentially a really cool mirror maze with a light installation that reminds me of Sydney’s Vivid. But trust me, you have not seen a mirror maze like this one — it is super trippy. I walked into glass like three times, and honestly felt gaslit because of how damn confusing it was to navigate. I say this as a high compliment, BTW.

Just one tip though: go at night! I went during the day time, when its lights don’t have nearly as much impact. Also, I bet its way harder (and maybe a bit scarier) at night, which is cool.

Recombination: Full Dome Experience

I had literally no idea what to expect when I was booked into seeing The Dome (which I keep reading in the same tone as those little alien toys saying THE CLAWWWWWW in Toy Story) but it turns out it is an art display of moving fractal images.

You walk into The Dome which has school planetarium vibes, lie down on a bunch of bean bags and cushions, and gaze upwards at the ceiling. The projections explore imagined futuristic planets and universes — and because of the way they move and the scope of the place, it truly feels like you are flying through space. Did it make me a little motion sick? Yes. But that feels like an indicator of how realistic it is.

Just be warned though, there is a 20-minute and 50-minute version, and I think 20 minutes is definitely long enough. Any longer and I’m going to need a certain devil’s leaf to fully enjoy the experience.

Star Dreaming: Full Dome Experience

Genuinely devo I didn’t go to this. It looks amazing! Image: Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Okay, I didn’t actually get the chance to go to this event but I really, really wanted to. It’s an immersive journey into the beginnings of time and space and stars through the wisdome (hehe) of the Yamaji people.

The visuals look incredible, and since I’ve done a different dome experience, I can imagine how breath-taking and immersive this one would be.

Magic shows (yes, I’m 1000% serious) to check out at Fringe because they are actually cool

Okay, I don’t care what the kids say, magic is so back and I am declaring that in this year of fun and whimsy, we should embrace it instead of pretending it is cringe. Who doesn’t want to be tricked and bamboozled by sleight of hand that looks like it makes sense to our eyes and then leaves us fooled just the same?

As a former sceptic, I have been converted to enjoying magic shows and you will be too.

London Calling

London Calling, which was the pick of the Fringe 2023 winner, is a really fun circus-style show that shows off magic, illusions, a unicyclist making his way across a tightrope (!!) and other cool performances. This one is good for families, though I am an older Gen Z who went with my partner and we still had lots of fun.

It was like watching an Australia’s Got Talent episode, which makes sense because some of the performers have indeed been spotted in Got Talent shows!

She’s juggling a literal mannequin!! With her feet!!! Image: supplied.

Best of Fringe Magic

Like I said, I love a show where I get a taste of everything, and this is one of those shows!

This is a close-up magic show (“how magic should be enjoyed,” my partner, who literally went to circus school when he was 10, says), which means you sit in a very small audience (we’re talking like a dozen or two people). That way, you get to see the illusions happen right in front of your eyes, and the magicians actually include you. If you hate audience participation, this may not be for you.

There are four magicians who show off their tricks, and each of them have a specialty ranging from card tricks, to mentalism, to pulling a coin out of your hand.

My favourite magician, though, was a man called Benedict — who, sadly for me, was the only magician from the group who did not have his own solo show at Fringe. While all the magicians wowed and impressed, I found his set to not only be mind-boggling and tricksy, but genuinely a beautiful display of what it means to perform “magic” — and the simple joy it brings people.

Well there ya have it folks — a little guide to show what this festival has to offer. Of course, these are just a small taste, nay, a crumb of what there is to see at Fringe. You can check out its full catalogue here.

Image: supplied.