Saturday, April 9, 2011

Adelaide Festival Centre

Image courtesy of Wikipedia…
Yesterday, I decided to practice what I preach by becoming a tourist in my own town, so utilising public transport, I headed into the city just after midday and alighted in front of the Adelaide Festival Centre, located alongside the River Torrens.

The Adelaide Festival Centre was built in three stages between April 1970 and 1980. The main building, the Festival Theatre, was completed in 1973, and is known for the excellent quality of its acoustics. 

I can’t remember the last time I visited the Centre, but it has been years. During the day there is not a lot to see or do – unless you are attending a matinee session of a major theatre production, or some other public event. However, I wandered into the main building and after checking out some of the art work: the Fred Williams series, River Murray Scenes, and John Dowie busts of Sir Robert Helpmann and John Bishop, I stopped to examine the current Festival Theatre Foyer exhibition The Art in Performing Arts.

The exhibition highlights the work of some of South Australia’s best known arts luminaries including ballet dancer/choreographer Sir Robert Helpmann, theatre/arts critic Peter Goers, actor/director Keith Michell and numerous other local thespians and artists.

There are multiple theatres within the Adelaide Festival Centre which provide seating for a total of 5000 people. Apart from the Festival Theatre, the complex also houses the Dunstan Playhouse (named after Don Dunstan a former State Premier), the Space Theatre and an outdoor amphitheatre.

Before I left I filled up my tote bag with various program guides and brochures including those of the State Theatre Company and the State Opera as well as the program for the upcoming Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Later I stopped by the information center in Rundle Mall and picked up more brochures. These have been produced by the Adelaide City Council, and outline numerous cultural and historic walks around the city and North Adelaide.

I am becoming increasingly excited by the prospect of become a tourist in my own town, and I am committed to going out at least once a week to discover some of Adelaide’s attractions, and look forward to writing about my adventures via the Compleat Traveller.

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