It’s the Contiki tour of comedy, the P&O of pisstakes, and a mad march through … well, miscreants. The Fringe festival celebrates all that is artistic, extraordinary, comedic and diverse about humankind and Red Fez Tours the Fringe promises a magical mystery tour through all this spectacle. Metaphors and platitudes aside, this tour is actually a novel and entertaining way to take in up to five shows in one night.  Gone is the need to wrestle with the Fringe guide, which is nearing the size of the Adelaide White Pages. Gone is the need to navigate the streets of Adelaide, trying to remember where your croquet club is in relation to your gluttonous garden. Instead, a red fez wearer will accompany you on a traipse (with some trepidation) through several tantalizing tales of debauchery and hilarity with perhaps a train wreck or two thrown in for good measure.

Each tour will have a different number of hand-picked shows for you, but for us, our shows ranged from the superb to the dubious.  First up was a one-woman, divinely-irreverent show called Virgin Bloody Mary, then straight into Between a Bok and a Hard Place, which took a while to build, but had a good message, giving you permission to realise dreams, whilst releasing internalised misogyny along the way.  The highlight of the evening was The Displaced, young South Australian circus artists performing expressive physical theatre at Tandanya – this show was worth a night out on its own!

Then we entered Gluttony for a taste of Pretending things is a Cock – a stand up performance from another local talent and while uncomfortable at times, wow, wasn’t this an interesting ride!  By this time, the Saturday night was getting on and Alison, our tour guide had managed to tire us out, although she was keen to take us onto one more show – the Bubble Show for Adults Only.  By all accounts, this performance would have been hilarious and entertaining, but us Red Fezzers had had enough!

Along the way, I was looking forward to hearing more tales of the Fringe’s history and some interesting anecdotes from our tour guide, who had been around the festival for many years.  This is certainly something for the organisers to consider making a standard inclusion in all tours, to add greater incentive for tour members.  For value for money and variety, this tour is certainly worthwhile, given the variety of shows hand-picked for us.  A great concept that I hope to see honed and developed further in future years to celebrate all things wondrous about the Arts in this state.

Three & A Half Stars

Fringe Review by Kim Burley

For more info and tickets on Red Fez Tours The Fringe head to https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/red-fez-tours-the-fringe-af2018