Perks picks for this year’s Adelaide Festival

Posted on 15/2/2022

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Perks Private Wealth is proud to partner with the 2022 Adelaide Festival for its third consecutive year. This year’s program brings an innovative array of performing arts and although the curation came about in challenging times, the quality of the line-up has not wavered in the slightest. Here are our predictions of 2022 Festival favourites.
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Juliet & Romeo

Ever wondered what would have become of Romeo and Juliet if they hadn’t died? After being immortalised by Shakespeare, the still-living star-crossed lovers confront the realities of marriage and mid-life anxieties with tenderness and humour in this stellar dance-theatre production.

When Shakespeare told Romeo and Juliet that he wanted to preserve their story, the couple were delighted. Unfortunately for them, some of the details were not quite what they had in mind: they didn’t die in a tragic misunderstanding. But while they lived, it wasn’t exactly a happily ever after.

Now they’re in their 40’s, at least one of them is in the grip of a mid-life crisis, they feel constantly mocked by their teenage selves, and they’re haunted by the pressures of being the poster couple for romantic love. They have decided to confront their current struggles by putting on a performance – about themselves. Their therapist warned them it was a terrible idea.

Juliet and Romeo is a funny and achingly sad duet brought to life by Ben Duke and Lost Dog, a dance/theatre/comedy/circus company from the UK. Prepare to laugh and cry as you witness this clever, modern take on a theatrical classic.

The Nightline

The Nightline invites you to pick up a phone and guiltlessly eavesdrop on real-life stories, rants, confessions and private thoughts in this unique, immersive experience.
You are ushered into an intimate but unassuming space and shown to a dimly lit table for one. In place of a dinner setting is an old 70’s rotary-dial telephone and a simple switchboard. Gingerly, you lift the receiver and are directly connected to an exclusive club of… the sleepless.
The Nightline is a collection of real-life stories, rants, confessions, inanities, pranks and private thoughts compiled from over 600 anonymous callers left between the hours of midnight and 6am.

Listen in on the voices of lonesome truckies, bored shift-workers, new parents, security workers, troubled or restless souls, all intertwined with an evocative, enveloping sound score. It’s an unsettling and strangely beautiful experience, unique for the ear of each guest. There are moments when you laugh out loud, others when you’re moved to tears. Hop on the party line and become a very good listener for 40 unforgettable minutes.


Blindness is an entrancing warehouse theatre experience based on the dystopian thriller novel of the same name by Nobel Prize-winner José Saramago, and featuring narration by the incomparable Juliet Stevenson.

As patrons enter the space, each socially distanced audience member is seated in an all-black room, decorated by a sea of hanging lights as audio is fed through their own set of headphones.
Told entirely through sound, the story is set in an unnamed city plagued by an instantaneous epidemic of blindness. As each day passes, other people begin losing their sight. It soon becomes clear that this is a blindness like no other, infecting all who come into proximity with it. Within days, it has spread throughout the city. The government tries to arrest the contagion by herding the newly blind into a disused asylum, but its attempts are futile… The city is in panic.

Whilst a story based around a chaotic world plunged into a global epidemic may hit a little too close to home these days, make no mistake – Blindness is a tale of brilliance and hope… and seeing lightness in the dark. This show also offers a brilliant technical sound and light experience like no other, reminding us why there’s simply nothing better than live theatre.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a fresh, re-invented take on Oscar Wilde’s classic tale of self-obsession.

This re-imagining of The Picture of Dorian Gray is a lush period drama in knowing conversation with the here and now. Director Kip Williams’ audacious use of live and pre-recorded video allows actor Eryn Jean Norvill to play all 26 characters simultaneously: it’s theatrically alive and loaded with zeitgeist resonance. Wilde’s study of the corrupting effects of obsessive self-regard and the relationship between worth and appearance leaps across the century to speak straight to us today.

A theatrical masterpiece that is one not to be missed, The Picture of Dorian Gray has already been generating quite the buzz in Adelaide ahead of this year’s Festival. Hot off the heels of a successful run in Sydney, where it earned an array of 5-star reviews and dominated the 2021 Sydney Theatre Awards. Adelaide audiences are getting excited for this exquisite production – and so are we!

Other Festival Highlights

The Golden Cockerel

Opening this year’s Adelaide Festival is The Golden Cockerel, an opera brought to life by Barrie Kosky – our most celebrated international opera director. After providing two dazzling Adelaide Festival operatic centrepieces in recent years (Saul in 2017 and The Magic Flute in 2019), Kosky is back with an operatic masterpiece never before seen in Australia.
Composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, The Golden Cockerel was conceived over the terrifying din of the 1905 revolution. Half surreal fairy-tale, half political satire, it fell foul of Tsarist censors and poor Nikolai died with the lush score of his imagination unheard. Premiering in 1909, it has become a key work of European operatic repertoire.

If you’re transported by Scheherazade, or Flight of the Bumble Bee, you’ll fall in love with this richly melodic, kaleidoscopic libretto, seemingly tailor-made for Kosky’s inimitable aesthetic.

Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan

It’s been 50 years since the infamous drowning of University of Adelaide law lecturer Dr George Ian Ogilvie Duncan; a moment in time that triggered an alleged police cover-up, a city-wide scandal, national outrage, a Scotland Yard investigation, pioneering gay law reform… and a blatant absence of convictions.

Watershed is the product of some of Australia’s most acclaimed creative talents. A searing, no-punches-pulled operatic piece composed by Joe Twist with a liberetto by Alana Valentine and Christos Tsiolkas. His affecting score is given theatrical life by director Neil Armfield and choreographer Lewis Major, bringing together solo voices, a dancer, the Adelaide Chamber Singers and an elite chamber orchestra under the baton of Christie Anderson.

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