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by Catherine Blanch.
The Inaugural Adelaide French Festival comes to Adelaide this weekend and will envelop the Adelaide Festival Centre (AFC) and surrounds. Three days of celebrating all things French; food, wine, fashion, music, fine arts, performance, children’s entertainment and a variety of cuisine masterclasses for both adults and kids. We speak with AFC’s Associate Producer of Programming Rebecca Pearce and ask what she would say to people who may not normally attend an event such as the Adelaide French Festival?
“This is quite a diverse and eclectic program,” she begins, “so it’s a great opportunity to come along and just try it. It’s a ‘tasting plate’ of all things French, where you can listen to music and try some beautiful French food and wine. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to soak up the atmosphere and get yourself a real taste of France. The festival itself is really an opportunity to experience all things French.”
Rebecca tells us about So Frenchy So Chic In The Park.
“We’re working with the guys from So Frenchy So Chic (SFSC) to present an outdoor event that will open the festival from 5pm on Friday night in Pinky Flat. The music kicks off from 6pm and will go until midnight. It will be a gorgeous picnic featuring four of the hottest French contemporary music acts; Féfé, Juniore, General Elektriks and L.E.J.
“SFSC will also be presenting Frànçois & the Atlas Mountains on Saturday night in the Dunstan Playhouse. They won’t be performing anywhere else in Adelaide and they are a pretty cool French indie pop act; very very French.
“A couple of other highlights I am looking forward to is the La Soirée ClichéDinner in the Banquet Room, Rebecca says. “Cliché Executive Chef Fabien Streit will be creating a tantalising menu of a variety of French dishes for people to enjoy while they are being entertained with performances by Baby et Lu Lu featuring Abby Dobson (Leonardo’s Bride) and Lara Goodridge (FourPlay String Quartet), host Maeve O’Meara from SBS Food Safari, and live body art painting by. Emma Hack. This will be a beautiful ‘one night only’ event.”
The ‘other one night only’ in the Banquet Room is the Couture Collection. Rebecca explains.
“This event features six South Australian designers, including Greta Kate, Calèche, Varacalli, Eliza French and Sylvy Earl, who will showcase some of their collections in a fashion parade. It will be a French-inspired salon setting, so the models will showcase the gorgeous couture gowns by walking through the audience. That event will be hosted by Channel Ten’s Kate Freebairn on Sunday afternoon from 4pm. You will receive a glass of French wine upon arrivaland then you can sit back and enjoy this gorgeous fashion event.”
Other events include the Gathered Market which will bring together independent stallholders showcasing bespoke homewares, jewellery, stationery, art, prints and garments in an intimate French village marketplace atmosphere. There will also be an array of decadent tastes and seductive smells on offer during the festival with delights from La Buvette, The Smelly Cheese Shop, Crepe Bar, La Provence, Popsicool, the Pol Roger Bar and Kronenbourg.
“We also have a number of masterclasses, ranging from the French Wine and French Cheese Masterclass,” Rebeccas says, “a French perfume masterclass presented by The Powder Room, and plenty of French fun for the kids including Le Cordon Bleu – Junior Sous Chef Workshop, art classes with Little Picasso Art, The Froggie’s Club and the beautiful production of There’s A Rabbit In The Moon from French theatre company Vélo Théâtre.”
Adelaide Festival Centre’s free stage on the Riverdeck will feature the sounds of French music from gypsy jazz to chanson français with live music, DJs and roving performers, which includes Louise Blackwell & The French Set, La Mauvaise Repuatation, DJ WiPod, DJ Guillaume Vetu, The Coconut Kids, Extemporal and Bamboozled.
Adelaide French Festival will also have a variety of free activities for children and adults, as well as a number of ticketed events across all of their venues.
“French chanteuse Caroline Nin presents her show Songs And Stories Of The Paris Lido and is performing only in Adelaide on Friday and Saturday night,” Rebecca says. “Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter is an internationally acclaimed French pianist who is presenting a Claude Debussy recital, also exclusively for this festival.
“The gorgeous Michaela Burger (along with Greg Wain) is performing her tribute to Edith Piaf – Exposing Edith. There are also performances by the Seraphim Trio, Zephyr Quartet, and get French on the River Torrens when The Baker Suite performs on the Popeye in a show called Floating Melodies: A Twist of Parisian Jazz.”
Adelaide French Festival presents at Adelaide Festival Centre and surrounds, at various times, on Fri 12 Jan until Sun 14 Jan.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.