Coonawarra comes alive for inaugural festival

Coonawarra comes alive for inaugural festival

There was plenty of Fringe fun in Coonawarra at the weekend as the wine region hosted its first festival.

The first Coonawarra Fringe has been hailed an outstanding success by co-producers for the event, Belinda and Deb Redman.

Visitors enjoyed entertainment, wine and food at several wineries.

Belinda Redman was thrilled with the support for the festival.

“The inaugural Coonawarra Fringe was so well received, with three sell out shows it’s fair to say the community is hungry for good theatre, Coonawarra Fringe certainly hit the mark,” she said.

“The weather was perfect over the weekend, beginning with a night performance at DiGiorgio of ‘The Wine Bluffs’, the 100-plus audience enjoyed over an hour of real belly laughs, as comedians Damian Callinan and Paul Calleja dissected the art of tasting wine, and so much more,” Ms Redman said.

“On Saturday Coonawarra Fringe continued across the Coonawarra Wineries Walking Trail, with the wineries all showcasing their wines with a fringy theme, with such a warm day the pools set up at Redman Wines was a real treat, audiences sitting back listening to live music on the deckchairs, sipping cocktails and wine.

“At Zema a magical musical and cinematic experience that paid homage to the Italian classics performed by Franco Parrella and Steve Shier was another sell out in the stunningly decorated barrel room, and serving Mrs Zema’s divine arancini balls, audiences were queuing to get their hand on them.”

Ms Redman said on Saturday night the audience was treated to an international award-winning show from the UK, by artist Tim Marriott who performed ‘Watson: The Final Problem’.

“The audience was in awe of this beautifully acted dramatic story, based on Sherlock Holmes,” she said.

“It’s a very special treat to have such world class shows being brought to the region.

With comments like ‘we feel like we miss out on Fringe in Adelaide, it’s on at such a busy time, so having Fringe come to us is such a treat’.

“The Fringe would not be complete without a Fringe Club and Redmans’ Cellar was turned over to flashing lights and a guest DJ, happy Fringe punters danced the night away in their very own Red-Room Fringe Club.

“On Sunday the final Fringe show was at Bellwether where Sue Bell and team dressed for the occasion in cricket whites, as Tim Marriott performed his internationally acclaimed cricket based show ‘Jack’s Ashes’ to another sell-out audience.

“We are thrilled that our selection of shows was a sell-out, the feedback has been incredible, not only from the audiences who turned up in droves, but by the artists who just loved being here, there was a real buzz around the place.

“We’re now looking at what treats we can bring to Coonawarra for Fringe 2025.”

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