Victorian comedian Elizabeth Davie will receive a 12-month mentorship and $2000 towards performing in the 2020 Adelaide Fringe after being selected as the successful recipient of this year’s Matt Tarrant Emerging Performers Grant.
The grant was conceived by award-winning South Australian magician Matt Tarrant and is supported by the Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund, which began in 2014 and has since provided about $300,000 in funding to help independent Australian artists present a show in the Adelaide Fringe.
Davie, who has studied clowning, improvisation and performance with the likes of French master clown Philippe Gaulier, will present her solo work Apex Predator at next year’s Fringe.
“I’m so thrilled to get to work with Matt and bring my new show to the 2020 Adelaide Fringe,” Davie said.
“There’s no defined career trajectory in the arts and it can be hard to work out what your next steps should be. As a self-produced solo artist, you often work in isolation and juggle a lot of roles at once – performer, producer, manager, publicist – so it can be hard to see the bigger picture.
“Having an experienced mentor to offer advice will be a game changer for me. There is so much I will learn from Matt and I have so much respect for his huge commitment to giving back to the artistic community.”
Tarrant said he was impressed by the calibre of applications this year and looked forward to working with Davie ahead of next year’s 60th anniversary Fringe.
“I was absolutely blown away by the amount of incredible talent that applied for the grant this year, with not only some incredible shows and artists but some strong social messages – and Elizabeth’s stood out from the pack,” Tarrant said.
“Not only is Elizabeth a very talent performer, her show has such a strong and important social message that deserves a huge audience at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe. Hopefully winning this grant and mentoring will help her to achieve that.”
Tarrant was so inspired by the artist applications he has extended the mentorship program to include support for an additional five applicants – Adelaide-based theatre and cabaret performers Josh Belperio and Matthew Briggs, South Australian playwright and actor Laura Desmond, theatrical comedian Sophie Joske (VIC), circus performer Tarah Carey (VIC) and cabaret songstress Zule Khan (VIC).
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said it was always rewarding to see artists supporting each other to have successful seasons at Adelaide Fringe.
“By providing this mentorship and sharing his skills and knowledge, Matt is providing an amazing opportunity for artists like Elizabeth to reach exciting new heights with their work,” Ms Croall said.
She also encouraged independent Australian artists as well as South Australian producers and venue operators to apply for an Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund grant to help them create and present shows as part of the 2020 Adelaide Fringe.
“Applications are now open and we encourage people with bold ideas to apply so that we can help them create and present daring and ground-breaking work.”
The 2020 Adelaide Fringe will be held from 14 February to 15 March.
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