Bravo (Profile Features)

Lovechild: Fringe is our baby

Producer power couple Ele (Eleanor) Stankiewicz and Marcel Blanch- de Wilt have over a decade of experience in producing shows for the Adelaide Fringe Festival. In 2019 they continue to combine their award-winning artistic nous and create spaces for, and by, artists. They’re proof that the combination of good wine and Fringe makes for a successful marriage.

Ele Stankiewicz and Marcel Blanch- de Wilt at Fringe 2018 | photo supplied

“We don’t have children, Fringe is our baby,” says Ele, “It means a lot to us to see happy artists that appreciate the extra work we put in. To see excited audience members thrilled at what we’ve created makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

Marcel Blanch- de Wilt is the Event Manager for Fringe at the National Wine Centre. His background is in theatre and stand-up comedy, and in 2017 Blanch-de Wilt won The Unicorn award for making the festival ‘magical’ for his artists. He began running venues with the heritage-listed Harry’s Bar in 2012 before creating a hub venue at The Producers in 2013.

Marcel Blanch-de Wilt | photo supplied

Ele Stankiewicz is the Event Coordinator for Fringe at the National Wine Centre. She is an actor and theatre maker who first took part in the Adelaide Fringe in 2005. Stankiewicz supported Fringe at The Producers in 2016 and 2017, and in 2018 she was awarded The Spirit of the Fringe award.

Ele Stankewiecz | photo supplied

Following five years of running heritage-listed venue The Producers Hotel, they are moving. “The venue closed its doors but it was coincidentally time to move on. Moving to the National Wine Centre is a huge upgrade.”

The National Wine Centre is their home for the next month. Behind the scenes, the creative couple work selflessly for hours in the evenings and on weekends to ensure that their artists are looked after and their season is a success.

“It’s a beautiful, upscale venue but this is very much an independent operation,” says Marcel. “We make it work because we love the end result. We’ll certainly have earned a wine or two come our launch party on February 14th.”

Stankiewicz and Blanch- de Wilt have plenty of treats for patrons to savour from around the world, and that’s not just the wine. They have an appetising line-up featuring cabaret, circus, family shows, stand-up, theatre, sketch, and improvisation. “It’s about having all of the Fringe under one roof,” says Ele. “Air-conditioned and completely accessible too.”

Notable and emerging acts adorn their program at the National Wine Centre including Tim Ferguson (The Doug Anthony Allstars), the sold-out hit of Melbourne Comedy Festival, Aborigi-LOL (featuring rising star Dane Simpson as seen on Channel 10’s Have You Been Paying Attention) as well as a completely improvised Sherlock Holmes mystery, and a seriously intriguing mash-up of Elvis and Sam Raimi’s horror classic with The Elvis Dead by UK comedian Ross Kemp.

Venue: National Wine Centre, Hackney Rd & Botanic Rd, Adelaide
Dates: Thursday 14 Feb – Sunday 17 March
Times: From 5pm weeknights, matinees on weekends. Check the guide.
Full program: Adelaide Fringe Website
Tickets: Adelaide Fringe Website, Fringe box-office or at the door
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/fringeatthenwc/