ADELAIDEAZ connects vertical and horizontal threads of Adelaide and South Australian culture in the context of past, present and future. It explores how a small city, as capital of a state often
mistakenly perceived as a dry, poor, empty backwater, has so many extraordinary, often exceptional, patterns running through the tapestry of its A-to-Z categories.
Frances Margaret Anderson, who made her acting debut as a teenager with Adelaide Repertory theatre company, had an international career in stage, film and television, honoured with two Emmy awards, a Tony award, and nominations for a Grammy and an Academy award (for her role in Rebecca) as Judith Anderson. Born in Adelaide in 1897 and educated at Rose Park, she made her professional acting debut, aged 17, at Sydney’s Theatre Royal. Trying her luck in the USA, she made her Broadway debut in On the stairs in 1922. Anderson started in films with a supporting role in Blood money (1933), followed by Rebecca (1940), Otto Preminger's Laura (1944), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), A man called Horse (1970) and Star Trek III (1982). On stage, Anderson played Lady MacBeth in notable productions with the Old Vic Company in London opposite Laurence Olivier and in New York opposite Maurice Evans. In 1948, Anderson won a Tony for best actress in Medea with John Gielgud. Anderson was guest of the 1966 Adelaide Festival of Arts doing excerpts from Medea and MacBeth. At 73, Anderson played Hamlet in a USA tour. An Off-Broadway theatre was named after Anderson in 1984. She was given a Living Legacy Award by the Women's International Centre in 1986. Anderson's ashes are buried at the Adelaide Festival Centre.
As a young girl, Greta Bradman went to her grandparents' Kensington Park house every day after school where she was surrounded by her grandfather’s passion for music. Don Bradman had been a boy soprano in his school choir and played piano. At the Bradman centenary dinner in 2015, Greta sang his 1930 composition “Every day is a rainbow day for me”. Greta's grandmother Jessie Bradman was also musical, her father was a talented jazz musician and her maternal grandfather an opera singer. Greta studied music at Elder Conservatorium when she was also a soloist and member of Adelaide Chamber Singers. She won the Australian International Opera Award in 2013-14 allowing her to move to Cardiff to train with the Wales International Academy of Voice. From there, Richard Bonynge selected Bradman to sing the title role in a performance of Handel’s Rodelinda in 2014. Greta Bradman has recorded for Sony, ABC Classics and independently.
The Christmas pageant – the biggest parade of its kind in the world – is an Adelaide tradition born in 1933 from an idea of Mr Bill (Edward Hayward), chairman of John Martin’s department store. The pageant has been staged every year (except during World War II) through the city centre on the second Saturday morning of November. Inspired by the Toronto Santa Claus Parade and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, Hayward decided to mark the lifting of the Depression – and only two years after the Beef Riots in Adelaide – with a parade of fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters leading Father Christmas to John Martin’s store. From its start with just eight floats and four bands has grown to attracting crowds up to 400,000 and being televised nationally to millions more from 2015. The 2018 parade had 63 floats, 15 bands, 250-plus clowns, nine walking sets,11 dance groups and four choirs. With the closing of John Martin’s store in 1998, the pageant has been owned and managed by the state government, and supported by the credit unions of South Australia for 23 years.