Fringe Poster: 1976

Designed by Jim Cain.

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1976 was the first independently organised Focus/Fringe Festival held from March 6 - 28.

In 1975 FOCUS Inc was legally incorporated and Focus became the new name for the Fringe Festival of Arts. The name Fringe was changed to Focus as a way to focus on development of the fesitval's own culture.

Focus was governed by a Steering Committee comprising Frank Ford...



Focus Coordinator

Rob Bath

Rob Bath stumbled into the 1976 Focus Coordinator position after being introduced to arts administration from a background in...


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Fringe Board 1976

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Fringe Staff 1976

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Fringe Sponsors 1976

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Rob Bath


Rob Bath stumbled into the 1976 Focus Coordinator position after being introduced to arts administration from a background in student theatre, where his greatest claim to fame was (and probably still is) his co-authorship with Andrew Bleby of the legendary scatalogical pseudo-bush ballad 'McArthur's Fart', an international oral-tradition phenomenon often wrongly attributed to 'Anon'.

His interest in student theatre began by trying to impress a girl from his English tutorial group at Adelaide University, which he became involved in by fluking a Commonwealth Scholarship at school, and having nothing better to do.

Rob worked as Focus Coordinator for a total of ten weeks, with a part-time secretary for five weeks and two part-time information officers for three, based in the Gouger Street office of the Australian Dance Theatre. Australian Dance Theatre were not in need the office at the time as they were out of funds and in compulsory recess. They still received phone calls, however, and the Fringe Coordinator's duties included acting as the Australian Dance Theatre switchboard operator.

In later years, the Australian Dance Theatre studio on Gouger Street became the Mars Bar, the Fringe Office and a snack bar.

Following the success of Focus '76, Rob was offered the job on the 1978 Focus Festival, but declined, having by this time found work as a screenplay assessor with the SA Film Corporation, a short-lived but infinitely more glamorous sounding career move.

Over the next decade Rob worked in and out of the arts as a doco and short film scriptwriter with SAFC and other Adelaide production houses; Administrator of the Association of Community Theatres (a sister body to Focus/ Fringe); Outdoor Events Production Coordinator with the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1980 and 1984; General Manager of The Stage Company; community arts officer in local government; schools writer-in-residence; comedy writer for ABC-TV's News Free Zone and segment presenter/producer for ABC-TV's State of the Arts; amongst other projects.

This career subsidised his preferred but riskier work as a fiction writer, with one short novel published and several stage plays professionally produced in Adelaide.

As creative production opportunities started closing down in Grand Prix-era Adelaide, Rob bit the bullet and embraced a "proper day job" as Communications Manager with the City of Unley. He is now a freelance Jack-of-all-(creative)-trades, specialising in copy writing for any medium.

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