the cast


 Isobel Rose (Harper Matthews)

Isobel Rose is Alien Biologist and the child of Edith Rose who was killed during the incident at Whyalla. Her speciality is in the Internal Physiology of Aliens. She is secretly a part of A.R.S.E and is sick of the Government covering up the existence of Aliens especially as the scientists all work long hours for very little pay.

 Bernard Wrinklehosen (Matthew Smyth)

Professor Wrinklehosen is in his 80’s and is generally thought to be past his prime, he often falls asleep during long dissections. He is obsessive with keeping his hands clean and corn chips, although not the ones with the messy orange colouring. He once met Robbie WIlliams at a bar and bought him a drink.


Professor Vvood (Tyrone Wood)

Professor Vvood is a distant relative of Eric Parsons and is a Linguistics expert. He thinks the Government is ripping the public off by keeping the existence of Aliens a secret. He is being blackmailed to let Eric into Area 53. 


Sam Hoffstater (Hayden Poyner)

Sam Hoffstater is Area 53’s resident slacker. He is ostensibly project manager for the facility but does not seem to be highly effective in this role. He loves Krispy Kreme Donuts but will eat any donut if Krispy Kremes aren’t available. 


Svetlana Bogorich (Sarah Smyth)

Svetlana is a Russian child prodigy having completed her PhD at the age of 6.. She has been working at Area 53 since she was 4 and lives full time at the facility to avoid the attention of Families SA. She is an expert in planetary ecosystems and their interaction. 


Johnny Fanta (Adam Oosthuizen)

Johnny Fanta is a 7th generation Assassin and a Man In Black. He is passionate about killing Aliens but also making anyone who knows too much “disappear”. He enjoys guns, chasing Aliens, smoking and the occasional movie. His only friend is Siri. He does not like Eric Parsons.

Javan Thickfro (Lachlan Judd)

Javan Thick-fro is also a MIB. He does this because the Government pays him to do it. He once had the same dog as Eric Parsons for one day and his only friend is Siri as well. He likes smoking, drinking beer and watching movies. His favourite movie of all time is Wonder Woman. 

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Matilda Fortitude (Michal Hughes)

Matilda Fortitude is a UniSA intern in the last year of her Masters in Engineering. You can catch her award winning Brittany Spears tribute show at the Flamingo Room, 9.15 pm, Tuesday through to Saturday for the whole fringe season. “Matilda is taking the tribute show to the next level with this performance”. 


Jerry Sandstorm (Stephen Smyth)

Jerry has been working at Area 53 for only a few days, he is a long time member of A.R.S.E and his employment came about as damage control after the ‘incident, in Whyalla. He is threatening to expose the whole shebang. He has no geological expertise whatsoever.


Stowinn Bronorkoth Divonsale (Joseph Matthews)

Stowin is the archivist at Area 53. He is paranoid about the existence of alien spies in public service and has sworn to expose them to the unsuspecting general populace. He is married with three daughters but suspects his wife is also an alien due to her ability to know where everything is.


Aliens of planet Rufux and other planets (Ben Cowling, Rob Golding, Kynan Hartley, Luca Schmidt, Maddison Shore)

Even after many years of study of Aliens by the experts in Area 53 we have no idea about these creatures at all. Despite the scientists supposed interest in these creatures they are treated like animals and not the advnaced, intelligent and sentient beings they obviously are.

Anthony Kelly, Claire Glenn (lead artists, directors)

Our fabulous and fearless leaders at the presentation of our Bank SA Adelaide Fringe Pick of the Week award.


Professor D Hawking (Ryan Cowling)

Professor Hawking is no relation to the famous physicist but is the Area 53 communitcatoins guru. He spends 20 hours a day listening to deep space and watches cat videos on the internet for the other four. He considers sleeping a waste of time.


Roberta (Robbie) Williams (Claire Glenn)

Robbie Williams has worked at Area 53 Adelaide as their Head Cleaner since 1982. Roberta is a leg-warmer enthusiast but isn’t so much into cleaning. She has been a member of A.R.S.E. for 10 months. She enjoys aliens and being left alone.


Regina Brown (Deb Hughes)

Regina has been on the front desk at Area 53 for more years than she cares to count. She is secretly in love with Eric and so overlooks his questionable behaviour and poor personal hygiene.


Classified (Jono Schmidt)

We do not know the actual name or antecedent of resident munitions expert but only his code name, Classified. He is a loner and does not interact with many of the other emplyees. We think he might even smoke!


Eric Parsons (Anthony Kelly)

Eric Parsons used to be a Security Guard, during one of these late nights that he had his first encounter with Aliens. Since then, he has been obsessed with Aliens. He is leader of the Association for the Response to and Science of Extraterrestrials and works tirelessly to expose the truth about the existence of Aliens. 


 Penelope Pen (Holly Shore)

Penelope Pen is a brilliant young botanist with a bright future in alien science. She is a meticulous researcher and has extensive networks with community garden clubs who are constantly sending her any unusual specimens that they come across. She is addicted to yellow m&ms and over processed cheese.

Until 24 Feb 2019

Review by Anthony Vawser

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

Behind the generic-looking title is an ultimately delightful experience. A fully immersive journey into the possibilities of alien life, “Area 53” matches in impact any comparable adventure that a major theme-park could cook up. (Aside from entertaining audiences, this production also appears to double as a successful training ground for aspiring young performers to hone their craft and have a blast at the same time.)

After wowing Whyalla at the uneARTh Festival with an earlier version of this concept, actor/directors Claire Glenn & Anthony Kelly have brought “Area 53” – an idea conceived by Lachlan Judd & Adam Oostehuizen - to the Adelaide Fringe, no mean feat for a show so seemingly site-specific. From the open-air meeting point to a specially outfitted Brompton venue, this is unpredictable theatre that requires staying on one’s toes (quite literally; there is nary a chance to sit down for close to fifty minutes).

There are laughs, thrills, and surprises around every corner, as well as committed characterisations from Glenn and Kelly that manage somehow to be as endearing as they are abrasive, plus solid support by an ensemble of youngsters clearly relishing the task of bringing such a wild ride into existence. The current season may be over, but D’faces is a company that this reviewer will be keeping an eye out for – and given the quality of “Area 53”, so should you.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Review: Area 53

Alien invasion has never been this fun



Area 53 by D'Faces of Youth Arts

By Jess Martin


Scepticism isn't any fun. Area 53 takes us on an unauthorised tour of the secret facility that has been keeping aliens under wraps in Adelaide's industrial inner-west. Area 53 achieves in under an hour what the X-Files couldn't do in 11 seasons: make us believe that aliens are real.

This immersive theatre production joins all the dots – government cover-ups, missing townsfolk, child labour and tin foil hats. Our tour guide Eric is an endearing weirdo whose off-the-wall conspiracy theories manage to charm the audience, even if his personal hygiene doesn't. This oddball group of young scientists are inventive and abrasive as they show off their bizarre findings. The crew from D'Faces of Youth Arts in Whyalla clearly love putting so much attention to detail into their sprawling set of 'evidence'.

Between the momentum of the show and the surly cleaning staff, the audience is quite literally swept along through Area 53. This show is zany fun that proves child scientists are just as likely to be dissecting aliens as anyone else. And what would be the point of believing in aliens if you don't get to run screaming as they break out of a government research facility?


February 24, 2019

Georgia Brass

‘Do you believe in aliens?’ This is a question you are asked throughout Area 53, an immersive theatre project by D’Faces of Youth Theatre, a Whyalla arts organisation that only last year took out the Arts SA Ruby Award for Best Community or Regional Event or Project for this show - and having seen it, it’s easy to see why.

Audiences are greeted by the energetic Eric Parsons, an goofy and kooky character who waddles with a distinctive geeky gait and speaks with intelligence, but also no concept of an inside voice. This prologue performance sets the mood for what’s to come - an interactive, loud, manic, comical, intense experience where the audience led by Eric infiltrates ‘Area 53’, a top secret government facility in suburban Adelaide dedicated to the study of aliens. 

Area 53 as a show didn’t have a detailed narrative to follow, but rather was a conceptual experience with a loose plot. The ensemble of actors, considering their young age, did a highly commendable job at devising strong nuanced characters and remaining in those roles consistently. However, the acting over the top of one another made it hard to know who the audience should’ve been listening to at any given time...but maybe this was an intentional decision to add to the already dizzyingly quick pace.

The production elements were, simply put, sensationally designed and executed. From the coloured lighting and suspenseful sound effects, to the interactive and intricate props and elaborately detailed set, the warehouse in Bowden was truly transformed - I would recommend seeing this show for these elements alone.

Audiences are really drawn into the show themselves, being decontaminated, donned with tin foil hats and face masks, and directed to walk, and sometimes run and duck around the warehouse to escape capture. Some (un)lucky patrons are handed alien artefacts and/or arteries, some brave souls are sent on solo missions to save the group. 

Area 53 was not what I expected - instead of a serious exploration of extra terrestrial life, I got a comedic take on the conspiracy theories surrounding aliens and government cover ups. Overall, it’s a fun 45 minute experience the whole family can enjoy - if you’re looking for an encounter of the third (and absurd) kind, visit Area 53!

Area 53 was reviewed on it’s opening night on the 22nd of February, and is completely sold out for the remainder of its run. For further information on the company behind the show D’Faces, click here.

thanks to our sponsors of d’faces and our fringe season