Half way through the two-week Melbourne Cabaret Festival, audiences have already surpassed the total audience numbers of 2012 (8,033). This includes strong advance purchases for shows in the second week, many of which are nearing sell out.
Artistic Director, David Read, says that after recording 83% growth in attendance figures last year, the Festival had aimed for a conservative lift this year to consolidate its position, but “Melbourne audiences have demonstrated an insatiable appetite for cabaret.”
“Melbourne has gone cabaret crazy. Looking back on the first Melbourne Cabaret Festival in 2010, when we had over 3,000 attendees to our shows and, now, four years later welcoming over 10,000 is completely beyond anything we could have hoped for.”
The Opening Gala at the Palais Theatre was attended by over 1,200 and set the scene for a Festival that keeps hitting new heights on the Melbourne calendar. Other big sellers to date include Motown Royalty Mary Wilson, Fem Belling’s Dear Blossom, Oprahfication, Yana Alana’s Between The Cracks, Little Orphan trAshley and Spiderlash.
Mr Read says that the surprises will keep rolling out right until closing night, next Sunday 7 July.
“Our Closing Gala is traditionally on a more intimate scale than the opening event, when we seat guests at tables and offer dining options. Each year the Closing Gala has been held as a fundraiser for marriage equality. This year it is being staged at the historic and majestic Ormond Hall as part of Melbourne’s newest arts precinct, Village Melbourne.”
“We are thrilled to announce that our Closing Gala will be hosted by Olympic gold medal diver Matthew Mitcham.”
Mr Read says that, while the athlete is well known for his sporting prowess, it may not be as well known that he also harbours a performance talent.
“Matthew plays ukulele and sings – something that he began doing to relieve the tension of top level competition. Be assured that he will be showcasing his musical talents as well as his well-loved cheeky personality when he acts as our Gala compere and auctioneer,” said Mr Read.
Joining the Olympian at the Gala will be: London cabaret star Spanky; London jazz harp goddess Tara Minton; Tina Del Twist; Cabaret stalwart Jon Jackson; Loud and electric Oprahfication; Jazz chanteuse Jade Leonard; Club chameleon Art Simone; and local songstress Karin Danger
The Closing Gala will be followed by a piano bar after party to bring down the curtain on one of the year’s success stories.
The 2013 Melbourne Cabaret Festival continues to Sunday 7 July at venues across Melbourne. For more information, and bookings, visit: www.melbournecabaret.com for details.
Image: Jon Jackson