The spectacle of cabaret will be here for all to see and the spotlight will be on the things that matter – the seven deadly sins, unconditional love, acceptance and more, as thirty brand new shows, all Melbourne premieres will kick off the 2015 Melbourne Cabaret Festival from 18 June.
“A curatorial decision to reinvigorate the festival by preferencing shows never seen before in Melbourne and wooing the best and brightest talent across the country who have never appeared in the festival sets us up for an exciting and innovative two weeks of entertainment,” says David Read, Artistic Director, Melbourne Cabaret Festival.
2015 Melbourne Cabaret Festival highlights include:
Multiple Helpmann and Green Room Award winners Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen detonate across the footlights as the Strange Bedfellows in Under the Covers. Courageously accompanied by musical director Daryl Wallis, climb into bed with this diabolical duo as their merciless character assassination sets the tone for an evening of dubious ditties, salacious story-telling and shameless one-up-man-ship, in a debauched and greasepaint-spattered riot of musical abandon.
A Match Made in Harmony is the collaboration of two of Australia’s best vocal groups as Suade and Ginger & Tonic come together for 60 minutes of shenanigans, bringing their big voices and big personalities. With so much in common, it could only be a match made in harmony, right?
Lighthouse Berlin is award-winning Annie Lee’s (Kransky Sisters) moving tribute to the extraordinary life of cabaret legend and friend Agnes Bernelle (1923-1999). It pays homage to the Weimar poets, and to Agnes, who set the colourful, sardonic and intriguing works to music.
Rob Mills is Surprisingly Good is an eclectic mix of music and stories with a cracking band and self-deprecating humour. Rob cut his teeth imitating great singers as a teenager in his garage in Wheelers Hill, Melbourne, and now it’s time to claim his own voice in this dynamic, touching and unexpected show touring nationally.
Featuring national icon Phil Scott, Reviewing the Situation tells the story of Lionel Bart, once Britain’s most celebrated composer, responsible for the iconic musical Oliver! He partied with Noel Coward, Rudolf Nureyev and The Beatles. Now he’s bankrupt and ensconced in a flat above a laundromat. At his piano and fuelled by more than a few vodkas, Lionel sings us songs and shares stories from his incredible life.
Sydney Cabaret Convention winner Peter J Casey is back with a new show of completely original cabaret songs in I’m Sick to Death of Hearing about the Weimar Republic. If you wish there were more ditties about punctuation, and you really want a man to sing a ballad to his testicles, your wish is about to be granted. A cabaret show about vasectomies, asylum seekers and Spiderman – guaranteed NOT to be set in 1920s Germany.
Featuring a wonderfully eclectic array of songs written by the likes of Stephen Flaherty & Lyn Ahrens, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Stephen Sondheim and John Bucchino, Good Girl / Bad Girl features Avigail Herman, accompanied by Geoff Castles on piano. Through stories and confessions, explore the seven deadly sins and heavenly virtues in a funny, poignant and sometimes startling evening.
The 2015 Melbourne Cabaret Festival runs 18 – 28 June at venues across Melbourne. For more information, visit: www.melbournecabaret.com for details.
Image: Kanen Breen and Jacqui Dark in Under the Covers – photo by Kurt Sneddon