Adelaide Cabaret Festival announces Virginia Gay as new Artistic Director

Adelaide-Cabaret-Festival-2024-Artistic-Director--Virginia-Gay-photo-by-Naomi-JellicoeAdelaide Festival Centre is thrilled to announce award-winning Australian stage and screen star, writer and consummate performer Virginia Gay will take on the role of Artistic Director for the 2024 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Saturday night – during the second weekend of South Australia’s favourite winter event – two of this year’s nine co-Artistic Directors, David Campbell and Julia Zemiro, passed on the baton to Virginia at Mark Nadler’s Hootenanny late-night show in the Banquet Room.

A popular face on televisions across the country through her roles in Channel 7’s All Saints and Winners and Losers, ABC’s Savage River and SBS A Safe Home, incoming Artistic Director Virginia Gay has won accolades and hearts alike for her stage roles including in Calamity Jane and most recently in Cyrano which she also wrote.

Virginia has also performed at Adelaide Cabaret Festival several times over the years in shows including Dirty Pretty Songs, Songs to Self-Destruct To and Gentlemen Prefer Blokes.

On opening night of Adelaide Cabaret Festival on Friday 9 June, Virginia was met with rave reviews and applause for her role as the charismatic host of the sold-out opening night of The 2023 Variety Gala at Festival Theatre. She also directed the development of Gillian Cosgriff’s new musical last week, The Fig Tree, and is taking some time to explore South Australia while in town.

This year will also see Virginia take to the ballroom stage on the brand-new dazzling season of Channel 7s Dancing with the Stars, this week.

“Adelaide Cabaret Festival is a place where I have had some of the most extraordinary performance experiences of my life and where I have witnessed, and performed alongside, world class Australian acts and international stars,” said Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2024 Artistic Director, Virginia Gay.

“I love Adelaide audiences – their openness and willingness to see new work, their warm embracing presence and their response to this beloved festival means there’s an electricity in the foyers, backstage and amongst the performers.”

“I’m so excited for 2024 – for the game-changing iconic acts, for the up and comers who I know you’re going to love. I’m proud, I’m honoured and I’m so looking forward to delivering a 2024 program that will blow your socks off,” said Virginia.

“This year has been one of our most successful Adelaide Cabaret Festivals to date with the incredible Cabaret Collective of nine Artistic Directors at the helm,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier AM.

“I want to thank our passionate cabaret audiences for attending the many fabulous shows on offer so far and for making the first two weeks so spectacular – we look forward to seeing you around Adelaide Festival Centre for our final week of cabaret.”

“We know Virginia Gay will continue to lead the way as Artistic Director of Adelaide Cabaret Festival next year with her many years of performance experience, and we look forward to her fresh ideas for the 2024 festival,” said Mr Gautier.

“We welcome the wonderfully talented Virginia Gay with open arms and tip our cabaret hats to this year’s incredible line-up of Artistic Directors. With just one more week to go of this year’s festival and many sold out shows, we couldn’t keep this news from our loyal cabaret audiences any longer,” said Adelaide Cabaret Festival Executive Producer, Alex Sinclair.

“We know Virginia is a much-loved Australian performer and can’t wait to see what she brings to the 2024 program – watch this space.”

This year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been exceptionally well received by audiences with almost 20 sold-out performances in the first two weeks and countless standing ovations. With just one more week to go for the 2023 festival program, audiences can delight in more standout performances by glittering artists including cabaret favourite chanteuse, Rizo in Prizmatism, Geraldine Quinn in BROAD, Nancy Denis in the Adelaide premiere of M’ap Boulè, trumpeter and singer Roscoe James Irwin in Lost In A Dream and the incredible vocal powerhouse Thndo in her new show The Reintroduction.

The 2024 Adelaide Cabaret Festival will run 7 – 22 June. The 2023 Adelaide Cabaret Festival continues to 24 June. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Virginia Gay – photo by Naomi Jellicoe