Adelaide Cabaret Festival ends on a high note and looks forward to a special anniversary program next year

Moments-in-the-Woods---Songs-&-Stories-of-Sondheim---photo-by-Claudio-RaschellaAdelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 finished on a high last weekend with a sold-out performance of Tina Arena’s headline show, Songs My Mother Taught Me, and will soon announce a special program for 2023, alongside Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50th Anniversary.

This year, the world’s largest cabaret festival featured 32 shows and 86 performances over 12 decadent days and nights and almost 40,000 attendances at ticketed and free events across six venues, including Her Majesty’s Theatre and The Famous Spiegeltent, located on Festival Plaza.

Led by international star and Australian icon Tina Arena AM, the festival program showcased 14 World Premieres, 2 Australian Premieres, 14 Adelaide Premieres and countless standing ovations throughout.

Songs My Mother Taught Me, featuring Tina Arena, Wendy Matthews, Lior, Thando, Jess Hitchcock, and Sophie Koh wrapped up the festival with sold out performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Friday and Saturday nights.

An exciting announcement about next year’s Artistic Director will be made in November and will coincide with Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50th Anniversary, which will be celebrated during Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June next year.

“This year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been a smorgasbord of fun and frivolity mixed with some touching and memorable performances shared with cabaret audiences,” said Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 Artistic Director Tina Arena.

“It has been a privilege to take on this role and see the artform of cabaret connect with people through the power of music, song, storytelling, dancing, and shared laughter.”

“Thank you to our dedicated artists and audiences for your support and love, I have felt nothing but welcome by you all and have reveled in being part of this festival and its rich history, which will undoubtedly continue to highlight the best cabaret from across the world.”

“I look forward to seeing what’s in store for 2023, which is sure to be another stellar event,” said Arena.

“We thank Tina Arena for her artistic vision in bringing this year’s festival to life and to cabaret staff and team who go above and beyond to deliver this internationally recognised festival for our loyal audiences,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM.

“Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been the highlight of South Australia’s winter arts scene for 22 years and we look forward to celebrating with gusto next year as we mark Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50th Birthday!” said Gautier.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 highlights included:
• South Australian cabaret favourites Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger and Michael Griffiths celebrated the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll, sexual revolution and the leaps and bounds of women’s liberation in Simply Brill – The Women Who Defined Rock ‘n’ Roll, officially opening the festival and performing to sold out audiences on opening weekend.
• Cabaret favourite Reuben Kaye hosted the The Piña Colada Room and performed his sold out show Live & Intimate.
The Gospel According to Marcia featuring Marcia Hines and accompanied by Adelaide’s own Charmaine Jones & The Gospo Collective, had audiences rejoicing at Her Majesty’s Theatre on the second weekend.
• South Australian artists Kuko, Katie Aspel and Rob Edwards entertained audiences in a special Adelaide Premiere where First Nations regional musicians and performers presented a mix of blues, jazz soul and folk in an evening of remarkable sound and story-telling in the show T.R.A.I.L.
• Victoria Falconer made her festival debut in And Then You Go – The Vali Myers Project, harnessing the flame haired-bohemian figure and visionary artist. The show was this year’s Frank Ford Commissioning Award recipient – the award by Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s late founding father provides $20,000 a year towards the creation of new works by South Australian artists.
• Musical Theatre fans were delighted with Moments in the Woods – Songs & Stories of Sondheim which paid tribute to the genius and legacy of musical theatre’s most ground-breaking composer, Stephen Sondheim, featuring Philip Quast, Geraldine Turner, Queenie van de Zandt, Josie Lane and Adelaide’s own Mitchell Butel who performed to an enthusiastic standing ovation.
• Festival favourite Trevor Jones – The Piano Man entertained audiences every night of the festival and had patrons singing along to song requests and show tunes.

Produced and presented by Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Cabaret Festival has grown from modest beginnings in 2001 to become Australia’s major winter festival and the largest cabaret festival in the world.

Previous Artistic Directors of the festival include Julia Holt, David Campbell, Kate Ceberano, Barry Humphries, Eddie Perfect, Ali McGregor, Julia Zemiro and most recently, Alan Cumming.

The festival has been a platform for shows and performers who have achieved critical acclaim and featured world-renowned artists including Ms Lisa Fischer, Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Dita Von Teese, Tim Minchin, and Patti Lupone to name a few.

The 2023 Adelaide Cabaret Festival Artistic Director and dates will be announced soon. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Philip Quast, Geraldine Turner, Josie Lane, Queenie van de Zandt and Mitchell Butel in Moments in the Woods – Songs & Stories of Sondheim – photo by Claudio Raschella