Adelaide Cabaret Festival farewells one and announces two new Artistic Directors

ACF_photo by Claude RaschellaOn the final night of Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2015, Artistic Director Barry Humphries took to the stage to announce he is handing over the role of Artistic Director to the creative talents of Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect, who will be co-Artistic Directors for the Festival in 2016 and 2017.

This year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival had more than 350 artists performing with 46 sold out shows and was the highest grossing festival in its 15 year history. With Barry Humphries at the helm the Festival has seen a 12% increase in box office from the previous year, highlighting the Festival’s continued and growing popularity.

“My time as Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been the climax of my love affair with Adelaide!” said Mr Humphries. “Sitting in the audience night after night and hearing the response of packed audiences from all over Australia, I have become convinced that there is no other city in the land that could deliver such an orgy of entertainment night after night.”

I am passing on the baton for next year’s Festival to two artists I hugely admire, Eddie Perfect and Ali McGregor, and my only advice to them break rules and select comedians who know when to get off! You will be backed up by a group of seasoned professionals whose support and encouragement has made this one of the most joyous experiences of my professional life.”

With many years of Cabaret Festival history between them and a strong working relationship, Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect are two cabaret connoisseurs perfectly paired to take on the curation of one of Adelaide’s favourite winter Festivals.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect as our joint Artistic Directors for Adelaide Cabaret Festivals 2016 and 2017,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier. “They are well qualified as cabaret professionals to take the mantle from Barry Humphries who has given us such a memorable and successful Festival this year.”

Ali McGregor was recently awarded a Green Room Award for her contribution to cabaret and last year was nominated for an Aria award. Ali has a long standing love affair with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, having first performed in 2009 with Jazz Cigarette, Late Night Variety in 2011, Alchemy in 2013 and kids cabaret in 2014 with Jazzamattazz.  This show enabled the festival to grow and develop its young cabaret audience, an important area for the festival’s future.

This is a job I have dreamed of taking on, and sharing it with my good friend and colleague Eddie Perfect makes it doubly exciting. We have known each other for around 10 years and I have so much respect for both his talent and his artistic vision,” said Ali McGregor. “I look forward to working with this most incredible team on what I believe is truly the best Festival in the world. Viva la Cabaret!”

Helpmann Award winner Eddie Perfect is one of Australia’s most diverse, respected and prolific writer/composer/performers. Eddie is no stranger to the Cabaret Festival having performed in the 2003, 2004, 2007, 2012 – 2015 Festivals.  Eddie first appeared in Julia Holt’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2003 with Cliff Hanger: Catch a Falling Star, in 2004 with Angry Eddie, he presented Shane Warne The Musical in development in 2007, Misanthropology in 2012, Shane Warne The Musical in 2013 and collaborated with Tripod in 2014 with Perfect Tripod.

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival and I go way back. Almost every year since 2003 the festival has been a training ground for me; a source of inspiration, a connection to creatives all over the world and a place of passion and risk,” said Eddie Perfect. “I can honestly say there isn’t a festival in the world I love so unconditionally as the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. It has been my muse, my teacher and my support.”

“We’re excited about creating a festival that makes a striking connection to Adelaide audiences, conjuring up dazzling world premieres, unexpected collaborations and world-class new works from Australia and all over the globe.“

The 2016 Adelaide Cabaret Festival will run from 10 – 25 June. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Barry Humphries, Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect – photo by Claude Raschella