Adelaide Cabaret Festival wraps for another year

ACF Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect With the Adelaide Cabaret Festival coming to an end for another year, Co-Artistic Directors, Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect announced that Ali will take the reins as sole Artistic Director for the festival in 2018, and Eddie taking on a new advisory role for the festival from New York, where he will be based much of the year, writing the scores for the highly-anticipated Broadway adaptations of Beetlejuice and King Kong.

The announcement was made at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2017 closing gala at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Saturday evening. The gala went off with a bang with Songs of Love and Revolution – which saw cabaret artists belting out anthems, battle cries and love songs to humanity. Artists included some of cabaret’s brightest stars, Catherine Alcorn, Cameron Goodall, Reuben Kaye, Michael Feinstein, Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect.

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival served up another sumptuous platter of world-class acts this year, with more than 430 artists in 147 performances over the past 16 days and nights, that saw more than 20 sold out shows and a program of 17 world premieres, including many brand new Australian works. The tables turned with new venues and audiences embraced the delectable and diverse menu, flocking to the Wintergarden and grand Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent.

“This year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been an overwhelmingly satisfying season for me as Co-Artistic Director, as a performer and an audience member,” said Adelaide Cabaret Festival Co-Artistic Director Ali McGregor. “I’ve had nights where I have come home reeling from shows that have been thought-provoking and full of the gravity of life. I’ve seen performers I know and love present shows that push themselves and the form of cabaret into new and exciting worlds.”

“Working alongside Eddie Perfect these past two years has been a gift. We have been friends for over a decade and his early work was one of the reasons I started to love cabaret in this country so much. I am sad that his commitments overseas mean he is unable to join me in curating the 2018 festival but I also know that his vision and voice will always be in the back of my mind as I search for the best cabaret the world has to offer. Plus it is pretty amazing when your friends are too busy to hang out with you because they are writing musicals for Broadway!”

“Next year, with a renewed Adelaide Festival Centre, we will unveil our 2018 season in a new, exciting and world-class arts space. With this in mind I plan to look to the future of cabaret and find even more diverse stories to tell as well as take a deep nod to the past and the foundations upon which the art of cabaret has been built.”

While Eddie steps away after two years as Co-Artistic Director, it won’t be goodbye, as he takes on a new advisory role to foster and expand more Australian work for next year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Reflecting on his role, Eddie Perfect said, “Looking back, this program has been a joyous blur; a lazy susan spinning out of control, splashing all kinds of exotic offerings over our previously dry-cleaned glad-rags.”

“As I look towards 2018 I am incredibly saddened that my writing work in New York means that I cannot be a physical part of next year’s festival. There is one thing that makes the loss I feel at leaving the artistic directorship a little less painful. I will be continuing to work for the festival (and my new “boss” Ali) as a Creative Development Advisor.”

“This is really just a fancy way of saying that I will be continuing my work finding new commissions of brand new Australian works to have world premieres in 2018. I want to thank Ali and Executive Producer John Glenn at Adelaide Cabaret Festival for allowing me to continue to do what I’m so passionate about; support, facilitate and develop new Australian works that will transform the creative landscape of this country.”

“Finally, thanks to our wonderful audience and to each and every one of you with whom I’ve had a great chat about what you’ve loved (and yes, what you’ve disliked too!). Cabaret is an evolving art form, and we shape it and mould it and push, pull and test it every year. I would dare say that it is Adelaide Cabaret Festival that is the global leader in shaping what this art form is and could be.”

As the team charges headlong into planning for the next festival, Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM said: “We thank Eddie Perfect for the wonderful work he has done as Co-Artistic Director for the past two years and we are thrilled to welcome back Ali McGregor for a third year.”

“This much loved and award winning festival continues to draw audiences to Adelaide Festival Centre and redevelopment works have not deterred cabaret lovers, who continue to show commitment and passion for this festival.”

“Next year, with a renewed Festival Theatre foyer and Adelaide Festival Centre’s northern promenade redevelopment complete, we look forward to welcoming audiences back to a new-look Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Adelaide Festival Centre,” said Gautier.

The 2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival will run from 8 – 23 June. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect (supplied)