There are no rules at the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival

ACF_Meow MeowIn his debut as artistic director, Australian comedy legend Barry Humphries promises beauty, wit and astonishment in an outstanding program of music, story-telling, comedy and incredible talent (there may even be a bit of love from his alter-ego Dame Edna Everage!) at the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Presented and produced by the Adelaide Festival Centre, the 2015 program features more than 350 artists in 152 performances over 14 days and nights.  There are 50 international artists from across the world as well as the best from Australia, with 300 Australian artists and 192 South Australian performers.  The 2015 Festival showcases 18 world premieres, six Australian premieres, 15 Adelaide premieres as well six Adelaide exclusives.  The dynamic program also features 11 international shows

“I’m thrilled to be able to present to you the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival program, which I do hope will excite and titillate your senses,” says Barry Humphries. “I’m delighted to be presenting some of the best local, national and international artists on the Cabaret scene – some are very good friends of mine – Sir Les Patterson, whom I manage, will be making an appearance, while gigastar Dame Edna will make the trip over from Moonee Ponds.”

“Other artists I look forward to meeting for the first time, having admired them from afar.  I look forward to seeing my Adelaide friends in June as we spend the month devouring everything Cabaret.”

Opening this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival is the perennially popular Variety Gala Performance on Friday 5 June, and includes a selection of highlight performances from international and local Cabaret Festival artists. Hosted by Meow Meow and backed by the Adelaide Art Orchestra, this curation of spectacular performances will open the Festival with a bang.

Other highlights include the world premiere of Peter & Jack, curated and narrated by Barry Humphries and starring world-renowned baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes; and a cappella sensations The Idea of North and South Australian soprano Greta Bradman.  Accompanied by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, this remarkable production pays tribute to two legends of Australian music, Peter Dawson and Jack O’Hagan.

Bernadette Robinson is reunited with Simon Phillips to deliver a virtuoso performance in the Adelaide premiere of Pennsylvania Avenue, a wonderful celebration of iconic singers who have been deeply connected with the White House – as performers, friend or something more intimate.

Two of Australia’s finest opera singers, Antoinette Halloran and Dimity Shepherd, join Cabaret star Ali McGregor and Burlesque performer Imogen Kelly in Opera Burlesque, an evening of allure, humour and exceptional singing. For one night only, one of Australia’s biggest stars and a truly global comedian, Adam Hills, returns to the Festival Theatre stage with his hilarious new show, Clown Heart.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra will come together with the Moonlight Serenade Singers and the Broadway Swing Dancers to honour the ANZAC centenary with an unforgettable evening of nostalgia. This remarkable show includes music and songs from the Great War, as well as classic Glenn Miller hits, including Chattanooga Choo Choo and In the Mood.

Returning Adelaide Cabaret Festival favourites include American Cabaret star Storm Large, who will grace the Adelaide stage again with the Australian premiere of Taken by Storm – a seductively brilliant collection of tortured and titillating love songs. Lady Rizo, New York City’s multi-award winning Cabaret superstar lands again with her Australian premiere of Unescorted – a magnificent performance of luscious vocals, irrefutable glamour and piercing wit.

Eddie Perfect presents Songs from the Middle, a performance of heart-breaking and hilarious songs about coming of age, binge drinking, failed romance and mind-numbing normalcy.  It’s a contemporary song-cycle set in the middle of Port Phillip Bay that is equal parts nostalgia, peace-making and personal exorcism.

Trevor Ashley will return with his divinely decadent production, I’m Every Woman, as he channels the world’s legendary divas and their cavalcade of smash hit songs. The Tap Pack will present their spectacularly energetic stage performance when they make their Adelaide premiere, showcasing some of Australia’s finest slick suited tap performers complete with swing favourites.

At the personal request of Barry Humphries, the ultimate Weimar doyenne, Meow Meow, will present an on-the-edge, intimate cabaret performance and world premiere that features songs from the sirens, transgressors and tragi-grotesques of Weimar Germany. My Vagabond Boat features the music of displaced composers Friedrich Hollaender, Kurt Weill and Cyndi Lauper to present an evening of songs, sketches and dazzling debauchery.

Alan Brough and Casey Bennetto are back as The Narelles, presenting the hilarious musical hits and misses of a band that never was. Front man for legendary outfit The Cruel Sea and the hard-edge pub rock of The Beasts of Bourbon, Tex Perkins is back with fellow Dark Horses – Charlie Owen, Joel Silbersher, Murray Paterson, Stephen Hadley and Gus Agars, to perform some of the finest moody grooves your ears will hear in 2015.

Adelaide’s own West End sensation, Daniel Koek, appears in Bringing Him Home with His West End Story, a series of personal songs and stories from a decade in musical theatre on the world stage.  Daniel will perform highlights from his leading roles including West Side Story, Chess, South Pacific and his second studio album HiGH.

Buckle up for a final raucous night of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival featuring a selection of handpicked visiting cabaret chanteuses, charmers and jesters by Sir Les Patterson’s friend and manager Barry Humphries.  Love Songs For Sir Les is a one-off event that has been especially created for the 2015 Festival.

The 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival runs 5 – 20 June. For more information and complete program, visit: for details.

Image: Meow Meow – photo by Karl Giant