Virginia Gay to lead 2025 Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Adelaide-Cabaret-Festival-2024-Artistic-Director-Virginia-Gay-photo-by-Claudio-RaschellaAdelaide Cabaret Festival couldn’t wait til the end of this year’s festival to share the dazzling news… beloved and vivacious Artistic Director (AD) Virginia Gay will return to the role of Adelaide Cabaret Festival AD in 2025 following a joyous, mischievous, and irresistible program this year.

With one more week still to go of the 2024 Adelaide Cabaret Festival at Adelaide Festival Centre, this year’s electric vibe has captured the hearts and imaginations of South Australians, warming their winter nights with classic and contemporary cabaret acts and with the Australian stage and screen star, Virginia Gay, at the helm.

“My beautiful friends, I am absurdly honoured to be returning as Artistic Director of Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2025,” said Adelaide Cabaret Festival Artistic Director, Virginia Gay.

“This wonderful festival fills my heart so deeply and so truly, and it has been such a delight to tumble out into the foyers with you, see you glittering in all your finery, and excitedly jump up and down with you about what we’ve just seen.”

“I am first and foremost a fan of this festival, and of the spirit of adventure and enthusiasm that runs in the veins of our audiences. It’s magic here, and I cannot WAIT to cook up a little more magic for 2025!” said Virginia.

With several sold-out shows already this festival, the final week will not disappoint with world-class cabaret performances to come, until 22 June, including:

Three-time Tony Award winner and Broadway icon Patti LuPone will bring her new concert A Life in Notes to Adelaide Cabaret Festival this Wednesday 19 June as the first performance in her national tour. This show is sure to bring the house down as LuPone performs hit songs from Evita and Les Misèrables.

In an Australian Premiere, ‘The woman of a thousand voices,’ Christina Bianco will perform In Divine Company and celebrate iconic musical heroines with her own soaring vocals, comedic charm and uncanny impressions: from the brassy riffs of Dion to the rich vibrato of Bassey on 21 & 22 June.

At Dunstan Playhouse this week, Noongar and Gumbaynggirr woman Emma Donovan (The Donovans, Black Arm Band, The Putbacks) will command the stage in her supreme solo glory to sing stories of Country and community in Til My Song is Done, as part of her album launch on 20 June.

Led by crowned World Queen of Burlesque, Imogen Kelly, Bent Burlesque features Yana Alana, Ruby Slippers, Sarah Birdgirl, Lillian Starr and Kitty Obsidian who will dazzle in an eccentric display of twisted tease, carnal carnival and grotesque burlesque on the final night of the festival.

Cabaret favourite and Helpmann-Award winning performer iOTA returns to the festival with the world premiere of Enter the Dragon, performing songs from Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Smoke and Mirrors in an intimate candlelit performance in the Banquet Room.

Adelaide’s own Johanna Allen will premiere her new show Pop Vulture – singing her favourite musical morsels (from pop to Puccini) to create a playlist of torch songs that survive the test of TikTok at Dunstan Playhouse this Wednesday 19 June.

In an Adelaide exclusive, the incomparable Dame Lisa Simone will present Keeper of the Flame – A Daughter’s Tribute to Dr. Nina Simone Big Band Concert and perform iconic classics of her mother, Dr. Nina Simone, as only she can, for one night only at Festival Theatre on Saturday 22 June.

In an in-development showcase commissioned by the festival, writer and performer Cassie Hamilton will present part of her latest work, A Transgender Woman on the Internet, Crying, colourfully colliding love, identity, and the power of the trans community in a techno pop joy explosion. Cassie delighted audiences with her performance and comedic charm at the opening night, The 2024 Variety Gala at Festival Theatre last week.

Gabbi Bolt and Matthew Predny play 13 roles (and the piano) between them in a smash-hit whodunnit called Murder for Two, directed by Richard Carroll and presented by Hayes Theatre Co in association with Adelaide Festival Centre at Space Theatre for three shows this week.

And making her Adelaide Cabaret Festival debut, Australian singer-songwriter and musician Missy Higgins celebrates the 20th anniversary of her ARIA award winning album The Sound Of White, in a special sold-out performance.

Cabaret crowd favourite, Piano Man Dr. Trevor Jones will play late into the night and have audiences singing their hearts out and buzzing all the way home in this free event at the Quartet Bar.

While those wanting to party on can revel in the divine and delicious chaos of the Festival Late Nights, hosted in the final weekend by this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival Icon award recipient Reuben Kaye with his brand-new show, The End – Songs of Finality & Farewell.

Join us afterwards for the party to end all parties with DJ’s playing in Festival Theatre foyers til the early hours of the morning to farewell this year’s glorious festival.

“We are thrilled to welcome back the wonderful Virginia Gay as Artistic Director of the 25th Adelaide Cabaret Festival next year,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier AM. “No doubt next year’s program will be a huge celebration of cabaret and shine just as brightly as this year with Virginia’s artistic vision.”

The 2024 Adelaide Cabaret Festival continues to Saturday 22 June at Adelaide Festival Centre. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Virginia Gay – photo by Claudio Raschella