Entertainment Hive 2017

Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect’s revealing Cabaret

Barry Humphries put the ‘F’ back into the Festival last year and this year’s co-Artistic Directors Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect aim to inform you in 2016 not what cabaret is but what cabaret could be. So, prepare to find out what comes next...    Co-artistic director McGregor says cabaret is at a turning point with a long and rich history and a bright and exciting future.  “We have made a point of celebrating the icons of Cabaret, and aspects that have shaped it; political satire, songbook interpretation, comedy, burlesque - while reveling in the new and unique ways artists are working in the genre,’’ McGregor says. “We also wanted to represent a snapshot of where cabaret is on the international stage, how different works are being created and to showcase just how strong and inspiring many Australian acts are on the international stage. “But above all of this, we have programmed acts that we love.”   Fellow co-artistic director Perfect agrees and adds: “My relationship with cabaret as a performer and writer has convinced me that the possibilities of what cabaret can be are only limited by imagination. “What cabaret has going for it in spades is immediacy. It’s an art form that values communication with an audience above all else, and it can be refreshingly, shockingly and seductively direct. “That’s why the Adelaide Cabaret Festival has become an indispensable institution and that’s the reason I couldn’t be prouder to curate, along with Ali, a program of the best of what is happening right now in cabaret around Australia and the world. “We’re excited to invite our audience along to have a conversation with us about where cabaret is, where it’s going, and how it can so intimately and effectively tell us something about who we are.” Proudly presented by Adelaide Festival Centre, the 2016 program features more than 425 artists in 150 performances over 16 days and nights. There are 42 international artists from as far afield as the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom and Germany as well as the best from Australia with over 383 Australian artists including 182 from South Australia. The 2016 Festival showcases 6 world premieres, 8 Australian premieres, 35 Adelaide premieres as well as 13 Adelaide exclusives. The vibrant program also features 11 international shows. Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier extends a warm welcome to McGregor and Perfect. “A very warm welcome to our new Adelaide Cabaret Festival co-Artistic Directors, Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect, who have created an outstanding program that includes dazzling world premieres, remarkable collaborations and a diverse range of work from Australia and all over the globe.” The Festival kicks off on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend with the perennially popular Variety Gala, a glittering night of stories and song.   Artistic Directors Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect play host to a supercharged showcase of international and local stars flaunting their cabaret wares. The annual “Cabaret Icon Award” will also be presented to a cabaret luminary. The popularity of the Gala has ramped up each year and so this year audiences can delight in two Gala’s.   The Festival will conclude with The Last Galah, hosted by Ali and Eddie and paying tribute to Australia’s greatest songwriters featuring performances by local and international cabaret stars. In a cabaret first, not just the adults are privy to a stunning preview of the Festival, for the first time the Festival features the Family Gala, an opportunity for the whole family to dress up and walk the red carpet. Once again hosted by Ali and Eddie it will sample the Festival’s finest.   Offering jazzy beats, interpretative dance, comedy and roller-skating, ukulele-playing-madness and maybe even ‘a bear in there’. In approaching this year’s artistic vision Ali McGregor says: “Cabaret is often made up of seemingly random pieces of other genres; Music, Theatre, Dance, Comedy and Cabaret. “These performers take these elements, and with them create something unique and beautiful. We wanted to capture this, alongside the beauty of seeing behind the façade of theatre into where all the real magic happens. “We created our season image from thrown-away set, lighting, storage and the detritus of the theatre. We shaped it by hand (and sweat and tears and 10 hours in an empty rehearsal room) and along the way found treasure from theatrical trash.” Alongside the stylised visuals of Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2016, the programme line-up has been designed with the same creative eye. Eddie Perfect says: “Each piece of the 2016 program represents a surprising and intelligent suggestion not of what cabaret is, but of what cabaret can be. “You may be drawn in by one particular artist in the program, but Ali and I have designed the program so that it’s the moment of what comes next that leads you to an exciting discovery. “We’re excited not to dictate to our audiences, but to invite you all to come and experience what comes next.” 2016 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Festival Centre from June 10 to 25. Bookings: BASS 131 246
Photo Claude Raschella
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