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All-star line-up to reunite for 2023 Adelaide Cabaret Festival

The 2023 Adelaide Cabaret Festival will be presented with a “Cabaret Collective” rather than a single artistic director, with Kate Ceberano, David Campbell, Eddie Perfect, Julia Zemiro and Ali McGregor all appearing at the red-carpet Variety Gala.

Nov 20, 2022, updated Nov 21, 2022
Adelaide Cabaret Festival former artistic directors Kate Cebrano, Julia Holt, Eddie Perfect, Julia Zemiro and Ali McGregor will be part of the Cabaret Collective in 2023. Photo: Claudio Raschella

Adelaide Cabaret Festival former artistic directors Kate Cebrano, Julia Holt, Eddie Perfect, Julia Zemiro and Ali McGregor will be part of the Cabaret Collective in 2023. Photo: Claudio Raschella

In an announcement today, the Adelaide Festival Centre said Ceberano, Campbell, Perfect, Zemiro, McGregor and fellow former Cabaret Festival artistic directors Tina Arena, Alan Cumming, Julia Holt and Lisa Campbell will all curate and/or perform shows in the June 9-24 festival, which coincides with the centre’s 50th anniversary. The only ex-AD not involved is Barry Humphries, who directed the event for one year in 2015.

“These incredible artists have all shaped Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s legacy and to be celebrating Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50th birthday with them all will make it one heck of a party,” festival executive producer Alex Sinclair says of the Cabaret Collective.

The Festival Centre has presented the Cabaret Festival annually since 2001, with performers over the years including Olivia Newton-John, Molly Ringwald, Natalie Cole, Anthony Warlow, Dita Von Teese and Patti LuPone. Today’s announcement was accompanied by statements from a number of the participating former artistic directors, including Perfect, who was co-artistic director with McGregor in 2016-17.

“I first performed at Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2003 and fell in love with this notion of a festival that not only celebrates cabaret but allows people to connect with artists from so many different genres. There’s nothing like it in Australia,” he says.

“It’s a bold experiment having so many of us coming back but I’m all in for an experiment. It’s a great way to explore cabaret, look back at what’s been done in the past but also look forward together.”

Cabaret Festival former artistic directors David and Lisa Campbell. Photo: Claudio Raschella

David and Lisa Campbell say working at Cabaret Festival has been a career highlight for both of them, while Holt, who was the festival’s inaugural artistic director and held the role until 2008, says that from the beginning those involved in the event could sense “an artistic wave of incredible energy, enthusiasm and expertise that is the contemporary artform of cabaret”.

“It is an absolute honour and personal delight to be in such stellar company with the fellow artistic directors as the Cabaret Collective to, again, celebrate in Adelaide, the artists and audiences who enrich our lives, connect our shared humanity and make the party swing,” Holt says.

The 2023 Cabaret Festival will run from June 9-24, kicking off with the Variety Gala at the Festival Theatre on June 9 (tickets on sale from 10am Monday). The full program is expected to be announced in late March.

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