Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 Programme

Published in Arts News  
Tina Arena Tina Arena Image © Jai Vasicek

This year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival is curated by international star and Australian icon Tina Arena AM.


It’s a programme of some of the best and boldest performers around. Tina, the 2022 Artistic Director, presents her first festival programme, bursting with alluring performances and sultry disco evenings over 12 days and nights.

The 2022 event features 377 artists and musicians across 97 performances, including 14 world premieres and 15 Adelaide premieres. . . By performers from Australia, the USA, Germany, Rwanda and New Zealand.

“Cabaret is a magnificent fusion of stories, song, dance, and all things theatrical. Cabaret is escapism of the most fabulous kind and boy, couldn’t we all use a little bit of escapism after the year that’s been?” Tina Arena says.

“I am excited to be able to share this programme of diverse voices and cultures, representing the best of cabaret and incredible talent. I hope this year’s festival takes you on a journey of much-needed connection and healing, from the personal stories of ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’ to the decadence of ‘The Piña Colada Room’ – leave your worries behind and let the music save you, just as it continues to save me.”

The celebrations kick off with the 2022 Variety Gala red carpet event, bringing glamour to the Festival Theatre and a showcase of some of the offering of this year’s festival, including headliner Marcia Hines and hosted by Paul McDermott and Tina Arena.

MarciaHines RiccardoRaiti
Marcia Hines - Image © Riccardo Raiti

‘The Gospel According To Marcia’ will see Marcia Hines celebrating memories from her childhood in Boston and her early experiences with Gospel music. Then, audiences will get a rare chance to connect with Tina Arena on a personal level with ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’, celebrating culture, legacy and love.

Continuing the exploration of personal history is comedian/performer Oliver Twist reflecting on his time as a refugee in Rwanda, in a delicately told one-person show.

Adelaide premiere ’T.R.A.I.L’ is a night of sound and storytelling with First Nations regional musicians and performers Kuko, Katie Aspel and Rob Edwards.

Heading overseas there are international acts such as Davina & The Vagabonds, in an Australian premiere where they draw from the past 100 years of American music from Fats Domino to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits. NZ company A Slightly Isolated Dog bring ‘Don Juan’ to the Space Theatre.

RobEdwards ZacharyShane
Rob Edwards - Image © Zachary Shane

Audiences will travel back in time with Catherine Alcorn and Phil Scott in ’30 Something’, an immersive show set in Sydney’s Bohemia Kings Cross on New Year’s Eve, 1939. Also, Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger and Michael Griffiths will celebrate the golden age of rock ’n’ roll, sexual revolution and the leaps and bounds of women’s liberation in ‘Simply Brill – The Women Who Defined Rock ’n’ Roll’.

Cabaret favourite Libby O’Donovan presents ‘Sister Elizabeth’, exploring the divine nuns of film, TV and pop culture. Plus, State Opera South Australia make their first ever Cabaret Festival appearance with ‘How To Kill Your Husband (And Other Hand Household Hints)’.

International siren Meow Meow brings ‘Pandemonium’ to Her Majesty’s Theatre, accompanied by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Cabaret sensation Reuben Kaye gets ‘Live & Intimate’, and queen of burlesque Imogen Kelly plays ‘La Grande Folie’.

‘Cirque Bon Bon’ will bring variety to the festival in the forms of contortion, aerial artistry, dancers and death-defying acrobatic feats. For the last two weekends, host and comedian Paul McDermott presents ‘The Funhouse’, a carnival of minstrels and misfits.

Bon Bon Disclose Media
Cirque Bon Bon - Image © Disclose Media

“This will be a new and exciting experience for audiences with the opening-up of the Riverbank Precinct and Festival Plaza and we are delighted to have Tina Arena at the helm,” Adelaide Festival Centre CEO/Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM says. “Last year’s festival took home the silver medal at the South Australian Tourism Awards, so we know how important it is for our community. As a winter festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival is a seat at the fireside, warming our collective spirits.”

“We look forward to bringing some much welcome glamour and sparkle back to Adelaide, with an outstanding line-up of some of the finest cabaret artists from around the country under the artistic vision of the incomparable Tina Arena,” Adelaide Cabaret Festival Executive Producer Alex Sinclair adds. “We can’t wait to welcome back our much loved and enthusiastic cabaret audiences from tonight and share a dance under the mirror ball this June!”

Click here for the full programme.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival is on from 10-25 June.

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