Cabaret Life Drawing – Get Creative This Adelaide Cabaret Festival Season

Published in Arts  
'Cabaret Life Drawing' 'Cabaret Life Drawing' Image © Shane Reid

Part of the beauty of cabaret is its ability to shape-shift, and to come in many forms. As part of the 2022 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, sharpen your pencils and get your palettes and palates ready. . . for 'Cabaret Life Drawing’.


There's plenty on offer at this year's festival – once you've checked out a show or two (or three!), why not get a bit more involved? At The Famous Spiegeltent, host Ruby Chew (Adelaide Central School of Art/ACSA graduate) will guide attendees through creating charcoal drawings of an exquisitely-dressed life model.

Guaranteed to be a fabulously left-of-centre way to soak up the Cabaret Festival, it also doubles as a place to truly appreciate and enjoy the artistry of some of the world's most glamorous costuming. It's fit for all skill levels, and you can enjoy a glass of wine while you draw, too.

To learn a bit more about this intriguing event, we had a chat to Adelaide Cabaret Festival Assistant Producer (and 'Cabaret Life Drawing' Producer) Joel Allan.

Tell us a bit about 'Cabaret Life Drawing'.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival has partnered with ACSA to deliver 'Cabaret Life Drawing', an opportunity to get up and close with the fashion of cabaret, while learning a new skill and being immersed entirely by the festival. Ruby Chew will be your guide as she teaches you the fundamentals of charcoal sketching, with live music, a surprise performance or two, delicious Corryton Burge wine, set among the beautiful backdrop that is The Famous Spiegeltent.

Famous Spiegeltent ClaudioRaschella
The Famous Spiegeltent - Image © Claudio Raschella

Why is this a must-do part of Adelaide Cabaret Festival?
Adelaide Cabaret Festival is renowned for its whimsy, surprises, and performances – 'Cabaret Life Drawing' is no exception! This is one of those rare opportunities where an Artistic Director leaves their imprint on the festival. You get to learn something new and feel inspired, it’s also a social event so you can hang out with your friends and get creative. You are in among the action on this one, instead of being separated by the fourth wall.

Tell us about where the idea for something like this started.
When we were talking with Artistic Director Tina Arena, we wanted to ensure that she was fully represented in the festival. Tina is always dressed immaculately, and we thought about how can we incorporate her passion for fashion into the programme. We threw some ideas around and ultimately landed on a life drawing class that has an element of fashion sketches. Cabaret is known for its glitz and glam costumes, so it just made a lot of sense!

And what’s the main aim/hope for all those coming to be a part of it?
Part of Tina’s vision for her festival is about re-connecting with each other now that the world is opening up again. We hope people are inspired to come with their friends, build new memories and pick up a new skill while they’re at it. This event is our version of a paint and sip class but with a fun, immersive cabaret twist.

Ruby Chew Rosina Possingham
Ruby Chew - Image © Rosina Possingham

What is one thing that drawing and cabaret have in common as art forms?
Cabaret is about exploration, pushing boundaries, and being subversive. All of these can be found in art. It is one of those things that once we thought about it, it just naturally made sense.

What would you like all potential attendees to know about ‘Cabaret Life Drawing’?
Come alone or grab a friend or two, be open to a new experience and get lost in what we have created for you as part of the experience. And if all else fails, grab a wine, and give it your best shot! Also, life drawing is usually synonymous with naked life models – but ours are not! If it isn’t obvious yet, they will be fully decked out in exquisite outfits.

Sum up ‘Cabaret Life Drawing’ in five words.
Creativity among an inspiring setting.

'Cabaret Life Drawing' is on at The Famous Spiegeltent, Festival Plaza (Adelaide) 11, 12 and 25 June.

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