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Cabaret Festival

Adelaide Cabaret Festival reveals first six shows for 2021

Cabaret Festival

Roll up for a taste of what’s in store at next year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival – including a local version of New York bar Club Cumming and an immersive experience that will see the Space Theatre transformed into a kind of Bohemian French hotel.

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The Cabaret Festival returns from June 11-26, with Scottish-American actor and singer Alan Cumming at the helm.

One of the program highlights, announced yesterday, will be the world premiere of the artistic director’s own new show, Alan Cumming is Not Acting His Age.

Cumming also owns a cabaret bar in New York’s East Village, and on each weekend of the festival Club Cumming will be presented as a late-night hub in The Famous Spiegeltent, with DJ sets (including plenty of disco), live entertainment and dancing.

“It will be a bacchanalian celebration dance party with performances, games, and surprises,” he says.

“Anything could happen, and hopefully it will. But the spirit of Club Cumming – all colours, all genders, all sexualities, and kindness, provocation and fun above all – I hope will infuse the entire festival.”

Alan Cumming at Club Cumming in New York.Another program highlight is L’Hôtel, which will be produced and presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre and run throughout the first two weeks of the festival in the Space Theatre.

The AFC says it will see the Space Theatre transformed into “a French hotel brimming with bohemian verve. Audience members can savor champagne and graze on a French cheese board while becoming voyeurs to entertaining characters in the hotel lobby and behind closed doors”.

L’Hôtel will be directed by Craig Ilott – whose previous credits include the Adelaide Fringe hit Velvet – with the line-up of cabaret artists, burlesque and circus performers including singer Brendan Maclean (one of the stars of Velvet).

“Something just feels so right about new work emerging from such a difficult period,” says Illott.

L’Hotel is about the need to connect to something real and meaningful, something that makes us feel alive. It explores that which we present and that which we conceal.”

Other early-release shows are:

Boobs: Cabaret artist, musician and comedian Selina Jenkins’ show recounting her life-changing decision to have a voluntary double mastectomy.

Cabaret artist Selina Jenkins.

Betty Blokk Buster: A 21st-century homage to Reg Livermore’s 1975 one-man show Betty Blokk-Buster Follies.

Cabaret Festival Variety Gala: The gala will return in 2021, hosted by Hans – “the Berlin Boy Wonder” – on June 11 at the Festival Theatre

The Adelaide Festival Centre, which presents the Cabaret Festival, says all events are being sold at 50 per cent capacity in “non-checkerboard seating” (i.e. no empty seats between patrons), in the hope that current COVID-19 restrictions will ease by June.

However, it adds: “We will continue to adhere to SA Health’s advice which may require tickets to be re-issued closer to the performance dates.”

Tickets are on sale from 9.30am today for the early-release shows, with the full 2021 Cabaret Festival program will be launched in March.


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