Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 starts in a month and we’re excited about the program which has plenty of French links. The Artistic Director for 2022 is Australian Francophile, Tina Arena who has curated an enticing program. Read on to discover the 10 shows with French links.
ONE SHOW ONLY 17 JUNE
FRENCH LINK: A celebration of a French singer Juliette Gréco by Adelaide’s favourite singer of French chanson, Louise Blackwell. This is the Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 show with the strongest French link.
Celebrated actress and singer, Louise Blackwell, brings to life the story of French singer, Juliette Gréco. Set in post-war Paris, Blackwell performs songs which evoke the joy and revelry of liberation from German occupation as it occurred in the legendary underground clubs of Saint Germain des Prés, in this remarkable reimagining of Gréco’s extraordinary life.
At the age of 16, after weeks of brutality and Imprisonment by the Nazi regime, Gréco found refuge in this bohemian quarter and was adopted by a spectacular community of artists, writers and philosophers who encouraged her to become a singer. Gréco embodied the spirit of rebellion and freedom and is still known today as the muse of Saint Germain des Prés.
YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO SEE TINA ARENA PERFORM THIS ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL
TWO SHOWS ONLY 24 & 25 JUNE
Tina Arena who has spent much of the last decade living in France, has released several French language albums and has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite
Wendy Matthews, is Australian-Canadian born in French speaking in Quebec – listen to her French version of On the Day you went away – it will transport you
Tina Arena stars alongside musical luminaries Wendy Matthews, Lior, Thando, Jess Hitchcock and Sophie Koh in an intimate evening of song and storytelling shaped by families and linked generations. This is a unique night of vibrant performance, heartfelt story, musical tradition and shared experience. Don’t miss this exclusive, world premiere performance celebrating culture and legacy.
With arrangements inspired by family, and culminating in a moving performance by Arena herself – join us in celebrating the good, the funny, and the real.
TWO SHOWS ONLY 24 & 25 JUNE
A Frank Ford Commission
FRENCH LINK: Vali Myers travelled to post-war Paris in 1949 to purse a dance career but found herself homeless living in Saint Germain des Pres instead. She features heavily in a photographical book called Love on the Left Bank (note the show of the same name also in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival program that we mentioned above) by Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken.
Vali Myers. The flame-haired bohemian. The wild dancer. The visionary artist. The hermit witch, tattooing her own face. Driven by a relentless creative spirit, Myers defied all social constructs to live on her own terms.
Cabaret, circus, dance, and theatre combine as an ensemble of incredible multi-disciplinary performers and musicians retell the story of one of history’s most infamous cult figures,
And Then You Go takes us from the jazz clubs of 50s Paris to the hallways of the Chelsea Hotel in the 70s, and the studio-squats of 90s Melbourne. Created by award-winning artist Victoria Falconer, this is a flamboyant, visceral show full of bold original songs, with Myers’ remarkable life as inspiration.
ONE SHOW ONLY: 18 June
FRENCH LINK: Meow Meow specialises in French chanson among others
International siren and comedienne extraordinaire Meow Meow is accompanied by the full force of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Buc, for a glorious performance of subversive and sublime entertainment and joyful orchestrated chaos.
Join the queen of song for an unforgettable evening of music and mayhem. Meow Meow’s Pandemonium is bursting with Piazzolla tangos, Weill, Brecht, and even Radiohead – alongside original chansons by Meow Meow, Iain Grandage, and Thomas M Lauderdale of Pink Martini.
THREE SHOWS: 23, 24 & 25 JUNE
FRENCH LINK: Oliver Twist comes from Rwanda, where French is spoken, among other languages
Refusing to be defined by a turbulent past, comedian and performer Oliver Twist reflects on his time as a refugee while carefully unpacking his present-day experiences. Delicately told and impossible to forget, his one-person show proves that exceptional storytelling and belly-aching laughter are powerful antidotes to trauma.
Moving from Rwanda to Brisbane in 2014, Twist is one of Australia’s most exciting young comedians. A RAW national finalist, he has opened for Wil Anderson and Becky Lucas, and performed alongside the likes of Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. A sharp-witted storyteller, Twist is an electrifying, one-of-a-kind young talent. Jali is a vibrant journey that patiently demonstrates there is light at the end of the tunnel.
THREE SHOWS: 10, 11 and 12 JUNE
FRENCH LINK: The performers are all pretending to be French in this version of Don Juan
Also, Don Juan was co-created by Philippe who studied at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Étampes, France
Don Juan is the boldest and greatest of men, seducing, fighting, and charming his way through life. He does whatever he likes, and to hell with the consequences – when was the last time we approached the art of seduction so boldly?
Revel in the ludicrously sexy tale of the original master of seduction, as a gaggle of “French” performers bring together brilliant physical comedy, twisted pop songs, and explosive wit to create a hilarious and irreverent show, directed by the award-winning Leo Gene Peters.
ONE SHOW ONLY: 17 June
FRENCH LINIK: A Marie Antoinette inspired act called “Let them Eat Cake!”.
Imogen Kelly, Australia’s Queen of Burlesque performs her show stopping, jaw dropping, award winning acts from the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Whether swinging from a chandelier, dancing in feathers in the jungle, or taking you to the moon and back, Kelly is mesmerising. Journey through Kelly’s most fabulous acts, performed together for the first time, including her sumptuous, world-famous “Let them Eat Cake!”.
ONE SHOW ONLY: 19 June
FRENCH LINK: Singing French villain Javert (Les Misérables)
Spend a wicked night with one of Broadway and the West End’s brightest stars, Hayden Tee (Ngāti Kahungunu), in this showstopping musical flirtation with the devil.
With exquisite live accompaniment, Hayden twists and turns, peeling back the layers from some of musical theatre’s most loathsome, from universally renowned villains Miss Trunchbull (Matilda) to Javert (Les Misérables).
Experience an unforgettable musical deep dive into the bad guys of fiction, as Hayden shares his own journey of lifting the colonial cloak of shame and proudly embracing his own Takatāpui identity.
NIGHTLY FROM 15-18 JUNE
FRENCH LINK: The show’s host Mario speaks French fluently and the producer of the show lived in France for 2 years and has a lot of time in Montreal
Cirque Bon Bon fuses mind-bending contortion, aerial artistry, incredible dancers, and death-defying acrobatic feats jam packed into one night of playful wonder. From Broadway to the West End, Las Vegas to Cirque Du Soleil, Cirque Bon Bon is the best of the best – hosted by world renowned comedy emcee: Mario, Queen of the Circus!
THREE SHOWS ONLY 10 & 11 June – ONE ALREADY SOLD OUT
FRENCH LINK: Michaela Burger speaks fluent French and wrote and performed in a successful show about Edith Piaf, Exposing Piaf
Join a stellar cast of Adelaide’s acclaimed cabaret artists, as they celebrate the golden age of rock’n’roll, sexual revolution, and the leaps and bounds of women’s liberation. In a time when men were the producers, promoters, and piano players – women weren’t given a place, so they made one for themselves.
Number 1619 Broadway – the ‘Brill Building’- was the heart of New York’s music scene in the 1960s. It housed some of history’s most prolific female songwriters, including the magnificent Carole King, Cynthia Weil, and Ellie Greenwich. With hits such as ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow?’, ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’, and ‘Leader of the Pack’, their songs gave voice to an entire generation.
KEY INFO FOR ADELAIDE CABARET FESTVAL 2022
WHAT: Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022
WHEN: 10 – 25 June 2022
WHERE: Adelaide Festival Centre venues
HOW: Purchase your tickets via the event links above
HOW MUCH: Prices vary depending on the event.
Which shows are you looking forward to seeing at Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022?
For other events with French links, take a look at our article What’s on in May