6 shows to see at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2023

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The Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2023 program was recently launched. It has been curated by all of the Artistic Directors from past Adelaide Cabaret Festivals and among it are a few shows with French and francophone links. We’re excited to share those with you.


Paris Combo: A Celebration of the Songs of Belle du Berry

FRENCH LINK: Paris Combo is from France

In an Adelaide only Australian exclusive, iconic French ensemble Paris Combo will perform 3 concerts. They have won over crowds and critics alike with their fun-loving mix of swinging gypsy jazz, cabaret, French pop and world rhythms. For these concerts, Paris Combo will perform as a special 10-piece line-up inviting guest vocalists Carmen Maria Vega, Billie, Aurore Voilqué and Mano Razanajato.

Together, they pay a vibrant tribute to Paris Combo’s late songwriter and charismatic chanteuse, Belle du Berry. This unique celebration will include the songs that have made Paris Combo a favourite on the international scene and selections from their final studio album with Belle, “Quesaco?”.

3 nights only: 9, 10 & 11 June


The Blind Date Project from Bojana Novakovic has been reprogrammed by 2021 Artistic Director Alan Cumming

FRENCH LINK: Bojana Novakovic was in French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Casanova.

Desperate and looking for love, Anna (Bojana Novakovic) sits in a karaoke bar waiting for someone she matched with online. Each night, her date is a different guest performer, unknown to her until the moment they meet on stage. No script. No rehearsal.

No two shows are ever the same. More than just an improv experiment, The Blind Date Project is a real, risky and preposterous exploration of humanity’s deepest craving for human connection.

6 shows only 9,10, 14,15, 16 and 17 June


M’Ap Boulé by Nancy Denis

FRENCH LINK: Haiti was colonised by the French.

Experience the profound solo storytelling performance from interdisciplinary artist, Nancy Denis. Haitian Creole for I’m on fire, M’ap Boulé explores the stories of her Ancestors revolting against their colonisers and setting their country ablaze, overlaid with re-enactments of pivotal moments along her own journey to embracing her Black, queer, Australian and Haitian identities.

With the help of Victoria Falconer (who brought us And then you go: The Vali Myers project last year), Mick Stuart and Kween G, this immersive and insightful work brings together theatre, poetry and song in a way that sets the spirit alight.

2 shows only: 21 & 22 June


Mama Alto in Follies Girl

FRENCH LINK: Inspired by the Folies Bergère

Celebrated jazz singer, acclaimed cabaret artiste and gender transcendent diva, Mama Alto, glitters as Follies Girl in this stage spectacular inspired by the Folies Bergère, the Ziegfeld Follies, and the golden age of MGM movie musicals.

The 2021 Australia Council for the Arts award artist works with the radical potential of storytelling and exerts strength through softness in this stunning hour of vaudeville delights, transporting audiences to a classic era of mid-century glamour reinterpreted with contemporary queer flair.

1 show only: 23 June


Merrick Watt’s An idiot’s guide to wine


Most of us know Merrick Watts, Mez, as a renowned Australian comedian, but you might be surprised to learn he’s also a qualified wine specialist. An Idiot’s Guide to Wine, pairs his penchant for pinot with his gift of the gab.

Join Mez on a journey into the world of wine, where he is the idiot but also strangely the expert. Sample six of his favourite drops, accompanied by an anecdote or two, and settle in for a guaranteed good time.

1 show only: 18 June


Grit to Glitz: The Extraordinary Adventures and Loves of Emily ‘Mickey’ Hahn

FRENCH LINK: Performer Sunitra has lived in France, regularly performs in French and will perform a few French songs in French in this show. The woman about whom the show was written spent some time in Belgian Congo.

In 1924, aged 19 and with a pistol under her seat, Emily ‘Mickey’ Hahn drove 2,400 miles across America in a model T-Ford, dressed as a man.

Whether she was hanging out in the jazz bars of Harlem, living with tribes in the Belgian Congo, hiking across Central Africa or rubbing shoulders with the glitterati in opium dens or Shanghai’s opulent Cathay Hotel — Mickey sure had one extraordinary life. In an evening of original music, Chanteuse Sunitra Martinelli of Mélange à Trois recounts the prolific author’s trailblazing adventures and loves.

1 show only: 21 June – this is a show in development so tickets cannot be pre-purchased



WHAT: Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2023

WHEN: 9-24 June 2023

WHERE: Adelaide Festival Centre

HOW: View the full program here: https://cabaret.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/

HOW MUCH: Prices depend on the event

Which shows are you planning to see at Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2023?


For events with links to France and the francophonie that are happening this month, check out our What’s on in April



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