Country Cabaret: a fun farm film to see at AFFFF 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Country Cabaret continues the trend of films based on true stories at this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival (AFFFF). Silver Rockers, Notre Dame on fire, and Sugar and Stars are a few others. It is also in a similar vein to other French films about people trying to save their businesses in unconventional ways, which have been shown at the AFFFF in previous years, such as Roxane and Normandy Nude.

Country Cabaret

David (Alban Ivanov, The Extraordinary, AF FFF 2022) is down on his luck, about to lose the family farm, and drowns his sorrows at the local pub. He then stumbles into a cabaret bar, is mesmerised by the aerialist Bonnie (Sabrina Ouazani, On the Other Side of the Tracks, AF FFF 2014) performing, and is struck with an idea of how to save the farm: mount the first farm cabaret in France. What ensues is an amusing quest to find talent and to set up this ambitious project. And that’s not even the hard part! Convincing his family, especially grandpa (played by Guy Marchand), that this isn’t another hare-brained scheme is no easy task.


Country Cabaret is classic French comedy with a great story and a fantastic cast. Country Cabaret is the latest film from director Jean-Pierre Améris, who also directed Romantics Anonymous, which was a hit at AFFFF many years ago.  He explained that he wanted a varied cast for his film: “I wanted a composite cast – people with different backgrounds, different bodies, actors from different walks of life.” That’s much like the troupe they put together for the country cabaret.


Sabrina Ouazani is convincing in her role as the city dancer who doesn’t want to have anything to do with country life, yet together with David sets up the cabaret. Alban Ivanov was also authentic in his role of the farmer. He explained that to prepare for the role, he spent a lot of time with the owners of the farm on which they filmed, saying: “When I play a character, I don’t try to imitate: in “Country Cabaret”, I didn’t try to become a farmer, I was one.”


Michèle Bernier plays Mireille, David’s sceptical but tolerant Mum who ends up housing and feeding the cabaret troupe. You may know her from the French series The Intern (La Stagiare). Mousa Maaskri plays Houari, the family’s long-serving employee. Bérengère Krief plays Laetitia, David’s ex, and the town’s hairdresser who despite being his ex is omnipresent at the farm.


Gabor, the hypnotist (Alain Rimoux, who you may recognise as Samuel Kerr from the very first episode of Call My Agent) was an intriguing character as you wondered whether he could really do what he claimed to. Ariana Rivoire plays a magician who is deaf, which is second time the director has cast her in the role of a person who is deaf (his film Marie Heurtin). We felt a little bad laughing at the situations caused by her deafness, particularly in today’s period of political correctness.


Overall, Country Cabaret is a very enjoyable, heart-warming film following this unlikely troupe mounting a cabaret in the most unlikely of places. There are lots of laughs and it’s a film well worth seeing at this year’s AFFFF.



Matilda Marseillaise viewed this film via a screener.


To find out when Country Cabaret is screening in your city, click on this link:



WHAT: Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 (AFFFF 2023) – the 34th edition of the largest celebration of French film outside of France!


Sydney, NSW: 7th March to 5th April – Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Norton St, Chauvel Cinema, Hayden Orpheum Cremorne

Melbourne, VIC: 8th March to 5th April – Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, The Astor Theatre, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema

Perth, WA: 8th March to 5th April – Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema, Palace Raine Square, Camelot Outdoor Cinema

Canberra, ACT: 9th March to 5th April – Palace Electric Cinema

Hobart, TAS: 9th to 19th March – State Cinema

Brisbane, QLD: 15th March to 12th April – Palace James Street, Palace Barracks

Byron Bay, NSW: 16th March to 5th April – Palace Byron Bay

Adelaide, SA: 23rd March to 19th April – Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas

Port Pirie, Renmark, Whyalla, Mount Gambier: 24th March to 26th March – Northern Festival, Chaffey Theatre, Middleback Arts Centre, Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre

Gold Coast, QLD: 29th March to 16th April – Dendy Southport

Parramatta, NSW: 29th March to 2nd April – Riverside Theatre Parramatta

Victor Harbour, SA: 3rd and 10th April – Victa Cinema

Bendigo, VIC: 21st to 23rd April – Star Cinema

HOW: The full program of 41 films can be viewed at the official Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 website via this link:

HOW MUCH: Ticket prices vary between cities and there are also discounted festival passes available if you want to see several films. (NB You will need to pick the films and sessions when purchasing the pass)


See below for more AFFFF content

Our picks from the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 program

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 first 15 films announced

Sugar and Stars: an inspiring tale about the road to sweet success

Silver Rockers: a film inspired by the story of rocker retirees from Normandy

Final Cut: a comedic zombie film that’s even for people who don’t like horror or gore

Which films won at the César 2023 and where you can watch them



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A Night to Baguette: not one you’ll soon forget

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A Night to Baguette made its Australian debut at Adelaide Fringe last week and we saw it on its final presentation on 15 March 2023.

The show was described as an absurdist tragi-comedy by Louise McCabe in our interview with her. A Night to Baguette takes place in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1941 and revolves around Lulu Ledoux, a fictional character developed and played by Louise McCabe. She introduces herself as both the victim and the investigator of her own death. She dies before she is able to perform The Greatest French Song Ever Written. She tells us that there are 3 suspects, the killer will be revealed, and that the show will include real and imagined French chanson.


In fact, there are songs in both French and English. Songs are interspersed throughout the story being told by Lulu. The show opens with the familiar tune of non, je ne regrette rien on piano.


The band wear berets and Lulu speaks with a strong faux French accent. The violinist Ingrid Homburg also plays the role of one of the suspects, Lulu’s rich landlady. The drummer, Dylan Warren, announces the various scenes of the story while holding large cards with the same words on them. The pianist Deborah Brennan performed beautifully.


The other cast members are Denise Boyland as another cabaret singer and Lulu’s rival, and Jimmy Vine who plays Lulu’s lover, Gerard. Both perform their roles convincingly and at times amusingly.


A Night to Baguette has a simple set – the band on one side of the stage on piano, drums and violin, plus two microphones on stands. On the other side of the stage there is a table, two chairs, a black handbag, a baguette, and a perfume bottle.


The absurdist element, which is quite French in itself, is seen with a wonderful baguette fighting scene and the exaggerated, amusing competition between Lulu and the other singer.


The story is so engaging and full of twists and turns that we almost forgot The Greatest French Song Ever Written. You’re sure to be surprised, as we were, when you discover what that song is.


A night to Baguette reveals Louise McCabe as a skilled singer in both English and in French. Her 20 years of cabaret experience and training is evident. The way in which she has developed the characters of Lulu, the landlady, the rival cabaret singer and Gerard her lover, and written the story around her death, and the investigation of it, is brilliant.


Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Adelaide Fringe.

The Adelaide Fringe season of A Night to Baguette has concluded. If it tours your city, we strongly recommend you go to see it. To keep updated on this and other shows by Guilty Pleasures Shows, check out their website.


For more Adelaide Fringe content, check out the below articles:

Adelaide Fringe 2023: 23 shows with French and francophone links to see

Love on the Left Bank is a show of French chanson like no other

Bourgeois & Maurice: Pleasure Seekers is satirical fun at Adelaide Fringe

Bourgeois & Maurice: an extra-terrestrial sibling duo comes to Adelaide Fringe 2023

A Night at the Musicals 3: Summer Lovin’ Tour with Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo is a must-see this Adelaide Fringe

Les Commandos Percu Silence! is a must-see show this Adelaide Fringe – last chance tonight

Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil) based on the poetry of Baudelaire is a new dance show coming to Adelaide Fringe

Les Commandos Percus bring their show Silence! to Adelaide Fringe 2023

The Party, the new show from Strut & Fret, is no Blanc de Blanc


For other events with French and Francophone links happening in Australia this month, check out our What’s on in March article.



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