10 shows with French links at Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022

Reading Time: 7 minutes

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.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022


Louise Blackwell – Love on the Left Bank

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 - Louise Blackwell
Image: Claudio Raschella


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.


Songs my mother taught me

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 Artistic Director Tina Arena
Image: Jai Vasicek



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.


Victoria Falconer – And there you go – The Vali Myers Project

Image: Liz Ham


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.


Meow Meow’s Pandemonium with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 - Meow Meow
Image: Prudence Upton


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.


Oliver Twist – Jali

Image: Tom Gilligan

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. 


A Slightly Isolated Dog – Don Juan

Image: Andi Crown

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.


Imogen Kelly – La Grande Folie

Image: Leslie Liu


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!”.


Hayden Tee – Bad Guy

Image: Kurt Sneddon


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.


Cirque Bon Bon

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 - Cirque Bon Bon
Image: Disclose Media


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!


Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger and Michael Griffiths – Simply Brill – The Women who defined rock n roll

Simply Brill - Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022
Image: Claudio Raschella


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.



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



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Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022

22 must see shows at Adelaide Fringe 2019

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The Adelaide Fringe starts today, Friday 15 February and runs through to Sunday 17 March. It also marks the debut of the Mad March period in Adelaide.

With more than 1300 shows on at the Adelaide Fringe in 2019, it can be difficult to know what shows to see. We’ve done the work for you and have selected 22 shows with a French or francophone theme. Happy Adelaide Fringe festival!


A Night in Paris 

Louise Blackwell, an Australian singer who has lived in France, will sing French songs and explain their meaning. She will transport you to a French salon where she and her band play. This show will be performed in different places on different dates during the Adelaide Fringe, including in a church!

Photo: Cat McKenzie

Louise Blackwell & The French Set 

Another show from the same singer and band, this will take place at the Gilbert Street Hotel for the jazz club that they have established for the Adelaide Fringe. Having lived in Paris and sung in jazz bars, Louise Blackwell knows jazz and French music well. With Mark Ferguson on the piano, Julian Ferraretto on the violin and John Aue on the double basse, Louise Blackwell and the French Set will perform the big jazz hits as well as French songs inspired by the period.


Johnny en Rose – songs of the little Sparrow

Johnny has liked the Edith Piaf’s music from a young age. In Johnny en Rose, he sings Piaf songs as well as telling the audience stories about his life. You can read out interview with Johnny here.



Under the Paris Sky Dinner Show

In this show, Georgia and Louise will take you to a Parisian night out. Georgia will sing well-known French songs (such as Piaf) but also lesser known ones (such as those by Zaz). Louise will make you laugh a lot in her role as the useless French maid. What’s more the ticket price includes your dinner or lunch!


Cirque Alfonse: Barbu

We interviewed Antoine Carabinier Lépine from Cirque Alfonse when their show Tabarnak made its Australian debut last year. In Barbu, bearded men will perform amazing circus feats. Perhaps you have seen them dressed only in their underwear rollerblading the streets of Adelaide during previous Adelaide Fringe festivals.


Cirque Alfonse: TABARNAK

We interviewed Antoine Carabinier Lépine from Cirque Alfonse when their show Tabarnak made its Australian debut last year. It’s a show which is quite different to Barbu – for a start they are wearing more clothes, but it takes place in a church and they also sing.

Image: Arts Projects Australia


So French So Naughty

The team from Sips & Giggles is putting on two shows at the Adelaide Fringe. Wednesdays you can learn French swear words because we all get great relief when we swear but it’s not always appropriate… but if you do it in another language maybe people won’t even know! Saturdays are all about flirtation where you will learn the art of flirting à la française and in French. You can read our interview with Arnaud, who will be your “teacher” here.

Scaled french fringe


Monsieur Bunbury: A Tale of Two men in earnest 

The Adelaide University French Club puts on a play in French each year. Last year, they put on an Oscar Wilde play, also all in French. They had such a great time that they decided to put a show on at this year’s Adelaide Fringe. In this abridged version, the Oscar Wilde classic will be performed in both French and English. Go and support student theatre in Adelaide this Adelaide Fringe. Read our interview with the show’s director here.

Old Stock: A Refugee Love story 

We spoke to you about the show which made its Australian debut at Sydney festival last month. Ben Caplan plays in this show which tells the story of playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s great-grandparents They were Jewish refugees searching a new life in Canada. This is theatre with a difference and where music plays an important role.

Photo: Stoo Metz Photography


The Wine Science Show

Luke is a wine expert, comedian and science student. In this show, he will use all of these talents to present the history of wine as well as answering the questions we’ve all wondered about. For example, why do we get hangovers? In this show which will take place at the National Wine Centre you can drink wine while learning about why it has the effects that it has. You can read our interview with Luke here.



Pierre Ulric, a Québécois who has been living in Australia for about 20 years, is an internationally recognised magician and illusionist. At the Adelaide Fringe, he is performing his show “Enchantments”. This show is for all ages so you can also make it a family event. He promises a fantastical montage of magic and fantasy and illusion. You will learn some spells, make some potions, levitate some objects, manipulate time and explore new dimensions. Anything can happen with “Enchantments”.


Another night at the musicals 

Born in Niger, Le Gâteau Chocolat is a regular at the Adelaide Fringe. He has just finished performing another of his shows, Icons, at Sydney Festival, which was well received. You can read our review of Icons here. In Another night at the musicals, Le Gâteau Chocolat together with Olivier put on a party which is described as a melting pot of musical theatre karaoke, of vaudeville, of variety show, of sing-alongs and of crazy costume changes. Go along to see this show from the Ebony and Ivory of drag.


2100: a Space Novelty

The team from Cut Mustard Theatre are graduates of the Ecole Jacques Lecoq. The company has bases in Bristol, in France, in Norway, in Australia and also in South Korea. Through physical theatre, mime and clowning they create multilingual shows.

In this piece, it’s the year 2100. You have an unlucky human, an unbeatable heroine and a Dark Lord determined to have universal domination. This is an homage to all space adventures.



Britt Plummer is South Australian and founded FRANK. Theatre in 2018. She is a graduate of both the Adelaide College of the Arts and the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in France. She specialises in bouffon, clown and vaudeville styles of performing.

This show is a charming coalescence of satire, physical comedy and storytelling. It explores the dynamics of gender, stereotypes and social pressure.


Canapés and Cocktails 

Jeromaia is a graduate of the Improv Theatre Sydney and in clowning from the Ecole Philippe Gaulier. He has also graduated in improvisation from the iO in Chicago.

In his first solo show, Jeromaia Detto is a clown, improviser, educator and waiter.  He will present a dégustation of delicious disguises. Bon appétit!


Don’t Do it, Don’t Do it, Do it! 

Nelly is British Canadian but lived in Québec in her 20s. She has studied clowning in the Gaulier and Pochinko schools.

In this show, she plays Zuma Puma. Don’t Do It, Don’t Do It, Do it! is a clown odyssey of sexual catastrophe, an exploration of the different lenses of womanhood and our relationship to our inner voice, which she refers to as her inner monster. Nelly wanted to create a show which is pertinent to the women of today.



This is a show by a theatre troupe called The Latebloomers. They are based in Bristol in the United Kingdom. The three actors are graduates of the Jacques Lecoq international theatre school in Paris.

They’ve already performed their show Scotland at the Paris Fringe and this is their debut in Adelaide. In it you can expect physical theatre: rhythm, body percussion, singing, stomping, clowning and the spirit of Scotland!


Ruby Slipper Chronicles 

Aurélie Roque is French via her father. In this show inspired by the Wizard of Oz, she plays a Kansas girl who will tell you the true story of her strange voyage since she was transported to the land of AUS as well as her strange realisation that her life follows an all too familiar path along the Yellow Brick Road.

You will be guided by evocative and hilarious tales, transformed into songs of all styles. Slippers are stolen, wizards debunked, witches squished and loyal companions found. After all, this is the story of life in a pair of stolen shoes.

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Acclaimed internationally, #nofilter was invited to perform for a month at the festival d’Avignon in France when it was staged at the Adelaide Fringe.

This show presents a multimedia experience. It is choreographed by Dannielle Candida to reflect the stories and emotions of the cast who express their experiences of survival, struggle and loss. It is also accompanied by live music. #nofilter aims to normalise the conversation around mental health.


Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert

Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel are two French music icons. They sung of romance, heartbreak, hope and love. They lived lives full of dramas and passion.

Melanie Gall, the internationally recognised singer, will make you relive the adventure and inspiration of their lives and their music. Expect to hear “Amsterdam”, “Milord”, “La Vie en Rose” and others among the great French classics.

Scaled piafbrelposternew2


Intoxicated Man: Presenting the songs of Serge Gainsbourg

Mick Harvey is an iconic musician and co-founder and guitarist in a number of groups: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party and The Boys Next Door. He is also a producer ad member of PJ Harvey’s band.

In this show, Mick Harvey celebrates the life and works of legendary French singer-songwriter,  Serge Gainsbourg. He will sing songs from his 4 albums of translated Serge Gainsbourg songs.

Mick Harvey will be joined on stage by J.P. Shilo, Dan Luscombe, Glenn Lewis, Hugo Cran, a string section and other special guests.

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See! There really are shows for everybody at the Adelaide Fringe in 2019! What sorts of shows do you like? What shows are you going to see at the Adelaide Fringe this year?