Cabaret Festival

Barry Humphries announced as new Artistic Director for Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2015


Adelaide Festival Centre’s CEO and Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier announced today that Artistic Director for Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2015 will be Barry Humphries.

Barry Humphries needs no introduction: he is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most loved comedians, satirists, artists, and authors. Best known for writing and playing his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, he is also a respected film producer and script writer, a star of London’s West End musical theatre, an award-winning writer and an accomplished landscape painter.

“Under Kate Ceberano, the Cabaret Festival has moved from strength to strength,” Premier and Arts Minister Jay Weatherill said.

“Kate will be a hard act to follow, but in Barry Humphries we might just have found the right person.
“As one of Australia’s most famous artists, I have no doubt he will use his inimitable style to keep Adelaide’s Cabaret Festival in the international spotlight.”

“Previous Artistic Directors Kate, David, and Julia Holt, have been integral in developing the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. It is an event which attracts audiences from across the nation and is a favourite on the arts calendar for artists and audiences alike,” said Douglas Gautier, Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival Centre.

“Kate Ceberano has done an outstanding job and we are looking forward to what visionary artistic leadership she has in store for her final Festival in 2014. The success of the last two festivals has been due to her creative programming, which has really connected with audiences. As a consummate performer herself, she was often found herself onstage and has great rapport with her audiences. Kate has demonstrated that she has a good handle on what audiences want, and the record breaking attendance figures are testament to this. The Festival achieved a record box office, being 21% higher than the box office achieved in 2012, which in itself was a new record by 12%.” he said.

Douglas explained that appointing Barry Humphries is part of the Festival Centre’s desire to keep building and growing the reputation of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival not only within Australia but internationally.

“Appointing Barry as the Artistic Director for 2015 will be instrumental in furthering the profile of the Festival overseas. Barry is renowned across the globe and we look forward to him putting his stamp on the Festival, which has grown to be the largest and most comprehensive Cabaret Festival in the world.”

Discussions are already underway with Festival Producer Torben Brookman, who met with Humphries recently in London; they have already begun thinking about who he’d like to bring to the event in 2015. Barry has this to say about his appointment,

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Kate for doing such a good job for the Adelaide Cabaret festival. It will be a hard act to follow and in the meantime I look forward to savouring her curatorial talents in the forthcoming festival next year. Some years ago, I was asked confidentially by a famous film director how I would respond to an invitation to curate the Adelaide Festival, and I replied in the affirmative. I heard nothing further until the State Premier and former Arts Minister, the Honourable Michael Rann, was quoted in The Advertiser objecting in strong terms to such a cultural appointment, implying impertinence and pushiness on my part. Mr. Rann and I are now good friends and I am not sorry that I never had the chance to direct the Adelaide Festival, since the Cabaret Festival is closer to my heart and more up my street. Happily, there seem to be no official objections this time to my having a crack at it. My rule as an entertainer has always been a selfish one: to please myself. I find that if I am pleasing myself I am, on the whole, pleasing my public.

My personal tastes are wildly eclectic and I am lucky to travel so much and enjoy the work of such a diversity of popular entertainers. I hope to bring some wonderful performances to Adelaide, the Australian city I have enjoyed since my student days. I already have some ideas and I have spoken to many friends ‘in the business’ who have expressed keen interest in this event. I am thrilled to have this job and I hope I will honour my commitment to the people of Adelaide who have long supported me in my own humble offerings in Grote Street.”

Frank Ford, the founding father of the Festival says “I’m thrilled that Barry Humphries has been appointed as Artistic Director for the 2015. Barry Humphries is Australia’s greatest social satirist and cabaret gets its kick from satire.”

The 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival will open on Friday 5 until 20 June.

Outgoing Festival Director Kate Ceberano had this to say,

“It has been thrilling to be a part of this juggernaut that is “Adelaide Cabaret Festival”! A rare jewel is this festival, celebrating the virtuosity of contemporary cabaret artists.

It’s been the highlight of my career to have been a part of this journey so far, and I can’t wait to go off with a bang for 2014!’

More importantly, I wish Barry the best of luck – I know he has plenty of friends in high places, and I can’t wait to find out what he intends to program,” Ceberano said.

Photo credit: Steve Poole

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