Ad Cab Fest has found a new Artistic Director for 2015

After her three year tenure at the helm of one of the the world’s biggest cabaret events – The Adelaide Cabaret Festival – Kate Ceberano will step aside for new Artistic Director Barry Humphries in 2015.

Barry Humphries. Image by Greg Gorman
Barry Humphries. Image by Greg Gorman

Adelaide Festival Centre’s CEO and Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier confirmed the news today, explaining that appointing Humphries is part of the Festival Centre’s desire to continue the growth of the Festival not only within Australia but internationally.

Programming for 2015 has already begun with Festival Producer Torben Brookman and Humphries meeting in in London recently to discuss headlining acts for the event in 2015.

“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,” Gautier said.

Barry Humphries really 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. Humphries praised the work of outgoing director Kate Ceberano, saying:

“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.”

“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.”

It is well documented that Kate Ceberano’s Cabaret Festival has grown the brand quite significantly, with the 2013 Festival breaking box office records at 21% higher than 2012 (which in itself was 12% higher than any previous festival). Securing headline acts like Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel along with Molly Ringwald and Martha Wainwright are a testament to her creative programming and her position within the international arts industry. She herself has coined the experience “the highlight of my career to have been a part of this journey so far” and wished Humphries well for 2015.

“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.  

So, possums, do we think Dame Edna might make an appearance on the Adelaide Cabaret Festival stage? We at AussieTheatre can’t wait to find out!


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


Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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