Julia Zemiro has revealed the program for her first Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which embraces a broad range of repertoire from quintessential cabaret star Ute Lemper to a show by the RocKwiz team saluting the rock musical, with every shade of cabaret grey in between. The program features more than 380 artists from Australia and overseas in 245 performances over 16 days and nights. Showcasing classic and contemporary cabaret, the program features 17 Adelaide exclusives, 17 Adelaide premieres and seven national premieres.

Julia Zemiro. Photograph © Diana Melfi

Speaking to Limelight, Zemiro says that as soon as she got the job as Artistic Director, she asked everyone she met what they thought when they heard the word ‘cabaret’. “Sometimes for a younger audience it would be something tired and dusty which made me think ‘oh, that’s not how I see it’. Or it would be fishnets and a boa and you go ‘yes, that’s part of it’, but for me if you break the fourth wall, you address the audience, and you’re telling a story – that for me is cabaret,” she says.

“So we’ve got a performer in the festival called Omar Musa, who...