Adelaide Festival Centre and Adelaide Cabaret Festival promise a bumper year for culture in SA.

South Australian culture vultures have a lot to be excited about in 2015 with a smorgasbord of cabaret, music, theatre and dance to choose from. Adelaide is shaping up to be one of the most exciting cultural destinations in Australia next year with some bold, world-class programming announced at Adelaide’s Festival Centre as well as for the Adelaide Festival, and Adelaide Cabaret Festival who last year named their new Artistic Director as one of Australia’s most internationally successful entertainment exports, Barry Humphries.  

Excitement is growing ahead of the full program announcement for Humphries’ inaugural year directing the Cabaret Festival, which runs from the 5 – 20 June at the Festival Centre. Five of next year’s shows have already been revealed however, and the calibre of performer Humphries has assembled is a good indication that 2015 is likely to be one of the festival’s most successful outings.

Performances by two Grammy award-winners, Lisa Fischer and Karrin Allyson; celebrated pianist Anna Goldsworthy’s self-penned memoire Piano Lesson; and the world premiere of Peter and Jack, a new collaboration by singer Peter Dawson and songwriter Jack O’Hagan, are among the glittering line-up next year. There will also be a Variety Gala (expect to see at least one of Humphries’ iconic stage incarnations treading the boards for this) and an evening presented by rebellious chanteause Belle de Berry, joined by Paris Combo, performing an exciting showcase of their unique blend of jazz, French pop, gypsy folk and middle eastern rhythm.

Humphries, who can easily be considered as perhaps the finest cabaret entertainer ever produced by Australia, is an inspired choice as Artistic Director for the Cabaret Festival. “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,” says Humpheries. “I hope to bring some wonderful performances to Adelaide.”

In addition to the treasures offered up by the Cabaret Festival, the Adelaide Festival Centre’s 2015 programme is bursting at the seams with some very impressive numbers: 211 performances featuring over 845 artists. Of those, 137 are visiting from overseas, including performers from the UK, France, New Zealand, Argentina, Germany Russia and Scotland. Of the 708 Australian artists featured, 458 of them are South Australians, so while local audiences will be able to enjoy some of the best international and nationally touring productions, nurturing talent from closer to home is clearly a major priority in 2015. 

While the season features some box-office magnets such as Thriller Live! the Michael Jackson musical on tour from London’s West End, and blockbusting magic show Illusionists 1903, there is plenty on offer for more refined cultural pallets.

Niki Vasilikis’ popular Cocktail Concerts series returns, presenting classical favourites in a relaxed lounge setting. Morgans International Piano Series will bring world-class musicians such as Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Ingrid Fliter to the Festival Centre’s platform. The Aria-nominated Acacia Quartet will perform acclaimed composer Lyle Chan’s moving new piece An AIDS Activist’s Memoir in Music, which has been touring the country in recent months to great acclaim.

The stand-out highlight of 2015’s classical music offering from the Festival Centre has to be Musica Viva’s 70th birthday celebration featuring violin superstar Maxim Vengerov, undoubtabley one of the world’s most exciting performers.

Maxim Vengerov

Theatre lovers are also spoilt for choice next year with highlights including a one-night-only performance by original Monty Python member Michael Palin; the Adelaide premiere of Black Diggers, presented by Queensland Theatre which tells the moving and often overlooked story of Aboriginal soldiers in World War 1; and the world premiere of The Importance of Being Miriam, and exploration of beloved characters of literature and theatre as told by one of the world’s most celebrated character actresses, Miriam Margoyles.

Also, for the first time Adelaide will host the National Play Festival – a major endorsement of the city’s important cultural position in Australia. Produced by Playwriting Australia, the festival is a melting pot of imaginative, innovative and thought provoking new Australian theatre, hosted at the Festival Centre from 22 – 25 July.

Dance fans have some real treats in store for them next year as both the Festival Centre and Adelaide Festival will be presenting some extremely in-demand companies and choreographers. The back bone of the Festival Centre’s dance offering features Sydney Dance Company performing works by perennial Australian favourite Rafael Bonacela and enfant terrible of the European dance scene Alexander Ekman, Australian Dance Theatre’s 50th anniversary Gala and Australian Ballet’s beautiful staging of Giselle.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

The Adelaide Festival has international dance covered, with performances by (in my humble opinion) one of the most astonishingly talented dance companies in the world: New York’s Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. This relatively young company (founded in 2003) have quickly established an international reputation for having some of the most talented movers in America and their catalogue of original works by the world’s greatest dance makers reads like a who’s who of choreographic royalty. They will be presenting two programs featuring specially commissioned works by Hofesh Shechter, Crystal Pite and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. If you see one thing in Adelaide next year (and there is a staggering amount to choose from), make it Cedar Lake.

For full details of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s 2015 program, please visit their website.

For full details of the Adelaide Festival’s 2015 program, please visit their website.

For full details of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s 2015 program, please visit their website.

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