While her mid-concert pronouncement, “Old Age. F**k it!” made it crystal clear that she has no imminent retirement plans, Robyn Archer is nevertheless a grand dame of cabaret and the Australian arts scene. After ascending the musical theatre summit with her shows A Star is Tornand A Pack of Womenin London’s West End, and becoming a master of Weimar era repertoire by the likes of Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler, Archer branched out into festival curation to great success. She remains a vital part of our cabaret scene and a stellar example of how to create shows around important themes.

Robyn Archer. Photograph © Claudio Raschella

Archer’s regular cabaret festival collaborators have been musical director Michael Morley and accordionist George Butrumlis. However, in an ironic topsy-turvy development given the show’s preoccupation with these uncertain times, Archer brought in local accordionist Gareth Chin when it appeared that COVID might strand Butrumlis in Melbourne only to have to improvise further when Butrumlis got to Adelaide. Then Morley was struck down with flu. Fortunately, Chin plays the piano and the show...