Come to the cabaret!

Perth International Cabaret Festival performers, clockwise from left; Tom Burlinson - Simply Brill: The Teens who Stole 60s Rock n Roll’s Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger and Michael Griffiths - Caroline O’Connor - Vika and Linda Bull © Brian Purnell of Mushroom Creative House

International and national artists will grace the stage at His Majesty’s Theatre for ten days next month when the Perth International
Cabaret Festival
brings an exciting new program to Perth.

“It’s our fourth year and last year was not quite the festival we planned but now we are back on track. This is our biggest festival yet and our most ambitious,” says artistic director Michael Griffiths, speaking to Have a Go News from Adelaide.

“For the first time, we are truly international and not just by name. We started the festival before the pandemic, not knowing that was to happen so that changed things.

“This year, we have Mark Nadler: Cole Porter After Dark, direct from New York. New York born and bred, Mark is a wonderful old school piano man who I’ve crossed paths with for more than ten years; he is essentially a master of his craft.

“If you have never seen or heard of him, once you do you will instantly become a fan because he is so funny and charming and a brilliant pianist who also manages to tap dance, His talents know no limits.

“Another visiting artist is Christina Bianco who presents Crowd Control. She now lives in London and came to fame from doing YouTube impersonations when she was still in New York.

“She has been to Perth but not for a long time. We have Christina on the opening weekend and Mark on the closing weekend.”

The festival features some of Australia’s finest voices including Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier based on Conway’s book Songs From
the Book of Life
which delves into the women who changed the face of the Australian music industry. Also on this same opening weekend is Australian powerhouse performers and the country’s favourite sisters, Vika and Linda Bull. This paired back show, accompanied only by piano, showcases how truly magnificent their voices are. 

Tom Burlinson has his new show, Still Swingin’, a montage of classics by the great superstars such as Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis jnr, Nat “King” Cole, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

“Of course, Tom is well known for his film The Man From Snowy River but he has also made his name as a jazz singer to great acclaim. He is versatile and charming and so we are delighted to have him,” Michael says.

“The gem, On the Boards, we debuted in 2022 has the audience coming on stage at His Majesty’s which is much bigger than you might imagine.

“The performer performs in the orchestra pit which becomes a raised stage with the auditorium the backdrop. So it’s a mirror image of where you would normally be sitting.

Kristal West: Tribute to Dr Eddie and Dr Bonita Mabo features the granddaughter of these First Nations activists, paying tribute to her late grandparents. She sings in language and in English about her family and culture.

Sisters of Invention from Adelaide – You Ready for This? is a four-member all-girl pop group who are proudly artists with disabilities. They are charming, funny and fierce and have been together for 10 years, singing their own songs and telling their own stories.

Simply Brill: The Teens who Stole 60s Rock n Roll with Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger and Michael Griffiths  is a celebration of teenage songwriters such as Neil Sedaka, Carole King, Ellie Grenwich and Cynthia Weil who were hired to write songs that came out of the Brill Building in New York between 1958 and 1964.

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Josephine Allison started her career in journalism at 18 as a cadet on the Geraldton Guardian newspaper. She realised her ambition to work on a daily newspaper when she later joined The West Australian where she spent almost 34 years covering everything from police courts to parliament, general news, the arts and real estate. After moving on from The West, she worked on several government short-term media contracts and part-time at a newspaper in Midland before joining Have a Go News in 2012. These days she enjoys writing about interesting people from various fields, often unsung heroes who have helped make WA a better place.