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Adelaide Cabaret Festival cancelled for 2020

Cabaret Festival

The coronavirus crisis has forced the cancellation of this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which was preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary with the final program curated by artistic director Julia Zemiro.

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Presented annually by the Adelaide Festival Centre, the Cabaret Festival would have taken place this year from June 5-20.

The full program reveal was scheduled for next Tuesday, and one of the centrepiece shows of the festival was to be the previously announced touring production SIX The Musical.

The musical’s producers revealed last weekend that all forthcoming seasons of SIX were postponed as a result of the latest government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In announcing the Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s cancellation this morning, Zemiro said: “This year was to be the 20th anniversary of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. In my final year as artistic director I could not have been more thrilled to be at the helm of this celebration. Sadly, it can’t be.

“This is truly one of those moments for me where you realise how you take things for granted: Like putting on a show, inviting people along and raising a glass.”

Zemiro said the festival was now working on ways to take the cabaret platform online.

“Cabaret has always been a way for artists to express political commentary and satire in a way that uplifts audiences and perhaps that’s what we need at this time,” she said. “Watch this space…”

SIX The Musical would have been one of the first performances presented at the rebuilt Her Majesty’s Theatre, which has been closed while undergoing a $66 million upgrade.

Asked how the coronavirus situation will affect the theatre project, the Festival Centre told InDaily that the redevelopment was on schedule.

“We look forward to having the theatre ready for her grand opening as soon as it is safe to do so,” a spokesperson said.

“We are working through the details of this and will share more information soon, while continuing to monitor the developments of COVID-19.”

Other shows that had been programmed for the 2020 Adelaide Cabaret Festival included a four-day French Soiree, French cabaret singer Caroline Nin’s Barbara: La Dame en Noir, American jazz-blues group Davina and The Vagabonds, and a live RocKwiz event celebrating the music of New York.

The Festival Centre said people who had already bought tickets for early-release performances would be notified automatically by BASS and receive a full refund.

Centre CEO and artistic director Douglas Gautier said in a statement that the cabaret team believed audiences would have loved the 2020 program, adding:

“Our thoughts are particularly with artists and those in the creative industries who are most affected.

“We hope this long-loved winter festival will welcome back audiences with open arms, live music and an opportunity to reconnect in person in 2021.”

The Festival Centre announced last Tuesday that it would close to the public and suspend all performances until April 30 due to COVID-19 and the declaration of a public health emergency in SA.

Since then, the coronavirus situation has escalated dramatically, with all other live performance venues forced to close as a result of new government rules and SA arts companies putting their seasons on hold.

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