arts, culture, What's On

2018 Melbourne Cabaret Festival

The ninth annual Melbourne Cabaret Festival bursts onto the stage with some of the most fabulous and seductive cabaret from across Australia.

Returning to Chapel Off Chapel with an even bigger program, up to 10 performances daily, from Tuesday 19 June to Sunday 1 July 2018.

Featuring 20 brand new cabaret shows, the festival again provides an opportunity to see new works from established and emerging artists before they tour to take on the national and world festival stages.

Queen of Cabaret, Dolly Diamond returns as the festival’s Artistic Director. ‘Well there’s no denying that 2017 was a fabulous year for the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, so the pressures on to make this year’s festival even bigger. We’ve absolutely loved gathering such an eclectic line-up of performers for 2018, See you at The Chapel…’

Program highlights include:
Opening Gala
Some of the best highlights from shows from across the festival in the one extravaganza, hosted by the one and only Dolly Diamond.

God Only Knows: The Brian Wilson Songbook
Brian Wilson is undisputedly one of the greatest composers of all time. Through The Beach Boys he revolutionised the world of contemporary music. Behind the song-writing, Wilson’s life was emotional and complex; the music frequently mirroring life as he knew it. Accompanied by band, cabaret rockstar Drew Downing narrates the life of Wilson through one of the most acclaimed songbooks of any composer.

Sun Rising
This critically acclaimed show pays homage to the early music of Memphis record label, Sun Records. The label was owned by a man named Sam Phillips, who went on to discover Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, BB King and more. Sun Rising tell their amazing stories, beautifully tied together with the incredible music.

David Cosma, acoustic guitar, vocals narration; Damon Smith, piano, vocals, narration; Adrian Whyte, electric guitar, vocals; Trent McKenzie, bass, vocals; Adam Coad, drums, vocals; and Cookie Baker, vocals.

Shaken – A James Bond Cabaret
The Man. The Number. The License. His name is Bond, James Bond.
Join Charlie D. Barkle and Erin Hutchinson as they plunge head first into over 50 years of James Bond iconography. Pitting the seven ‘Bond’ actors against each other in a race to determine, scientifically, which of them is the greatest all-time Bond.

The award winning Shaken is packed with some of the greatest Bond themes, trivia, and anecdotes. Including hits from Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, and Tina Turner.

What Doesn’t Kill You [blah blah] Stronger
A river guide gets swallowed by a hippopotamus…and survives. A British stewardess makes it through three shipwrecks. Winner of the two major awards from this year’s Perth Fringe World Festival this outstanding production reveals several bizarre, extraordinary, but true, tales of survival from all over the world.

Starring Erin Hutchinson, Tyler Jacob Jones and Joshua Haines on piano.

The Songs That Saved Your Life
Features the darkly sensitive rendering of iconic songs from the alternative rock and grunge era of the 1990s, backed by some of Australia’s most celebrated improvisational jazz musicians. It includes seminal tunes from The Smiths, Nirvana, The Violent Femmes, and the filmic soundtracks to David Lynch films.

Jazz Chanteuse Kimba Griffith will explore these iconic in die rock tunes through the lens of jazz, with some of Australia’s most celebrated improvising musicians – Julien Wilson, sax; Niko Schauble, drums; Ryan Griffith, guitar, and Tamara Murphy, bass.

Audience members can get involved by submitting song requests, mix tape lists, or journals entries to

Your chance to win a double pass to the show here. 

Fire Walk With Us: The Music Of Twin Peaks
A live re-imagining of songs and music from both the Twin Peaks TV series soundtrack (1991) and the prequel film Fire Walk With Me (1992). Composed by Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch, this music is a masterclass in minimalist atmospheres, haunting vocals and sinister soundscapes.

This hypnotic performance work is produced and devised by Brisbane-based Electric Moon and brings together a broad range of musicians from the jazz based, to avant-garde noisemakers, to the four diverse vocalists – all bound together by a deep love for Lynch’s most celeb rated work.

When: 19 June to 1 July
Where: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
More information: check their website.