Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021 - First Six Shows Announced

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021 - First Six Shows Announced

The first tease of the 2021 Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been revealed, with six shows announced including the world premiere of Alan Cumming’s brand-new show, Alan Cumming Is Not Acting His Age. 

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival Artistic Director’s own show will be an evening of story and song, celebrating and exploring Cumming’s puckish, eclectic spirit and joie de vivre. The one night only performance is set to close the festival at Adelaide Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre on June 26. 

Bringing a touch of New York to Adelaide, audiences can experience Alan Cumming’s famous bar

Club Cumming each weekend of the festival, as it takes its place as the late-night hub in The Famous Spiegeltent. New York’s iconic venue will overflow with hedonistic delights, live performances and raucous Cumming DJ sets until 2am between June 11 – 26. 

The 21st anniversary Adelaide Cabaret Festival Variety Gala will light up the Festival Theatre stage with international award-winning Hans hosting the event. Cabaret lovers can re-emerge dressed in their best, with the red-carpet rolling out on opening night, June 11.

In an Australian premiere, Adelaide Festival Centre will produce and present L'Hôtel, an immersive main event that will run throughout the first two weeks of the festival.  Space Theatre will be transformed into a French hotel brimming with bohemian verve.  Audience members can savour champagne and graze on a French cheese board while becoming voyeurs to entertaining characters in the hotel lobby and behind closed doors. Included in the lineup of cabaret artists, sensual burlesque and circus performers are Brendan Maclean, Bri Emrich and Lexi Strumolo.

Betty Blokk Buster is back and reimagined in a new show inspired by the original 1975 production that reshaped Australian theatre created by entertainment legend Reg Livermore. In this 21st century production Josh Quong Tart (Disney’s The Lion King and television’s All SaintsUnderbelly and Home And Away) takes on the iconic role and invites audiences back into the theatre, introducing Betty’s coterie of reinvented has-beens, battlers, freaks and survivors to a new generation.

Selina Jenkins will present her show BOOBS in Adelaide for the first time. The tale follows one woman and her two boobs through a life changing decision, a million opinions, a natural disaster and an 'Australian first'. 

The first international Artistic Director in Adelaide Cabaret Festival history, Alan Cumming said he was excited to announce the early line-up for 2021: “Every weekend at the festival I will be bringing a version of my New York cabaret bar, Club Cumming, to The Famous Spiegeltent. It will be a bacchanalian celebration dance party with performances, games, and surprises! Anything could happen, and hopefully it will. But the spirit of Club Cumming - all colours, all genders, all sexualities, and kindness, provocation and fun above all - I hope will infuse the entire festival.

“The restrictions COVID-19 has placed on our plans has actually been a positive in terms of my desire for the focus of Adelaide Cabaret Festival ‘21: the spotlight is firmly on Australian cabaret and talent. Like L'Hôtel, the immersive performance experience and Betty Blokk Buster Reimagined, the homage to Reg Livermore’s iconic 1975 creation. Also, Selina Jenkins’ BOOBS pushes the boundaries of what cabaret can be - looking at a devastating life happening with humour and insight.
“I’ll be closing the festival with the premiere of my new show, Alan Cumming is Not Acting His Age, and will be upholding tradition with an opening night variety show with the very best Australian cabaret talent hosted by the glittering whirlwind that is Hans.”

L'Hôtel Director Craig Illot says “Something just feels so right about new work emerging from such a difficult period.  L’Hotel is about the need to connect to something real and meaningful, something that makes us feel alive. It explores that which we present and that which we conceal.”

Adelaide Cabaret Festival gets underway from 11 -26 June 2021. Stay tuned for the festival’s full program launch in March 2021.

Tickets for early release shows on sale November 9 at

Tickets to Club Cumming are only available as part of the first release when purchasing to another performance. Single tickets to Club Cumming will go on sale when the  full program launches in March 2021.

All Adelaide Cabaret Festival events are currently being sold at 50% capacity in non-checkerboard seating (i.e. no empty seats between patrons) in the hopes that all venues will be able to operate at full capacity. However, the festival will continue to adhere to SA Health’s advice which may require tickets to be re-issued closer to the performance dates. Further ticket releases will be announced. Current information available at:

Images: Betty Blokk-Buster Reimagined (Photographer: Linnet); Alan Cumming (Photographer: Christopher Boudewyns); Lexi Strumolo; Selina Jenkins (Photographer: Amy Howard) and Hans - Host - The Variety Gala (Photographer: Mark Lobo).

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