Comedy/ Cabaret/Revue etc


July this year will herald the inaugural Sydney Cabaret Festival, celebrating both international and Australian cabaret stars. Tickets are on sale as from today, 

The 2019 Sydney Cabaret Festival features the legendary Tony Award-winning Jennifer Holliday, appearing for the first time on Australian soil, alongside local legends like Phil Scott and Jonathan Biggins, to New York downtown darling Natalie Joy Johnson.

UK’s most famous duo Frisky and Mannish return after a ten year hiatus, as does the thrilling diva Alison Jiear, described as having a “bring down the house voice” by the New York Times

. Sydney favourite Tim Draxl will appear in a world premiere of his new show, along with Kim David SmithReuben Kaye and Brian Nash, plus circus and variety show Cheeky Cabaret, direct from their home in Brunswick Heads.

Australian pop culture fan Tim Benzie returns to Sydney with the hilarious Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote. The Festival also includes a cabaret for children, Petit Cabaret, and masterclasses with Jennifer Holliday and Alison Jiear, as well as the Grand Final of the restored Sydney Cabaret Competition.

 Festival Artistic Director Trevor Ashley is thrilled with the program he has assembled. “I have loved Cabaret as long as I can remember. As a confused child growing up I discovered this incredible artform that celebrated unique personalities, and more than that, an irreplaceable bond between artist and audience. Seeing artists like Lorrae Desmond, Julie Anthony and Geraldine Turner live, made me believe I could be anyone I wanted to be. It changed my life.

 I have long dreamed that we could bring cabaret home to Sydney so I am immensely proud to present the inaugural Sydney Cabaret Festival, which in its first outing brings together some of my favourite artists from around Australia and the globe. From our headliner, the legendary Jennifer Holliday, through to Alison Jiear, Kim David Smith and Reuben Kaye – three artists at the top of their game, who were born here, but now call London and New York home, there is something for everyone. Variety, comedy, jazz, and more belting than you could poke a stick at, we are coming out with a bang.

 I invite you to celebrate this truly life changing artform, and hope that you’ll join not only artists you know and love, but take a chance on someone you’ve never heard of before. Every single one of these acts is at the top of their game, and I can’t believe we will have them all in one place at the same time.”

 In the immortal words of Fred Ebb: What good is sitting alone in your room? Come to the Cabaret, playing between the 5th and 14th July, 2019.


Australia’s only fire cabaret returns to Sydney after a blazing debut in April 2018, with more spellbinding fire fusion acts featuring the cream of Sydney’s fire performance crop!

Produced and hosted by Melbourne cabaret powerhouse Sophie deLightful, this edition of Babes Ablaze will try to connect with your deepest desires – a truly unique spectacle of talent, creativity and daring feats. Stay tuned for performer announcements featuring burlesque, lollipop pole dancing, Cosplay, cabaret singing and more…

Set your night on fire this April and support one of Marrickville’s most iconic warehouse venues. Please note there is limited parking on weekends.

*** CASH BAR ***

“Hot Seat” VIP: $40 (limited)
Includes priority couch seating, fire cabaret show and fire fairy usher

General Admission presale: $30
Includes fire cabaret show (seating not guaranteed – arrive early to get the best view)
Door price: $35 (subject to availability)

12 April, 9-10:30pm Doors open at 8pm. Red Rattler Theatre 6 Favisham Street, Marrickville Tickets can be purchased via Sticky Tickets

For more about Babes Ablaze Sydney II, visit
Find us on: YouTube | Facebook


This image: Michael Shafar.   Featured image: Ange Lavoipierre

The 15th annual Sydney Comedy Festival has announced its 2019 program.

Across four big weeks from 22nd April to 19th May, the Festival will welcome performers from all corners of the globe including Joe Lycett (UK), David O’Doherty (IRE), Daniel Sloss (SCO), Melanie Bracewell (NZ), Ron Funches (USA), Storm Xu (CHN), Dusty Rich (RSA), Jinx Yeo (SGP), Kanan Gill (IND), Ongals (KOR), Takashi Wakasugi (JPN), Ivan Aristeguieta (VEN) and Gillian English (CAN).

Crowd favourites taking to the Festival stages include Arj Barker (USA), Jay Pharoah (USA), Lauren Pattison (UK), Des Bishop (US/IRE), Paul Foot (UK), Ross Noble (UK), Craig Hill (SCO), Dave Hughes, Akmal, Effie, Felicity Ward, Fiona O’Loughlin, Joel Creasey, Christian Hull, Becky Lucas, Jimeoin, Matt Okine and Tommy Little .

Not just for the big names, this year’s FRESH program features 12 emerging comedians including Michael Shafar, Ibis and Ange Lavoipierre. For the bargain ticket price of $15, festival-goers can see some of the best new voices in the comedy scene.

Marrickville’s Factory Theatre will once again act as the Festival’s hub, bustling with activity each night with performances across multiple stages, special events, food trucks, and plenty of bars.

Special events this year include The Majesty of Tap – a tribute show by rock legends You Am I, late night comedy sets in Late ‘n’ Live, a healthy dose of satire in The Chaser’s War on the Election and Best of the Fest, a surprise line-up of local and international stars each night.

Kicking off the Festival in grand style will be the spectacular Gala events at the Sydney Opera House, Enmore Theatre, Riverside Theatres and The Concourse. With a dazzling line-up of the funniest international and local stars, the Gala is the perfect taste of what’s on offer throughout the Festival.

Tickets for Sydney Comedy Festival program now for sale.


CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY is very theatrically presented.  A theatricality that is informed by the bible-thump of proselyting and the leftover shame of “unholy, impure practices”.   You can hurl the boy out of the Mormons but that eager-to-please-ness is still there in the performance and it takes a bit of a leap of faith to enjoy Steven Fales extraordinary story.

Born into a Mormon family and a junior true believer, as witnessed by his own 7 year old voice singing on the audio track as the show begins,  Fales enters with the smile and false laugh that has been styled by his experiences in rote delivery.  His story takes his audience through his upbringing, his youth mission to Portugal, a seriously in-denial hopeful marriage and a coming out that is far from typical.  All with an honesty and truthful text that gives the audience insights into what, how and why.

It’s an energetic performance from Fales, directed by Jack Hofsiss, who uses the whole stage with a dynamism related to the place in the story.  He also changes clothes occasionally and has well timed moments of stillness and direct address.   Though the show has quite a bit of discussion around sex practices, the humour and humanity is available to the female audience equally with the many men who nod with recognition.  Fales doesn’t spare the detail … no more “Mormon modesty”, nor does he skip over his failings and hopes.  And those of the church, family and those around him are expressed with insight and big hits of pathos as we learn what the church, his family and those around him mean in his life.

He can present it all with a flash and a smile and a very nice low baritone, perfect for show tunes, but the swagger of the performance blusters a bit much and it requires effort from the watcher to get to the emotional content, until the final sequences where Fales does lose the persona and the work reaches out successfully.

CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY is a polished show, bordering on slick, which gives a human and genuine story a place to be at home with its gay family.  It continues at Giant Dwarf until March 9.


Iconic 90s comedy trio GODS COWBOYS are saddling up together for the first time in 23 years for two special fundraising shows at Petersham Bowling Club on 23 February and 2 March.

Born out of an act of God, the holy trinity roamed the comedy plains of Australia from 1992-1996. Slim, the snake oil preacher; Buck, the depraved deacon; and Billy, the free range altar boy, cowboy evangelists who spread their love thy neighbour eat meat doctrine and converted festival and TV audience into believers across the country from roast to roast.

Ronelle Knowles, well-known Sydney a cappella choir director and wife of John Knowles  who plays Billy in GODS COWBOYS, was recently diagnosed with incurable cancer.

This Reunion & Fundraiser aims to provide John, Ronelle and their four young children some financial assistance in the uncertain days ahead.

The evening begins with a set by country roots band Good Tom Wallace. It is hosted by professional comedians Lou Lou Pollard & Marko Mustac. Fringe Festival favourites with a fearless ability to work the room, GODS COWBOYS mix scorching satire with sacrilegious silliness.

Schooled in the ways of TV evangelism and pyramid marketing, conducting  everything from holy communion and exorcisms to faith-healings from their portable pulpit.

GODS COWBOYS RIDE AGAIN! 2 performances only
Saturday 23 February at 7:00pm  &  Saturday 2 March at 7:00pm
Venue:  Petersham Bowling Club – 77 Brighton Street Petersham
Tickets: $25 and $35 plus booking fees.  
Available online and at the door:


Lano & Woodley, Judith Lucy, Tom Gleeson, Archie Roach, Joan as Police Woman and more are coming to The Spiegeltent this April and May. After delighting audiences in 2017 and 2018, The Spiegeltent returns again to the Wollongong Arts Precinct for another month of cabaret, circus, comedy, theatre and family fun from Thursday 11th April to Sunday 5th May, 2019.  

Headlining the Spiegeltent Wollongong season will be the NSW premiere of DELUXE DELUXE , a saucy new show from the award-winning creators of LIMBO that enthralled audiences at The Spiegeltent last year. DELUXE DELUXE is a seductive and side-splittingly funny adults-only night out that features the glitterati of international circus and cabaret talent. Hosted by the formidable and world-famous Scot Nery (Tonight Show, HBO Comedy Festival), the outrageously silly and sexy fun to be had at Deluxe Deluxe makes it a show not to be missed. Continue reading DELUXE DELUXE HEADLINES SPIEGELTENT, WOLLONGONG’S 2019 SEASON


Sydney Opera House is promoting contemporary performance by daring young storytellers that is both bold and entertaining, Its most recent showcases included The Illusionists the Tony award winning In The Heights.  BLANC DE BLANC ENCORE now joins this modern milieu.

This brand news cabaret spectacle from Strut and Fret follows their productions of Blanc De Blanc 2016 and Cantina. 

A blend of Moulin Rouge french glamour, naughty humour, aerials, acrobatics and classic songs make the time spent at this cabaret circus fly by. Continue reading BLANC DE BLANC ENCORE : CIRCUS CABARET EXTRAORDINAIRE


After sell-out shows around the country, the hilarious comedy revue Senior Moments is back by popular demand for a new national tour from February, with the legendary John Wood, Max Gillies, Benita Collings and Geoff Harvey returning with a cast of young and old in this senior theatrical smash-hit.

Return Fire Productions is thrilled to announce this hugely popular comedy sensation will be touring the nation from February, to theatres in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart and Canberra, and regionally to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Newcastle, Wollongong, Caloundra, Port Macquarie and more. Tickets are on sale now!

SENIOR M OMENTS is a comedy revue about old people and the young people they have to deal with, with sketches and songs and performers who are old enough to know better, all making wicked fun of the trials and tribulations of growing old disgracefully.

It’s a seriously silly show for otherwise sensible seniors.

Gold Logie winner and veteran actor John Wood (Blue Heelers, Rafferty’s Rules) joins master satirist Max Gillies (The Gillies Report), Play School icon Benita Collings, Kim Lewis (Sons and Daughters, The Restless Years) and Russell Newman (A Country Practice, Underbelly), with Midday Show Maestro Geoff Harvey on piano.

The show  is a deliciously funny and fresh collection of comic senior moments, scenes and songs, with hilarious sketches and wonderfully witty songs performed by some legendary show business seniors, coming to a theatre near you.

SENIOR MOMENTS is  a seriously funny revue for slightly old people.

Wednesday 20 February, 2pm Thursday 21 February, 2pm Friday 22 February, 11:30am Friday 22 February, 7:30pm Saturday 23 February, 2pm Saturday 23 February, 7:30pm Sunday 24 February, 12:30pm Sunday 24 February, 4:30pm at the Concourse, Chatswood

For more about Senior Moments, visit
Find us on: YouTube | Facebook


Eliza Jackson knew she was going to be a star even before entering her teens. Her show THE VOICE BEHIND THE STARS proves her prediction. This show is the story of Marni Nixon (1930-2016) who was the ‘ghost singer’ behind many leading Hollywood actresses in over 50 movies. Eliza holds the stage in this solo performance with her voice, humour and authentic story-telling.

Eliza focuses on the music and the story by using a simple set on a blackened stage. The set has a microphone and music stand representing the recording studio, an armchair, table, tea set and record player for home and a centre screen projecting images of the range of actresses whose careers Marni Nixon enhanced by giving them her voice.

Marni Nixon, endowed with perfect pitch, began singing professionally in her teens, reinvesting all her earnings in the early years in singing lessons. Whilst she did have some work doing her own recordings and some opera, it is her ‘ghost singing’ for which she is most noted. She has been described as ‘the best film diva you (almost) never saw’.

Many of her contracts forced her to remain silent about her being the real singer behind stars such as Debbie Reynolds and Natalie Wood. We gain insights into the talent and personalities of these and other leading actresses such as Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr and Marilyn Monroe as Eliza interweaves storytelling with songs from My Fair Lady, The King & I and West Side Story to name just a few movies.

It was not until she was well into her twenties that Marni began her fight for and succeeded in getting the rights for all ‘ghost singers’ to be credited in the movie and to receive reasonable payment. Marni eventually did make it onto the big screen in acting and singing roles, including being cast in The Sound of Music as one of the singing nuns. Marni comforted herself with the success of three Oscar-winning films and the success of the leading ladies. She was also proud of the success of her three children: Andrew, an award-winning composer, Melanie and actress and Martha a psychologist.

Eliza Jackson writer, creator and performer of this show is an Australian-born, London-based actress and singer. NIDA trained, she is the Creative Director of UK-based theatrical production company Lambert Jackson.

Whilst Eliza too has been said to have perfect pitch, there are several humorous moments when she plays with various accents, personalities and class exaggerations which allow her to lower her musical guard. The story has enough of these moments and characters for the chronology to never become tedious. It is an absorbing tale. The overall message is bitter-sweet: “I’d let all these actresses dub their body to my voice”. The performance is one to relish.

During a successful sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018, the Edinburgh Guide described Eliza’s performance as ‘magnetic and magical’. THE VOICE BEHIND THE STARS is next playing at the Fringe World Festival in Perth daily from 10th to 13th February, 2019



From his dramatic entry from the rear of the Magic Mirror Spiegeltent to his closing with a singalong version of Whitney Houston’s HOW WILL I KNOW, Le Chateau Chocolat comes up  with a fantastic show. Admittedly, in the singalong he didn’t think the Sydney audience was up to reaching the high notes so he said that he would take it from there. This and similar asides during the concert were performed with charm and humour.

He performs a variety of songs from his musical heroes and links them with stories about his life. Madonna is his number one icon but he also plays loving tributes to various disco artists, David Bowie, Meatloaf, Pavarotti and a few fairly eclectic performers. His interpretations are heartfelt, innovative and make full use of his wide ranging powerful voice.

Le Gateau Chocolat entertains us with his soundtrack from when he completed the London marathon. When the audience laughs at his finishing time he takes them to task, explaining what a herculean task it was and the similarities he now has with Usain Bolt! Continue reading LE GATEAU CHOCOLAT ‘ICONS’ : A FANTASTIC SHOW


A Rude X Pube of a show with, literally, vagina monologues that ticks all the boxes, BETTY GRUMBLE: LOVE & ANGER manages to affront and take aback in its seventy minute stride.

A sex clown aesthete with the stamina, flexibility and physical prowess of an athlete, Betty Grumble is the confronting creation of Emma Maye Gibson.

The springboard of LOVE & ANGER’s scatter gun narrative is Valerie Solanus’ SCUM Manifesto, which she reads and quotes from occasionally.

SCUM Manifesto argues that men have fucked up the world and that it’s up to women to fix it, but Grumble doesn’t call for a Society to Cut Up Men. In fact, there’s a lot more love than anger in LOVE & ANGER, and A – Women to that!

Holder of an honours arse degree with impressive tats, Betty Grumble struts and spreads and splays and splits, making vulgar display of her vulva, a labia of love and anger, a panache for pudenda ventriloquism, pussy lip syncing to Love Hurts and Barry White grooves.

There’s badinage about her body building mum, complete with itsy bitsy non polka dot bikini, a snatch of the scatological, and a raunchy Rorschach with ink blots pressed from her not so private parts.

LOVE & ANGER’ s finale is a foray into floral arrangement with Betty’s body topsy turvy to create a human vase for long stemmed flowers.

Exhibitionist, provocateur, singer, dancer, contortionist, Betty Grumble offers a literally penetrating evening in the theatre.

Love it or be angered by it, LOVE & ANGER is risky, risque and strangely irresistible.

LOVE & ANGER plays at Griffin Stables Theatre, Nimrod Street, Kings Cross, through till Australia Day