Your new Artistic Director

Star of ‘Keating the Musical’ and seasoned cabaret performer, Mike McLeish is the new Artistic Director of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

Mike says: “I couldn't be more excited to be stepping in to the role of Artistic Director for the Melbourne Cabaret Festival. I am genuinely thrilled and immensely proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the continued growth of what has quickly become a welcome fixture on our fair city's overflowing festival calendar.”

“The amount that David Read and Neville Sice have contributed to cabaret in this city (and this country!) is inestimable. The chance to work with them to take this festival to new and greater heights gives me the best kind of goosebumps.”

“Plus, as has always been the case, the calibre and sheer depth of talent on offer in Melbourne is astounding, and to be in a position that allows me to help unleash that talent onto audiences fills me with a feverish delight.”

Outgoing AD David Read, who founded the festival with Neville Sice six years ago, has overseen a quadrupling of the festival’s size. He will stay on as a director of the not-for-profit Melbourne Cabaret Limited.

David says: “It’s been an absolute privilege working with performers, producers and the festival team to deliver a festival which consistently punches above its weight. While I'll continue to help the festival develop, I'm also looking forward to the growing opportunities in my publicity business Hot Ticket PR.”

Submissions now open!

Submissions are now open to perform in one of Melbourne’s key winter arts events. Over the past six years, the Melbourne Cabaret Festival has grown to become an iconic Melbourne event much loved by audiences and performers. Join us in 2016, from Wednesday 15 to Sunday 26 June.

Submissions close at the end of January however we encourage you to submit now so we can begin conversations with you and Festival venues.

What we’re looking for:

  • We love a well written and crafted show that has high entertainment value and is thought provoking.
  • Originality floats our boat, as does strong concepts that we can market.
  • New shows: festivals are a terrific medium to introduce premieres!
  • We love shows that break down stereotypes of what often pops in people’s minds when you say ‘cabaret’.
  • We present a highly diverse program to cater for different tastes – for example we always pick at least one funny cabaret show, one show that appeals to a gay audience, a second language show, a jazz based cabaret show etc.

We really like shows that provide us with sufficient material to enable us to promote you. Things like:

  • multiple high res images that catch the eye and that print and online media will love;
  • a brief professional video promotion that keeps a viewer watching till the end;
  • evocative descriptions of your show; and
  • shows/performers that are highly engaged on social media channels.