Opening Gala
6:30pm, Tue 19 June

Experience highlights of multiple shows from across the festival in the one extravaganza, hosted by the one and only Dolly Diamond.

Katya: The Minx From Minsk
6:30pm, Wed 20 and Thu 21 June

Katya is dark, sexy and powerful at her core, even if she doesn’t know it yet. With Melbourne soul-songstress Jessica Papst and a killer band.

Kabaret Dietrich
8:30pm, Wed 20 and Thu 21 June

Nikki Nouveau performs a delicious theatrical affair unveiling the alluring enigma of Marlene Dietrich through song and story.

Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice
6:30pm, Fri 22 to Sun 24 June

Danielle O’Malley is following her 2017 sell-out seasons of ‘You’re My World – The Cilla Black Story’, with a sexy, sassy tribute to another icon of 60s pop.

God Only Knows: The Songs of Brian Wilson
8:30pm, Fri 22 to Sun 24 June

Accompanied by band, cabaret rockstar Drew Downing narrates the life of Wilson through one of the most acclaimed songbooks of any composer.

Sun Rising
4:30pm, Sat 23 and Sun 24 June

Sun Rising – The Songs That Made Memphis consists of music and narrative that pays homage to the early music of Memphis record label, Sun Records.

We've Only Just Begun – The Music of the Carpenters
6:00pm, Wed 20 to Sun 24 June

The Carpenters are a beacon of hope for one little Italian girl (Angela Lumicisi) growing up in the confines of her traditional life in Melbourne.

Shaken – A James Bond Cabaret
7:30pm, Wed 20 to Sat 23 June

Charlie D. Barkle and Erin Hutchinson pit the seven ‘Bond’ actors against each other in a race to determine, scientifically, which of them is the greatest all-time Bond.

What Doesn't Kill You [blah blah] Stronger
9:00pm, Fri 22 and Sat 23 June

Winner of the two major awards from Perth Fringe World 2018, this outstanding production reveals several bizarre, extraordinary, but true, tales of survival.

Monash Uni - Cabaret Showcase
12:30pm & 2:30pm, Sat 23 & Sun 24 Jun

We present the next generation of cabaret stars thanks to Monash Uni’s School of Music Cabaret.

Ovariacting: A Period Drama
4:30pm, Sat 23 and Sun 24 June

Inspired by her uterus, Laganja, the love child of Joffrey and Donald Trump, Jamie Boiskin explores the monthly nightmare of losing your favourite underwear.

Late Night Jazz Cabaret
7:30pm, Sun 24 June

Presenting a vaudeville style line up of artists from Melbourne’s thriving variety circuit, in an irreverent and skilfully beautiful performance of rat pack to Ella Fitzgerald.

The Songs That Saved Your Life
6:30pm, Tue 26 and Wed 27 June

Join Jazz Chanteuse Kimba Griffith and her darkly sensitive rendering of iconic songs from the grunge era of the 1990s, backed by celebrated improvisational jazz musicians.

Fire Walk With Us: The Music Of Twin Peaks
8:30pm, Tue 26 and Wed 27 June

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).

Practically Perfect – The Music of Julie Andrews
6:30pm, Thu 28 to Sat 30 June

This glorious stage production celebrates the life and music of the legendary Dame Julie Andrews.

Someone's Daughter
8:30pm, Thu 28 to Sat 30 June

Someone's Daughter is Alyce Platt's exploration of the disquieting and electrifying side of one woman's shadow, her upside down. A curious journey through the imaginings of this funny little world.

He's Every Woman
6:00pm, Tue 26 to Sat 30 June

Justin Clausen's powerhouse vocals take on some of the best songs made famous by some of our favourite ladies, with Jamie Burgess at the piano.

Comma Sutra
7:30pm, Tue 26 to Sat 30 June

From sign language gone wrong to Germany's penchant for weird and wonderful words, join language-loving Lou as she figures out why she's so smitten with the written.

Peter Allen – Live in Inverted Commas
9:00pm, Fri 29 and Sat 30 June

Join Matthew Hadgraft as he takes the fabulous journey from rural NSW to the top of the world and back, with all the sites, the songs, and all the feels along the way.

Max Riebl – Hard to Handel
12:30pm, Sat 30 June and Sun 1 July

A performance combining virtuosic hits by the greatest composer of the baroque era with songs from the golden era of pop.

Baby Bi Bi Bi
4:30pm, Sat 30 June and Sun 1 July

A wickedly funny, often filthy cabaret about being a bisexual woman.

Mike McLeish sits down with Emma Dean

When we at MCF found out that Emma Dean would be gracing our fair shores as one of the vocalists performing in The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, we instantly hoped we could convince her to find the time to do a show of her own, showcasing her stunning, ethereal vocals and her beautifully crafted original songs. It worked!

For my money, Emma is right up there with your Kate Miller-Heidkes and your Sarah Blaskos and your Katie Noonans. Emma's performing a one-off show with her brother Tony accompanying her. He's not too shabby in the talent stakes either.

Mike: I'll kick off with a really boring, clichéd question that has made songwriters roll their eyes for generations: what comes first for you, words or music?

Emma: Words and music have always come at the same time for me! Of course, sometimes my first draft lyrics are totally crap and I have to go back and edit them, but generally it all splats onto the page at once. When things are really flowing, I feel like I go into a trace-like state and I often can't remember the process at all!


Mike: How do you think being a creator of original material informs the way you interpret and perform other artists' work?

Emma: I think being a songwriter means you often hear things through your own musical filter. Sometimes it gets a bit annoying, but it can be of great assistance when trying to interpret other people's songs. Over the years I have developed a better understanding of the harmonic colours and textures I like to create with. I also think your interpretation can have a lot to do with the current backdrop of your life; how you hear the lyrics may change depending on your own story.


Mike: I mentioned Kate Miller-Heidke and Katie Noonan while I was blowing some well-justified smoke up your arse in the intro. You've performed with the former and supported the latter, both of whom have carved out such distinctive and diverse careers, whilst simultaneously staying very true to themselves artistically (at least from this punter's point of view). And they – like you – are quite prolific collaborators. Do you actively seek out collaborators, or do you find yourself crossing paths with the right people at the right time?

Emma: Kate and Katie are phenomenal artists and I absolutely love that they have chosen to follow their heART and creative calling, venturing down a less mainstream road which has resulted in them both creating some truly ground-breaking art. I can't speak for them, but I know I get bored pretty easily. It's one of my downfalls because it means I am always looking for new and exciting creative options to explore. Maybe I'd be more 'successful' if I stuck to one thing, but I have always been hungry to try and feel new things. I have been very lucky that sweet synchronicity has brought me together with many of my fellow collaborators, although if I really admire someone's work, I will definitely reach out to them!


Mike: It's been a while since you last performed in Melbourne. Why do you hate us?

Emma: Ha ha! I couldn't hate you if I tried. I have been to Melbourne twice since returning from New York but the last time was in early 2015! Then I went back to the US to tour for a couple of months and things got exceedingly busy. Let me just say how pleased I am to be back in Melbourne. It is always a pleasure to be inside you.


Mike: Your show is called Emma Dean In Concert, which leaves a tantalizing amount to the imagination of what treasures you might lay out before us. I can't bloody wait! The broad question is, what do you wish for your audience?

Emma: At the moment, I am trying to live without having too many expectations. I don't have much control over what my audience feels or how I am received, especially considering our gigs explore such a wide range of human emotion. Perhaps one can apply the concept of 'self-validating intimacy' in relationships to the stage? That is to say, we will all experience the show differently; the performers and the audience. We will all have different 'favourite moments'. We will enjoy some songs more than others. We will hear and take away some messages more clearly than others. And that is ok; in fact, that is fucking beautiful! Tony and I will be performing a selection of original songs of the pop/theatrical/folk/alternative variety – both old and brand new – as well as some covers performed through the 'Dean filter'. Due to where I am at in my own life, our chosen songs explore themes of love, light and loss. It truly is such an eclectic mix of music and we hope there is something in there for everyone. It is one of my greatest joys in life to perform music with my brother, as we have a somewhat symbiotic musical relationship. Needless to say, we are so looking forward to sharing this music with our beautiful audience at The Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

Book for Emma Dean's show here.