Hello cabaret fans, and those who identify as just ‘cabaret curious’.

Welcome to the 6th Ballarat Cabaret Festival. I trust you will have a splendid time. That is our intention.

As Artistic Director of the 2017 Ballarat Cabaret Festival I hope you enjoy what we’re up to. The bedrock is excellence – every artist here is at the top of their particular game – but besides quality, creativity, originality and fun, I’ve programmed to interrogate the boundaries of what makes great cabaret.

Heritage: honouring our artistic elders. Debra Byrne and The Bachelors From Prague are icons, shooting stars whose journeys began decades back. Pay homage, toast their longevity and brilliance, drink deeply from the cup of their talent.

New work from old hands: be the first to say you were the first to see. Paul McDermott (DAAS) and Steven Gates (Tripod), are collaborating for the first time. New duo, new energy, new banter, new songs. This will be dynamite. Yana Alana Djing? Yes please.

Original singer songwriters: Jude Perl and Gillian Cosgriff are at the top of their singer/songwriting craft. Deft, fresh, satiric, heartfelt, and observationally devastating.

Provocation, spontaneity and irreverence: Dolly Diamond. Sharp wit, local identities, celebs and a game-show format that scandalised the nation. Strap yourselves in.

Shock of the new, the next generation: Cabaret Neu are six superb acts from the Arts Academy graduating class. The Aspie Hour, a collaboration between two emerging cabaret giants, who happen to have Aspergers.

Familiarity and Fun: Two baritones sing Bond, and Trevor Jones shakes up Suttons House of Music with his Key Party piano bar singalong shenanigans.

What a festival. See you out there. Mine’s a G&T.

Fiona Scott-Norman

Fiona Scott-Norman – Artistic Director

Fiona Scott-Norman, director, broadcaster, DJ, writer and performer, is one of the bedrocks of Australia’s cabaret scene. Starting out as a cabaret, comedy and theatre critic with The Age, she moved into directing, script-writing and performing 15 years ago.

Fiona founded the Green Room Awards Cabaret panel in 2002, and stepped down as panel head last year. For the past five years she’s been employed by the Federation University’s Arts Academy as the director of the 3rd year music theatre cohort’s cabaret season. As a director, writer, and dramaturg she has worked with artists such as Eddie Perfect, Barry Morgan (and his organ), Yon from Tripod, Luke Gallagher, Liz Skitch, Fiona and John Thorn, Wes Snelling, Paul McCarthy, Isabella Vallette, Worowa Aboriginal Girl’s College, and Paul Kelly.

As a DJ, Fiona has performed at the opening and closing nights of many festivals, including the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was resident DJ at The Famous Spiegeltent for many years. She’s also a non-fiction writing teacher at RMIT, a well-known broadcaster on 3RRR and ABC 774, a published author with two best-selling books on bullying (Don’t Peak At High School and Bully For Them), has had a satirical column in The Big Issue for 12 years, and her two solo comedy shows about music toured Australia and internationally – The Needle and the Damage Done, and Disco: The Vinyl Solution. After Christmas this year, as she does every year, Fiona will be performing with Rod Quantock at The Woodford Folk Festival, in their comedy chat show Two Leggy Redheads.