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Features/Podcasts/Cabaret/Music

A new take on a timeless tradition

1 June 2021

In this podcast Michael Griffiths shares his vision as artistic director of the Perth International Cabaret Festival, plus a story he possibly shouldn’t tell from his days as a WAAPA student.

There are candles on the table, with beverages and food. Someone is sharing stories and songs from the stage and you find yourself laughing and crying along with newfound friends on the other side of the table.

It’s an inviting vision, and one that Michael Griffiths wants West Australians to experience at the inaugural Perth International Cabaret Festival which runs from 19-27 June. In this podcast conversation with Rosalind Appleby, the Festival’s artistic director offers a glimpse at a surprisingly diverse program. Drawing on an enormous range of ages, musical styles and ethnic backgrounds, the festival honours the great cabaret tradition of storytelling set to music, but with a breadth and contemporary feel that Griffiths hopes will appeal to a wide audience.

“After such a challenging year, it’s so important that we gather together, share stories and connect. Working closely with the programming team, we’re making sure this brand new festival will be fresh, diverse, and have something for everyone; celebrating the very best of Western Australia and providing a platform for visiting and local artists and audiences to collide,” Griffiths says.

The Festival will take over His Majesty’s Theatre in June, using various spaces including the auditorium (transformed by cabaret tables) and Downstairs at His Maj, which Griffiths describes as “the best cabaret venue in Australia… a rare little precious jewel”.

The Helpmann Award winning artist is based in Adelaide but is well-known in Perth as graduate from the WA Academy of Performing Arts and regular Fringe performer.

Griffiths shares his curatorial vision, plus a story he possibly shouldn’t tell from his time as a WAAPA student, in this podcast recorded on 26 May 2021.

Seesaw podcast with Michael Griffiths

The Perth International Cabaret Festival runs from 19-27 June 2021 at His Majesty’s Theatre.

Win five double passes to see some of the most exciting acts at the 2021 Perth International Cabaret Festival. Head to our competitions page for information on how to enter.

Picture top: Michael Griffiths is the artistic director of the inaugural International Cabaret Festival. Photo supplied

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Rosalind Appleby

Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind Appleby is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She is co-editor of Seesaw Magazine, author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine. She loves the percussion instruments which can be found in the uber cool parks.

Past Articles

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  • Women in jazz – the elephant in the room

    After years of witnessing gender inequality in the jazz world, Gemma Farrell is calling it out with the release of an ambitious debut album by the Artemis Orchestra.

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