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14 STYLE | events

QA ALI MCGREGOR &

QUEEN OF THE CABARET

As part of the World Buskers Festival, Ali McGregor will astound audiences in the Great Hall (January 18-22).

How do you describe cabaret to the uninitiated? Cabaret is that sweet spot where music, comedy and theatre cross paths. It’s intimate and often personal and I think usually best enjoyed with a drink! You have performed in festivals around the world, from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. What led to your involvement with the World Buskers Festival? My good friend Amy Saunders (Miss Behave) asked me to be a part of the Burlesque Night last year and I was immediately smitten with the Buskers Festival and the Christchurch audience. Some of my favourite people are performing there this year too, so I’m also excited to be there as a punter!

Decadence was born out of my love for both the jazz style of the 1940s and ’50s and the trashiest songs of the ’80s and ’90s. I delve through my greatest and most decadent guilty pleasures from Salt-n-Pepa and The Prodigy, to INXS and Radiohead, and reimagine them as the cabaret mash-ups they have always wanted to be. As the Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, do you find it hard to switch from organiser to performer?   Funnily enough I don’t – the last decade of performing in fringe festivals around the world means I am just as at home on stage as I am on an excel spreadsheet and handing out flyers. The beauty of this festival is it is filled with these incredibly innovative performers who, instead of following a more common path directed at stardom, have forged their own independent path towards a life filled with crazy, interesting people and experiences. There isn’t a ‘diva’ in sight… (although there’s no lack of false eyelashes and sequins, don’t get me wrong). What Christmas tradition could you never break? I recently stopped eating meat and dairy and this will be my first vegan-ish Christmas so I am hoping to start some new traditions, but I LOVE me a carols by candlelight (the more local and amateur the choir the better) and have to find a vegan-type Christmas cake recipe because that smell IS Christmas for me. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve? I hate New Year’s Eve. I will be in LA, which sounds glamorous but I daresay I will be drinking gin and eating my body weight in chips while watching Rick and Morty, if I have my way. What are you most looking forward to in 2018? SO. MANY. THINGS. Buskers Festival, debuting my new show about Peruvian soprano Yma Sumac, my last Adelaide Cabaret Festival as Artistic Director, my newly commissioned opera Lorelei for Victorian Opera, and a few other fab things yet to be announced. 2018 is going to be my MINE, ALL MINE!

What can people expect from your show, Decadence?

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