Australian Marriage Equality and GetUp! poster

Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2012 Closing Gala

Well, this is it, going out with one last, spectacular bang – the 2012 Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

An evening of cocktails and comedy, music and naked MCs, with proceeds supporting Australian Marriage Equality. Our host for the evening was Sammy J, who came together with some of the best shows from the past 10 days, for one last night to send the Cabaret Festival off in style.

Sammy J performs live on stage in Melbourne

After some ‘skinny man’ shenanigans, we welcomed back the girl who’d kicked the whole thing off 10 days earlier, ARIA award winner Monique Brumby.

Monique Brumby on stage live event photography

Next up was a new act to me, the impeccably styled Justin Clausen. He sang a Melbourne reworking of Kristen Chenoweth’s ‘Taylor the Latte Boy’ torn between his love for a beautiful barista, and Gloria Jean’s well publicised political funding.

Justin Clausen at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival

A rare treat followed, as Tom Dickins and his ukelele joined Virginia Gay of Channel 7’s Winners and Losers for a few songs and a bit of good old fashioned audience-lap-based-hat-stealing cabaret.

Virginia Gay and Tom Dickins performing at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2012

Tom Dickins singing live in Melbourne

Virginia Gay live performance photograph

Between acts, there were various items and experiences up for auction, in order to raise more funding for Australian Marriage Equality. One of the big sellers on the night, amongst fierce bidding, was an official poster signed with thanks from all of the festival performers.

Sammy J auctioneer at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival

As a special treat we were joined by high profile equal rights campaigner, Carl Katter to help auction a very special piece, one of the commemorative plates from Australia’s first ever televised mass same-sex wedding, which was hosted by Adam Hills earlier this year.

Carl Katter on stage at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Of course, no night at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival would be complete without an appearance from Spanky (aka Candice McQueen). With Robert Tripolino by her side, she brought the house down as always, after first complaining that she was the only one who took the dress code seriously.. it’s hard to argue.

Spanky aka Candice McQueen Live on Stage

Robert Tripolino photographed performing at a live event.

Another act I hadn’t been able to see during the Festival, was Yana Alana and Tha Paranas. Yana (Sarah Ward) is an in your face Diva with a capital D, delivering biting poems that take to task the likes of Julia Gillard, and well, just about everybody else. With excerpts from her book ‘If You Were a Carrot, I Would Have Cum by Now’ and unusual live music behind her, Yana is one to look out for.

Yana Alana on stage in Melbourne

Crowd event photography

The final live act of the night was the inimitable legend of live entertainment, Paul Capsis. I’m not sure how best to describe his performance, if you’ve never seen him live, you probably should.

I’ll just say, it was emotional.

Paul Capsis perfoms live in Melbourne

Paul Capsis singing live

Paul Capsis scream on stage

The dance-floor was cleared, and after barely enough time to gather ourselves together after such a dramatic show, DJ Spanky was up in the birdcage ready to take the party through to the early hours.

DJ Spanky at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Until next year…

Closing event photography


Oh, and how could we forget Sammy J’s dedication and determination to raise every bit of extra funding he could…

Naked Sammy J MCing the Melbourne Cabaret Festival

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