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EOI - Judging Panels
Nominations & Recipients
Contemporary & Experimental Performance
Eligibility & Criteria
Work eligible to be registered with the Cabaret panel is, in essence, a presentation of the self using music, direct address and engagement with the audience. Cabaret is a musical and philosophical artform which particularly lends itself to hybridisation, and random manifestations of fabulousness. However, not all shows with elements of cabaret will be considered.
Your work will not be considered if it is a variety show or a show with changing line ups – it will not be considered if it is a concert or a musical – it will not be considered if it uses ‘the fourth wall’.
GERALDINE QUINN - Panel Chair
Singer-songwriter-actor-comedian Geraldine Quinn (Spicks and Specks, Rockwiz, Adam Hills Tonight) is a rock cabaretiér. She trained as an actor at National Theatre Drama School, and has toured original shows to Australia, New Zealand and the UK since 2005. She has been nominated for two Golden Gibbo Awards for Best Independent Local Production in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (winning in 2011) and is a two-time Moosehead Award recipient (2011 and 2014). Quinn has hosted MICF’s flagship all-female production Upfront since 2013 and and her epic rock cover band Spandex Ballet has become an annual MICF Festival Club event.
EMMA CLAIR FORD - Deputy Chair
Emma is a cabaret artist, writer, director, independent producer and arts administrator. She holds a BA in Music Theatre Performance (University of Ballarat) and has worked extensively as a performer throughout Australia, Asia and Europe.
In 2010 and 2011 Emma was Festival Director for Short+Sweet Cabaret Melbourne, and was a finalist in the 10th Annual Australian Cabaret Showcase in 2012.
Emma is one third of vocal comedy trio The Candy Topps, who have been performing together for over a decade and have created shows such as Sing Happy and multiple-Green-Room-Award-nominated Femme Fatale.
Solo cabaret ventures include The Black Sea Express, Stockholm, Lila Gray, Butterscotch and Laugh Until I Cry.
Other performance highlights include numerous productions for Garry Ginivan Attractions, Anthony Crowley’s The Journey Girl, Opera Australia’s Il Trovatore, Lead Vocalist for China Orchestral Tours, The Divine Sisters for Hartington Productions, and Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures for Watch This Productions.
Anthony is a writer, composer and director. His musicals include Villain of Flowers, The Wild Blue, Nathanial Storm, Cabaret Berserkus, Journey Girl, Tribe, Superfreaks, Rise, and Vincent: An A cappella Opera. Other theatre-making includes Motor-mouth and Suck-face; An Apocalyptic Love Story, Picasso’s Children, The Frail Man and Shadow Passion. Awards include The Wal Cherry Play Of The Year, The Malcolm Robertson Prize, The New York - New Dramatists Award, An R.E.Ross Trust Award, An Opera Australia Young Artist’s Residency, The Pratt Prize for Musical Theatre, The Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Best Music Theatre Script and a Green Room Award for Best Musical Director.
Wes Snelling is an acclaimed cabaret artiste, performance-maker, actor, singer, comedian, writer, director, producer, radio presenter, production/stage/tour manager and mentor. Wes has seeded and starred in many original smash hit cabaret concerts including TRASH (an existential romp set in an airport terminal) and KIOSK (a bio-musical exploring his teenage years growing up in a regional caravan park community). His home-grown performances have seen him tour throughout Australia, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, the UK and USA. Directorial credits include working with Sammy J and Randy, Em Rusciano, Laura Davis, and burlesque superstar Becky-Lou. Wes is the current Producer of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival national development programs Deadly Funny and Class Clowns. He is also the brains and bones behind the gin-soaked velvet draped nightingale TINA DEL TWIST, who haunts various festivals and venues throughout Australia with her honey infused vocals and comedic wit known to shred Brie.
Letitia is a writer, producer, actor and reviewer. As a theatre maker she has produced and toured her own works in Australia and as an administrator she has facilitated on Arts and Cultural Sponsorship panels, worked for Melbourne Fringe Festival and across several of Melbourne’s performing arts venues in various roles. She has also curated programming for cabaret, burlesque, live music and comedy events within the festival circuit. Currently she is a Chapel off Chapel team member, running the front of house team and supporting the marketing and production teams.
Dave studied Bachelor of Theatre Performance at BAPA and Bachelor of Music at ACU (conducting) and Box Hill Institute (composition). Never content with just one discipline, he has been working as a musician, storyteller, director and dramaturge in the theatre and cabaret scenes for fifteen years. On stage highlights include The Wild Blue, Working, tick, tick… BOOM!, Little Shop Of Horrors, Brooklyn, Five Guys Named Moe, and Goat Town. He worked as the musical director, MC and performed at Witches in Britches Theatre Restaurant, but misses his three-inch stits the most. Behind the scenes he musically directed Ash Flanders’ cabaret trilogy Negative Energy Inc., Special Victim and Playing To Win, directed and designed Parade, I Sing! and Into The Woods and composed and musically directed the 2012 graduating company’s The Tempest (Arts Academy) where he currently teaches.
Shanon is an award winning Composer and Music Director. A prolific operative within the theatre, cabaret and film industries across four continents, Shanon has received Green Room nominations and multiple industry awards.
His original compositions include Oprahfication! (New York Music Theatre Festival), Nigella: Love Bites(Butterfly Club, Melbourne), Never Date A Songwriter (Butterfly Club, Melbourne), One-A New Musical(Arts Centre Gold Coast), and Quiet You’ll Wake Up the War (Cannes Film Festival Short Film). Credits as music director and accompanist include Disney Under the Stars (Live Nation/Disney), Carole King: the Songbook of Her Life (Arts Centre Melbourne/Aust. Tour 2016), Fame! The Musical (Gordon Frost Org.), Hairspray (Dainty/Roadshow Live) and workshopping with Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
Shanon’s work has been performed in New York, UK, Germany, China, Australia, and New Zealand.
Benn Bennett is a Songwriter, Cabaret Artist and M.C. He has written and produced a variety of shows including: ‘Black Bag’ (with Wes Snelling, MICF 2008) ‘Mandate’ (with David Quirk, MICF 2012) and ‘Up Late With Kate’- The Music of Kate Bush (Darebin Music Feast, 2012) He has also performed at Melbourne Fringe, Stockholm Fringe and the 2009 World Outgames in Copenhagen.
Benn was the keyboardist for Ali Mcgregor’s ‘Late Night Variety Night’ from 2009-13 at The Famous Spiegeltent and he performed in both Melbourne and Edinburgh. He has also written original music for Heath McIvor’s show ‘Randy is Sober’ (2013), Adam Hill’s ‘Clown Heart’ (2015) and Hannah Gadsby’s web series, ‘Renaissance Woman’ (2016)
Benn was nominated for the MICF Golden Gibbo Award in 2008 and for a Green Room Award for his musical contribution to Wes Snelling's show 'Kiosk' in 2009.
A lover of languages, Fiona sings in eight. She majored in French and linguistics at Melbourne University before studying French literature at the Sorbonne University in Paris.
Fiona has toured the UK and Australia extensively, including Bloomsbury Theatre London, the Sydney Opera House, the Famous Spiegeltent in Edinburgh, Sydney and Melbourne, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Her cabaret character Pastel Vespa has released CDs in Europe, America and Japan.
Fiona has written many songs and shows with Guy Rundle and John Thorn [nominated for 2 Green Room Awards], and Bob Downe [nominated for 3 Green Room Awards].
Fiona sings with the B# Big Band, has performed at the Concert Hall as part of the Morning Melodies series, at the Regent Theatre and is enjoying a residency at Claypots South Melbourne with David Cotter.
On television, she has appeared in various series, including Stingers, The Games, Round the Twist, High Flyers, and Man From Snowy River, and she has sung live on Good Morning Australia, The Midday Show and Denise. She has appeared in many commercials and voiceovers, including Yoplait.
Becky Lou has been described as 'one of the High Priestesses of Australian burlesque'. Winner of the Miss Burlesque Victoria title, she has been included in 21st Century Burlesque Magazine's list of Top 10 Australian Burlesque Personalities. She has been performing her unique brand of burlesque, an irreverent mix of slapstick and striptease, across Australia, Canada and the USA since 2007.
In her debut solo show, Shake, directed by Wes Snelling, Becky Lou combined personal storytelling with burlesque. Both an experiment in dissecting neo-burlesque itself and a revelation of the person behind the performer, she demonstrated her skill as a storyteller, gaining critical acclaim over seasons in Melbourne, Perth , Adelaide and Montreal. Shake was nominated for ‘Best Cabaret’ at Fringe World 2015, ‘Best Solo Production’ and ‘Best English Production’ at Montreal Fringe 2016.
Becky Lou is also the creator, director and host of the Seen & Heard series, combining storytelling and variety, which has featured some of Australia's finest alt-cabaret artists.
Jason is a proud Yorta Yorta man. Producer of Blak Cabaret, and Associate Producer of The Shadow King. Co-Producer and Programmer of Smith Street Dreaming. Associate Producer of Leaps and Bounds Festival. Founder Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Deadly Funny program. Producer Reconciliation Comedy Gala. Producer Is Racism the New Black. Jason was the recipient of the VIPA 2012 Uncle Jack Charles Award and the British Council’s National Indigenous Leadership Award.
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