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My Darling Hearts, The Ballarat Cabaret Festival has returned!

We have heard your calls for the return of cabaret to Ballarat and we have answered. 
Cabaret has been a central part of the culture of Ballarat since the very beginning. 
Ballarat Cabaret Festival pays its respects to the traditional owners of the land, the Wadawurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation and honors their traditional songs and dances connected to this land. 
In the times of the gold rush Ballarat's halls of celebration were filled with cabaret. We were graced by the stratospheric arias of Dame Nellie Melba and the sensuous dances of Lola Montez as well as many more. 
The Ballarat Cabaret Festival has been brought back under the direction of operatic cabaret sweetheart Issie Hart (They/Them). Hart is an internationally established cabaret artist with Ballarat roots. They are passionate about Cabaret and passionate about Ballarat. 

Our Team

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Issie Hart

"This Is Real Cabaret"

Kate Copstick

The Scotsman 2009

Operatic Cabaret Sweetheart Issie Hart is an internationally established cabaret artist with Ballarat roots.

Issie Hart is an award-winning soprano and creator of theatrical and operatic cabaret works that have toured extensively across Australia and internationally. Hart’s work has been described as ‘The Rarest of things... Theatre that mattered’ Arts Hub

Hart runs a successful studio as a singing teacher, director, dramaturg and creative mentor and works with artists of diverse backgrounds, experience levels and abilities.

Hart is passionate about Cabaret and passionate about Ballarat. 


Garth Horsfield

Garth Horsfield is an artist and musician, specialising in electronic music and best known for his work in Immaculata; a new-romantic musical collaboration spanning nearly 3 decades.


Garth managed the much loved small independent music venue "Babushka" for 6 years, hosting many local musicians as well as professional touring artists. 

Garth is also a contemporary painter and graphic designer, currently returned to university to finish off some credentials and has been a contributor to Ballarat Arts through acapella group "Singers of the Black Book", Renaissance dancing, Fashion parades, Musical performance, The 11th Hour Goth Festival 1999, Sound engineering, and fine art. 


Janet McLeod

An Original Sebastopol Treasure,

Janet A. McLeod has been a fixture of the Melbourne comedy scene for twenty odd years, working both onstage as well as behind the scenes with equal success and enthusiasm.

Janet has produced shows at the Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, and has also been Associate Producer for the Hobart Comedy Festival and Festival Director of the Harp Village Comedy Festival.


She has also produced a myriad of shows under the Great BIG Comedy Night and Comedy Gold banners, and was an originator and co-host of Quiz Internationale - Melbourne's most popular and longest running live comedy trivia night - as well as Cinema Fiasco - Australia's premier movie comedy commentary duo.

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Marjetka McMahon-Krizanic

Producer of community based socially inclusive and independent art projects. She is the founder and director of Roarhouse Melbourne and an independent performance artists, video and filmmaker including director, production manager, script and screenwriter and she dabbles in analogue film.

Marjetka started her work in community development as a group facilitator, creating theatre and music development with individuals, groups and organizations in the disability and mental health sector.

Support For the Ballarat Cabaret Festival

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What They're Saying About Our Artists

“Radical, transgressive chic” - The Guardian, UK
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