Ballarat's Cabaret is exciting and challenging

Sophie Smyth as Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz in her and Ryan Smedley's show The Aspie Hour.
Sophie Smyth as Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz in her and Ryan Smedley's show The Aspie Hour.

It’s the sixth season of Ballarat Cabaret, and 2017 is just about as diverse a line-up of performers as could be hoped for.

From the musical and stage legend Debra Byrne to the relative youth of Arts Academy graduates Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley, it’s a program which embraces national stars and local talent with equal verve and humour.

Federation University Arts Academy alumni Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley come alive as they explore the challenges of having a psychological

Incoming: Director Fiona Scott-Norman. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric.

Incoming: Director Fiona Scott-Norman. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric.

The Aspie Hour explores the experience of the performers’ Asperger’s Syndrome channelled via a love of musical theatre.

It’s one show in a packed program which includes a world premiere show by The Doug Anthony Allstars’ Paul McDermott and Tripod’s Steven Gates; the return of Ballarat Cabaret favourite Dolly Diamond with Bl*nkety Bl*nks; Piano Man Trevor Jones (who will NOT play Piano Man, but consider anything else...); and Gillian Cosgriff performing the eight songs she’s written in eight weeks – including writing one on stage as she performs.

Incoming Ballarat Cabaret artistic director Fiona Scott-Norman says the mix of returning performers and cabaret ingenues is an important factor in making sure the audience is both entertained and challenged.

“People can come out and absorb a little bit of glamour,” says Ms Scott-Norman.

The Ballarat Cabaret opens tonight with veteran jazz hipsters The Bachelors From Prague with DJ Yana Alana, and runs through until Sunday. Full performance list and tickets through the website: ballaratcabaret.com