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2024 Artistic Director Virginia Gay

Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s iconic opening night celebration in 2024 will be hosted by none other than Artistic Director and Chief Mischief Maker™️, Virginia Gay.

2024 Artistic Director Virginia Gay

Virginia Gay graduated WAAPA, then spent four years pretending to be a nurse on All Saints, six months pretending to be Julia Gillard in the STC’s Wharf Revue, and five years on Winners & Losers, where she pretended to know a lot about high finance. That last one, particularly, was a stretch. 

She won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Actress for Calamity Jane, was nominated for a Most Outstanding Actor Logie for After The Verdict (Channel 9), starred in the film Judy & Punch (also starring Mia Wasikowska) which premiered at Sundance, and wrote and directed her short film Paper Cut, which made 2018 Tropfest finals. She starred in Savage River (dir. Jocelyn Moorehouse) for Aquarius Films (ABC, Paramount+), which also starred Katherine Langford, and Safe Home (SBS and Imogen Banks), also starring Aisha Dee. 

In 2020 she wrote two new plays: an adaptation of Cyrano for MTC which sold out its triumphant 2022 run and also toured to the Perth Festival in 2023, and The Boomkak Panto for Belvoir which was a smash hit for Christmas 2021. She starred in both and also co-directed  The Boomkak Panto.

She’s been an apocalyptic squid in Eddie Perfect’s Vivid White, a prize bitch in The Beast, every stop on the bogan-to-hipster spectrum in On The Production Of Monsters, and Nancye Hayes’ granddaughter in Minnie and Liraz, all for the MTC. She played pacifist, suffragist, and feminist Vida Goldstein in The War That Changed Us (ABC), and a fast-talking 1930s photographer in High Society (Hayes Theatre Company). She had a sold-out season at the Opera House of Cautionary Tales for Children (Arena Theatre Company), and was Bea Miles, iconic (and homeless) Sydney eccentric, in the immersive-theatre experience Hidden Sydney

She has written two solo cabaret shows, Songs To Self-Destruct To and Dirty Pretty Songs, both of which sold out at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and which toured nationally and internationally, most notably headlining the Famous Spiegeltent at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe. She also hosted cultural phenomenon La Clique in Leicester Square in Christmas 2019.

She makes regular appearances on Mark Humphries’ sketches for 7:30 (ABC), The Book Club (ABC), Adam Hills’ In Gordon Street Tonight (ABC), Good News Week (Channel 10), Studio at The Memo (Foxtel), The Unbelievable Truth (Channel 7), was team captain for CRAM! (Channel 10). She is extremely proud to play Magda Szubanski’s wife on Channel 9’s After The Verdict, Denise Scott’s daughter-in-law in ABC’s reboot of Mother and Son, and appears in a series of increasingly-unhinged cameos on Channel 7’s new sketch show We Interrupt This Broadcast.

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