Ruth Wilkin is paying tribute to tributes in her aptly named show, Tribute, at Adelaide Ruth WilkinFringe Festival this year.

The Melbourne based teacher, songwriter and award winning cabaret artist is coming over for an extended season at Tuxedo Cat.

Playing from March 3 until March 14, Ruth says she’s thrilled to have an opportunity to immerse herself in Fringe culture this year.

“This is going to be the longest season I’ve ever done. Because I live in Victoria, and because I’m a teacher, I usually do four or five shows. This time, I’m coming for 14 days and I’m doing 11 shows, which is the longest I’ve ever done, so I’m really going to immerse myself in Fringe. I’m going to see as much as I can and I’m going to get out and flyer. I’m going to get amongst it,” she says.

The original cabaret she’s bringing over is a tongue in cheek look at tribute shows, of which there are plenty this year’s Festival.

“We went through the Adelaide Fringe guide and there are at least 30 tribute shows this year. There must be more, though,” Ruth laughs.

“I think the attraction is two fold. I think the artist wants to share their knowledge and love of an artist who has inspired them, but I think it also has a wide appeal for the general public as well; because you’ve got the backing of an artist someone knows and loves, probably as much as you do. So those people who are going to buy tickets know what they’re getting into. They know they’ll hear music they love and maybe even learn a bit more about the artist. It’s a sure fire hit.”

Ruth’s show follows the formula of those tributes, but sends up the notion, while still paying homage to a genre she genuinely loves.

“Mine is a play on that formula. I love going to a tribute show, but I guess they all have lots of common elements. There are obligatory elements, like starting out with a song that’s not their biggest hit; you want to keep everyone waiting for that one. You start off with a familiar song that gets everyone going,” she explains.

“My show is written about no one in particular, but lots of people you’ll recognise. There are jokes that will sound like part of Whitney Houston’s, Madonna’s or Britney’s story. I saw a lot of tribute shows and tried to find out what they all had in common. They’ve all had that early success, the rise to fame and maybe a few set backs and scandals. Mine plots the generic story of any celebrity with music I’ve written, that will remind you of other songs.”


Tribute is playing at Tuxedo Cat and tickets are available through Fringetix.

By Libby Parker


Libby Parker is a journalist, teacher and life enthusiast.
You can follow her on Twitter at @upsidenews_lib