This year’s Cabaret Fringe Festival is about to launch with the Opening Gala tonight at Freemason’s Hall hosted by Adelaide’s own Hans (AKA Matt Gilbertson).

No stranger to the arts scene in Adelaide, the name Hans is synonymous with cabaret in this town, which is why it is fitting he has been bestowed the honour of Cabaret Fringe Festival Ambassador in 2017.

Of course, having a full dance card complete with hosting the Gala, being an ambassador and performing in his own show, Mein Camp is all par for the course for SA’s hardest working sequin enthusiast and he is thrilled to be a part of the festival again this year.

“It’s wonderful being asked to be Ambassador for Cabaret Fringe Festival this year. I’m looking forward to hosting the Gala Opening Night at the Freemason’s Hall; there will be secret handshakes all round,” Hans says.

The Cabaret Fringe Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and is boasting a line-up of local and interstate talent who will fill a number of venues with song, dance, music and laughter.

Open to all performers, the Cabaret Fringe Festival complements the Adelaide Cabaret Festival by celebrating the shows of emerging and established talent.

“I love that Cabaret Fringe Festival provides a platform for local performers that maybe miss out elsewhere sometimes,” Hans says.

photojo SM 0004Also, if you’re comedy cabaret, you’re a bit on the outer of the comedy and the cabaret community during Adelaide Fringe time. And Fringe Festival is great but it is sometimes a bit overwhelming and smaller shows can get lost in the clutter. Cabaret Fringe gives those shows a chance to put themselves out there and shines a brighter spotlight on them.”

“And I’m only performing one night, so I can see a lot of shows I didn’t get to see during Fringe Festival because I was performing every night,” he adds.

On Saturday June 3, Hans will be performing a one night only exclusive preview of the show he is taking to the UK in a few months and in true Hans style, it’ll be deliciously daring and provocatively political.

“Mein Camp on Saturday night will be the version we are taking to Edinburgh. I’ve changed a few things around, but let me just say, I’m upset for the world that Kim Jong Un is back in the press, but it does give me a chance to dust off a bit of the Korean I learned many years ago, if you know what I mean,” he says.

“I’m also concerned that President Donald Trump might be impeached before I go to Edinburgh. That will mess a lot of things up. I won’t be able to plan anything else until the very last moment.”

Having unleashed his Boy Wonder persona on Edinburgh for the first time last year, Hans is looking forward to the second time round as a fully qualified Fringer.

“The number one thing I learned when I went to Edinburgh last year is, if you’re willing to get out there every day, flier, perform everywhere and work like a dog, then you’ll do well. I also did that during my first few years of Fringe here, so I feel like I’ve done an apprenticeship and now I can take all the things I’ve learned to the next stage. I’m prepared to be the biggest fame whore since Katie Price,” he says.

But why stop at Edinburgh? The show is officially on the road and the next stop is London.

“I’m taking the show to Underbelly Festival Southbank (previously called Priceless London Wonderground) next to the London Eye,” he says. “It’s like a mini Garden of Unearthly Delights there, with a big Spiegeltent.”

“Last year when I went to Edinburgh, I met a lovely producer called Barry Church-Woods. He and his husband had started their own production company called Civil Disobedience and they’re looking after me this year, and former Adelaidian Carla Lippis, as well as Courtney Act, and Roddy Bottum from Faith No More. Roddy has written an opera, so that will be showing there. It’s the first year producing for Civil Disobedience, but it’s exciting. They’ve got a lot of great stars; and me.”

And has he any reservations about how the people of London will embrace our hot panted hero?

“Oh honey, if Dannii Minogue can get famous in the UK, so can anyone,” he says.

You can catch Hans (AKA Matt Gilbertson) at the Cab Fringe Opening Gala, Mein Camp at Free Masonic Grand Lodge June 3, at Underbelly in London on July 25 and Edinburgh Fringe on August 7 and 8.

For extra fun, buy tickets to Hans’ Spiceworld movie fundraiser on June 30.

By Libby Parker

Photos supplied