There are many great cabaret shows on offer for Queensland presenters and audiences. arTour spoke to Kris Stewart, Artistic Director of Brisbane Powerhouse, to give some ideas on what to look for in a cabaret show and how to attract new audiences.

Kris has curated the Queensland Cabaret Festival, coming up in June 2014.

For people new to cabaret, how would you describe it?

Cabaret is immediate, intimate, classy, elegant, and sophisticated. Cabaret is about an immediate connection between audience and performer. Cabaret is enjoyed with a drink in hand and with performers close to you  - an intimate experience where you feel they are singing directly to you.

Why does cabaret appeal to audiences?

It’s a popular artform – a great night out, its social, you go out with friends to see cabaret.

How do you attract new audiences to cabaret?

The most important selling tool is the title and the tag of the show for example On a Night Like This: The Erin Minogue Story  - an entirely untrue story featuring some true Minogue hits. The tag should let you know what the show is going to be about. Each show needs a hook and a particular angle to set it apart.

Cabaret shows often feature songs from popular culture, or have a new sound ie contemporary songs performed with a jazz band.

What do you look for when you are programming cabaret?

Program shows that you think are interesting, that you like, that make you curious to know more. Its vital to know who you think the audience is for the show.  

There's a classy selection of cabaret featured on the arTour website, check them out here.