Cathedral cabaret set to rock aisles
Performers with Dean John Shepherd. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

Forget choral, for one night only the impressive vaulted interior of the gothic St George's Cathedral will be transformed into a Fringe World venue for an evening of cabaret.

Every year the cathedral hosts a musical celebration on Shrove Tuesday before Lent begins.

But tonight's Cathedral Candlelight Cabaret signals something of a departure from tradition.

Salsa dancers, cabaret acts, a cappella, magic and opera are among the performances audiences will experience by candlelight, seated at tables around a central piano and on pews transformed into snugs.

St George's precentor Graham Napier said he was inspired to act after seeing the Treasury building next door open its doors to the Fringe last year.

"I thought it was crazy that we were not a part of it," he said. "So I called (Fringe World director) Marcus Canning and said, 'What about the cathedral as a venue?' "

Anglican Dean of Perth John Shepherd said the cathedral had a long history of hosting the arts and he was looking forward to seeing the cabaret night under its arches.

The Exchange - a US a cappella group who formed after appearing on NBC television singing competition The Sing-Off - are one act taking to the imposing stage of the cathedral.

Singer Aaron Sperber said with its history dating back to performing religious works in churches centuries ago, a cappella (music without instrumental accompaniment) was a perfect fit, however he admitted performing there was "kind of crazy".

"It's amazing to have so many interesting acts performing here and I think the venue will definitely challenge the audience," he said.

Lindsay McPhee

The West Australian

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