Frank Ford

(18 Mar 1935 - 27 Sep 2018)

Image: Claudio Raschella Photographer

Frank Ford was the godfather of cabaret; his dedication and passion was whole-hearted and unwavering. He was a champion of artists, a mentor to several generations of Adelaide artists and creatives, and an active writer and director.

Sadly, Frank Ford passed away in 2018, a loss felt across the entire Adelaide arts community. To ensure his passion for supporting new work by local artists continued, he bequeathed a generous, long lasting legacy to his beloved SA arts community.

Starting in 2019, the Frank Ford Commission will provide $20,000 each year for 10 years, toward the commissioning of new work from a South Australian cabaret artist or group.

2022 Frank Ford Commission

Applications for the 2022 Frank Ford Commission are now closed.

What we’re looking for:
We are looking for new projects from South Australian artists and invite works from those who would not necessarily consider themselves a cabaret performer but who have an interest in the genre. This new commission will be presented within a festival format with fast turnaround for bump in, presentation and bump out so all expressions of interest will need to consider this in terms of scale and scope. Shows are expected to run approximately 70 minutes in length and will be performed twice in the festival.


  • July - September: Expression of Interest open. Application via JotForm on Adelaide Cabaret Festival website
  • September: All applicants notified, shortlisted projects requested to provide development budget, presentation budget, full artistic scope details, project timeline
  • October: Commission awarded, and all shortlisted projects advised of outcome
  • November– June: Contracting and development phase (as detailed in timeline provided)
  • June: Presentation at Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Schedule TBD but will fall within festival dates

Artist to provide:

Once expressions of interests close, shortlisted applicants will be contacted and asked to provide the following:

  • Detailed artistic scope for the work including synopsis, bios of key creatives
  • Detailed development and production budgets
  • Timeline for development and production
  • Images for marketing and promotion
  • Negotiation and confirmation of cast and associated practitioners
  • All rights clearances, consent and permissions associated with content
  • Technical rider
  • Commissioning Credit for all future presentations as well as payment of royalty of 3% of Net Box Office Revenue (NBO) from all future presentations of the Production for a duration of two (2) years from the conclusion of the first presentation.

Festival to provide:

  • $20,000 in Commissioning fee
  • Additional support across presenting cost (as agreed by both parties)
  • Contracting for associated practitioners (Director, Musical Director, local musicians)
  • Venue for development and general rehearsal (where available)
  • Up to 7 hour bump in, set up & technical rehearsal in venue before the performance as required
  • All required production costs – incl technical engineers/operators, sound & lighting equipment etc
  • All required backline and technical equipment (agreed upon by both parties)
  • APRA Licence fees
  • Marketing and promotion of the work as part of Adelaide Cabaret Festival including in festival brochure, website, social media and through festival PR team
  • Printed handbill for performances to showcase the key creatives and the work developed under the Commission
  • Up to 6 complimentary tickets for each performance
  • Still and moving image assets of the work as presented at the festival
  • Ongoing support to promote and sell the show to national and international markets and venues

If interstate parties are required and agreed to in advance, the festival may also cover Travel and accommodation (where applicable)

Past Frank Ford Commissions


Max Savage - ERN: Australia's Greatest Hoax


Amelia Ryan & Libby O’Donovan - UNSUNG