Cabaret star Sven Ratzke will perform in Christchurch for the 2020 Bread & Circus festival.
Headline act Reuben Kaye has dropped out of Christchurch’s upcoming Bread & Circus festival, but has been replaced by another cabaret superstar’s tribute to late rock legend David Bowie.
Kaye, who was due to perform in Christchurch from January 28 to February 1, had to cancel a planned tour of Australia and New Zealand due to a throat operation and two months rest ordered by his doctors.
Bread & Circus director Scott Maidment said Kaye would return for a future festival.
“We were a little bit shellshocked when he couldn’t sing,” he said.
“He was supposed to do a big tour and couldn’t. The doctors said if he keeps going he will do irreparable damage to himself.
“It was better to postpone it for a year.”
Kaye has been replaced in the lineup by German cabaret performer Sven Ratzke, whose show pays tribute to Bowie. Maidment said Ratzke was an “amazing” performer.
“We wanted someone with that amazing musical vibe and that crazy, camp energy to replace Reuben,” he said.
“He has the type of energy we want for this festival. People like Reuben and Sven are hard to come by. They have very unique talents and gifts.”
Ratzke will bring his new show, Where are We Now. The show is an exploration of Bowie’s work with pianist Christian Pabst and has toured Berlin, New York, Amsterdam and London.
Bread & Circus begins on January 23 and features cabaret and acrobatics show Blanc de Blanc, standup comedian and Flight of the Conchords star Arj Barker, comedians Melanie Bracewell and Cal Wilson, more than a dozen street buskers, and a new show created by festival favourites Daredevil Chicken Club and Miss Behave.
The programme also features Kiwi talent like Shay Horay, Mulletman and Adam Rennie, who starred in The Court Theatre’s highly-praised production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch earlier this year.
The World Buskers Festival was renamed and revamped in 2018 after the event made a series of financial losses. After the rebranded festival lost money last year, Maidment said any losses would be covered by his company and he did not expect the rebranded event to break even until the third year in 2021.