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Cumming down under
After a horror year of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the arts hard, the 2021-22 federal Budget announced a modest $223 million in additional support to the sector, with the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, finally acknowledging in his Budget speech the arts “continue to do it tough”.

This long overdue call out to the arts community follows Frydenberg’s failure to mention the sector in his belated 2020-21 Budget speech last October, and long delays in spending any of the arts “support package” announced last June, including the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund.

He is a Wildean sensualist, in touch with his bacchanalian side, a party animal who defies the expectations of middle age and is thus primed to artistically direct the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The singer and actor Alan Cumming is even known to DJ and dance to an eclectic array of feel-good songs chosen to encourage the crowd to set their inhibitions free.

So it comes as a surprise that the star of the raunchy Kander-Ebb musical Cabaret, who played the sexually fluid Emcee in the Sam Mendes production in 1993 in London and then picked up a Tony in 1998 for the first of its two Broadway revivals, declares himself “the quarantine king”.

Steve's essays Bent Man Running published in Growing Up Queer in Australia and Stream drama in Meanjin autumn 2020.
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