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"I didn't sleep my way to second place."


Another town, another dud gig for 80s one-hit wonder Cyn and her band the Cynthetics. But could a chance meeting turn Cyn's 35 years of bad luck around?

Part rock comedy part anti-heroine's journey, The Runner Up is a substance-soaked, tragi-comedy about a fabulous failure and her courage to pursue a cause - lost long ago.

With hits from legendary rock chicks, eye-wateringly shocking costumes and a magnificent punch line, this theatre cabaret rock hybrid dares to dream even harder than any TV talent-show contestant ever could.

Written by Louise McCabe who stars as Cyn, The Runner Up also features Adelaide musos Pearl Tassell, Jai Cafarella and Dylan Warren.



 Multi-talented artist Louise McCabe has been writing, producing and creating theatre and cabaret for more than 30 years.

Louise found her true love, cabaret, at Sydney's iconic tex-mex restaurant in Crown St, Yipee-Yi-O with Sydney’s Absolutely Not!. She and TV star Helen O'Connor wrote, produced and played every character in Funny Girls , MCeed by The Fabulous Singlettes star, Lisa Shipley.
Louise's mad cap cabaret characters also featured at 
Falls Festival and Bay Cabaret, Byron Bay, while her self-devised show Conversations with Goddesses toured in Sydney, Adelaide Fringe, Brisbane and the Northern Rivers.

Her  cabaret act Who Killed Lulu Dela Cour Crochenbuche Pompidoux de Paris St Germain? was a finalist in the Short & Sweet Cabaret Festival at Brisbane’s Powerhouse Theatre, while The Runner Up won the coveted Audience Pick prize at Mullumbimby Hot Shorts Competition in 2017.

In the same year, Louise produced the highly successful Guilty Pleasures Cabaret & Burlesque Festival along with the iconic Brunswick Picture House team.

Louise's theatre credits include Robyn in Balancing Act  for the Canberra Theatre Company, Jo in Army Wives for Hard Sun Theatre, Townsville and Faye in Dump for Tropic Line, Townsville.

Louise appeared in the award-winning film, Men’s Group and has recently filmed a pilot for soon-to-be-released hilarious web series comedy, Chan & Dee's Drink Tank.


Award-winning director, performer and theatre maker Stephen Sheehan's theatre credits include Vladimir in the State Theatre of South Australia’s Waiting for Godot and Feste in William Shakespeare's Twelfth NightSlingsby’s The Tragical Life of Cheeseboyand Patch Theatre’s Special Delivery.

Steve’s self-authored work Stevl and His Translator Fatima won Best Comedy 2010 at the Adelaide Fringe and a Golden Gibbo nomination at the 2010 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He was Artistic Director of the Riverland Youth Theatre from 1998 to 2001, and has directed shows with No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability.


Contortion-loving, multi-instrumentalist Pearl Tizzie has performed around Australia and internationally. In 2015 and 2017 she travelled to Nashville, Tennessee to study with bass legends Victor Wooten, Anthony Wellington and Steve Bailey. Since then she has been a sought after musical commodity, with a sold-out season at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Pearl is part of a range of great Adelaide bands, including Captain Hellfire and the Wretched Brethren, Porchlight Parade, and Submerge. She acted in and provided the music for the SA Circus Centre and State Theatre Company collaboration, The Boat.


Jai Cafarella is an Adelaide-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, with a number of award-winning compositions to his name. He currently performs as a solo singer and acoustic artist, and as part of an acoustic duo called Lunabloom. He's also drummer for grunge/rock band, Daisy Razor.

Jai’s debut EP is currently in the works. He's performed in four theatre shows with Northern Light Theatre Company (Little Shop of Horrors, Eurobeat: Almost Eurovision, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and White Christmas). 


Drummer Dylan Warren toured Australia playing blues in The Keith Hall Blues Band.

A music graduate from TAFE SA, Dylan has played in Triggerhertz, Baron Von Doodie, with appearances in ezra hope. Dylan is also a SALA award-winning songwriter.

Acting credits include roles in the short film Stay Hidden and film The Groves. Dylan also played drums and acted in the 2018 fringe comedy show  “My Brain is a Dick” in 2018.



James Vine is a writer, actor and comedian. Writing credits include radio plays (Grumpy and Inspiration), and stage plays including Fear of Falling for Adelaide's Vision Impaired Person (VIP) Theatre. Acting credits include playing Richard III in The Secret Parlour, Mel in the original version of The Runner Up, and the hapless Jeremy in his hilarious self-penned four-hander, British Intelligence – A Farce. 

James completed Mandy Nolan's Virgin Sacrifices stand-up comedy course in 2016, and has performed in various stand-up gigs in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

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