Bumbling Cabaret Festival 2024Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Quartet Bar. Isobel Marmion, Caitlin Ellen Moore and Kidaan Zelleke. This show is a work in progress. 9 June 2024


Pop culture may soon have a new buzz word – ‘Bumbling’.


Bumbling began life a few years ago as an Adelaide Festival Centre InSpace project.

It’s a quirky blend of immersive theatre, guided Adelaide pub crawl tales, pop fizz tragicomic rom com, and a large dash of bee science.


Bee science is a very, very important element. Keep bumble(ing)bee in the back of your mind. An insect social anthropology project sort of thing.

Got it? Ok.

Isobel Marmion is pumped, dancing about in a pink clubbing dress as the audience saunters in. She is a total 90s chick.

When the show starts proper, out comes a script dripping with the best rom-com style, new writing in ages. Marmion endears herself to the audience instantly.


This off beat, sweet, bee loving girl had her heart broken on Valentine’s Day by a guy she’s been heavily into while he’s been heavily, unwillingly into her. She buys 11 books on bees the next day, and decides the audience are going to help her have a ‘recovery night’.

We are informed St Valentine is patron of lovers and beekeepers. Ah, a plot point begins to form and so gradually thicken.


Search for love, cruising Adelaide’s pubs and clubs with gal pals, is quietly hooked to the social behaviour of bees, their ‘hive’ as the show progresses.

What else is love, but sweet nectar? What else is a bunch a girls on the town but a swarm of happy bees seeking good times while maintaining the hives social status quo?


Marmion beautifully articulates a sense of herself as a vulnerable little bee subject to the joys and dangers they face from the environment they find themselves in.


Keeping things interesting, Marmion always has her mobile phone at hand. Despite doing a show! The heartless guy actually sent a text! Audience members are selected to mind the phone and told to stop the show if he replies!


Kidaan Zelleke’s direction is smoothly understated. Roaming the space and mastering the production’s pace is key to its success given how pivotal audience involvement is.


Successfully meshing the audience with the work itself is the hidden genus of Bumbling in its current form.


What is Bumbling? Seeking the nectar of night life, club to pub, as flower to flower!


David O’Brien


When: 8 to 9 Jun

Where: Quarter Bar

Bookings: Closed