Lorne’s Festival of Performing Arts (FOPA) has announced an exciting first release of acts for its return Thursday 30 August through to Sunday 2 September 2018.

Headlined by award-winning comedian Sammy J, the festival will feature comedy, cabaret, magic, music and roving entertainment.

Chair of the Festival Committee, Peter Spring, said a revitalised local steering committee was remounting the festival after a year’s hiatus. “Locals and visitors will see Lorne at its best, with affordable entertainment for all ages, from shows for kids (that grown-ups will love) to shows for adults and a late-night piano bar,” he said. “It’s a great weekend away to enjoy Lorne.”

Tickets will sell out quick so advanced bookings are advised. Highlights:

Opening Gala, Cumberland Resort, Loutitt Bay Room, Fri 31 Aug, 7.30pm
Experience highlights of shows from across the festival in one extravaganza of music, magic, cabaret and comedy, hosted by the incomparable Sammy J. Featuring Nancy Sinatra: You Only Live Twice, Random, The Vegetable Plot, Trevor Jones and more.

The Sammy J Songbook, Cumberland Resort, Auditorium, Sat 1 Sep, 7.30pm
Comedian, author and songbird Sammy J is heading to Lorne with a bag full of songs and a heart full of love. He’s toured the world, won awards, and can currently be seen every Thursday night on ABC TV. Don’t miss this chance to spend an intimate evening with one of Australia’s favourite skinny men (second only to Mr Squiggle).

Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice, Cumberland Resort, Horizons Room, Sat 1 Sep, 6.00pm
Danielle O’Malley and band presents a sexy, sassy tribute to an icon of 60s pop – Miss Nancy Sinatra! With swinging hits like Something Stupid, Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), Summer Wine, Lightning’s Girl and These Boots are Made for Walkin’, plus a little gossip about dating Elvis and taking Ol’ Blue Eyes to parent/teacher night – this is guaranteed to be a perfect night out for 60s music fans and footwear-fetishists alike.

Random, Lorne Hotel, View Room, Sat 1 Sep, 8.45pm
Ditching the top hat and bunny for Tinder and beer, this is the hilariously modern magic show you didn’t know you needed. With his slew of sold out festival runs and over 20 million hits on social media, it’s easy to see why Dom Chambers has become the revolutionary new king of Australian magic.

The Vegetable Plot – Songs of Love and Peas, Cumberland Resort, Horizons Room, Sat 1 Sep, 2.30pm & Sun 2 Sep, 11.30am
Ever wondered what it would sound like if a bunch of vegetables was whooshed up out of the soil by aliens, transformed into musical superbeings, and sent back to earth on a mission of love and peas? Well then, it’s about thyme you found out! Let Aspara Gus, Ru Barb and Sir Paul McCarrotney teach you how to shake your stems, do the jumping bean and twist and sprout in this fresh, funky, award-winning live music show for kids, families, and foodies. Ideal for kids aged 3 to 6, but parents will love it too!

Acts of Absurdity – a circus, magic and comedy spectacular, Lorne Hotel, View Room, Sat 1 Sep, 11.30am
Performed by Varietyville, two ʻmust seeʼ artists of outrageously funny proportions combining their talents into one incredible show! Bite sized morsels of masterful magic, chaotic clowning, preposterous physical feats, musical mayhem, hilarious hi-jinks and much more. Starring award-winning, five-star internationally renowned physical comedian Daniel Oldaker aka “Dandyman” and the inimitable magic & comedy impresario Rani Huszar “Foxy Moron”. Suited to ages 6 and up, but enjoyed by grown-ups too.

Piano Bar, Lorne Central, Thu 30 Aug (8pm till late), Fri 31 Aug (9pm till late) and Sat 1 Sep (9.30pm till late)
Enjoy exciting piano bar entertainment by Australia’s most entertaining piano bar hosts. Thu and Fri features Trevor Jones who has thrilled audiences around the world with his encyclopedic repertoire of songs. On Sat, relish in the Oz tunes you love as Matthew Hadcraft delves into his vast catalogue of distinctly Australian songs.

FOPA Open Mic, Lorne Hotel, Beer Garden Sound Stage, Sun 2 Sep, from 1.00pm
The FOPA festival winds up with an open mic afternoon where you can strut your talents or sit back with lunch and a drink to enjoy the talent or terror of the brave souls stepping up to the microphone.