While the Cafe is no longer operating as a performance venue, (the doors closed on 31st December 2000) the promotion of Australian cabaret and theatre continues.


You can contact us to hear about our future plans and developments or you may purchase our Australian Cabaret and Showbiz Legends CD series (see below).


For any information please contact us. cafe@showbuzz.com.au



For fifteen years, until December 2000, The School of Arts Cafe operated as Australia's best-known and longest established cabaret venue.

Owned and operated by Pat, Bill and Timothy Stephens, The School of Arts Cafe presented several nights each week, a unique form of dinner and show entertainment, showcasing many of the nation's most acclaimed performers in the field of cabaret.

As well as the evening performances the cafe also presented luncheon and afternoon tea performances of many of the evening programs.

Situated in the main street of Queanabeyan, just outside the national capital of Canberra, the cafe was located in a heritage building. Displayed on its walls a collection of hundreds of photos, reviews, autographs and memorabilia recording the appearances at the cafe of a veritable "who's who" of Australian cabaret entertainers including Lana Cantrell, David Campbell, Tim Draxl, Lynn Rogers, Dennis Olson, John O'May, Derek Matzger, Peter J. Casey, Bruce Barry, Noel Ferrier, Jill Perryman, Nancye Hayes, Toni Lamond, Jeanne Little, Lorrae Desmond, June Bronhill, Graeme Bell, Kerrie Biddell, Julian Lee, Margret RoadKnight, Maria Venuti, Lonnie Lee, Jan Adele, Donna Lee, Combo Fiasco, Jackie Love, Tony Sheldon, Gordon Kaye, Edna Edgley, Johnny Pace, Lee Young, Judy Glen...the list goes on.

Many of the cabaret programs presented at the cafe were recorded for broadcast by ArtSound Inc.(formerly Canberra Stereo Public Radio).

The cafe has produced several CD's for Larrikin Entertainments' "Legends of Australian Showbiz" series, recorded, in performance, at the cafe. Artists recorded in performance at the cafe are Nancye Hayes, Toni Lamond, Jeanne Little, Donna Lee, Lynn Rogers and Lorrae Desmond. Margret RoadKnight's cafe performance was added to the series in February 1997. The series was nominated for the 1995 ARIA Awards and distributed world wide. CD's are still available for purchase.

In 1995 the cafe published a Celebrity Cookbook, compiled by Timothy, which featured more than 65 favourite recipes contributed by entertainers and associates who appeared at the cafe.

The cafe won many awards during its fifteen years of operation. In 1998 it was awarded a Distinction in the Capital Country Tourism Awards and an Honourable Mention in the 1998 McDonald's Queanbeyan Business Awards. Was a winner of a 1997 Capital Country Tourism Award, and winner of the 1997 Canberra Critics' Circle Award. Other awards included the 1992 IMB Business of the Year, a Queanbeyan Business Enterprise Centre Gold Star Award in 1994, the 1995 and 1996 Southern Tablelands Tourism Awards, and a Distinction in the 1996 ACT Tourism Awards.



Legends of Australian Showbiz

The Legends of Australian Showbiz CD series is a compilation of live performances recorded at the School of Arts Cafe showcasing outstanding Australian cabaret performers.

The series was nominated for an Aria award in 1995 and is a must for every collector of Australian Theatre history.

Legends in the series are:

Nancye Hayes
Lynn Rogers
Donna Lee
Toni Lamond
Lorrae Desmond
Jeanne Little
Dennis Olsen
Margret RoadKnight

To purchase a copy and for further information please contact us. cafe@showbuzz.com.au