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BIJOU – A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION

Mick Pacholli
Mick Pachollihttps://www.tagg.com.au
Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        
 

bijou - a cabaret of secrets and seduction

The original inspiration came from a postcard I saw at the National Gallery of Victoria. It was a photograph of “Madame Bijou” taken in 1932 by the Hungarian photographer Gyulas Brassai. The NGV holds quite a few Brassai prints and this photo is one of them.

I was quite taken by the image, one of an old woman looking cheekily at the camera, heavily made-up, covered in pearls, with rings on every nicotine-stained finger. I thought I’d find out what I could about her, and make a show!
 
BIJOU was not a singer, but she had been a wealthy courtesan in her youth, and now in her later years was down-and-out, begging in the bars in Paris, telling fortunes and seamy stories in exchange for food and wine. No-one knew where she lived, but she frequented the bars every night. Brassai tried to find her again but she never went back to the Bar de la Lune where he had photographed her.
 
bijou - a cabaret of secrets and seduction
 
I had to make do with the little I could find out about her, and make the rest up, so the show is a ‘speculative biography’. Also, I wanted to create a cabaret-style show, so found songs from the period of her life, and they help to tell the story. Alan Hicks who is the pianist in BIJOU is a highly respected classical accompanist and vocal coach. BIJOU is his theatrical debut as Alain the bar pianist. The character of Alain reacts to Bijou throughout the show, offering her support, playing music that will cheer her up or get her going, and giving us a wonderful selection of French and German music, both instrumental and as accompaniment for the songs in the show. These include  ‘Parlez-Moi D’Amour’ by Jean Lenoir, ‘Mon Homme’ made popular by Piaf, ‘Ballad of Sexual Obsession’ by Brecht/Weill, ‘Je Te Veux’ by Satie, and the famous “Falling in Love Again’ by Hollander. Alan plays some amazing French classical music of the time (1870s to 1933), as background music. The audience are experiencing a stylish concert as well as a riveting story.
 
The show premiered in Canberra in 2013 to sold-out houses, and since then we have toured in country regions and have had several seasons in theatres in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne (La Mama Courthouse Theatre in June this year).
 
Alan and I are excited about bringing BIJOU to the Butterfly Club and we are looking forward to sharing this extraordinary show with Melbourne audiences!
 
 
Written and Performed by Chrissie Shaw with Alan Hicks on piano
 
At the Butterfly Club from November 23 to November 27 at 7pm each night.

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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