Dolly Diamond: The Lady is a Tramp

THE LADY IS A TRAMP is an autobiographical tell-all and celebration of the life of a hard-working and fearless woman. Featuring tales of Dolly Diamond’s life, loves and (alleged) lascivious behaviour this show features sensational new material and the incomparable Shanon Whitelock on piano.

Like so many pioneering women before her Dolly refuses to be branded a ‘scarlet woman’ for simply embracing her sexuality or ‘opinionated’ for speaking her mind. This cabaret diva is making a loud and proud contribution in her lifetime and refuses to apologise for that.

Dolly says “I’m so excited about ‘The Lady is a Tramp’ – there’s so much musical talent in this show. It’s going to be my exciting show to date … guaranteed.”

Time Out says “She’s quick with a witty riposte and a loving put-down, and the audience laps it up. Dolly is no Diamond in the rough, but a rare and polished stone that lights up any room she’s in.”

The Herald Sun says “The music is fantastic and it’s impossible to keep feet or hands still … the highlight is Dolly’s interaction with the audience, which redefines what it means to be quick-witted, and leaves the audience hoping for a song so they get a chance to stop laughing and catch their breath.”

Venue: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Time: 9.00pm
Dates: Tue 27 June (preview) to Sat 1 July (five performances)
Duration: 60 minutes approx.
Bookings: www.melbournecabaret.com
Prices: $39 full price
$34 for concession-card holders
$34 for groups of six or more people
$29 for Festival Friends

Dolly Diamond will also host the festival’s exclusive Opening Gala on Tuesday 20 June, and it’s closing night on Sunday 2 July. See www.melbournecabaret.com for full details.

Cabaret From The Fringe

Kicking Off again on the 20th of June is our cities very own Cabaret Festival, and if your tastes are more excited by new, undiscovered talent, by pass all that is taking place south of the Yarra and head straight to The Butterfly Club. This local beacon to everything cabaret, everything awesome and everything independent, will be serving up a smorgasboard of tasty treats to keep you out at night and sure to be entertained, TAGG spoke with Xander from the club ahead  of the upcoming season….

In essence, what makes this program within the broader  Melbourne Cabaret Festival- “fringe”, how do you define this term, and in are broader context, do you perhaps identify with other fringe festivals loosing focus on  supporting artists in favour of audience development and sponsorship deals.

Well that question escalated quickly. In terms of where our program sits in relation to the Cabaret Festival and what makes it ‘the Fringe’, I think is best displayed by looking at the two programs side by side. On one hand the Melbourne Cabaret Festival has performers like Queenie van de Zandt, Ginger & Tonic and Jon Jackson, all cabaret veterans (for lack of a better term), and all shows promising polish and to be pretty ‘safe’ (also for lack of a better term).
 
Then you look at the Cabaret Fringe program and you get a whole bunch of brand new faces, risk takers and artists that are still fleshing out their own cabaret identity, classic ‘diamond in the rough’ Fringy stuff.
 
Cabaret has been around for a very long time, through it’s constant evolution of presentation style, performance and concepts, has lead to the form in which it embodies today, aside from such longevity, why is  it still  so relevant and popular with today audiences?
 
I think you have answered the question for me – because cabaret is constantly evolving, cabaret has stayed relevant. Cabaret is often a commentary on the current social, political climate mixed in with personal reflections, so as the social and political landscape changes, it feeds the cabaret artists new material. There is also a stream of cabaret that is nostalgia, which is really just the same evolution just at a parallel point in history.
 
In Australia, it can be argued that cabaret has it strongest following in Melbourne, due to the work of people like Mathew Grant, Neville and David  and now Simone who have not only been custodians of the space but pioneers in developing audiences for Cabaret. But after 24 years, how exactly will this years festival be able “push the boundaries of the art form” ,and is it even possible to further define locally made work?
 
I think the constant evolution of cabaret is always going to allow artists to push the boundaries of the art form. If you look at what cabaret is in Adelaide or Brisbane, you will find very different versions of cabaret as to what we know here in Melbourne. I also believe that there are a few artists sneaking around that are ridiculously talented and are raising the bar here in Melbourne.
 
Lets move on, give us a quick run down of  each  of the shows whats a single thing from each of them that have intrigued you? Are there any works that directly respond to the current state of affairs both here and abroad, and also have central themes emerged between them?
 
Fully Made Up – There are very few people that I would trust to do a good improvised solo cabaret show. Jenny is one of those people.
 
Send Nudes – These guys are young, enthusiastic and curiously cynical.
 
Yada Yada Yada – I am not a huge fan of 90s pop nostalgia, but Lauren Edwards and Jude Perl are cooking up something good, it’s going to be 90s and I’m going to like it.
 
Finding Felix – Soon to be another new face to the Melbourne scene (he’s still studying at some music theatre school in Perth)
 
Adulting – Tash York is always happy to turn a mirror to herself for a laugh, and it’s always relatable and enjoyable.
 
Raising Ell! – Definitely one of the quirky ones, and a good example of someone doing their own thing and giving no fucks.
 
Tragedy! A New Comedy – It’s Greek theatre meets pop culture in a one woman cabaret tackling the age old trope, narcissism.
 
You mention in your press release that these works are to a degree “untested” is this exciting/daunting, or a way to spring board emerging artist while providing the resources needed to  create, is  this kind of generosity a shrinking commodity for local creatives and if so, why?
 
It definitely sits on the exciting side for me, I love that I can pick up the phone and speak to an artist that I’ve never seen or met before and say ‘we’re going to let you use our venue and if you don’t sell any tickets, you don’t owe us any money’. I wouldn’t go so far as to call us a ‘spring board’, maybe ‘cabaret hoarders’ instead?
 
Finishing on a brighter note, what do you love most about the festival and this program, and what do  you think audiences will most appreciate taking away post performance?
 
At this stage I think I love it’s intimacy and it’s infancy, I remember when the Melbourne Cabaret Festival was at a similar stage, when only the most discerning of audiences would actually know there was a festival on and this wasn’t just another week at the Club.
 
Any last words?
 
I guess I should encourage people to see some shows.
 
 

ICONIC & LEGENDARY CABARET SHOW DIRECT FROM PARIS – FOR FIRST TIME EVER IN AUSTRALIA

Crazy Horse Paris Forever Crazy
Crazy Horse Paris Forever Crazy

Over the past 65 years, Crazy Horse Paris shows have drawn over 15 million patrons among them numerous celebrities over and over again, including, Elizabeth Taylor, President John F. Kennedy, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Jean Paul Gaultier, Pedro Almodovar, Sting, Beyoncé, Rihanna… just to name a few.

Forever Crazy
Forever Crazy

Since its inception, Crazy Horse Paris has acquired an impeccable reputation for presenting women in an incomparable, sensual and sophisticated way. Its rich artistic legacy is recognized worldwide, especially among creators, artists and designers. Over the past years Crazy Horse Paris has collaborated with David Lynch, Miuccia Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Kylie Minogue and Ellen von Unwerth.

Crazy Horse Paris has been home to a long list of exceptional artists who have made guest performances with the troupe, including Dita Von Teese, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra, Arielle Dombasle, Clotilde Courau and Conchita Wurst.

Celebrating 65 years of naked couture and Parisian Glamour.

Media Note – please contact your local publicist for access to the Crazy Horse Paris Media
Dropbox that contains background information, images, footage, and more.

Australia: let’s go Crazy!

MELBOURNE ON SALE TUESDAY 11 APRIL

VENUE The Palms at Crown Melbourne
DATES Tuesday 8 August to Sunday 20 August CHRISTINA AGUILERA
BOOKINGS Ticketmaster.com.au

PERTH ON SALE TUESDAY 11 APRIL

VENUE Crown Theatre, Perth HUGH HEFNER
DATES Wednesday 6 September to Sunday 17 September
BOOKINGS Ticketmaster.com.au

SYDNEY ON SALE FRIDAY 5 MAY

VENUE State Theatre, 49 Market Street, Sydney
DATES Wednesday 27 September to Sunday 1 October
TIMES Wednesday at 7.30pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7pm and 9.30pm
Sunday at 6pm and 9pm
BOOKINGS Ticketmaster.com.au

CANBERRA ON SALE FRIDAY 5 MAY

VENUE The Canberra Theatre, Civic Square,
London Circuit, Canberra
DATES Wednesday 4 October to Saturday 7 October
TIMES Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 7.30pm and 9.30pm
BOOKINGS Canberratheatrecentre.com.au

Anya Anastasia presents – ROGUE ROMATIC

Serenades from a Delinquent Diva Contemporary, bold, sparkling, sexy and packed with punchy humor this new work from Anya Anastasia follows on from her award winning hit Torte E Mort: Songs of Cake and Death.

Feisty, feminist, fierce, multi-award winning, internationally acclaimed cabaret femme fatale
Anya Anastasia has gone ROGUE!

Rogue Romantic is the follow up from Anya’s latest award winning show Torte e Mort: Songs
of Cake and Death that won awards, hearts and stars all over Australia.

The limited season of this new work will run from Wednesday March 29 to Sunday April 2 at
the beautiful Melba Spiegeltent, Collingwood.

Armed with a biting wit, fuelled by a lust for revenge and backed up by her new kick-ass full
band Anya’s Rogue Romantic is a seductive and exhilarating night of music, theatre and fun.
A night filled with electrifying twists, hilarious physical comedy, intense audience interaction and Roque should draw out a titter or two. Audiences will experience the thrill of this extravagant, glamorous and off-kilter diva right in their very laps (literally)!

Channelling Yma Sumac and Shirley Bassey, Anya’s vocals range from husky cabaret to operatic soprano, to the delight of cabaret, live music and theatre lovers.

Rogue Romantic follows hot on the heels of her smash hit 2016 Edinburgh Fringe season of ‘Torte e Mort: Songs of Cake and Death’ which also won The 2016 Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award for Best Cabaret.

Now we can bear witness to this multi-talented artist as she smashes the stage with a star-studded band and all new original songs.

Rogue Romantic is directed by Wes Snelling, with dramaturgy by Clare Bartholomew (Die Roten Punkte), and musical direction by Lucian McGuiness (Scotch and Soda, Company).
Don’t miss the performer critics and audiences alike are labelling “a major MAJOR talent” Stage Whispers.

Tickets are limited, so book now at trybooking.com

Event Details
Anya Anastasia presents

ROGUE ROMATIC
Serenades from a Delinquent Diva.
Melba Spiegeltent,
35 Johnston St, Collingwood

Dates: Wednesday 29 March to Sunday 2 April, 2017
Times: 8.00pm
Tickets: Adult – $30
Concession – $25
Parental guidance recommended (PG)
Bookings: trybooking.com

Website: anyaanastasia.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/anyaanastasiaartist
Video Content: anyaanastasia.com/gallery/video/

 

Crossfade

The Melba Spiegeltent – 19–21 January 2017
Metamorphis Theatre

 

Crossfade is an interactive and provocative exploration of gender, sexuality and identity. Bryan Smith, Lily Fish, Mis Fit, Jessaeme St James, Jessi Lewis, Timothy Treasure and Kiki Targe weave together an eclectic series of short performances with cross-dressing, brief BDSM, nudity and elaborate costumes to create this anti-structure, collaborative cabaret.

Exploring taboos and challenging norms, these performances briefly dip into various characters’ perspectives. A young schoolboy professes his desires to the devil, quietly proclaiming, “When I grow up, I want to be very, very rich, very, very famous, and very… very… sexually attractive…” From a comparatively cynical perspective, a young woman’s seductive striptease transitions into tawdry vulgarity, challenging the objectification and illusory glamour.

Crossfade demonstrates skilful use of space and interaction prior and throughout the performance. A cast member approaches seated guests before the show commences, false eyelashes fluttering while blowing a seductive, glitter-filled kiss. Challenging the barrier between audience and performer as much as it challenges the lines between gender roles, the cast engage with audience members throughout the performance. Pauses, lingering stares and unsettling smiles communicate wordlessly as they spread throughout the space, including walking through audience seats.

The performance toys with LGBTQI tropes, breathing new life into old clichés to deliver an emphatic, defiant ‘fuck you’ to gender and sexual identity norms. From big-haired, exaggeratedly feminine cross-dressing to the literal closet doors from which the actors enter and exit centre stage, subtlety takes a back seat.

Closing on a powerful and somewhat unsettling note with Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker, this multi-layered visual narrative is an intense experience. Crossfade makes a statement, and that statement is loud, proud and defiant.

BIJOU – A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION

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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.
 
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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.

Going round the twist

Wes Snelling, undoubtedly one of Melbourne’s most awesome cabaret performers is back, and in fine form, bringing his larger than life, booze infused, neurotic and slightly terrifying character Tina Del Twist along for the ride.

Tina was the cherub and comrade to the likes of Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe… But she never quite made it to be a household name. Or did she? In Tina’s eyes, she did.  Known for her ‘beautiful voice and wicked sense of comic timing’ – The Age Melbourne. Loved by audiences and critics alike, this gin-soaked velvet draped madame has been described as the lovechild of Dame Edna and Amy Winehouse. TAGG spoke with the unlikely pair about Gold Class, which will be taking place at the Melbourne Fringe Festival hub, deep in the bowls of the beloved Arts House…

Introduce us to the work, what’s it called, and why?

Wes: It is Tina del Twist GOLD CLASS. It is a live cabaret concert like being at the cinema, but it’s live. It’s like being at home on the couch but this is in the privacy of your own fringe festival. There are VIP banana lounge seats available (which come with a complimentary wine) and Tina may throw some cheese at you at some point. Tina is a fabulous lush of a woman I produce. She is my Aunt, an alcoholic and a little deluded. I have her here with me now…

Tina: Hello darling, how are you?

Wes: so how would you describe the work Tina?

Tina: Well I sing lots of songs with my wonderful guitarist. I sing songs about.. oh how dull of me I don’t want to talk about the songs I am singing, it takes the fun out of it. Songs are there to be heard and lyrics interpreted via melody. Otherwise they would be poems, or chapters in a novel wouldn’t they, not songs. Come and see the concert and you’ll hear the songs. But they are of the blues and jazz vein. And I tell some jokes and stories you know.

Wes: Does that answer your question?

What drives you as a creative, is it the joy of performance, or the thrill of creating new work?

Wes: Well I will hand that one over to Tina…

Tina: Sorry what was the question? … Oh look, you know what, every time we are creating a new song or show or ‘work’ as you like to call it, I think god this is going to be a fun adventure, and then just before we start the process I have four panic attacks and think this is a bloody awful and anxiety ridden experience, why have I put myself in this position? Then I think it’s alright, once we get to the performance that is when the fun starts, it will all be ok, and then you get to the night of the performance and you are about to go on stage, you have four panic attacks and think this is a bloody awful and anxiety ridden experience, why have I put myself in this position? Then I think it’s alright, once we get to the end of the show and the applause arrives it will be worth it. Then you get to the end walk offstage and wonder if anyone actually liked it and you have four panic attacks and think this is a bloody awful and anxiety ridden experience, why have I put myself in this position? Then I think it’s alright, once we get paid you know, and then you realise the show was a fundraiser for a shed that needs to built somewhere in Nunawading to house a lawn mower, and so you go home and cry yourself to sleep. But to answer your question, what drives me as a creative is Gin.

Wes: What Tina is trying to say is that she really enjoys the entire process but most of all loves engaging with her audience.

What should audiences expect musically, and where drawn inspiration from when creating the work?

Tina: What should audiences expect musically? Songs darling.

Wes: Tina be nice. So, I know working with Tina on this there are quite a few original acoustic songs that are folky, bluesy, jazzy.

Tina: Let me talk Wes darling you sound like a dickhead. So there are quite a few original acoustic songs that are folky, bluesy, jazzy. The only time we choose to do a cover song is if we think we bring something new to it. There is no point just covering a song because you love the original, it has to also fit the context. Otherwise it’s karaoke. So we do songs by Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, songs that I grew up with and a lot of Australian work too but the lyrics have to make sense and be relevant to me. For example I wouldn’t do a song like Baa Baa Black Sheep because I am not a sheep, and I am not a fan of children so what’s the point? We do a song by that wonderful man Michael Hutchence, Devil Inside. I spent a lot of time with him back in the day. He taught me how to be sexual. But to answer your question, I draw inspiration from wine. And valium. At the same time.

Why do you think Tina Del Twist is still as popular, or perhaps notorious as ever?

Wes: I’ll take this one, Tina has just drifted off.

She is persistent! Ha! Tina is a talented alcoholic who once was a starlet but she is now living on the other side of that and is completely deluded that the stardom has ceased. There is an underlying darkness and tragedy to this that she doesn’t harp on about. In some ways everyone has or knows of an Aunt Tina. Not necessarily one that sings but certainly that Aunt who rocks up to xmas smashed and has no filter and takes you out the back for a joint. Her dementia often kicks in and she says whatever she likes. And that is why she is really fun, and why I think audiences can get a kick out of it as she often says things people are thinking but may not feel comfortable saying.

How do you see this performance as standing out from the rest of Melb Fringe this year?

Wes: I will start by saying it is not a competition. I think Melbourne has enough audiences to go and see shows. You still have to work hard to get people there. I think people do go and see more than one show. I would personally like to steer away from the idea that we stand out from each other because it creates a competitive culture, particularly in a fringe festival where I believe one of the main purposes is to nurture all artists involved.

Tina: Oh shut up Wes, this show stands out because it is the best.

What do you hope that audience will walk away with post show, and why?

Wes: I like people leaving a show and asking questions. Specifically, ‘why didn’t we book a banana lounge Gary?’

Tina: There can be a stress when creating a show that there has to be resolution at the end or that you have to leave the audience with one message to take away. I try not to focus on that. This particular show has a lot of light and shade in it and it is much like a mosaic puzzle, in a good way. Over the course of an hour you get presented with all these dots to join in the form of music and anecdotes, and you let them wash over you. Then when you leave all the dots make sense. This is my favorite kind of cabaret.

For more information and to book you tickets click here

Not Another Indie Cabaret

The delightfully disenchanted cabaret songstress Jessamae St James, is looking to stand out from the pack with her new performance Not Another Indie Cabaret. A work that is self described as “Soaked in satire, part self-deprecating reflection and part love letter to making excellent life choices whilst drunk on eBay.” and directed by Steven Gates one third of Australian comedy powerhouse Tripod, should indeed prove to be a trifle entertaining.

Pair this with the lusciousness that is The Butterfly Club, who are presenting the work as part of their Melbourne Fringe season, you have more than a good chance of having a great time in checking this one out. TAGG spoke with Jessamae ahead of the season.

What is the inspiration behind you show?

The show is a comedy cabaret, a satirical mash of indie, pop and spoken word. I was inspired oddly enough by cabaret! You see, I don’t want to perform ‘just’ another indie cabaret. But what the heck does that actually mean? I mean, isn’t cabaret by it’s definition pretty indie? And then if it is an indie cabaret how do I know if it’s indie enough? Questions. Drama. Throw in a loop station and some questionable online shopping. Oh also, a trumpet kazoo.
 
Why cabaret, and what do you hope to give audiences, and what do you hope they take away from the performance?
Cabaret so perfectly captures my loves; music, story telling and intimacy. Urgh that sounds so squishy but I love cabaret and so I tend to wish a lot from it. I think it’s such a wonderful way to tell stories and can also be outrageous ridiculous fun. I really hope to remind audiences that not taking ourselves too seriously can be a source of wonderful joy!
What do you feel defines your work, and sets its apart from the rest of the Melbourne Fringe Season this year?

All of the songs in Not Another Indie Cabaret are written by me using instruments that I’ve bought whilst drunk on eBay! Also, the show is directed by Steven Gates (who is 1/3 of the multi award winning comedy trio Tripod), he has a wealth of knowledge on all things funny.
 
You have an incredible voice, talk to us about how you came to be a singer, and whats your training background?

In high school I was 100% a music theatre geek and went on to study music theatre at VCA. I then went back a few years later and completed a third of the jazz improv degree. Whilst I was there I found myself wanting more and more to be creating and devising theatre and so I took some time off to do that, and haven’t looked back! Although the songs in this show aren’t stylistically jazz, I’m very much influenced by jazz in my writing. Early on when I first began writing I was lucky to be part of a song writing mentorship where I was mentored by Deborah Conway. Since then I’ve somehow managed to sing jazz in nightclubs, in beautiful theatres whilst performing striptease in burlesque shows and combine it with my kitsch 80s omnichord for silly synth-y fun.

Not Another Indie Cabaret opens on Tuesday the 20th September and plays till Sunday the 26th, for more information or to book your tickets click here.

Ladyboys Cabaret St Kilda Foreshore

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LadyBoysMore than twenty of Thailand’s most beautiful Ladyboys, star performers from some of the most prestigious cabaret shows in Thailand, are in St Kilda to perform in the Thailand Ladyboy Superstars Cabaret in the St Kilda Triangle.

Thai Ladyboys are known for their flawless female impersonations and as the world’s most glamorous showgirls (who just happen to be men!). With immaculate make-up these extraordinary ‘Thai beauty queens’ wear more than 200 specially designed costumes … all dripping with diamantes, rhinestones, feathers and sequins.

The Thai Ladyboy Superstars Cabaret is a Las Vegas style blend of cabaret, dance and comedy with fun-filled lip-syncs performed to classic and contemporary numbers, including movie hits, superstar pop favourites (Tina Turner, Kylie Minogue and J-Lo) as well as enchanting music from Thailand. All performed in extravagant stage settings.

The Thai Ladyboy Superstars are dedicated to their profession and are arguably the best in the world in this genre of performance. The ladyboy shows of Thailand are famous worldwide and are a major tourist attraction for Thailand. Many of the performers in the show have been the face of the various cabaret shows around Thailand.

Tickets may be purchased at www.ladyboycabaret.com.au.

 

Baritones Belting Bond

Fringe is almost here, and among the plethora of shows about to take over our city, is a performance about the world’s greatest spy, a man who is suave, patriotic, sporting a devil may care attitude, of course his name is Bond, James BondPerfect for newbies and know-it-alls alike,  Shaken  plunges head first into over 50 years of James Bond iconography. Pitting the seven ‘James Bond’ actors against each other in a race to determine, scientifically, which of them is the greatest all-time Bond.  Charlie D. Barkle who is at helm of this productions spoke with TAGG about the work.
Charlie tell us about the process of creating a cabaret performance, where did you begin?
For me a Cabaret starts with an idea gem or nugget, it could be as simple as a gimmick, or a topic, or even something that I think is cool and really want to do on stage, for Shaken it was the latter, I had met Oliver Clark at a karaoke night that he hosts in Fitzroy and we hit it off, ‘Bonding’ over our love of James Bond movie themes. Oliver would belt out Thunderball and Golden Eye, where as my favourites were Licence to Kill and Goldfinger. Wanting to develop a simple, fun, and accessible cabaret show, I thought what better genre than Bond, approaching Oliver to join me for the ride and I set about writing and fleshing out the concept.
What is the inspiration behind this show, was there a particular moment in a Bond film that inspired you?
I’ve always loved Bond films, I jumped on board during the Brosnan era, but quickly went back and filled in the gaps with Connery, Lazenby, Moore, and Dalton. But more than the movies themselves, it the themes that inspire me, there is something truly magnificent about a Bond theme, both classical and pop simultaneously, the smooth strings, the pop of the brass, and then the singers, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, Adele, Garbage, Chris Cornell, Louis Armstrong, the list goes on and on and on.
What do you  think has been the key to the Bond film’s success, and how do you hope to emanate this?
The ability to reinvent and reimagine the character for different generations is moist certainly at the heart of the Bond franchises success, also the ability to evolve with an ever changing world, is certainly a key factor to its success. Shaken aims to celebrate the Bond franchise in all it’s incarnations, from the terribly misogynistic Connery era right through to the more enlightened and respectful Daniel Craig. By pitting the Bond’s against each other in friendly competition we explore the evolution of the character and how he has changed and adapted through history for a changing and developing audience.
What do you feel the performance brings to the Melbourne fringe program, and what sets you apart from the rest of the pack?
The pop culture arrogance of 3 simple words “Bond, James Bond
Musically, what can audiences expect from the this show?
As our tag line suggests, Baritones Belting Bond, I’ve handpicked 8 of my favourite themes and Oliver and I have set our selves the task to add our own personal flair to the themes, We’ve arranged a pretty cool duet version of Skyfall, we’ve got a Tom Jones sandwich with Bassey bread, and we’ve got the Gladys Knight, and Tina Turner twin play.
Did you seek or perhaps find inspiration from anywhere else?
Conceptually I borrowed, strangely enough, from my love of mathematics and statistics. I’m a huge fan of a good spreadsheet, and the idea to pitt the various Bonds against each other came from there. I was watching through all 26 Bond films again, researching for the show, and I thought wouldn’t it be fun to pick out a number of key attributes and keep a tally of them as I went along. This formed the basis of the show giving us the categories that we assess each Bond by to determine the answer to the age old question Which Bond is the best.
Shaken, opens on Tuesday the 20th of September at The Butterfly Club, for more info click here