My Life in the Nude

— 22nd July 2014 —

Not mine. Maude Davey's. That incredible cabaret burlesque performer who has been entertaining and challenging audiences for almost three decades. My Life in the Nude is a retrospective of Maude's nude career. It is honest, confronting, funny and poignant. And contains a lot of nudity!

I was pleased to write an article for Aussie Theatre about My Life in the Nude being programmed for La Mama's new program partnership with fortyfivedownstairs: ENCORE. Here is an excerpt of my interview with legendary performer Maude Davey and La Mama's Artistic Director, Liz Jones:

My Life in the Nude is a celebration of the corporeal, a queer history lesson and an urgent affirmation of shared humanity all rolled up into two unmiss-able hours of brutally honest cabaret.

Davey says, “It’s not something you can keep doing for the rest of your life. When I got to 49 I thought, ‘Hmmm – gonna have to stop!’ I thought I would look at the reasons why you can’t, and what it means to do those pieces with an older body. That was the creative drive to make the show.”

The title of the show does not lie, with audiences guaranteed to see a lot of nudity from the get-go.

“I do wear a couple of frocks and some feathers, but I take them off pretty quickly! I tell the stories of the times that I was making the shows. I talk about aging and what that feels like”, says Davey.

Jones adds, “There is a very strong sense of the passing of time. It’s a really beautiful piece of history apart from everything else.”

Read the full article here.

Do You Hear The People Sing?

— 4th July 2014 —

Les Misérables opened in Melbourne this week, the first time a professional production of the show has been seen in Australia for over 20 years. It was well worth the wait!

I was very lucky to attend opening night with my Aussie Theatre editor. We made our way through the packed theatre foyer, up the staircases of Her Majesty's Theatre, and into our seats. The buzz in the room was incredible. I realised that, though I know the show well, I have never seen a live production of it. I was in for a treat. A stellar cast, brilliant staging, strong direction and unforgettable music all worked to make it stand out as a theatre highlight for me.

The cheers and applause after each song was deafening. The energy from the audience during the big notes and quiet moments of the show was palpable. And everyone in attendance looked fabulous!

Rightly so. The opening night party was a production in itself. Housed at the Forum Theatre on Flinders Street, we were greeted on the red carpet by men waving French flags. As we walked into the venue, we were handed French champagne and delicious morsels from fancy looking wait staff. The open dance floor was buzzing with suits and evening gowns, as people gushed about the performances and marvelled at the barricade inspired chandelier hanging above. On the stage, next to the DJ and band, was a frommage cafe - the largest wheels of cheese and the widest selection of bread and crackers I have ever (and will ever) see!

Putting money into a party like this is clever. Everyone feels special, everyone takes photos, everyone shares them on social media, and all of a sudden it's impossible not to know that Les Mis is back in town. Congratulations to everyone involved. It was an unforgettable evening.

And, I walked home singing the songs.