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May 11, 2021

Interview: Secret Parlour, A Dark Cabaret

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The Secret Parlour, A Dark Cabaret | Club Mullum – Mullumbimby Ex-Services | Saturday 9 June | 7pm

Secret Parlour is the dark cabaret that brings together all that is wild and wonderful from the Guilty Pleasures shows. Louise McCabe spoke with The Echo about what to expect…

Can you tell me what inspired you to create The Secret Parlour?

The Secret Parlour is an antidote to the ‘you must think positive ALL THE TIME’ vibe we’re stuck in – it’s a bit bloody unrealistic! But at the same time it’s a chance to escape from the increasingly crazy outside world. And what better time to celebrate our dark, mad nature than in the lead-up to the solstice?

The show draws on ‘dark’ genres like Victorian gothic, dark cabaret music (google Brecht, Amanda Palmer, or The Tiger Lillies if you don’t what I’m talking about), 1930s Berlin, Nordic Noir – even a bit of slightly spooky sci-fi chucked in… and we’re definitely not afraid to take the piss out of these genres.

Can you tell me a little about some of the acts that are going to perform?

Gold Coast’s Class Act Creative helped instigate the show. They’re dancers and choreographers who’ve travelled the world, performing in some of the world’s premier nightclubs. They were huge hit at the Guilty Pleasures Cabaret and Burlesque Festival last year at the Memorial Hall. They’re presenting three acts, including two especially choreographed for The Secret Parlour.

Our MC Caitlin Strongarm is a performance artist from Brisbane. Caitlin’s a fascinating, truly unique performer who characters combines cabaret, physical theatre, mime and a gorgeous soprano voice. The show will also feature local troupe El Bari, who will bring their passionate and fiery version of flamenco to the stage. And I’m presenting my new character, Lulu Delacour-Boullabaise-Crochenbuche-Pompidoux-Paris-De-St-Germain, a murdered 1930s cabaret singer. Undeterred by the fact that she’s dead, she’s determined to relaunch her career and expose the identify of her murderer while chain-smoking and getting through a bottle of red – all in less than 10 minutes.

This show has music from a live Balkan swing band. Who are they? Tell us a little about them.

Our highly theatrical house band Out of Range draw on a wide range of musical influences including Balkan, gypsy jazz, swing, Klezmer, ragtime and Dark Cabaret. They’ll be performing their own material plus some fabulous covers – and providing atmospheric music throughout the show.

Any surprises?

Many: from a kooky front-of-house team to an crazed actor desperate to play Richard the Third, to a very cheesy quiz show with prizes… and much more but I’d better shut up now or they’ll no longer be surprises. Buy a ticket to the show and find out!

What makes great cabaret?

Strong stories and visuals, high energy, larger-than-life performances, the desire to look completely ridiculous, and sequins… lots of sequins. The audience plays a huge part too – the more they get into it, the more they get back.

What should we expect on the night?

Get ready to be immersed in the world of The Secret Parlour from the moment you step in the door. Everyone’s welcome to frock up – Gothic Victorian is suggested but your favourite finery will do. It’s a sit-down cabaret, with drinks at the bar and the option of ordering dinner from the club’s restaurant.

So expect a fun and slightly crazy night out with your mates, celebrating the darkness. The Secret Parlour – A Dark Cabaret, at Club Mullum, Saturday 9 June at 7.30pm.

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