Tag: Anna Boulic

Submissions Now Open For SHORT+SWEET CABARET 2011

So… what can you do with ten minutes?

This month marks the annual return of one of the most exciting and challenging cabaret opportunities Melbourne has to offer, as submissions open for this year’s Short+Sweet Cabaret.

The ‘biggest little play festival in the world’ also includes theatre, dance and song programs, but Short+Sweet Cabaret has proven to be a particularly creative and invigorating development for the festival in Melbourne.

As the festival’s name suggests, successful applicants only have ten minutes in which to perform their cabaret piece and showcase their talents.

Whether it’s burlesque or vaudeville, hilariously comic or thrillingly creepy, New York-style or cabaret noir, festival director Emma Clair Ford (herself an accomplished and award-winning Melbourne cabaret artist) is welcoming submissions in any cabaret form. 

Short+Sweet Cabaret Festival 2011 will be held at Chapel Off Chapel in Prahran from October 26th to November 6th.

The festival functions as a platform for artists to present new, emerging and recent works to both industry professionals and an enthusiastic audience, and Ford has revealed that she is particularly looking for ‘fresh and well thought-out ideas’.

Porcelin Punch: Photo by Rebecca Humphries

There are not only the judges’ and people’s choice awards to be won, but Short+Sweet is also an invaluable chance to gain significant recognition and explore further networking and performance possibilities.

Previous festival winners and participants have included Porcelin Punch Travelling Medicine Show (pictured), song-writer and comedian Geraldine Quinn, Chants Des Catecombes’ Anna Boulic, Hannah Williams as Mercedes Benz and The Jane Austen Argument‘s Tom Dickins.

To enter a submission:

  • Simply email a 100 word or less description of your proposed 10-minute cabaret concept to emma@shortandsweet.org
  • Include your name, phone number, cast and creative team, and a list of any props, technical and musical requirements.

Submissions close on Friday September 9th 2011.

For more information please visit www.shortandsweet.org


Short and sweet, just the way we like it.

By Deborah Langley

Who wouldn’t love something called Short + Sweet? In this age of fast food, quick chats and instant messages, cutting our cabaret into short and sweet little ten-minute morsals sound absolutely perfect to me.

For the 2011 Melbourne Cabaret Festival an even smaller package of the Short + Sweet Cabaret series, normally performed at Chapel Off Chapel in November, has been delicately assembled into a one-hour package.

That means, five acts in under sixty minutes – if you don’t like one, just wait ten minutes, ‘cos I am sure you will find something to love in this little collection. So let’s have a look at what they have put together for us:

First up is Mercedes-Benz: Awkwardly. And I’ve got to say, yes she does. I didn’t know where to look for some of this one and I still saw parts of the female anatomy I wasn’t expecting. This honest and raw show by Hannah Williams is a ‘how to’ from the world of stripping. Jumping from documentary-style dialogue,  how-to-instruction and insightful versions of some kitch pop songs, if you ever wondered what it was like to be a stripper, this one’s for you. For me through it was a little too real!

From reality we jump to the farcical with Porcelain Punch Travelling Medicine Show. This one would have to be my favourite of the night, complete with piano accordion and missing teeth. The trio comprised of Emilie Johnston, Madeline Hudson and Paul Bourke performed miracles as a member of the audience went from crippled to dancing a jig in just a few moments. Great characters, great music and a great gimick! They will keep you laughing and thoroughly entertained – old school style!

Two of a Kind is next up, when two identical twins sing about life as a twin, the benefits and pitfalls. This show kept me smiling and is defiantly very very sweet. The twins Dace and Mara Kapsis are very likable with angelic voices and lovely harmonies.

For a single girl, I could completely relate to the next act. Torn: Ten Minutes of First Dates delivers exactly what is says it will in a hilarious and brilliant show. Through song and witty banter we see one guy’s last four dates. Jordan Bowering meets the lier, the nerd, the attached and after three disasters he tries out the non-date. All written and performed with wonderful and relatable humor. A close contender for favourite of the night.

Time to put the laughter aside for the last show of the night, Chants Des Catacombes is a French tragedy that would have Edith Piaf relating. Our mournful songstress plays a beautiful harp and tells tales of woe, how she fell in love and then met her end… but I can’t help but feel that I missed out because I don’t speak French. Although for Anna Boulic, as with Edith Piaf, the message still came through beautifully.

So if you want a night of cabaret with a bit of something for everyone head down to Short + Sweet Cabaret as part of the . Performances in the Council Chambers of the South Melbourne Town Hall @ 6.15pm until this Sunday


Hypnotic and intriguing – but got a little lost…

By Kim Edwards

Cabaret is often distinguished from other forms of theatre by its atmosphere: the sense of being drawn into the space and narrative, and caught up easily and absorbidly into a new and rarified air.

Innovative collaborative cabaret  project Chants Des Catacombes is promenade theatre that thus beckons you down into the beautiful and eerie bowels of the Donkey Wheel House in Bourke Street to hear the tales and echoing songs of three women who still haunt the labyrinthine basement long after their demise.

The initial creation of atmosphere and use of space is just sublime in this production. Nicola Andrew’s spectacular lighting design reveals each new room and scene as a place of chiaroscuro and spectacle, and the audience wandered fearless and fascinated down halls, around pillars and through doorways as the action unfolded in front, behind and between us.

The concept of Chants Des Catacombes is beguiling, and the multi-sensory experience highly engaging, but narrative and characters are strangely jarring and indistinct. The desire to understand who these three women are and what holds them here remains unsatiated: lyrics and anecdotes were difficult to hear as snatches of story floated away down corridors, diction was muffled or volume insufficient.

Moreover, while cabaret delights in reconsidering songs in new contexts and styles, obviously anachronistic modern music when we wanted to immerse ourselves in the past felt intrusive and disruptive – particularly the closing number that left the audience silent in surprise.

Perhaps the desire is indeed to unsettle us and prevent us losing ourselves completely in this world and the lives and deaths created, as fragmented narrative and characters and songs wisp and whisper away into the shadows, but for me, Chants Des Catacombes ultimately did not quite achieve the gothic, ghostly, sultry heights the publicity had evoked.

Nonetheless, the performances were certainly mesmerising (and I appreciated the subtle art of the ushers as crew, scenery, signposts, props and brooding presence), the overall experience is unique and enjoyable, and the chance to traverse and haunt a cabaret performance space yourself as witness and voyeur and silent participant is – well, simply to die for

Chants Des Catacombes is the collaborative creation of:

• Nicola Andrews (Lighting Designer and VCA Design Graduate)
• Anna Boulic (Winner of the 2010 Short and Sweet Cabaret Festival, Harpist and NIDA Graduate)
• Laura Burzacott (Call Girl the Musical and I Heart Frankston)
• Nathan Gilkes (Theatre & Opera Director and VCA Directing Graduate)
• David Harford (Choreographer and Ballarat Arts Academy Graduate)
• Bryce Ives (Theatre Director Call Girl the Musical, The History Boys and I Heart Frankston)
• Emma Leah (Scent Alchemist)
• Zoe McDonald (Wrong Town and VCA Musical Theatre Graduate)
• Sophie Woodward (Designer and VCA Graduate)

Venue: Donkey Wheel House, 673 Bourke Street Melbourne
Dates:  Fri-Sat 17-18 June 8.30pm & 10.30pm, Sun 19 June 6pm.
Tickets: $30/conc $25
Bookings: http://www.trybooking.com/9503 or at the door