On the eve of the Auckland Arts Festival, Glory Days sorts through the dizzying array of shows on offer to bring you interviews with our fabulous four picks, who answer five burning questions!
First up the inimitable post-post-modern diva MEOW MEOW'S unique brand of ‘kamikaze cabaret’ has hypnotised, inspired and terrified audiences globally. A sexy spectacle with just a little bit of punk, Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid is a decidedly un-Disney cabaret in which the golden - larynxed chanteuse raucously subverts Hans Christian Andersen’s mermaid tale of teen self-sacrifice, salvation and seduction.
1. How does one end up becoming Meow Meow and living a cabaret life?
One doesn't become, one simply IS. I'm more a force of nature than anything! Unstoppable!
2. When did you decide to create this show and what was the inspiration for Little Mermaid?
The original Hans Christian Anderson tale (tail) from 1837 is so fascinating and still so resonant for a contemporary world - love and self sacrifice, choices and fate, seduction, siren songs, salvation, hard core reality and fantasy- what's not to love?
3. One of our favourite parts of cabaret is the costuming and the excuse cabaret gives to go all out! Could you please tell us about the costumes - who came up with the concepts, who designed them and how long did they take to create?
The brilliant Anna Cordingley is my designer - we had a huge amount of fun turning the traditional mermaid image on its head (sometimes literally)! The costumes are sexy and shiny and quite punk and at times just completely hilarious . And yes there are fishnets. She comes up with lots of designs and then we play In Rehearsal and refine them to their miraculous best!
Then a team of artists put them together - it's a great process and the costumes are "dramaturged" as much as the text. They are full of meaning - poignant and funny.
4. You have a veritable mix-tape of songs in Little Mermaid - which are your favourite three to perform and why?
As if I could choose three! Most of the songs are original commissions for this piece that I have written with my frequent collaborators Iain Grandage and "Thomas M Lauderdale from Pink Martini, and for me by three amazing girlfriend sirens in their own rights - Megan Washington, Kate Miller-heidke and Amanda Palmer. I love them all. They are my very special friends and they written for my soul.
5. Once the audience leaves your show what's the one thing you would like them to remember?
Image sourced from The Malthouse Theatre with thanks!
Glory Days have a double pass to give away to Meow Meow's Little Mermaid show on Wednesday 9 March, 7pm courtesy of Auckland Arts Festival.
To enter the draw, fill out your details below! Entries close Tuesday 1st March at 8pm.