WARNING: Explicit content. If you click on this, you will most likely want to write a letter to the editor for dropping our standards. Clicking this link waives that right.
Two of Opera’s biggest personalities team up for a bizarre dip into a filthy pool of smut and song and come out smelling like angels, dipped in frangipani oil with little car air fresheners dangling from their ears.
I caught up with these fading stars, who are far from fading…. (So to that end, they are just still stars I guess) to chat about their latest attempt to earn some extra money on the side. Strange Bedfellows is some sort of cabaret about a family of singing children, lead by a guitar-playing nun who have to flee Austria in order to avoid the Nazis. OK… so it’s probably not about that. I really should have done some more research on this one. None the less…
Hughesy: Why are you such strange Bedfellows? Have you just met or something?
K- We’ve been bosom-buddies since 1995, but I feel like I’m seeing Jacqui for the first time now that she’s letting her inner strumpet loose on-stage! As an opera singer, she’s known for being terribly vanilla; she was clueless during her pack-rape scene in ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’, I had to coach her through that one.
J – The title reflects our unconventional relationship. We do often share an actual bed, but it’s like The Simpson Desert in there. We bicker constantly and are always asked if we’re married. Kane always replies that we hate each other and never have sex, so we may as well be.
Hughesy: Are you the complete slut everyone says you are?
J – Me or Kane? Why? Are you interested? I’ve always found you kinda dirty hot!
K- I am, thank you for asking.
Hughesy: Why do you bother to have a co-star? They typically add very little to a show. Just look at the Olsen twins in Full House.
J – I’ve been carrying him for years. It’s just a habit that I can’t seem to shake. I keep trying to dump him, but he just cries and begs and it gets pathetic and ugly. He drags the whole show down, but he makes a fine coffee. Our doggy co-star seems to be getting just a litttttle too much attention – I think he needs to be written out
K – Jacqui is not a co-star, she merely dresses the stage whilst I am changing costumes, but I always tell the punters to go to the bar during her numbers.
Hughesy: I hear that cabaret is boring and expensive. Is that true?
J – Yes. Well, ours is, anyway .
K- It’s not boring so long as the audience is prepared to come on the trip with you. We chose our repertoire very carefully so if something’s not working, I always look first to the audience for someone to blame. Perhaps if we charged more they’d have more incentive to enjoy themselves.
Hughesy: Do you think your show deserves to be on Broadway? If so… Why do you think your show is better than other shows that don't make it onto Broadway?
K – If “Spiderman” can make it to the Great White Way, then why not us? Our show has heart, smut and boring bits just like your greatest Broadway offerings and any animals that are harmed were well paid for their services. We are currently in our vital “out of town try-out” phase, whereby we can cut the bits that don’t work (Jacqui), and focus on highlighting the real talent of the combo- it’s very exciting.
J – Broadway is GAGGING for our wares. We’ve already had quite a few offers, but already had a contract with The Butterfly Club, so had to turn them down. Seriously, if we get one more desperate phone call from Andy Lloyd or Stephen begging us to come and headline their new shows, I’ll bite somebody. And for the last time, Cameron, NO, I will NOT sing Kim in Saigon for you, no matter how brilliant and believable we both know I would be!
Hughesy: I hear that your show is very crass. Don't you think that audiences get enough of that from street performers and strippers?
K- What is your source on that one? ‘Under The Covers’ is a family- friendly romp (as long as you grew up in the Manson family) and we defy anyone to be offended by bestiality in these days of cyber-porn and tweeny sluts. Next question, you’ve upset me.
J – And you’re implying that we’re neither of those? Kane plays a human statue on Circular Quay every other weekend and I make the bulk of my salary on a pole. We like to think we bring a little of that class to Bedfellows.
Hughesy: Complete this sentence. If you come to our show and you don't like it I will personally suck your…
K- Andre Rieu collection.
J – dignity and sense of self-worth fair out of your psyche? Money right out of your wallet?
Hughesy: Are there any depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in your show? And if not.. don't you think it would be topical to add some?
K- Je suis naked under this burqua.
J – I truly believe that there are some other mainstream religions that are ripe for a good bollocking. We’re keen to get stuck into some of the ones that are feeling safe and smug and kick them while they’re least expecting it.
Hughesy: Do you have any grudges, ill will or grievances that you'd like to air publicly?
K- Most of my family cop a shellacking, and anyone in the front row who breaks eye- contact with me when I look at them is fair game.
J – I have a massive issue with my boyfriend in Grade 1, Peter Stapp. We were 5 years old and so much in love. He pashed me behind the bushes and proposed during play-lunch one day, and now he’s run off and married some soapie star or something. What a rogue! Most of my heartbreak ditties are dedicated to him.
Hughesy: Are you willing to renounce all other journalists and proclaim me as the almighty?
J – Hell yeah, Dark Master! Shall I oil up the sacrifice now?
Hughesy: I hear that telling stories through song is important. Why is that so? Can't you just text people your stories? That might be quicker…
J – and probably more in tune. When you hear the stuff we wrote ourselves, you’ll PRAY for us to be texting.
K- Human beings have been telling stories through song for over a hundred years now so who are we to buck the trend? It’s what most cabaret acts are doing at the moment, but we shake it up a bit by making most of the songs about us, which very few cabaret performers have ever attempted.
Hughesy: The rumours are rife that you have "blown" your way into most roles in your career to date. As the director/producer of your own show, did you need to go down on yourself?
J – Yep. And each other. It took an intensive yoga course and a barrel of Crisco, and we had to overcome our absolute physical revulsion for each other, but we finally cracked it.
K- I am naturally flexible and tend not to spit, so top-billing was a certainty.
Hughesy: Do you perform for money, applause or awards? If you say "all 3" then you must be a pretty needy person.
J – All three. I’m as needy as fuck.
K- I am doing this show as part of a “work for the dole scheme “ in tandem with fulfilling certain parole conditions. Money gets spent, applause always dies but a nice chunky statuette can be used to bludgeon the nay-sayers into submission so I’ll always take a logie over a profit-share scenario.
Strange Bedfellows is playing at the Butterfly Club from February 17. I’ve personally seen this show and as I know both performers personally, I can give a completely unbiased review – 7 thumbs up.
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