Following the widely acknowledged success of his last cabaret character, Brendan Hay will take to the stage on Friday the 10th of July as a new man – this time, he will be introducing his audience to the long lost son of Cruella de Vil.
Following his life-long obsession with Cruella de Vil and his yearning to play a character similar to her, Mr. Hay has spent 12 months workshopping an original personality that will allow him the opportunity to step into Cruella’s fur coat without having to perform in full drag. Originally beginning work on developing this character (aptly named Cruello) after coming across a fantastic vintage fur coat, Mr. Hay has workshopped ways to incorporate the persona of Ms. de Vil into a one hour cabaret. Working with Jared Jekyll to create a balance of comedy and social commentary and musical numbers, Mr. Hay has told Theatre People that he is more than ready to bring his fully formed, hour long show to Sydney audiences, and cannot wait to discover their reaction.
Being no stranger to performing as flamboyant and out there characters, (Mr. Hay was featured on popular television show, Australia’s Got Talent, portraying Valère, his 17th Century Molière inspired alter ego), Mr. Hay is looking forward to seeing how people will react to the tale of Cruella de Vil’s son, locked in the basement for many years and forgotten after the police have arrested and jailed his mother. By creating a character to perform as and ridding himself of all personal experience and baggage, Mr. Hay hopes that he has fashioned a character that can make his audience look closer at the idea of unconventional love – especially the love a woman who was hoping to kill and wear puppies has for her son.
Pictured above: Brendan Hay in a promotional image for Dance With de Vil. Picture credit to Kurt Sneddon.
Another prevalent theme in Dance With de Vil according to Mr. Hay, is that of the lifestyle associated with party people and socialites. By creating a character that has been held away from the world for so long and is only just beginning to experience modern day society, Mr. Hay has developed an environment in which the protagonist does not have the ability to filter what he says – something that Mr. Hay hopes will pay off in terms of comedy and sentimentality to his audience. “I want to explore the idea of an evil character through the eyes of someone who loved her, to show that she is not all bad.” Much like Gregory Maguire did to the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked, Mr. Hay wants to acknowledge the light and dark in all of us, and plans to show that without the societal limits imposed on us from birth, we can turn out in any manner of ways. “I want to show the love and the loneliness that has shaped this man’s life as a child, and the person he has become.”
In addition to himself, Dance With de Vil features the talents of a pianist and two backing dancers. Mr. Hay is looking forward to working with his team, and cites a scene where his character has his first experience with public transport as a personal favourite. Mr. Hay is also looking forward to observing his audiences, telling Theatre People that it is fantastic fun to watch an audience when “they don’t know what is coming next.” He hopes the lively back story and larger than life persona that comprise his cabaret will keep the audience on their toes, and that he will walk away from this season with another crowd-pleasing character to showcase in the future.
Show and ticketing information can be found by following this link.