This isn’t BottledSnail Production’s first cabaret show but it is very different to their other offerings, with Crime & Punishment: Cabaret for a Cause now playing at Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne.

Director, cast member and marketing director Amelia Edwards has been involved with the company for 18 months, but this show is her first time directing and her return to the stage after a while.

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-1-31-59-pm“I found out about BSP while searching for a community theatre group to get involved with. It’s a group of fabulously creative and committed people who all understand the demands of a professional working schedule, and never ask for more than anyone is willing and able to give” she says.

“Many lawyers are frustrated creatives, and we can end up feeling a little suffocated by the day-to-day pressures of legal practice. BSP isn’t just a production company, it’s an opportunity from freedom, self-expression, support, and connection that many of us otherwise wouldn’t have,” she said.

“That’s why our aims of facilitating high quality creative projects and raising awareness and promoting positive change on mental health issues in our profession makes so much sense”.

This is Kate Collinson’s first show with BottledSnail, and she is the producer of the show, and has joined the Committee to manage digital communications and rebuild the company’s website.

“This year we very much wanted to focus in on crime and punishment issues that mattered to the group as a whole and have the audience leave having learned or thought about one of these issues in a different way. This may seem like a small impact, but in the grand scheme of law reform, we believe it’s these small revelations which assist gradual change” says Collinson.

“BottledSnail is a big proponent of art as a stimulus for change,” says Edwards. “We’re also not strangers to the political. Crime and Punishment is really just the next logical step for us: an original creative project that aims to educate and agitate as much as it does to entertain”.

“The show grew and took shape around the idea of art as an instrument for change, and trying to open up a dialogue with the audience about those really important issues in the law and in society that we are often so uncomfortable discussing” says Edwards.

“Cabaret is an inherently subversive medium, and the perfect tool for addressing those topics that don’t ordinarily make ‘polite’ dinner conversation. We’re talking (and singing) about everything from seeking asylum to abortion to piracy: eight different contemporary issues in relation to crime, punishment, justice, and the law”.

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-1-32-16-pm“The show owes a little to Liza Minelli (and Isherwood, Kander, and Ebb), a little to Dostoyevsky, and a whole lot to every single member of the cast and creative team who all contributed their energy, ideas, and passion for reform to help us select our key issues, shape our sound and aesthetic, and flame that little spark that, for me, makes this production something really special” says Edwards.

“The show has evolved very organically and collaboratively, but in that process we discovered so many surprising connections between the issues and even between our musical pieces that really puts this show in perspective as part of a long and ongoing cultural conversation on the nature and significance of freedom, control, and change”.

The show is also a fundraiser for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and the performance has deep themes about ‘seeking aslyum’ in Australia.

The ASRC does some fantastic work in our community providing refugees much needed advocacy and assistance in settling in Australia and we wanted to use the show to both raise funds and build awareness for their efforts” says Collinson.

You can catch Crime & Punishment: Cabaret for a Cause in Melbourne at the Ding Dong Lounge until 28th October. Tickets are available from https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/crime-punishment-cabaret-for-a-cause

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