Starting on Saturday, 8 June, Bradley McCaw will begin a 5 month tour that will take him from Adelaide to Noosa, then to New York, before returning to perform in Ballarat and Brisbane. His one man cabaret show, Cabaret: The Complete Unauthorised Autobiography, and its tour are the result of McCaw winning 10th Australian Cabaret Showcase. The showcase, produced by Jeremy Youett of Your Management International, requires performers to create an 8 minute concept piece for an original show. McCaw's nostalgic review of the Cabaret form itself saw him dominate the heats in Noosa before being flown to Sydney for the finals where he took out first place, winning the biggest prize package in the competition’s history.
The show tells the story of the birth of Cabaret, starting in 1878 in France, before following the form to Germany, then to America and the influences of cinema and television in the 50s and 60s. McCaw describes it as an ‘ode to art’ and says that it includes covers of some old cabaret favourites among the large number of original songs. Like traditional cabaret, there is time for banter with the audience, and McCaw says his aim was to produce a show that kept true to the traditions of cabaret while still being original and entertaining.
Despite having shown his qualities as a cabaret performer and songwriter, McCaw’s involvement in the performing arts spreads far beyond being a song and dance man, with achievements in play writing and musical theatre writing and performance. When I spoke with McCaw, he was just taking a break from recording a cabaret album that is intended to accompany his touring show, and got the chance to ask him about the many hats he wears in the world of theatre and music.
McCaw didn’t become involved in music and performance until year 10 of high school, at which point his passion prompted him to move high schools in year 11 in order to attend Kelvin Grove State High School, which had a better music program than the Catholic school he had previously attended. McCaw says that the first few years after high school felt like he was playing catch-up, devoting his time to dance and piano training and performing in musical theatre, always feeling like he ‘wished he had been doing this since he was 5’.
In his spare time he would write furiously, writing songs & plays, adapting musical versions of his favourite movies knowing that without copyright deals they would go nowhere, but always constantly writing. Then Joymas Creative Productions heard some of his material and asked him to write a show, which resulted in the sell-out performance Becoming Bill. His play The Game is also being put on by Brisbane Grammar School in August. At the time he decided to enter the showcase, McCaw had been working slowly on a studio album of old fashioned Rock-and-Roll songs which has now been put on the back burner until after the cabaret tour in late 2013.
McCaw says he feels like he has just fallen into one new experience after the other, and even though he now has the New York Theatre Festival on his calendar, he is still just focusing on the immediate task of finishing his recordings and getting the show ready for its Adelaide opening.
For full tour dates and booking information, visit the website of Your Management International Australia