Sometimes burning the candle at both ends (as my gran would say), and stretching yourself creatively can be – despite the bags under my eyes! – just so incredibly rewarding.
While rehearsing and performing the heavy, emotionally draining drama of The Parricide over the last few months, I have simultaneously been co-creating and rehearsing a show that is, in almost every way, completely different…
SuperGirly: Return of the Pop Princess is an all-singing, all-glamour LAUGHFEST that skewers the tabloid-shifting celebs and pop-singers right through their shallow hearts – to the tune of their own songs, delivered by an adorably insane character who secretly just wants to be one of them.
During our debut production of Fat Pig last year, Lulu McClatchy asked Adam and me if Lab Kelpie would be interested in producing a “comeback” concert of a product she had performed in the UK for many successful years about a decade ago. We did a bit of research and didn’t need any more convincing – this character was drop-dead funny, the songs were biting and relentless, and there felt like a great big hole in there local comedy/cabaret scene that needed filling with just this type of thing.
What started as a simple producing duty moved to “Would you mind joining me onstage for a song?”, through “And could you maybe dress as Britney for another song?” to “You’re going to be my personal man-slave for the whole show!”… In addition, and testing my new great friendship with Lulu, I asked her if I could co-direct as well.
Our journey of creating the show started with sitting Lulu down and making her sing her entire 100+ song back catalogue while we sat with heads down, listening, with often little more than a cursory “yep” or “that’s funny” or “nup” or “next” – poor Lulu!
But afterwards, with a shortlist of killer songs (or “to be written” numbers) over the next months, we began to develop a show that was more than just another “this is my life, with lols” cabaret show, pushing how far we could build an arresting narrative and sense of place into the songs.
Lulu is a an absolute gun writer, we’d talk through rough ideas of story and direction, and by that night there would be pages of script in my email inbox to look at. It was a dream collaboration with an unbelievably talented artist. And, you know, pretty much non-stop laughter.
Fast forward to now, and the show is a two-act piece that explores the character of SuperGirly as she relives her pop industry past while refusing to leave her home, and using her slave “Bradley Cooper” (really just an unemployed actor with a passing resemblance, played by me) to bolster her delusions of celebrity. The ending is a beautiful twist that we pained over longer than almost everything else, but is such a great payoff and we’re glad we did!
With one week left, and reviews having been unanimously, passionately glowing, tickets are selling fast! Even though corporates are already lined up in the next few months, and touring planning well under way, if you want to see this show you’ll need to book soon to secure a seat for our final week!
As always, head to the Reviews page for some great quotes!
*UPDATE: 13th September 2014
SuperGirly‘s touring profile is now up on Cyberpaddock for those with access, and the dedicated touring page on Lab Kelpie is under construction. We have already started booking micro-tours as early as next May (in touring timelines, that’s REALLY early!)
UPDATE: November 4, 2014
Due to popular demand, we brought SuperGirly back to the Chapel off Chapel Loft Theatre for three nights last week.
You’d have thought, with the buzz, support – and full theatre every night – that it was just the third week of our premiere season in May!
We used the opportunity to try some more tour-friendly technical options and they all went really well. We also got our talented mate Hayden bevis from Posterboy Media to video two of the shows, so we now have some fantastic footage for clips and to show potential presenters.
Thanks to all involved again, and we’ll hopefully see you on the road!