Humphries, better known to some as Dame Edna Everage or the Australian cultural attaché Les Patterson, curates, presents and performs the subversive music of Berlin's Weimar Republic in four London concerts. They feature the cabaret sensation Meow Meow and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, on an extensive international tour that takes in the UK, Denmark, Switzerland and the United States.
“The Australian Chamber Orchestra, headed by an old friend and virtuoso of the fiddle Richard Tognetti, is my favourite group of musicians,” observes Humphries. “We had long planned to devise a concert together and I was spurred by my long-term interest in the music of the Weimar Republic – that brief period of democracy and artistic experiment which ended with the rise of Hitler."
Tognetti is the former leader and now artistic director of the respected orchestra, which has just celebrated 40 years of playing. With Humphries he has fashioned a programme from the rich material of Weimar cabaret, famed for its potent mix of political satire, sarcasm, irony and invention.
Australian-born Meow Meow (real name, Melissa Madden Gray), is something of a favourite in the capital, having appeared regularly at Southbank Centre and starred this summer as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare's Globe. She is certainly sure to go to town on Erwin Schulhoff’s Sonata Erotica for "solo mother-trumpet", which calls for a female singer to "sing" an orgasm that is carefully notated – on the musical score, of course.
Other intriguing items in Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret include Ježek's Bugatti Step, Weill's Pirate Jenny and Toch's Geographical Fugue.
|What||Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret, Cadogan Hall|
|Where||Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London , SW1X 9DQ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
29 Jul 16 – 03 Aug 16, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£19 - £79|
|Website||Click to book via the Cadogan Hall|