Bernie Dieter invites Sydney to embrace the night and let loose at her Club Kabarett – a sexy dark circus celebrating life, giving the middle finger to the last two years of Covid. She spoke with Sunny Grace.
Direct from London’s West End, Bernie Dieter is excited to be in Sydney for her show Club Kabarett. This is her first time in Sydney, although she has performed to critical acclaim around the globe, including Perth and Adelaide, with her previous show The Little Death Club, wowing the world before it all came crashing down in a Covid heap. Dieter has been lucky these past twelve months, however, managing to continue performing everywhere from Singapore to London.
Despite being a self-confessed “part vampire”, she is enjoying the Sydney sunshine before serenading the audience at her debauched, sexy and gender-bending Club Kabarett at The Famous Spiegeltent for the Sydney Fringe. The Spiegeltent has housed the trailblazing likes of the legendary Marlene Dietrich, paving the way for Bernie and her fabulous troupe of bohemian artists.
Club Kabarett is born out of Dieter’s desire for people to reconnect in the wake of Covid.
“At this time after what has been going on, it is a really good time to let loose with a bit of escapism and embrace the night,” she said.
“To connect with each other again and be in a room together in the beautiful Spiegeltent, with live music and performance, I feel like it is the right time. This show is a celebration of life and humans and diversity.”
Due to Covid and Australia’s tight border restrictions, the German performer has made choices to ensure the show must go on by collecting amazing performers from within Australia.
“I am lucky because I have a lot of very beautiful and talented friends in Australia,” Dieter said.
Joining her are the astonishing talents of globally celebrated performers including naughty balloon starlet J’aiMime and fire breathing burlesque sensation Jacqueline Furey, both originally from Brisbane.
Hailing from Perth is circus artist Matthew Pope, who has fast become one of the circus world’s most exciting acts with his gender-bending aerial skills.
All the way from the Netherlands is Lisa Lottie, the world’s best hula hoop artist, who has performed for the likes of Stephen Fry and Samuel L. Jackson.
They’re all topped off by Dieter’s gin-soaked Weimar punk-jazz band, bolstered in Sydney by Australian musicians, providing the live music to accompany the show.
Since Covid, Dieter has noticed a difference in audience responses to live music, being starved of it for the past two years. In Singapore, the sound of rapturous applause made up for the no cheering mandate enacted due to Covid. Dieter feels this is because live music and performance “feeds your soul in a way Netflix never can”.
Dieter loves Australian audiences and their ability to really let loose, and aims to bring the audience out of their shell.
“Some of the shows in Australia are the most fun I have had. Give people permission to celebrate our beautiful differences, gender diversity, sexuality in general,” she said.
“Perhaps the underlying repression is released when I give people permission to explore their sexuality.”
A self-proclaimed feminist, she believes everyone should be a feminist, and this is reflected in her songs. One of her favourite original songs is the provocatively titled, ‘Lick my Pussy’.
Another is ‘The Crack in the Mirror’, a duet she wrote and performs with aerialist Matthew Pope, who she describes as “the perfect embodiment of masculinity and femininity together, so strong and graceful and beautiful”. It is about the struggle for identity and embracing the masculine and feminine within.
She recalls a previous audience member, a father struggling with his son’s coming out, revealing to her that this song and her show helped him understand his son’s sexuality. She was delighted to see him return with his son the following week and to witness them share a drink and a laugh together.
It is this sense of connection Dieter aims to create for audiences in Sydney.
Book tickets now for Club Kabarett to release your inner sexy beast, connect with the community, and celebrate Sydney coming back to life after Covid and the end of lockout laws.
Tickets are selling fast, so get in quick. More shows have been released, to Bernie’s delight, who reveals these late-night shows “will be just a little extra bit sexy” where there is “no fourth wall, no rules and no seat is safe in this dark and defiant den of iniquity”.
Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett plays The Famous Spiegeltent, First Fleet Park, The Rocks until Sunday, 13 March, 2022. For tickets and further details, visit https://sydneyfringe.com/events/bernie-dieters-club-kabarett/.
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