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One Night With Bonnie Weaver - An Interview

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by Tema (subscribe)
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After winning the Adelaide Fringe award last year, Caetlyn Collins is back with a burlesque show that encompasses melodrama, dark humour, sexual innuendos, music (of course), and an unforgettable performance through her show One Night With Bonnie Weaver.

As part of an Adelaide Fringe-arranged media meet up with the various artists who are performing at the festival, I met Caetlyn and after a brief chat, was able to have an e-interview with her, where I found the story behind the show and reasons why you should go check it out.

Promo poster (Photo courtesy: Adelaide Fringe)


Who's involved in the production and creation of your show?
Terrence Crawford – my co-script/song writer who is also my dramaturge. He is an actor, an acting teacher, and a writer. Terence taught me throughout acting school at Adelaide College of the Arts. Later this year, he will appear in STCSA's production of Orwell's 1984. HIs two books on acting are available at Imprints in Hindley St. He has also been writing songs with Richard Davies, as well as producing solos since 1978.

Lizzy Falkland – my director, who is an Adelaide-based actress performing regularly in theatre, film, TV and radio. She has appeared frequently for State Theatre CO SA as well as Brink productions, ABC RN, Bell Shakespeare, QLD Theatre Co and many other producer. This is Lizzy's first official foray into directing.
Gareth Chin- my musician and a character in the show called Sidekick. Gareth is a pianist and accordionist, distinguishing himself in theatre, cabaret and art music scene in Australia, having written and performed for gypsy band Golonka, The Zephyr Quartet, ABC TV, SBS TV, Adelaide Symphony orchestra and cabaret stars Nadler and Anya Anastasia.

Richard Davies - My composer for three of the six original songs in the show. Richard has worked as an actor for several companies including The Hunter Valley Theatre Company (NSW), Freewheels (NSW) & Arena Theatre Company (VIC). He has previously composed music for an opera (Take the Hindmost), a radio play (Seminary Songs), and a one-act musical (Chat: A Talk Show That Sings!) and currently working on a musical adaptation of a Randolph Stow novel, The Girl Green As Elderflower.

(Photo courtesy: Artist-supplied)


How did you come up with the concept for your show?
The initial idea stemmed from the personal feeling of loneliness and isolation. This was something I experienced when travelling on my own around Europe. When I was in London, I came up with the idea of developing a character who was a famous British Cabaret Artist, a dominant femme fatale, who revealed her true self (underneath the performer's mask). After winning the Helpmann Academy MinterEllison Fringe and Beyond Award. I kept this initial concept from the previous show I wrote and then decided to go deeper into the character and find out who she really was. I wanted to create a woman I could write many shows about…kind of like Dame Edna.

Is this your first time at the Adelaide Fringe?
This is actually my third time at the Adelaide Fringe!
The 1st cabaret I was in was called Conversations with Goddesses, which was directed by Louise McCabe.

The 2nd was in 2016, where I debuted my show Who is Bumble Weaver, which won the Helpmann Academy MinterEllison Award.

This led me to further develop what would become my 3rd show - One Night with Bonnie Weaver.

I love the Fringe, it has really given me a stepping stone into my career as a writer and performer. I find the Fringe becomes bigger every year - with so many more great shows and opportunities to meet international artists and the industry.

Photo courtesy: Artist-supplied


What is your target audience?
My target audience can be anyone that has experienced a relationship or even addiction and mental health issues. Bonnie is a complicated character that reaches out to her audience, she needs them for support to help her confide. Since I am in mid-season, I have found anyone from the age of 20 and upwards that has related and understood the true message of the show.

How did you get involved with the Adelaide Fringe?
Being introduced to it as soon as I got out of acting school and getting my first gig in a cabaret.

Where else have you taken your show?
Since the show is debuting for the first time…No where yet! But I do plan to travel the show interstate and overseas.

As a first-time attendee, what should your audience expect from the show?
Spontaneity! Black humour! Six original songs, all big numbers!
This is not a traditional cabaret - the show is more of a theatre piece with songs, but because Bonnie is a famous cabaret artist the show still has songs that move the storyline forward.

Where did you gain the inspiration to come up with creating a the content of your show?
I've always loved performing when it comes to breaking the third wall..speaking to and connecting to the audience in an improvisational aspect is so much fun. I feel I grow as an actor with this type of theatre/cabaret. I feel inspired when the writing comes from somewhere truthful…that's why I wanted to write my own work. I also was initially inspired by seeing other artists perform in shows they had written themselves. I wanted to accomplish something I could call my own, something that I could showcase who I wanted to be seen as and something I could travel around the world.

Photo courtesy: Artist-supplied


Why should people come and watch your show?
I think the character Bonnie helps the audience deal with or handle similar issues within themselves. The audience are the most important part of the show. They help Bonnie. That's a rare feeling when you walk out of a theatre knowing you made a difference being there.

Is there anything else you'd like to readers to know about your show?
This show has been a major development for a year. It has come a really long way and so have I as a performer, writer and producer. I will continue to develop, write and explore this character and I would not have accomplished what I have already, without winning the Helpmann Academy MinterEllison Fringe and Beyond Award.

Book your tickets to One Night With Bonnie Weaver here - this is only running till Saturday (March 4).
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Why? We've all been through the stages of life when it brings us down.
When: This week (Mar 1-4)
Where: Distill Bar, 286 Rundle St, Adelaide, 5000
Cost: $10 - $30
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