Hear ye, hear ye! The kingdom of Perth Fringe World is pleased to present, for your humble enjoyment, the International Cabaret Royalty Pageant. Huzzah!
That's right peasants, it's high time we found out just who doth deserve to be crowned Cabaret Royalty King or Queen, and what better way than a good old-fashioned beauty pageant?
The best boys and girls strut their stuff in a series of events designed to sort the diamonds from the dust, and we catch up with Writer, Producer and Curator of the Pageant, Kelly Witham-Cook – royalty in her own right when it comes to cabaret.
We let Kelly tell us everything we need to know and more about the International Cabaret Royalty Pageant at Fringe World.
Tell us about the International Cabaret Royalty Pageant and what audiences can expect?
The show is a lighthearted spoof of the traditional beauty pageant formula (and just quietly 'RuPaul's Drag Race'). In the world of fringe arts no artist is the same, each is beautifully unique. It's incredibly hard to compare one act to another, however we give our title and crown to the artist who wowed both the audiences and judges on this particular night.
What sort of challenges will the contestants be subjected to?
The Pageant has three rounds, a couture round where you will see each artist's most extravagant costumes, of course a talent round where we see each artist's unique skills on display, and finally the lip sync battle... Both the most fun and most challenging round for contestants.
How does this show fit in with the overall Fringe World programme?
In our third year the show has become a nice little landing point for Fringe artists to promote their upcoming works in the festival. It's a perfect little festival sampler for audiences as well. It fits within the fringe arts philosophy, as we have found in our last two years we have crowned very progressive, punk acts as our King and Queen, we are just waiting to see what happens in 2019!
How does this show compare/contrast to your other Fringe World show 'The Booby Trap'?
The Pageant is a sampler of all types of styles you will see within the Fringe World festival, aerial circus artists, comedy, juggling, burlesque and drag, whereas 'The Booby Trap' is designed for the burlesque and/or drag lover. In 'The Booby Trap' you will see some of the very best of the burlesque and drag worlds perform their own signature styles... Then challenge themselves to perform the other, so you will see drag artists' interpretations of strip tease and burlesque artists' interpretations of drag.
Who are some of the performers taking part in the Pageant?
We have burlesque beauties Whisky A'More, Dee Dee Luscious and Amy Darling, each with their own unique take on the burlesque artform. Jamie Mykaela who is a hugely talented live music comedian. Circus aerialists Simon Wood and Vanessa Smith, Comedy Juggler Michael Connell and finally Moxie Heart and Skye Scraper representing the drag world. As you can see, something for everyone.
For you, what will be the highlight of the Pageant?
I absolutely love innovation, when an artist is crowned for being uniquely them and has created unexpected ways to bring joy to an audience it's pretty special. The lip sync battle is always a very big moment, a great way the contestants blow off steam after their talent round is over.
Who can enter the Pageant, and why should they take part?
Any fringe artist can enter from any performance genre, from anywhere in the world. The winner receives the title of 'International Cabaret Royalty King or Queen', $1,000, and of course, it's fun!
What do you look for in contestants when judging Cabaret Royalty King/Queen?
Does the performance delight, entertain and surprise? We look for quality costuming and movement, solid storytelling, and uniqueness.
What does it take to win the title of Cabaret Royalty King/Queen?
Being uniquely you, having a well thought-out vision of your performance brand image and how you will bring joy to those you entertain.
The International Cabaret Royalty Pageant is on at The West Australian Spiegeltent at The Woodside Pleasure Garden 27 January.