Shirley Gnome is an accidental success.
Her showcases of intelligent black comedy began just under ten years ago, and she's bringing her show 'Taking It Up The Notch' to Adelaide Fringe.
The award-winning cabaret comedian writes an open letter about where it all began, and what you should expect to see at the festival.
“I started getting drunk and singing songs about the sex lives of myself and my friends about seven years ago. It was meant to be pure, uncensored, completely unhinged fun that did not have to suffer the pressure of 'getting a big break' or 'selling albums' or 'making money'. Somewhere along the way, people started giving me money to do it, and I kept not giving a shit about what came out of my mouth. I started singing about all sorts of taboo sexual and emotional stuff that people don't like to say out loud. Who cares? Why not?
There are no stakes involved. This sensibility, ironically enough, has lead me to the stakiest of stakes – I've been signed to a record label. It's real. 604 Records. It's the biggest indie label in Canada, my homeland. That, my friend, is a lot of whiskey.
That's why I called my new show 'Taking It Up The Notch'. While many songs involve me literally placing objects inside myself, I also know that the pressure is on to take my music and live show to the next level. No more eking by on just enough dirty cash to get through the year. More people are gonna hear my junk than ever. I gotta speak truth to power without getting upstaged by my enormously prominent nipples.
I gotta branch out into new material, like murdering annoying tiny dogs and cherry picking quotes from the bible to justify public nudity. I gotta write songs in new popular genres, like '90s soft rock. I gotta reflect the times without depressing my audience. I gotta remember that my success came from not giving a shit.
But I gotta take it up the notch. Not a notch. The notch. It's a huge notch. Where's the whiskey at?” - Shirley Gnome
'Taking It Up The Notch' takes place at The Parlour, Royal Croquet Club from 7-19 March.