Eddie Perfect reflects on the shows that took him from Brunswick to Broadway in 'Introspective’.
The singer-songwriter, comedian and actor will take to the stage to share his recent experiences – everything from living in New York and writing shows to appearing as a frilled-neck lizard on 'The Masked Singer'.
'Introspective' will candidly touch on events in Eddie's life, like working on 'Strictly Ballroom The Musical', 'Vivid White', 'Beetlejuice The Musical' and 'King Kong – Alive On Broadway', and features music which has never been heard or recorded. . . But each song has a story to tell.
Here, Eddie chats about 'Introspective' before taking it to audiences.
Tell us a bit about this special new show. 'Introspective' is an intimate evening featuring songs and stories from my time living and working on Broadway in New York. It’s also about the long, dark, existential abyss of Melbourne’s second-wave lockdown. It’s a fairly simple and unadorned piece; just me at the piano with two string players – Xani Kolac on violin and Anita Quayle on cello.
What are you hoping audiences will take away from this show? One of the surprising themes that arose while putting this show together was the idea of 'failure'. I’m quite comfortable talking about failure, perhaps because I’ve experienced so much of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had wonderful successes for which I’m eternally grateful. But failure is an inevitable part of taking any sort of risk, so I think it’s something we should discuss. No one ever got good at riding a skateboard without falling on their arse, and making theatre (or any other risky endeavour) is the same.
What’s your favourite part about writing songs? The things I love about songwriting are actually things that I used to either despise or be intimidated by. For a start, it’s quite lonely. But having said that, I now find friends in all the characters, situations and worlds I create alone in my studio. Having written that down it seems a little sad, but I never feel lonely. I’ve always got an imaginary audience in mind that I’m writing for and knowing that there are people waiting at the end of the creative process to hear what I’ve written is motivating.
Why do you think theatre is such a powerful tool of communication/expression? I think musical theatre is incredibly powerful because music is emotionally expressive and evocative, and text is infinitely adaptable to storytelling. Audiences are more than just willing to suspend disbelief, they’re desperate to. I think as a species we’re hard-wired to enjoy storytelling, and we’re pre-disposed to bringing our imagination and wonder to a world being created in front of us, live on stage.
How would you describe your performance style to someone new to the world of Eddie Perfect? This show is very relaxed. After a year of COVID-related uncertainty, my psyche can’t handle an over-blown show full of searing satirical take-downs on the latest hot-button political, social or cultural issues. I’m just interested in talking about what it’s like to work with a 20-foot animatronic gorilla and what Kylie Minogue is really like. Spoiler alert; she’s awesome.
Summarise ‘Introspective’ using three words. Australian survives Broadway.
Eddie Perfect's 'Introspective' plays Adelaide Cabaret Festival 18-19 June, Queensland Performing Arts Centre 24 June and Belvoir St Theatre (Sydney) 24-26 September.