Burlesque and cabaret star, Reuben Kaye returns to Australia for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, for, by his own admission, the "most awfully titled show" in the festival, Plugged. "I was so proud of it at first thinking it was a nice pun on "Live and Unplugged", and then when I announced it to a group of friends at a bar, one person choked on their drink, and the rest just fell silent. In the distance a child began to cry. I knew I had found my title." Kaye says.
Plugged has Kaye sharing songs, stories, shame and regret with his audience in a way "where vanity meets desperation and self-awareness meets a brick wall." Other than that, your guess is as good as Kaye's as to what to expect! "What is it about? you know, I have no idea. And it’s my show! I guess it’s the never ending story of on man and his quest for applause." When asked to describe himself and shows to people who have never seen him before, his answer is if I have seen the dentist scene from The Marathon Man. At the time I hadn't, but now I have and...maybe just watch it and come to your own conclusions. Or maybe don't, and be surprised by what you encounter?
Kaye has just finished a stint playing Freddie Mercury in a musical legendary account of Princess
Diana visiting a gay bar, disguised as a man. "It was so terrifying doing Royal Vauxhall. I also jumped between playing Freddie, David Bowie and Regina Fong, one of London’s most infamous Drag
Queens," he says. "There was a lot of pressure to get them right. But the whole
show was a joy, and we’re currently looking for producers and a possible
return season, so if any wealthy producers/investors are out there I can
promise barely adequate sexual favours and a marvelous roast dinner*."
On top of Royal Vauxhall, Kaye has been presenting, directing and performing in Cabaret Des Distractions every Friday night at Cafe De Paris in London since 2014, which has seen numerous performers coming through the venue and wowing audiences. The success and regularity of the show can easily bring on performer fatigue in being able to constantly create new and exciting routines. "The Cabaret scene in Europe forces you to create
quickly and regularly. There’s a high turnover of artists and the
audience’s have a very high bullshit meter," he explains. "So if what you’re doing
isn’t genuine, doesn’t have that spark of discovery, they can turn on
you and suddenly it’s like that scene from Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer where
the children on the island devour Sebastian."
Despite his excellent performance history in the cabaret and burlesque world, there are still some things that Kaye has been unsuccessful in achieving. "Reaching climax without crying. Or make a decent souffle. Sometimes the two are inextricably linked. Don’t ask," he says. "Oh, and sleeping with Danny Bhoy, so if anyone could bring him to my dressing room after my show
that’d be just lovely."
If you had to name your child after a vegetable what would it be?
Satsuma, no! I would call my child “Bergine” so when it did something cute we could all go Oh-Bergine!
And then I would punch myself.
Which reality TV show would you most like to appear/compete on?Australia’s Least Wanted. Maybe I would just like to make my own…
HAVE YOU DONE TO MY BEAUTIFUL HOUSE!? Surprise renovation show where we
hire seven epileptic homosexuals with congenital ocular degeneration to
design a senior citizen’s Warrandyte bungalow in 5hrs using only poster
paint, a firm-bodied pinot-noir and an industrial tub of mayonnaise.
Dancing With The Stars On ICE! We give Tottie Goldsmith a crackpipe and then make her do an Argentine Tango.
The most irritating habit I have is, I have no irritating habits, I’m very easy to live with. (Danny Bhoy will read this right?)
a song that sums up your life?
“Ride of The Valkyries” by Richard
Wagner. Failing that… “I Ain’t Been Licked” by Diana Ross.
During the MICF, I really really really want to sleep with Danny Bhoy. Oh! And sell tickets. Sh*t. I always forget that one. But sleeping with Danny Bhoy is still up there on the list.
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: 5 - 17 April | Tues - Sun 10pm,
Length: 55 minutes
Tickets: $38 Full | $34 Conc | $28 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website
*roast dinner not included