ED2013 Cabaret ED2013 Interviews ED2013 Week1 Edition

EastEnd Cabaret: Slightly dirty talk

By | Published on Tuesday 6 August 2013

East End Cabaret

One of our very favourite Ed Fringe acts, EastEnd Cabaret, are back with a vengeance, as well as a new show. Throughout August, the delectable duo of Bernadette Byrne and Victor Victoria will be entertaining no-doubt enthralled audiences with their trademark brand of somewhat saucy musical cabaret; if that sounds like your cup of tea (and surely, it’s almost everyone’s?) then you’ll want to know more about them. So read on to be enlightened.

CM: How did you two meet and what made you decide to work together on EastEnd Cabaret?
BB: Victy and I have known each other since we were children and she follows me everywhere. In fact I have been trying to get rid of her for over 20 years.
VV: That’s not strictly true. She needs me – at least to play the instruments, as Bernadette can’t play any of them. She just doesn’t like to admit it. We’re soul mates, really…

CM: How do you come up with the content for a show? Do you work on stuff separately, or always together?
BB: We are always together, but our songs mostly come from my real life experiences. The places I have travelled or the people I have known, intimately.
VV: Our song-writing sessions usually involve me sitting at the piano or pulling some chords out of the accordion, while Bernadette’s stream of consciousness takes whatever path it decides. And there is always a lot of gin involved…

CM: Is all your material a bit rude? Are people ever shocked by it?
VV: I think it depends on your viewpoint. If you hear a slightly risqué word, like ‘dangerwank’, without listening to the rest of the song, then perhaps you will be shocked. But our audiences are generally more shocked by the fact that they always know exactly what we’re talking about!

CM: You’ve appeared on radio a couple of times – do you think your material lends itself well to the format, or does live performance work better?
BB: I think it definitely works on radio, but live performance is always more fun for me. I like to get up close and personal with my audiences.
VV: Too close if you ask me. I do find it quite interesting hearing radio announcers trying to describe my half-man-half-woman appearance to their audience without any visual aid!

CM: Do you do other performance work, or does being EastEnd Cabaret take up all of your time now?
BB: It is definitely a full time job – writing new songs, organising gigs, drinking gin – but sometimes I do pimp Victy and her musical saw out when we are short of cash.
VV: Yes, I have been known to lend a saw or a violin to various people in the cabaret scene. But only to pay for Bernadette’s gherkin habit.

CM: You are bringing a brand new show to Edinburgh. What’s new, and how does it compare to previous shows?
BB: Victy and I are so excited about ‘Dirty Talk’. It is full of all new original songs, darlings, and even saucier secrets than our last show.
VV: It’s musical comedy. And it’s definitely a lot more revealing than our previous show… but I don’t get nude or anything!

CM: What makes you want to return to the Fringe each August?
BB: There are so many beautiful people in Edinburgh every year, we just have to come back. So many opportunities to take your work on tour, so many people who can influence your career in so many ways, you never know who is in the audience.
VV: Plus, I have developed a strange addiction to the breakfasts at City Cafe. I don’t know what they put in the black pudding there, but I need it in my life.

CM: Other than performing your show, what are you looking forward to in Edinburgh this year?
VV: Seeing our wonderful Fringe family – there’s a bunch of performers that we see at festivals all over the world, who will always have a sneaky dressing room gin or a post-show pizza with you.
BB: And seeing the angry little owner of the pizza place that is open until 5am. He is so funny to watch, shouting at all his customers until they buy at least three pizzas each.

CM: Which other shows will you be going to see?
BB: Our good friend Doctor Brown is doing an eight hour marathon of all of his shows in a row. We will be bringing bean bags, snacks and a whole lot of gin.
VV: And I can’t wait to see the insanely talented Stuart Bowden’s new show, ‘She Was Probably Not A Robot’. His storytelling will whisk you away to strange and beautiful places, and his songs will tickle your ears and your heart!

CM: And finally, where do you see yourselves ten years hence? Will EastEnd Cabaret still be going?
BB: Definitely darling. We could be anywhere, as long as they have gin.
VV: And hopefully we will be living in a slightly larger bedsit by then.

‘EastEnd Cabaret: Dirty Talk’ was performed at Underbelly Cowgate at Edinburgh Festival 2013.

LINKSwww.eastendcabaret.com | twitter.com/eastendcabaret

Photo: Rich Dyson