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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | August 5, 2020

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Behind The Scenes of Boy&Girl with Director Jack Kelly

Behind The Scenes of Boy&Girl with Director Jack Kelly

| On 02, Aug 2016

They’re back with a brand new show to satiate your gender-bent cabaret cravings. Enter the seductive world of Boy&Girl – a racy cabaret of musical theatre and pop where gender is bent, rules are broken and wine is encouraged.

Following two sold out seasons, the boys & girls are coming (again) with a brand spanking new production packed with all of the sass, song and sex that you’ve come to expect from this filthy troubadour and his troupe of talented freaks. Featuring Ellen Reed (as seen on Channel 9’s The Voice) and an ensemble of singers, dancers and musicians, this fresh and filthy show is one that promises to please.

What better way to find out about this provocative show than speak to its director itself! We spoke to Jack Kelly about his exciting role.

TCI: Can you tell us a bit about Boy and Girl?

Jack Kelly: Boy&Girl is like nothing you’ve ever seen before! It’s a gender-bent cabaret that’s been flipped on its head! It’s part musical theatre, part pop and part somewhere in between. It’s sexy, cheeky and not afraid to push the boundaries. And it’s a lot of fun!

Boy&Girl focuses on breaking down the labels we so often wear (gay, straight, male, female, submissive, dominant etc) and allows our audience to take a look at a world where those labels don’t exist. The show has a very prominent place within the Brisbane community, having had two sold-out seasons before this one at The Brisbane Powerhouse. I feel this overwhelming response comes down to how the show explores current political and social topics that are prevalent within the LGBT community. We’re a voice to a group that aren’t always heard.This year’s Boy&Girl will be all-new and never-before-seen which we’re really excited to share!

TCI: How did you land the very exciting role of director? 

Jack Kelly: I guess you could say my role within Boy&Girl has somewhat ‘evolved’ over time. I was initially on board to help write and piece together segments of our first season but somehow found myself performing in the show instead (not my doing – I promise). But in all honesty though, performing in Boy&Girl was incredible. It allowed me to connect first-hand with what we were trying to say and still signifies one of the most prolific times of my life.

So when the creative team decided Boy&Girl would be coming back for a third time, Emily Gilhome (producer and artistic director), asked me to be the show’s rehearsal director as she felt I knew the show’s brand inside and out, having been on both sides of the beast before. I’ve worn many hats when it comes to this production but I never thought I would be directing it any time soon, so it’s is a huge honour to be given this much trust as I have so much respect for this show.

TCI: Can you tell our readers about what exactly the role involves?

Jack Kelly: My role as rehearsal director means that I’ve been a part of the entire process - initial conception, creative meetings, auditions and once rehearsals begin the bulk of my job will kick in; I, along with the rest of our incredible team, will mold our show into, what will hopefully be, the strongest season of Boy&Girl yet!

Boy and Girl Powerhouse

TCI: You mention that Boy and Girl breaks down labels and explores social and political issues . How do you think the genre of theatre allows you to do so? And are you ever nervous of tacking controversial topics? 

Jack Kelly: I believe theatre is an invaluable way of exploring topics that are sometimes considered too provocative or even taboo. It’s an environment that mirrors real life but is also removed enough for us to explore these issues in a ‘safe and controlled way’. Theatre is a platform for consideration, reflection and growth that allows audience members to take away what rings true to them – there’s no right or wrong.

I’m not nervous at all when it comes to tackling the topics in Boy&Girl. In my mind they don’t present themselves as controversial, they don’t even present themselves at LGBT issues. They’re human issues and everyone can relate to them so why should they be controversial? This is a show for everyone.

TCI: How do you choose what kind of songs will feature in the show? 

Jack Kelly: When it comes to choosing our song list for the show we allow it to happen very organically. Each season brings its own style and that happens by paying close attention to what our auditionees bring to the table. We focus on the types of characters they portray, the song choices they complement that with and then we try to draw upon their presented strengths to lock in our show’s content. Of course, before this, the panel have also brainstormed a multitude of songs that could potentially be gender bent and provide a mechanic in the show, but in the end, the song list is completely dependent on the type of cast we get.

TCI: What do you want audiences to take from Boy and Girl? 

Jack Kelly:  If there’s one thing I’d want people to take away from Boy&Girl it’d be to realize that we’re all the same. We all love, we all know pain, we all have struggles we’re dealing with on a daily basis. To realize this and take it away into the real world would be my wish; we need to be kinder to one another now more than ever. This show says “I’m me, and I don’t apologize for it” and no one should ever have to do that. We are equal – we are human – we are free to be whoever we want to be.

The Details

What:  Boy&Girl
Where: Brisbane Powerhouse
When: 23 September – 9 October  2016
How Much: $45 – $50

For tickets, head to the Powerhouse’s website here.