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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | April 10, 2020

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Meet Australia's Newest Cabaret Star, Bobbie-Jean Henning!

Meet Australia’s Newest Cabaret Star, Bobbie-Jean Henning!

| On 08, Jun 2016

Following premiere performances in Perth’s Fringe World and Melbourne, Bobbie-Jean Henning is bringing Tales of A Time Travelling Songstress to The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.

Expect an enchanting evening of beautiful music, love stories, laughs- and an absolutely gorgeous frock.

Tales of A Time Travelling Songstress weaves together the stories of Kittie, a cabaret singer adrift in time. Audiences are invited on a decade-spanning journey of heartache and hope told through the music of Regina Spektor, Nat King Cole, Sia, Fleetwood Mac and maybe even a little yodelling…

 Bobbie-Jean Henning is a recent music theatre graduate from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, originally hailing from Brisbane. Tales of A Time Travelling Songstress is her debut cabaret and has received wide critical and audience acclaim. We sat down with the rising star to discuss her latest cabaret show.

TCI:Can you tell us about your latest show? What can audiences expect?

Bobbie-Jean: Tales of a Time Travelling Songstress is a pretty magical show. You’ll ‘travel’ throughout time and hear stories that’ll make you laugh and cry. We’ve chosen some really beautiful songs to help tell all of these stories and to transport you. If you like good music and charming stories then this is a show for you.

TCI: What initially drew you to cabaret?

Bobbie-Jean: I love the intimacy of it. Smaller audiences where you can really engage with each person. Also having the freedom to really change things up each night, you can’t do that with a big cast because noone will know what’s going on..


TCI: Why do you think audiences love to hear stories through music?

Bobbie-Jean: Music allows us to express things in a deeper way than using just words. Audiences hear sound and are immediately connect to something personal- either a memory or feeling.  I also think it expresses things in a more profound and complex way.

TCI: What was the inspiration behind Tales of a Time Travelling Songstress?

Bobbie-Jean: I’m not entirely sure what inspired this show. I’m not the kind of person who waits to be ‘struck’ by inspiration. I prefer to just start writing and brainstorming, then throw out all the crappy bits and start again. So I suppose the inspiration was really boredom! I just started writing and eventually the concept for the show was created.

TCI: Who are your cabaret inspirations?

Bobbie-Jean: Meow Meow is absolutely amazing and definitely my favourite cabaret artist. Her shows are so bizaare and theatrical. My style is very different to her work but I’m really inspired by her fearlessness.

TCI: How long does a show like this take to go from the drawing board to the stage?

Bobbie-Jean: Each show is completely different. The first time I performed this show it was only about 3 months earlier that I’d had the idea. On the other hand, I started writing my latest show about a year ago and that’s only having its first outing in August. Sometimes the creation can be what takes all the time but then other times you’ve got the show but actually putting on is where the struggle is.

TCI: Do you still get nervous before each show and how do you calm the nerves? 

Bobbie-Jean:I definitely still get a little nervous but I find that kick of adrenaline is actually really helpful. It keeps me alert so I can give a focused and energised performance. To keep the nerves under control I make sure to always be well rehearsed and take one deep breath before I step out on stage.

TCI: What can we expect next from Bobbie-Jean? 

Bobbie-Jean: Well I’ve just started rehearsals for a beautiful play called ‘Leaves’ down in Sydney. Then in August I’ll be back at The Butterfly Club in Melbourne performing my new cabaret for the first time. I’m playing King Henry viii and its called ‘All Hail Me: Henry viii’, so that should be loads of fun!

What: Little Shop of Horrors Tales of a Time Travelling Songstress
Where: Judith Wright Centre of Contemprary Arts
When: 11June
How Much: $31 – $36

For tickets, head to Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts’ website here.