Apocalypse (A Glamorously Ugly Cabaret)
Catherine Gillard and Peter Clerke of Benchtours embark on a cabaret adventure
Two years after they folded their lauded theatre company, benchtours, Catherine Gillard and Peter Clerke are touring with a new outfit: Occasional Cabaret. Apocalypse, their first full-length production, is developed from a two-week residency at Edinburgh’s Dancebase in 2010. Penned by the Fringe First-winning American John Clancy (Fatboy, screwmachine/eyecandy), it stars Gillard and Clancy’s wife and longtime collaborator, Nancy Walsh.
‘The show is built around the idea that it’s cabaret to celebrate the end of the world,’ explains Clerke, who directs the piece. ‘With all this talk of raptures and the Mayan calendar running out, there appears to be something about apocalypse every week in the papers. That was the initial mover for the piece, and we wanted to combine that in a cabaret style and to use bouffant-esque technique. A lot of it will be related to events that are happening now.’
Clerke was previously actively involved with Edinburgh’s infamous Café Graffiti, where he experimented with the cabaret format. And it’s an approach that he hopes will enhance this new, chaotic work. ‘I hope it’ll be a different atmosphere,’ he says, ‘Quite a lot of the action will go in and around the audience, but in a nice, non-threatening way.’
Tron, Glasgow, Wed 5–Sat 8 Oct; Traverse, Edinburgh, Thu 13–Sat 15 Oct.