Adelaide Fringe

Disenchanted: A Cabaret Of Twisted Fairy Tales is coming this Fringe season

Sexy, political, and “heartbreakingly real”, Disenchanted is definitely not for children, and is coming to Adelaide for Fringe Festival 2022.

Sexy, political, and “heartbreakingly real”, Disenchanted is definitely not for children.

Disenchanted: A Cabaret Of Twisted Fairy Tales is a deeply subversive take on fairy tales. Described as a “raunchy, operatic Into the Woods”, the show is both topical and timeless, and is the winner of several awards, including Best In Fringe (Newcastle Fringe Festival) Best Show (Dubbo Fringe) and Best 18+ Show (Young-Howze Theatre Awards), and was nominated for Best Cabaret (Melbourne Fringe),

Set in a Parisian Salon in 1699 and hosted by the vivacious Madame d’Aulnoy (a real-life historical character, with a splash of artistic licence thrown in) it features a host of disgruntled fairy tale characters keen to tell their side of the story.

They hope to answer these questions and more: Why was the Wolf in Grandma’s bed? How does a golden-egg-laying goose find liberation? Are the Ugly sisters’ feet really that big? And what does this all have to do with the French Revolution?

As Writer/Performer Eliane Morel tells it, Disenchanted began its life at a dinner party organised by her 9 year old niece.

“She invited us to attend dressed as fairy tale characters, and sing a song or tell a story as that character,” says Eliane, “And in one magical afternoon, I wrote a song from the point of view of Olga, one of Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters.

“From there an idea germinated of creating a cabaret based on the stories of fairy tale side characters whose stories are overlooked and who feel they’ve been misrepresented.

“After I’d written a few songs, I was looking for something to frame the cabaret and discovered something marvellous – the real-life ‘Godmother of Fairy Tales’ – Marie Catherine le Jumel de Barneville, Baronesse d’Aulnoy.”

Madame d’Aulnoy was the hostess of a 17th Century Parisian Salon who coined the term ‘fairy tales’ (contes de fees, in French) and was a pretty subversive character in her own right. So, Eliane says, “It just felt right to set Disenchanted the Cabaret in Madame d’Aulnoy’s Salon.”

Eliane had written and performed in several solo plays (An Evening with Madam Long, Ba Ngoai, The Lucky Country, Letters from France); however, this was her first cabaret, so she sought the assistance of seasoned cabaret accompanist and musical director, Daryl Wallis (Mitchell Butel, Jenny Vuletic, Meow Meow, Strange Bedfellows and Jacqui Dark), who became collaborator and co-conspirator in the creation of Disenchanted, helping to shape the songs and characters and draw out their twisted stories.

Daryl and Eliane debuted Disenchanted at the Sydney Fringe Festival in 2018, then toured the Far South Coast of NSW in 2019.

When touring was cancelled in 2020, they created (aided by an incredible team) a digital rendition of the show for the Melbourne Fringe, which won Best 18+ Show in the International Young-Howze Theatre Awards, and has been viewed by people all over the world (Melbourne Fringe, Denver Fringe, Dunedin Fringe, Living Record Festival).

Between COVID waves, they managed to perform live in early 2021, and were honoured to be awarded Best Show at both the Newcastle and Dubbo Fringe Festivals.

This year the team are absolutely thrilled to be back performing live at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, with new costumes by renowned artist Livonne Larkins and new topical references woven into their script. 

They have 12 performances lined up like dancing princesses at The Garage International The show dates and times can be found below:

Tues 1, Wed 2, Thurs 3, Fri 4 March at 8.20pm

Tues 8, Wed 9, Thurs 10 March at 7.30pm

Sat 12 March at 7.00pm

Sun 13 March at 4.30pm

Tues 15, Wed 16 March at 7.30pm

Thurs 17 March at 6.00pm

Disenchanted: A Cabaret Of Twisted Fairy Tales will play The Garage International at Adelaide Town Hall for Adelaide Fringe Festival from 1-17 March 2022.

You can find out more and book tickets here.

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