Cabaret Festival

Interview: Darby James – Setting sail for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Darby James is bringing his hilarious cabaret, Little Squirt, to the Cabaret Festival this week

For the last few years, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival has programmed several smaller works to be performed in the Quartet Bar. One of those this year is Darby James’ Little Squirt

In Little Squirt Darby James sets sail into the uncharted waters of sperm donation in an absurd and award-winning cabaret comedy adventure. Brilliant, raw, and ludicrously funny, Darby delights as a seaman searching for his true north, asking the deep questions that fuel his queer existential mayhem: why, how, when — and should we really be having children?

Darby James is an award-winning theatre maker, songwriter and musical comedian. His theatre writing include Post: A New Musical (Something Blue Productions, 2019), Songs of the Northern River (The MC Showroom Hatchery Sponsorship 2019), Tied Up With Strings (Hope New Works, Development 2020), Protein (Autonomous Inventions), and Westberg (co-writer Clancy Fraser, Hope New Works, Development 2021).

Recently, Darby spoke to Glam Adelaide about Little Squirt and shared where his love of theatre and creating theatre came from.

“I think it’s probably the classic high school discovery of theatre during drama classes. The first show I was involved with was as assistant director for Cosi at school. I chose drama as an elective in year eleven and twelve where I really got into Shakespeare and that kind of thing. Then when I was in year twelve I wrote my first musical. The class wanted to do a musical but the teacher had initially said no. We put the proposal to them that if we wrote it then would we be able to one? He said we could, so I wrote a draft and he liked it and it all went from there.”

We asked Darby where the concept of Little Squirt came from.

“It’s a personal experience I’ve based the show on – it’s all true! Being a writer, my head’s often in a theatre space – taking personal experiences and writing what I know. And I think with a topic like this, which has an element of taboo about it, it’s been interesting to me as a queer person exploring why these sorts of topics are taboo. The show talks about the consequences of reproduction and my musings on that. I did a lot of research for the show and interviewed a lot of people and explored their ideas about the kind of people who had children, their experience of having children or people who kind of are considering having children.”

This will be the first time Darby has presented and performed a full production here in Adelaide, and he is excited about Adelaide audiences seeing this show for the first time.

“This will be my first time performing a full show in Adelaide. I’ve only done a few comedy sets there in the past, so this is a huge step for me. Little Squirt is the first cabaret I’ve ever written, so for it to be performed at one of the world’s largest cabaret festivals is a huge honour. It’s very exciting.”

Little Squirt
Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Quartet Bar, Adelaide Festival Centre
Friday 14 June 6pm and Saturday 15 June 6pm
Tickets: https://cabaret.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/whats-on/little-squirt

Photo credit: Norrington Media

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