Cabaret Fringe

Interview: Emma Knights – Double The Cabaret Fringe Fun

Despite a rocky 2020, Emma is making a strong return to the stage, with two separate shows at the 2021 Cabaret Fringe Festival.

2020 was a time of much uncertainty for so many artists, including Adelaide musician, producer and performer Emma Knights. Despite a rocky 2020, Emma is making a strong return to the stage, with two separate shows at the 2021 Cabaret Fringe Festival. This is following her successful album launch in late 2020, and a busy but rewarding Adelaide Fringe earlier this year.

“It felt as full on as previous Fringe Festivals, mostly because I hadn’t worked for a year, but it was a bit less than what I would normally do. It really was fabulous. Audiences were very supportive, and I got to work with some really great artists, but it was tougher financially as we could only have 50% capacity. The fact we got to have the festival at all, and got through without any incidents was pretty amazing. What also was really lovely was that people who would have normally travelled here to participate in the Fringe were telling us how the Fringe gave them hope that things will get better globally. It was a really great feeling.”

Recently, Emma took her show Myth, Legends and Fantasy, on the road, performing it at the Gumeracha Medieval Fair and in Maitland on the Yorke Peninsula.

“It was so cool and I was really excited to be able to tour. I contacted the Gumeracha Medieval Fair out of the blue to see if I could present Myths, Legends and Fantasy at the 2022 fair, and it so happened that they hadn’t worked out their entertainment for the feast this year and they’d love to have me. So, I did Myths and my other show, Tales Of Adventure, except we did an adult version of that show, which was fun.

“I also went over to Maitland with Jared Gerschwitz. I was already heading over to play for his cabaret show and we decided to put our shows together and make a night of it. It was really wonderful. I was terrified beforehand because I didn’t know anyone there. You would think that would be a positive because if they don’t like it, I don’t have to see them again. But I had some wonderful responses from the audience. There’s one song in the show about loss. Two friends of mine passed away while I was writing the show, and when I performed ‘Myths’ as part of the Fringe this year, it was still very raw for me then, but I’m now able to perform it and able to give it over to the audience. A lot of people have commented to me about how that song has affected and helped them. We were able to sell out the evening in Maitland, and it was very special to be able to be part of that.”

Myths, Legends and Fantasy, which will be performed at this year’s Cabaret Fringe Festival came about from a collection of numbers that didn’t make it onto Emma’s debut album at the time of recording.

“I did my album last year, and there were two songs that I half recorded that I wasn’t quite happy with. So, I didn’t include them, but kept working on them for my university recital late last year. I did that and I had a few other songs I had written and I was looking at what to do next. The songs all had running themes of fantasy and things like that. So, I was playing around with that, and was reading a whole pile of mythology books at the same time and decided to write a show. I started with those songs and built on it from that.”

The show will be performed at the stunning Sinclair Gully Winery in the Adelaide Hills on Sunday 13th June at 2pm.

“I’m looking forward to being out in the forest performing this. I dress up as a nymph for the show. There are often yellow tailed black cockatoos singing along as well. The show really lends itself to be performed outdoors in the stunning setting that Sinclair Gully Winery has.”

Emma will also be teaming up with another South Australian artist, Megan Doherty for their show, Life According to Kate. This show is centred around the stunning music of Australian sing-songwriter, Kate Miller-Heidke and will be performed at The Jade on Tuesday 8 June and Thursday 10 June at 8.30pm.

“A few years back now, I did a show with Megan before she went overseas, and in that show, she did a version of Kate Miller-Heidke’s O Vertigo. It was my first time playing a Kate song and I thought it was really interesting. Then last year, I was looking at my honours thesis, and I wanted to look at women with careers in pop music over the age of 30. I rediscovered Kate Miller-Heidke, and submitted the concept for my thesis, only to have it knocked back. So, I focused solely on Kate and ended up going down a rabbit hole of her work for three months. I let Megan know and we decided to do a show with her music. I had contacted Kate for my research project and she had responded with some wonderful answers to my questions, so I contacted again and let her know about the show, and she was very honoured that we wanted to do a show based around her music.

“We have a band this time around. When we first performed the show, it was just Megan and I, but this time we are being joined by Cameron Oosterbaan on bass and Brodie Green on drums, and he may also be doing some singing as well.”

Life According to Kate will be performed at The Jade on Tuesday 8 June and Thursday 10 June at 8.30pm. Tickets can be purchased through the Cabaret Fringe Festival website: https://cabaretfringefestival.com/life-according-to-kate/

Myths, Legends and Fantasy will be performed at Sinclair Gully Winery on Sunday 13 June at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased through the Cabaret Fringe Festival website: https://cabaretfringefestival.com/myths-legends-and-fantasy/

To stay up-to-date with other upcoming events produced by Emma and Emma Knights Productions, and to purchase her debut album Anticipate, visit https://emmaknights.com/ . 

Interview by Ben Stefanoff

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