Samantha Bond talks with Phi Theodoros about her Feast Festival show, Love at a Distance. She’s known to some by the stage name, Ukulele Dream Girl, and with a name like that, how can you not want to know more?
Phi, in twenty-five words or less, tell us what your show is about. (It’s OK, you can have more than 25 words if you need!)
Love At a Distance is about human connection. It offers alternative love stories to the typical tropes, exploring love from distant perspectives through poetry and music.
What sort of audience member is going to enjoy your show?
People who are looking for a wholesome cabaret experience where they can connect with new perspectives and stories they may not usually explore, coupled with songs they love. There is music from great Australian artists like Sia and Lior, as well as jazz classics like Girl From Ipanema. There are also a couple of original songs that my father I wrote.
Why are we going to love it?
This show will take you on a journey using playful and light moments woven through some darker parts of love through poems about experiences ranging from “Tinder Casanovas”, to mental health challenges. The show parallels my own feel-good long distant love story. It also explores some challenges and experiences that I’ve gathered from my family. Each story is deeply personal and relatable, with many great songs which audience members are encouraged (but not forced) to sing along to.
Tell us about yourself as a performer —what have you done previously, how long have you been involved in the arts, and what’s next for you?
I have been performing since 2006, with a focus on cabaret since 2009. This is my second show as a solo artist under the name “The Ukulele Dream Girl”. I debuted under this name in August 2019 with a sold-out season at the Bakehouse Theatre, thanks to the support of Ross Voss and Adapt Enterprises. I’m excited to share this new show as part of the Feast Festival which has provided so much incredible support for me over the past few years.
Who are some of your personal favourite performers/artists? Are any of them local and how do they inspire you?
I love the work of Amanda Palmer, so much that I’ll be doing a show about her during the Fringe in 2020 in addition to my debut show, Who is The Ukulele Dream Girl? AFP has carved such an incredible path for alternative art making and has done this as an inspiring independent artist. I also absolutely adore Anya Anastasia – we started out performing together in 2009, I’ve watched her journey and am so proud of her. She is a truly gifted storyteller and amazingly creative soul. If you haven’t seen her before, you should catch her – she’s about to tour her show, The Executioners, to New York!
What is one quirky thing about you that you’d like to share with Glam Adelaide readers?
My performing name “Ukulele Dream Girl” was inspired by a song of the same name. For my last birthday, my parents gave me a framed copy of the sheet music with a gorgeous artwork on it, which is now tattooed on my thigh.
The final night of my show is legitimately being performed on an island! November 16th at 8pm, I’ll be performing Love at a Distance at the Island Cafe on Granite Island.
Last words to you—tell us whatever you like about whatever you like.
My show Love at a Distance on Nov 13, 14 and 16 is part of some awesome initiatives to make the arts more accessible, thanks to support from the SA Government, SA Power Networks and the Feast Festival team. My performance on the 14th will be Auslan interpreted and all shows are included in a limited offer for free tickets to concession card holders.
Love at a Distance is playing from 13 – 16 Nov at The Sparkke at Whitmore, and Granite Island. Tickets $25-30 (some free tickets for concession holders), bookings via https://www.feast.org.au/events/ukulele-dream-girl/
Interview by Samantha Bond