Entertainment

Interview: Rhonda Burchmore – French Cabaret Has Never Been Classier

Rhonda Burchmore is strutting her way back into Adelaide on December 6 and 7 with the highly acclaimed encore tour of Cabaret De Paris

The Arts industry has been through a lot over the past two years, with many productions moved dates or even cancelled completely. Australian showbiz royalty, Rhonda Burchmore, has sadly been hugely impacted by the lingering after effects of COVID-19, with a long string of performances cancelled. After opening her new cabaret, Glamazonia, in Adelaide in March this year, Rhonda was only a few performances into a multi-city tour schedule when lockdowns in Victoria forced her to cease touring.

With restrictions easing around the country, Rhonda is strutting her way back into Adelaide on December 6 and 7 with the highly acclaimed encore tour of Cabaret De Paris.

Cabaret De Paris celebrates the old-fashioned showgirl glamour combined with the skill of adagio dancers, aerial pole artistry, comedy circus performers, quick change acts, illusionists, and of course the famous French Cancan Dancers!

When the most recent Victorian lockdowns were announced, Rhonda whisked herself away up to Queensland to begin rehearsing Cabaret De Paris.

“The choreographer Matt Browning was coming to Melbourne, so he and I flew up to the Gold Coast to rehearse. Michael Boyd, the producer, has thrown so many things in the air to make the show work despite lockdowns. It’s been complicated.”

Cabaret De Paris is something a little different for Rhonda, and her fans can expect to see a totally new side of her.

“I’ve never done anything quite like this before. It was a very strange offer because it’s just something I’ve never done before. It was quite the compliment to be invited to be involved with the show. I’m kind of like the host – the glue putting the show together. I get to sing some glorious songs. I’ve Rhonda-fied the whole thing; I do it with a French essence and flavour, but I certainly leave the French speaking to others in the cast.”

When travel overseas is still mostly impossible, it’s great to have shows like this able to tour our country, bringing the international flair to us.

“There aren’t many shows like this running around at the moment. With all the glamour and glitz that this show brings, it’s great to bring that ‘Moulin Rouge’ flair to Australia. When I was younger, because of my long legs, people would often ask me if I was going to head to work at the Moulin Rouge – which of course I didn’t, but here I am at a much later point of my career.”

Cabaret De Paris combines Parisian-themed revue with illusions, burlesque, and music.

“It’s a little bit daunting and intimidating, but I do a little bit of a burlesque-style strip. I’m so glad that rehearsals were in person cos there’s no way that I could go about rehearsing something like that via zoom! It’s a hands-on number with the boys in the cast.

“It’s an entertaining production. It’s jammed packed – it just flows, and so much high energy dance. There’s a seven-minute can-can that just makes my eyes water. I’m exhausted just watching it! I’m secretly glad I don’t have to do that one.”

Of course, no show starring Rhonda would be complete without a stunning selection of costumes.

“I’m wearing quite a few gowns that have been designed especially for me from my career. They are extraordinary. They will have a little outing for this show.”

Cabaret De Paris will be performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, which holds a very special place in Rhonda’s heart.

“I’m so excited to be performing at Her Majesty’s. I’m one of the Ambassadors for the theatre and I have such fond memories of performing there over the years, so I’m really thrilled to be heading back there and seeing the renovations. This show will sit beautifully in the renovated Her Majesty’s.”

Cabaret De Paris, starring Rhonda Burchmore, will be performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre Monday December 6 at 8.00pm, and Tuesday December 7 at 2.00pm and 8.00pm. Full details and bookings can be made at https://www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/events/cabaret-de-paris/ .

Interview by Ben Stefanoff


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