Workshop highlights cabaret culture

Performing arts director Hamish McGregor and Meadow Bodkin- Allen talk about character building as a part the Cabaret Workshop Weekend in Invercargill last weekend.

PERFORMING arts professionals Hamish McGregor, Mark Bradley and Rutene Spooner brought their wealth of knowledge to members of the community last weekend.

All three professionals travelled from Auckland to discuss the different processes of cabaret and to work alongside people within the community.

The Cabaret Workshop Weekend was funded by Arts Murihiku and was held at the Southland Musicians Club, in Invercargill, from Friday to Sunday.

Co-ordinator Hamish McGregor said the workshop aimed to develop a stronger cabaret arts culture in Southland.

Those who took part in the sessions, learnt about a range of topics which consisted of character building, songwriting, storytelling and general practices to do with musical theatre.

“Cabaret is essentially a vehicle for your own performance and whether that’s a character you have created or stories you are telling as yourself songs and stories are what cabaret is all about,” McGregor said.

The event provided the perfect opportunity to connect people in the community to the theatre industry.

“It’s been an amazing time and everyone has come with a clear purpose and clear ideas, which has made things fun for us, so we’ve been able to take those ideas and bounce it off each other.”

Born and bred in Invercargill, McGregor believed it was important to encourage these types of events.

“I have always felt that there is a lot of talent in Invercargill, but not a lot of opportunities at the moment that people may need.”

Meadow Bodkin-Allen was among those who attended the workshop.

As a musical theatre actor, she had not known a lot about cabaret before taking part in the sessions.

“I’m really happy with what I have learnt. I’ve learnt that you can make your own opportunities, especially in this business.

“This is what I want to do with my life, so learning about this is an opportunity that you don’t often get in Invercargill.”