In a generation of digital everything, and more people wanting the real deal, it’s no wonder that piano playing, song writing, good looking, crooning and laughter making Matthew Hadgraft has taken the Australian vaudeville and cabaret scene by storm!!
In the style of some of the greatest entertainers of all time, Matthew Hadgraft brings comedy to music and brings it all to the stage!. Then he turns the music over to his audience and they LOVE him. But in a fascinating twist, he then has the audience bring the music back to him with and it all begins again! This self invented style of interacting with the audience while playing piano has made Mr Hadgraft an megastar of Australian Cabaret!!
His piano skills are akin to that of the late and great Victor Borge, while his prose, jokes and satirical grasp is every bit as high level as the genius Noel Coward!! So when Matthew Hadgraft performs as the host at Australia’s only vaudeville theatre and bar – it is set to be a night of truly amazing comedy, music and brilliance! So we took the man behind the piano aside to ask him a bunch of questions as he readies his ivories for this weekend’s show!!
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Matt! I am a wayward performer who came to Melbourne like a moth toward a lightbulb. I used to be a teacher but sadly Comedy wasn’t part of the national curriculum so I burnt down the school.*
How did you start in show biz?
I used to teach piano at a lady’s music school, and she was so disgusted by a poor ABBA show that she started her own. I became her Benny (and still play with them from time to time!)
What’s the toughest show you’ve ever performed and why?
ABBA could be pretty tough in places like Kingaroy where they’d rather drink in peace, but I once walked out on stage during a revue to find the band didn’t have any of the music I sent them. It was a complete train wreck, so I burnt down the venue**.
How do you choose your performance material?
If I think about it and it makes me grin, it’s in. I also think of what’s viral and needs sending up (Miley Cirus was a good example in her day)
How often do you rehearse?
I swim laps, so I am continually going through words of songs ’cause there’s nothing else to do. But I practise the piano every other day, in tighter and tighter concentration as the big night creeps up.
Do you have any rituals when rehearsing or performing?
I have a coffee, don my fabulous coat and make sure I’ve brushed my teeth. Another ritual I observe is getting up in front of an audience (except during Fringe when there isn’t one.)
What will you be performing at Speakeasy HQ on Saturday the 14th March?
Songs about things you didn’t realise you noticed, songs I forget the words to, and at least one damning indictment of Gen Y hipsters. I’m getting old.
Speakeasy HQ can’t WAIT to see the antics of the one and only Matthew Hadgraft on Saturday night!! Tickets are already selling fast and available at: http://www.Trybooking.com/FADK
Speakeasy HQ does not condone the burning down of schools.
**Speakeasy HQ does not condone the burning down of other venues.