Le Chat Blonde Fires Up for Saturday!!

  


This Friday and Saturday night Speakeasy HQ will present two of its biggest line ups ever as the Friday night Downtown Vaudeville show goes head to head with the Speakeasy HQ 15-Act Vaudeville show. 

With line ups that include circus, sideshow, tap dance, cabaret, jazz, stand up, illusion and more, it’s the headline sets of each show that will leave all audience members with their jaws agape. 

Chiefly positioned in the headline set of Saturday’s show is one stunning artist who we are all dying to see!! The curves and tease of Le Chat Blonde are tipped to leave ever heart thumping to the very end!! 

So we took the lady if tease and tassel aside and asked her a bunch of questions as she prepares to shimmy and shake for this weekend’s show. 

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Le Chat Blonde, and I am a burlesque artist along the lines of c’est francais for peroxide feline, Mesdames et Messieurs!

If you could perform with one artist from history, alive or dead, what would you perform and who would you perform it with?

I’d sing Bohemian Rhapsody with Freddy Murcury.  

If you could be remembered in 100 years time what would you be remembered for?

Id be remembered as a clumsy cat trying to dance the Charleston.

What will you be performing on Saturday night at Speakeasy HQ? 

will be performing my ‘Everybody wants to be a cat`-Burlesque -routine, it’ll be lots of fun. 

Don’t miss your chance to see the sexiest clumsy cat dance the charleston this Saturday night!! Tickets available at: http://www.Trybooking.com/FADK

All the Greats Rolled into One!! Matthew Hadgraft!!

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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.

Knock Three Times & Ask for Knuckles 




As one of the founding members of Speakeady HQ, Knuckles has become an institution behind the bar, as the creative driver and engineer of most aspects of the design and running of Australia’s first vaudeville theatre in over 50 years!!

But many have asked the same question – what does it take to be the Matriarch of such a volatile and electric empire such as Speakeady HQ? With over 30 artists each being coordinated and rallied onto stage each week to form the iconic 15-act vaudeville shows that has made Speakeasy HQ a Melbourne icon, Knuckles also takes on the task of of managing the entire business back end, ticketing, online systems, social media and all food and drink services at the theatre. 

In our hunt to know more we took the blonde bomb shell of the bar aside and asked her a stack of questions to see what makes her tick!!

Who are you and what do you do?

Knuckles is the name, and some would say it’s a well earned name. But that’s another story.

I’m a part owner of Speakeasy HQ. Most people don’t realise that Im a nearly 6ft blonde woman. I guess it’s the perfect juxtapose, since most people think that Knuckles is a bikie looking guy.  But running around during Showtime keeping the food moving, keeping our beautiful VIP’s happy and the easy speakers that venture through our doorway suitably liqueured up to enjoy the show, I try and do it all Speakeasy style. 

How did you begin managing a theatre?

I’ve always managed people, but now in the world of theatres & vaudeville, at this blistering pace, it takes a bit of grit and determination to make it all happen. Come to think of it I’ve always loved alcohol too so I guess it was always in my cards to put the two together and manage a project like this! I guess you could also say that I fell in love – and that made me want to see Speakeasy HQ succeed. I love the people, the mind blowing talent, and the electricity that surges through that place!

What’s the toughest show you’ve ever performed and why? 

Haha oh I’m not a performer, as much as I’m sure a few people wished I was or should I say hoped I performed burlesque! So I’ll answer it a different way. The toughest Speakeasy HQ we ever produced was probably our first one. Between the four of us we piled two vans and 4×4 car full of tables, chairs, bar and all sorts of equipment to produce a full show in an empty hall in South Melbounrne. It was about 2.5 ton of equipment that we had to move in and then move out, as well as working the show with 85 guests. None of us could move the next day… Apart from Roy… But he’s a bit tougher than most. 

How do you decide the what drinks and food will be served at Speakeasy HQ?

Some are by chance and others are by tradition. See, we have several kinds of seating in the theatre. We also have a rooftop bar. So, the rooftop bar is outdoors and in the summer months we serve a BBQ up there and the drinks are chosen to make you feel like you’re at a BBQ. So plenty of local beers and wines. As for the BBQ food -that was a tough one. We originally went with the obvious – sausages. And to tie into the theme of being at a show, we made them gourmet hot dogs. However, a lot of our audience are vegan and vegetarians, so we added baked potatoes and grilled corn. Then down in the theatre there are two kinds of food. The candy dolls are our ushers that wear the beautiful and iconic candy belt, stocked with crisps, popcorn, candy and they serve the pretzels. The pretzels were tradition as much as anything. They come from the Chicago vaudeville culture of the 1920’s where they had a lot of Germans migrants in their audiences and the bread pretzels are a part of their culture. But the other kind of food we offer is themed around opulence. We offer a stunning VIP package that seats tables of two at the front of stage, where we present them with locally sourced antipasto and premium wines throughout the show. So, the foods available are vast, varied and exciting. 

Do you have any rituals before the theatre opens each week?

Sleep… My only ritual! Once that day starts it is like a freight train not stopping until the wee small hours the next day and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

What can we expect at Speakeasy HQ on Saturday the 21st March?

It’s our first show on the new venue! I have a real bar!!!! Plus I’ll show you my talent 😉

My talent is remembering faces & the drink that matches, so from me you’ll see happy bar goers, smiling as they are walking away with a drink in hand without even saying a word in some cases 😉

Don’t miss out on your chance to eat pretzels, drink fine booze and say hi to Knuckles this Saturday night at Spealeady HQ!! Tickets are limited and available at http://www.trybooking.com/FADK

New MC & Cabaret Legend – Natasha York

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What does it take to earn the title ‘cabaret legend’? 

This Saturday night Speakeasy HQ will unleash its newest MC onto the stage. She is the one and only Natasha York – cabaret legend! But the word legend is a big title to land on anyone – and perhaps should be given some qualification for those who have never seen Ms York live before.

She is pretty. But in honesty – that’s not essential to be brilliant in cabaret. Plenty of successful cabaret artists are not at all attractive.

She can sing. And, MAN can she sing. With a pair of lungs that bellow volume with the sweetness of an angel – she can seriously sing!

She is funny. Not only is Natasha’s rehearsed material funny – but she can think on her feet, keep an audience in suspense, laughing or silent – all with the greatest of ease.

But as much as anything – it’s the way Natasha York puts all of her skills together, using them like a conductor uses his baton, to draw her audience into a fever of cheering for her offerings that literally has to be seen to be believed!

This Saturday night our newest MC will take to the stage to present a huge 15-act show. With half the tickets already sold, it would seem that the pressure is on for her to give the masses what they paid for!! So we took Natasha aside to ask her a bunch of questions and see what makes her tick as she prepares for this week’s show! 

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Natasha York, I’m a singer, cabaret performer/writer, improviser and lover of big hair and wine. 

How did you start in show biz? 

My mum put me in speech and drama classes when I was 5 because I was really hyperactive and energetic. ..so nothing much has changed really except that mum doesn’t have to pay for me to do it anymore! I came 3rd in my very first poetry eistedford, and I wore my school uniform whilst everyone else had pretty costumes… Needless to say, Mum and I eventually got better at the art of “Show-biz” dressing! 

What’s the toughest show you’ve ever performed and why? 

I lost my voice due to sickness during tech week for my final uni production, and had to rehabilitate my voice from practically nothing, to show ready in 4 days. It was taught really big lessons in technique, believing in my mentors and in my own abilities – To make matters worse I got dumped by my boyfriend at the time so the fact I made it through to performances was very tough both mentally and physically! But I made it and it was super proud of myself, and very grateful to my teachers. 

How do you choose your performance material? 

It always depends on what I’m doing it for – As a singer I’m attracted to anything jazzy, vampy or sexy. As a cabaret performer I like to parody songs, or choose current material and mess with the style/theme of it. Lately though I have been getting into a lot more comedy so anything that makes draws out that response of laughter or even shocks the audience always makes great material! I’m also a bit of a fiend for audience participation – so watch out you future speakeasy hq goers!! 

How often do you rehearse? 

I am constantly singing in the car or making up weird little ditties to annoy my friends/family. Usually I set time to rehearse depending on what’s coming up 1 to 4 times a week. However, most of my best rehearsing happens during my day job when I annoy people over the phone and test out jokes and characters. Back in the day I was soooo good at customer service… mwha ha ha! 

Do you have any rituals when rehearsing or performing?

Not really, I always make sure I record everything on my iphone, that way I’m not just stuck trying to write everything down at the computer. I usually write down ideas that I think will work then collaborate on music/lyrics/script with my Musical Director or my other performing friends. As far as pre-performance goes well a sneaky wine never goes a stray! 

What will you be performing at Speakeasy HQ on Saturday the 7th March? 

A mixture of some improvised songs, a few bits and pieces from my solo show “These Things Take Wine”. Oh and balloons!

We can’t wait to see the amazing antics of he wine loving, side splitting cabaret legend Natasha York this Saturday!! Tickets are already selling fast and available at http://www.trybooking.com/FADK

Nicky Barry – the Funniest Comedian Alive!

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This Saturday night Speakeasy HQ will present a lineup of vaudeville legends as a staggering FIFTEEN acts take the stage!!

With so much talent in the room, there are still one or two artists who stand out in their chosen professions because hey have a certain magic about what they perform. One such artist who never goes unnoticed is comedian Nicky Barry. Described as the Funniest Woman Alive she manages to deliver at every event she ever performs at. With her side splitting material about her home town of coburg, body hair and public transport, Ms Barry is a comedian who is loved by the masses!

So we room Nicky aside as she readies her Schtick in preparation for Saturday nights show and asked her a bunch of question.

Who are you and how did your career get here?

I’m Nicky and I’m a stand-up comedian from Coburg. I got here because I love hanging around in bars late at night with social misfits. Comedy is the perfect career for such activity – occasionally you even get paid for it.

What will you be performing at Speakeasy HQ on Saturday night?

I will be sharing my recent discovery of self-love and workshopping some of my new techniques with the audience.

What has been your career highlight and why?

As a “newbie” comic, I performed to a very full Spiegeltent at a Comedy Gala in 2013 with a group of very distinguished comedians. I received a great response from the audience and lots of encouragement from the other comics. It made me believe I might actually be able to give comedy a red-hot go.

What is your greatest hope and fear for your career?

My greatest hope is that it will continue……….and that I will give “great comedy” every time I step up to the mic. My greatest fear is that I turn into a parody of myself. Or that I start wearing sensible shoes on stage….actually, that would be marginally worse.

In 100 years’ time if there is a bronze statue made of you what will the name plate say?

Dear Pigeons, not the face. Anywhere but the face!!!!!

We can’t wait to see Nicky Barry performing live at Speakeasy HQ this Saturday night!! For your chance to get tickets log onto: http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=87968

Miss World Burlesque Headlines an International Cast of Burlesque Stars from Around the World this Saturday Night at Speakeasy HQ!!

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This Saturday night Speakeasy HQ presents a line up of talent that includes some of the biggest names in burlesque from around the world seen together, on the same stage, in over a decade!!.

Presented by Australian burlesque giant, Madam Natalia – who is a total powerhouse of voice and extravagance at every level – Speakeasy HQ will come to life as Miss Burlesque World, Arabella Allure takes to the stage along with a cavalcade of star studded talent. Supporting Miss Allure in the lead up to her headline performance will be a Stella cast of international and local burlesque celebrities of the tease and taste. Including the stunning Miss Pyra Technic, The hilarious and adorable Holly Delight Me, and Australia’s Million Dollar Muse herself, The Marquise, will each be adding their magic to the program.

So as she prepares her pasties and limbers up her limbs in the lead up to Saturday night’s stunning presentation we took Miss Allure aside to ask her a bunch of questions about what she has in store!

Who are you and how did you get to this stage in your career?

My name is Arabella Allure, and I am the reigning Miss Burlesque World. I’m also a cofounder and the President of the Edmonton Burlesque Festival in Canada. So, after a crazy year of touring North American festivals, I’ve arrived here in Sunny Melbourne to bring the shimmy to my home city of Melbourne at the request of Knuckles at Speakeasy HQ.

What will you be performing on Saturday night at Speakeasy HQ?

I will be performing a fan dance that tells the story of a mechanical bird breaking free. It’s the act that I performed to win the Miss Burlesque World crown.

What’s been your career highlight?

My career highlight was launching a successful international festival – while I love being on stage, there’s a particular thrill in sitting at the back of the theatre and feeling the audience’s enjoyment of the whole experience and knowing you brought it together.

What is your greatest hope and fear for your career and the future?

My greatest hope is to open my own venue and continue to build the profile of burlesque and vaudeville entertainment in Canada. My greatest fear goes hand in hand with this because the laws there currently restrict much of what we can do on stage, so I might get fined or shut down…

If there was a bronze statue made in your honour, what would the name plate say?

The name plate on my statue would say: Everything from Australia can kill you – and this girl is deadly.

We can’t wait to see Miss Arabella Allure this Saturday night at Speakeasy HQ!! Don’t miss out on your opportunity to witness the biggest names in burlesque in a decade – get your tickets now at: http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=87968

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★HEADLINE ANNOUNCEMENT ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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This Saturday night Speakeasy HQ will present two of the most versatile circus and physical comedy protege’s in Australia today, as they unveil their latest collaborative work – Circus in a Suitcase!

After literally STUNNING audiences with his straight jacket escape, whilst perched on top of a giant red ball, as he danced the Macarena (true story), Sam Brew – Entertainer has made a massive name for himself already in the Australian vaudeville scene! But now, partnering with juggling master, Bailey Munton, the two are about to blow our minds this Saturday night as they perform their hilarious slapstick show as the headline act!

Don’t miss your chance to see Bailey Munton and Sam Brew live at Speakeasy HQ this Saturday night, as the headline of a star studded 10-act vaudeville program!

Tickets are limited and available at: http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=87968

Art Exhibition of Amy Hynes @ Speakeasy HQ

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This Saturday night Speakeasy HQ will present a special event that we are extremely proud to host. As a part of our love for growing and unearthing local, independent artists our walls have began filling with the pictures of artists, as we exhibit their works to the cartel of Speakeasy fans each week. Tomorrow night Speakeasy HQ will present an exhibition of works by one of the most talented artists that we’ve come across yet – as Amy Hynes displays her latest collection – ‘Femme Fatal’. As you will see, from the intensity, depth and technique of her style, Amy’s artistic career may only just be beginning, but we tip HUGE things for her future!

We took the stunning young master aside as she readies her canvases for this weekend’s exhibition, and asked her a stack d questions to see why makes we tick!

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Amy Hynes, I live in a small costal town called Cape Patterson. Ironically, since I’m an artist and need to make a living somehow, I also work in the paint department at a local hardware shop. I’ve always been a very creative person, so therefore I spend a vast amount of time painting, re-furnishing old furniture, or redecorating my house.

How did you begin painting at a professional level?

I come from a very creative family that always allowed me to have artistic freedom. When I was in high school I shared my work with the public for the first time. That was a very positive and nurturing way to begin. I continued to produce art over the years and I now feel that this is my most serious, and expressive exhibition.

Can you talk us through your process from start to finish, from the idea, to mixing the paint to drawing out the preliminary picture to final framing?

As an artist and also a person I must be inspired by the colour and idea of my subject. Then I become motivated by a place or atmosphere that is in my life at that time. As my pieces indicate, I usually draw the female form. Through my art I express my emotions and tell my story so all the elements of my process are important in helping me tell this particular story. In this particular exhibition, each of these women represents an element of what I feel I am as a person to some extent. If you’re at the exhibition I will also be and I will be explaining the works to any who have questions.

On respect to my process; my own photography, as well as that of others, enables me to create my basic form and outline. As I mentioned, I’m very inspired by colour. So I work with bright, outrages tones. At the moment I’m drawing out the perimeters of tw notion that ‘the more colour the better’ to see how that affects my story. I use a range of paints including watercolour, acrylic and oil pastels. However I am very resourceful and have also been known to use house paint, nail polish and lipstick to give my work the tactile depth that my buyers tend to like the most. I really don’t limit myself with the materials I use. I finish off with a gloss or a resin and frame the piece.

Who were your inspirations?

Frida Kahlo is a major source of inspiration for me. I am not so much inspired by her artwork but more so by her her, her story and how I feel it affects me as my life’s story. She endured a wide range of hardship in her life. However, she continued to remain strong, unbroken, and I really admire strong women. Again I find the female figure a source of inspiration and her appearance is extremely beautiful, however in a lot of societies facial hair on women would not be considered attractive. Yet she makes it so through her overpowering confidence and self-esteem. In addition she was surrounded by and dressed in really amazing bold colour, which I find appealing.

As well as Frida Kahlo,Talouse Latrec, Vincent Van Gough and Andy Warhol would also be inspirations of mine.

What will we see at the exhibition on Saturday night at speak easy HQ?

You will see pieces from my Femme Fatal collection. These artworks are big, bold and bright!! Each tells a different story of the strength, power and beauty of women.

We can’t wait to present the exclusive exhibition of Femme Fatal at Speakeasy HQ this Saturday night. Viewings of the collection, with opportunity to ask questions of Amy from 7-8pm. Your entry ticket includes the 13 act vaudeville show, and the rooftop BBQ and bar from 6. Tickets are essential as available at: http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=87968

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Miss VonDyke Will Trash HQ!!

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This Saturday night Speakeasy HQ will present an act in the 10-act vaudeville line-up that is, without question, one of the trashiest acts we will have that night!! As the stunning, elf-like, Miss VonDyke takes to the stage the popular member of the sensational TrashDolls will be performing a burlesque act like no other.

So we took Miss VonDyke aside to see what makes her tick as she prepares the pasties for this week’s show!!

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Miss VonDyke and I am a burlesque, and aerial performer as well as a fire dancer, alternative model and clothing designer.

How did you get into show bizz?

I got into show biz through my loving and supportive Trashdolls family. They gave me my first opportunity to be on stage check them out at http://www.trashdolls.com.

What has been the scariest performance you have ever given?

I find that they are all a little scary at first when the nerves set in. But I love what i do and as soon as i start the fear goes away. The scariest act I perform is probably my aerial hoop act or fire act as they both offer elements of danger.

What has been your career highlight so far?

I can’t name just one career highlight so far. I’ve had so many great experiences its just to hard to pick one!

What will you be performing on Saturday night?

On Saturday night i will be performing an enchanting Isis-wing dance, expect to see beautiful dazzling colors and sensual dancing.

We can’t wait to see Miss VonDyke live at Speakeasy HQ this Saturday night!! Get your tickets at: http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=87968

Renee Clue-Logan – Gymnastics Contortion, Dance and Brilliance!!

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On Saturday night Speakeasy HQ will present one of the brightest rising stars in Australian gymnastics, choreography and circus as Renee Clue-Logan hits the stage!!

Having performed alongside and choreographed some of the biggest names in contemporary performance art across several genres, Rene is not just an outstanding performance artist but a business and artistic genius on many levels.

So we decided to take the contortionist, gymnast, circus starlet aside and ask her what makes her tick, as she limbers up in preparation for this Saturday night’s show!!

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Renee Clue-Logan and I am a contemporary dance/circus artist and choreographer. My specialties in dance are contact and improvisation whereas in circus my specialty is handstand contortion and arial dance trapeze.

What was your introduction to performing and how far have you come since?
Its hard to say, I was a gymnast at the Victorian Institute of sport by 8 years old and always loved and got comments on my floor routine. This I think began a natural progression through dance schools to my Bachelor of Contemporary Arts and then to the National Institute of Circus. To begin with I was more focused on choreography and had my routines performed at festivals including Rainbow Serpent Festival and Mornington Moonfaced Street Performers Festival. I now take on both choreography and performance knowing that I have come to a time where I have the tools I need to begin the next part of my journey

If you could perform a 3 minute vaudeville show with any person alive or dead who would it be and what would you perform with them?
Can I pick one band…? I’d love to work with Tool, and be another creative layer of circus arts arial dance trapeze, handstand contortion and adagio with an edgy contemporary dance flowing through. To add and become a part of their already amazing sound, light and art scape.

What’s the worst performance experience you’ve ever had?
Thats a hard one as I only try hold onto the good experiences. One that springs to mind though was onstage when another performer’s head piece got caught in my skirt. Unknown to me I danced of halfway across the stage until her head piece and wig flung off hitting me in the butt and revealing her bald head as she had just shaved all her hair of to support raising money for cancer.

What is your performing highlight so far?
I think I’ve had small highlights that all became building blocks for something more. When I told my dancers to imagine the wind and the trees and then after performing at Rainbow when they came to me telling me they they now understood and loved evry minute of it. Being put on the spot at my first club gig by Pauly from fatt pizza who came onstage to begin a bull fight with the Maltese flag. Performing my first arial dance trapeze act at NICA a tribute to my brother who died from cancer at 4years old. And Ill never forget having Dj Yoji come off stage and tell me he loved my work during his set and I loved that he made me feel a valued part of his set that night. My small highlight so far have always been the unexpected.

What will you be performing on Saturday night at Speakeasy HQ?
When no themes are going on I love to draw on how Im feeling when I perform. As a current project is coming alive with so many elements coming together which I was told couldnt be done Im feeling a bit tenacious, empowered and connected with both the lightness and the heaviness of life….so add that to handstand contortion, dance and maybe a hint of acrobatics and theres my act for saturday night.

We can’t wait to see Renee live at Speakeasy HQ this Saturday night!! Tickets available at: http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=87968