Susan-Ann Walker and Sally Bourne star in their brand new show Subtle, premiering at the MC Showroom from 17–20 May. Heather Bloom sits down with the stars of Subtle who are anything but…
Tell me about the new show, Subtle.
Susan: Subtle is the 4th or 5th installment of our ongoing original comedy shows, beginning with YUMMY which played at the Butterfly Club in 2010 at the inaugural Melbourne Cabaret Festival and followed on with THE YUMMY BURLESQUE HOUR in 2013.
Sally: It’s what we always do – original standup, cabaret and songs. I like to think of it as Dynasty meets Real Housewives meets Ru Paul.
Susan: We’re poking fun at Reality TV and what it means to be part of the theatre that is that style of media. Subtle is a reflection on where the media is at the moment and also where we’re at as performers. The show is very random and also very vaudevillian.
Sally: Yes, it’s very vaudevillian meets reality cabaret.
You say the show is outrageous, can you tell what is the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?
Susan: On stage or off?
Sally: Oh I once beat up a woman on stage in Jerry Springer the Musical, that was pretty outrageous!
Susan: I don’t think I’ve done the most outrageous thing I could yet… However I think playing a cat on stage for months on end and getting paid for it for was pretty outrageous. I also learned the piano accordion and ukulele in four weeks for this show which is pretty crazy.
Who’s the more subtle of the two of you?
Sally: I’m definitely the more subtle of the two of us.
Susan: What?! I never even swore on stage before I met you! We’re both pretty OTT. Neither of us is subtle in real life or on stage, I often get cast as the outrageous character, I think it’s because of my big boobs, and can sing high plus I’m always up for anything particularly if there’s stupidity involved.
Sally: Yeah I think we’re both pretty much up for anything.
Your last show was in 2013, how have the YUMMY ladies changed in the past five years?
Sally: Our last show was about our kids, but now they’re teenagers so what used to be cute anecdotes have changed and they don’t write our jokes for us anymore. I’ve also written a rap about all the things that have changed, when we did our last show there was no Netfllix or Instagram, so there’s been a massive shift in media in the past five years which we talk (and rap) about.
Previously THE YUMMY BURLESQUE HOUR received a Green Room Nomination for your original songs, are the songs in Subtle original?
Susan: Yes we’ve written original songs for this show, and at least 80% of the show is brand new unseen material. My Czechoslovakian character does do one cover song though, but it’s a funny surprise so I won’t spoil it now.
Who are your style icons for Subtle?
Sally: Drag Queen meets Joan Collins.
The two of you have worked together for almost 10 years now, what’s the best part of your working relationship?
Sally: At the end of the day we’ve been around a long time, but I think what’s most important is that we still make each other laugh. It would be easy to stay doing what we’re doing, but I think we’ve really challenged ourselves with this show.
Susan: It’s often hard to keep it together on stage, because we still can make each other giggle after all this time. But I think the cabaret audiences actually like f*** up’s more than anything!
You can catch Susan Ann-Walker and Sally Bourne at the MC Showroom from 17 – 20 May 2018
by Susan-Ann Walker & Sally Bourne
Venue: MC Showroom | Level 1, 48 Clifton St, Prahran VIC
Dates: 17 – 20 May 2018