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Preview: The Marrickville Mermaid – A Story About The Forgotten Queen of Vaudeville

August 25, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

In an exciting new Australian creative partnership, acclaimed composer Luke Styles and leading playwright/lyricist Hilary Bell present a sneak preview of The Marrickville Mermaid – a song cycle in which cabaret meets vaudeville, celebrating the extraordinary life of Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman.

An international film star, queen of vaudeville, champion swimmer, pioneering health and fitness guru, trail-blazing entrepreneur, female action hero, Hollywood’s highest-earning actor, Kellerman (1887-1975), was also an expert manipulator of the media and creator of her own mythology. Despite causing sensation from her home in Sydney to the world stage, she has – somehow – been virtually erased from history.

Marrickville Mermaid restores her to her rightful place via a highly original work of music theatre. It is a vehicle for a star performer whose range runs from cabaret to classical.

The work will be comprised of twelve songs that draw on the traditions of Brecht/Weill (The Threepenny Opera), Stravinsky (Soldier’s Tale), Schoenberg (Pierrot Lunaire) and the music hall traditions of which Kellerman was a part, transformed into Luke’s compositional voice. It will be composed to work equally well for piano and voice, as for a more fully orchestrated version for six instruments, chamber or full symphony orchestra, to fit the performing context.

The work-in-progress event is part of the UK/Australia Season 21-22 and will include performances of 4 songs from the work by Jessica Walker and Joe Atkins and a presentation by Luke and Hilary about Annette Kellerman and the development of Marrickville Mermaid.

BOOKING – this will be an exclusive event with limited tickets. Email to reserve a free place at this event.


August 25, 2022
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Bury Road
Cambridge, CB22 5BP United Kingdom
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Bury Road
Cambridge, CB22 5BP United Kingdom
+ Google Map

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