Scott Maidment, Strut & Fret
It's a real mix of sophistication with some great dance numbers and some crazy, crazy comedy ...
If you had the pleasurable experience of seeing the provocative, sexy, champagne-fuelled cabaret Blanc de Blanc, then you’ll be pleased to know its creators Strut & Fret are about to premiere a saucy new show called Deluxe Deluxe. While we all fell madly in love with Blanc de Blanc and every one of its performers, Deluxe Deluxe is set to take audiences to dizzying new heights. We thought it was time to chat to the man behind it all, the purveyor of these sultry, sophisticated, genre-bending shows – Strut & Fret’s founding director and creative genius, Scott Maidment.
We’re excited to have a new show by Strut & Fret in town! We know the details are being kept under wraps (we love surprises) but can you tell us a little about Deluxe Deluxe and how it came together conceptually?
I’ve been toying with the title for about four or five years. I’ve had it in the back of my head about creating something that had an old-school revue kind of feel with a modern twist on it – something that was beat driven and has that kind old-school glamour with crazy physical comedy and a crazy vibe about it. I had been working on getting the perfect cast for it, and I’ve got people from all over the world joining it – a lot of them have never been to Australia before! It’s a real mix of sophistication with some great dance numbers and some crazy, crazy comedy.
You’ve brought two seasons of Blanc de Blanc to the Gold Coast, which we all loved! How do does Blanc de Blanc differ to Deluxe Deluxe?
Blanc had been touring for three years, so it was really polished. With Deluxe Deluxe, this is the world premiere production of it – it’s new so it’s going to have an even crazier energy about it, because it’s raw and exciting. It will be different as it’s being staged in the Paradise Showroom (at HOTA), and we’re going to really reimagine the space for Deluxe Deluxe! The show itself will be a little bit naughty and a lot of fun – people want something outrageous, but refined.
When Blanc de Blanc first came to the Gold Coast, it really captured an exciting new audience of people who weren’t seasonal theatre-goers or cabaret fans in general. Was that the intention?
Absolutely. When Blanc de Blanc first started, there weren’t many tickets booked and I was generally really worried! Then as soon as the shows kicked off, it just went gangbusters, so we came back for a second season. I think people have really taken to it – and it really was a word of mouth show. People who hadn’t ever been to a theatre, a cabaret show or anything like that before, were really intrigued. Some people went five times, which is crazy!
How do you go about developing shows that attract both the existing market of avid theatre-goers as well as this new audience?
When I am creating the shows, I definitely want to create something where you don’t have to be a theatre-goer to enjoy. If you’ve never been to the theatre before in your life, that’s perfect, you don’t have to know anything, you just have to go in there open minded with your eyes open and you know, have a glass of wine and sit back and relax. With Deluxe Deluxe we also think we will be bringing a new audience of people who may not have even been to HOTA before as well. So, if you haven’t checked out HOTA for a while, then this is the perfect chance!
When you’re touring shows of this nature, do you find the audiences react and interact differently from city to city?
The audience’s response certainly changes a little, but as a whole, most people do let go of their inhibitions and are up for a fun night out. Though, every performance is different and every audience is different, which makes the performers engage differently too – and that’s one of the great things about live theatre.
Are there any familiar faces from Blanc de Blanc that we’ll see in Deluxe Deluxe?
No! There’s not! You’re going to be able to have some new favourites! It’s very exciting.