Entertainment Hive 2017

Adelaide Fringe addict Brendan Maclean stars in disco delight

Star of The Great Gatsby and popular singer/songwriter Brendan Maclean heads the cast of the hedonistic disco party spectacular, Velvet, this Adelaide Fringe season. Maclean stumbles into the discotheque and transforms himself in a journey of self-discovery. Maclean has been dubbed a "modern day Mick Jagger" by filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and he is a highly sought-after musician with his first release Airport People winning song of the year in 2008. Now Maclean steps behind the Velvet rope into director Craig Ilott's superbly crafted, disco-fuelled fantasy world. Describe Velvet to us in one sentence. "Velvet is about finding yourself, it’s about those things that disco is all about: the love, the dance halls, the sex, drugs, lights and of course the music.'' What is it like creating a new show from scratch? "It’s a fine cocktail of exhilaration and terror. It’s working ten hours on a song only to find your in the wrong key then it’s completely stuffing up your original idea only to discover yourself exactly where the spirit of the show needed you to be.'' Tell us about your role in the show and what you love about it. "I play that person you were before you ever stepped into a nightclub. That young, shy person who couldn’t imagine wearing that special outfit, the wallflower who could never take the spotlight. Well… at least that’s what I am when those first lights come up.'' What comes to mind when you think about the 70s? "Before Velvet all the 70’s were for me was John Travolta in a bad suit and disco lights. But the production has opened my eyes to how vital this movement was. "Essentially the disco world was hippies with glitter and flairs. So now I think about love, I think about the culturally diverse community it shone a light on which would go on send pop music in a completely fresh direction.'' What is your favourite disco song and why? "It’s hard to go past I Feel Love. It was truly ground breaking – that magic blend of the provocative vocals of Donna Summer and the genius of Georgio Moroda.'' Tell us about working with director Craig Ilott and the rest of the fabulous cast. "To be honest I was a little terrified of working with Craig. The first ever theatre production that really mattered, like hit me in the heart, was his production of Hedwig and The Angry Inch starring iOTA. "I remember having to run from the theatre in tears, happy tears. I realised I could be the performer I always wanted to be thanks to that show. "And what more can be said about our global cast. To perform alongside superstars like Perle Noir and Marcia Hines is an honour, and sharing this show with the ensemble as an up and comer myself, I couldn’t be more proud of how it’s turned out.'' How excited are you to debut Velvet at the Adelaide Fringe? "I’m an Adelaide Fringe addict! This is my third visit, second time performing but first ever official season with a show. "There is nowhere on earth like The Garden of Unearthly Delights – we will be sharing the stage with the world’s best. LaGateau Chocolat, Meow Meow, and Sxip Shirley are all my heroes. I’m ready to party!'' Velvet, Adelaide Fringe, Garden of Unearthly Delights, The Vagabond, Garden of Unearthly Delights, February 13 to March 15, 9.45pm plus 5.15pm Saturdays & Sundays. Bookings: 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au
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