Bernie Dieter talks about LITTLE DEATH CLUB at the Underbelly Festival
Can you tell me about Little Death Club?
It is the darkest, funniest, most debauched kabarett club this side of Berlin. A bit like a Lynchian dive bar that you’ve just unwittingly stumbled into, where you don’t realise it, but you are about to have the wildest night of your life.
What part do you play in the show and how does it fit in to the production?
Well some might call me the MC or the ‘Mistress of Chaos’, but ultimately it is my club darling, a lock in, in my Spiegeltent. I have a kick ass, four-piece Weimar punk jazz band called ‘The Vier’ and we perform all our own original songs – on top of that I’ve invited all of my most infamous cabaret family to perform their funniest, filthiest material as well. The ultimate night out in the Spiegeltent.
What’s your favourite part of the whole show and why?
I love the whole show darling, but I have written a beautiful ballad called ‘Cracks in the Mirror’, which is performed as a duet between me and our glorious, gender bending contortionist Beau Sargent on the aerial hoop. He is just so balletic in the air as he twists and turns and really embodies that struggle that we all face when we see ourselves in the mirror and wonder if we are indeed the person we thought we would grow up to be. It’s a truly beautiful moment.
What has been a highlight of your career so far?
The Little Death Club was one of the top five best reviewed shows at the Edinburgh Festival last year. Out of 3,500 shows, to make the top five I just couldn’t believe it I was so proud.
Who are your biggest inspirations inside and outside of the industry?
My Oma (my grandma) is one of my biggest inspirations- she is such a strong woman, my spirit animal. Her family owned a circus in Germany just before the war, and she was forced to flee from East to West Germany hiding in a circus caravan under sequinned costumes. There is some scary shit going on in the world right now, just as there was then. Living through it all she taught me so much- to celebrate and to be whoever you want to be, to embrace everyone you meet as if they were family, and most importantly – she taught me how to drink.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Gin. Gin is my main pre show ritual. I also love to meet the audience as they arrive, mainly to find myself a beautiful bearded man to play with for the evening…
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
I know naming one of my own songs might be controversial darling but I don’t care I love it! I wrote a song called ‘Lick my P*ssy’ that is really great to play at a loud volume.
What’s so special about this production of Little Death Club and why should audiences come to see it?
Every act in this show is subversive, sexy, hilarious and f**king phenomenal. We have fire breathing from bad ass of British Burlesque Kitty Bang Bang, a pissed off French mime, Myra DuBois (the siren of South Yorkshire) and hair hanging from the pocket rocket that is Fancy Chance. It is a night out to remember, where you will undoubtedly stroke a stranger’s thigh and have one too many drinks, but the hangover will be worth it. It is a glorious, unabashed celebration of difference and we all need a little bit more of that in our lives right now.
Little Death Club is playing until 23rd June 2019 at Underbelly Southbank Festival.
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