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Preview: Mademoiselle

Tessa Hayward
02/08/2012
City Weekly

Michael Dalley is a self-confessed control freak. He has written, stars in, produces and directs the upcoming gothic music theatre revue, Mademoiselle.

Dalley (pictured above right) and Paul McCarthy (above left) play two valets, or butlers, who are left alone for the evening when their boss unexpectedly goes out. “They decide to use it as a chance to let out all the oppression that has been holding them in,’’ Dalley says. ‘‘They don’t like each other very much. They feed off each other and end up ridiculing each other and putting each other down quite a lot.’’

Although the audience might not identify with these stitched up characters, Dalley insists everyone will see parts of themselves and others they know in the performance. “They will enjoy the cruelty they put each other through!”

Pianist John Thorn will accompany Dalley and McCarthy through this entertaining romp, which features thirteen new satirical songs.

Dalley has been a jack of all trades in the theatre, singing with the Victorian State Opera, starring in stage musicals, directing, writing and coaching. He is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and studied ‘‘animateuring’’ – which follows an idea from inception through to performance.

“It is very empowering and deeply satisfying seeing a piece on stage when you have done it all yourself,” Dalley says.

High Performance Company is Dalley’s own and this will be its fifth show in nine years. He said the hardest part of the process is writing alone before he can share his work with anyone.

He focuses on making work that is sophisticated and accessible. “I have a strong following; [audiences] become engaged with the ideas that are familiar with them.”

Dalley says the Mademoiselle crowd should expect “to laugh a lot, I hope.”

 

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