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Knock backs and garden tracks
Last year was a rough one for one of Melbourne’s most popular performers, the quick-witted and dainty Dolly Diamond. After a heart-wrenching break-up, she jetted off to her UK homeland for four months. In her grief came the seeds of inspiration for this year’s Midsumma show, Welcome to my Lady Garden.
It runs for just two nights on January 25 and 26 at Red Bennies and is pegged as her “raunchiest” show to date. She has promised to wear her nice knickers for the show, just in case.
Despite the heartbreak, Diamond told the Star Observer the future looked bright.
“When you travel you always get new life experiences, don’t you?” she said.
“It was nobody’s fault, well it was his fault – no one is really to blame apart from him.”
Her travels have shaped much of the show which has incorporated some insightful ‘documentary’ footage of Diamond as a child, a happening 20-something year-old and more current footage. But the documentary coverage goes one step further and includes a 70 year-old Diamond, looking back on her successes and these particular Midsumma shows.
“It was a lot of fun being able to look into the future, not many people can do that,” she said.
“The future is incredibly bright which is great to know.
“By the time I’m in my 70s, I’ve pretty much been there and done it all and won awards for it, which is fantastic because currently I’ve won jack-shit!
“So it’s nice to know there are awards… by the time I’ve got to that age, there’s that many that they’re just propping open the door.”
Diamond said she had even been considering quitting show business, a point raised in the show.
“Life is not great, I’m talking about a break-up, I’m talking about leaving the business and through that evening, I’m blessed to say there’s lots of lovely people who are there to persuade me not to do it.”
Luckily for Melbourne, Art Simone, Jade Leonard and a local politician whose surname rhymes with ‘royal’ steps in to prevent Diamond from leaving the scene. Diamond is backed up with a three-piece band and back-up singers for the cabaret concert night with a strong line up of popular tracks from artists such as Nicki Minaj and Lionel Richie.
“It’s a whole mixed-bag of material, it’s been a hell of a lot of fun.”
Diamond is also hosting the Best of the Fest with Tina del Twist on January 23 at Chapel Off Chapel for Midsumma this year and by Diamond’s account, it sounds like it will be quite the fundraiser.
“We met last night for… well for wine really but we did squeeze in a rehearsal and that’s going to be a hoot working with Tina because we’ve never worked together before,” she said.
“We have very different styles but we both know how to drink so we’ll get along.”
Welcome to my Lady Garden runs January 25-26 at Red Bennies.