“When I started putting on makeup and doing this, there was a little voice in the back of my head that said, ‘this will be irrelevant in five years’. I thought the transgression and risk wouldn’t be there, but what I found is that it holds more currency now, the transgression is still there, but there is also celebration within that.

“The audience’s attitude has changed from capitalising on the fear to capitalising on the celebration and the unity that it brings,” internationally renowned comedy and cabaret star Reuben Kaye tells Star Observer.

“I think all art is political, because on some level it has to have a message. In this moment, Australian culture and popular culture is going through a seismic shift as to how it views the arts and supports artists.

“Cabaret is about bringing your troubles in, to lay your troubles at our feet, we have the same struggles, and those struggles unify us.”

After returning from the UK and after the success that was the Reuben Kaye Project on the UK’s Channel 4, Kaye is performing a slew of shows around the country and will be performing as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his latest work, The Butch Is Back. 

“Joan Rivers used to say at the end of her sets ‘it’s a pleasure working for you’ and it’s true. It’s work, it feels like it’s good to return some kind of semblance of self, it’s a profound feeling, it’s joyful and fantastic,” Kaye says, reflecting on the joy of being back on stage, and in front of audiences. 

“We wanted to make this show bigger than the last one, we wanted to make it funnier and faster, and we wanted to up the ante with the music, it’s a really ambitious solo show.

“The show is also something I wanted to make very intimate, because since the first show, my father died and I wanted to make a show about coming out and in some ways make a family show, even though it’s definitely not a family show.

“Because of the content and my comedy, you wouldn’t necessarily want to bring your kids to it, but nonetheless we still have parents and kids in the audience, and it’s a show for them as it deals with coming out, parent child relationship and how my father tried to teach me to be a man.”

The Butch Is Back, opened on April 7 as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

 

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