The Carpenters From Kempsey, the pair that look and sound suspiciously like another famous couple of Carpenters, are back for that second most wonderful time of the year – Christmas in July! 

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Starring Darren Mapes and Debora Krizak as Darren and Sharron Carpenter, whose lives haven’t been the same since they discovered those “Other Carpenters”, The Carpenters From Kempsey – Christmas in July concerts are playing in Sydney and Melbourne and the Star Observer got to spend some time with these two talents.

The first question had to be about where this clever concept came from!

Mapes answered, saying “It’s had a few incarnations but it started as a very straight tribute show and I was never really very comfortable with it. We had these ridiculous outfits and ‘Bob Downe’ wigs and we’d walk out and people would laugh at you and then we did this quite serious retrospective on the Carpenters’ lives which is a really sad story.”

“I thought that people loved the songs so much that it was a bit of a downer of a night because of those sensitive subjects. I just felt that it was jarring and because I love comedy, I invited my friend Linda Nagle, who is my co-writer to see the show and see how we could fix it and I’ll never forget Linda afterwards, with the cigarette in mouth going ‘yeah, I reckon you’d be Darren and Sharon Carpenter from Kempsey!’ So that’s sort of how Darren and Sharon were born.”

The gay community have been really supportive of Dazza and Shazza and Daz recounted one of his highlights so far “We’ve had a really loyal sort of audience over the years – we performed as the old straight tribute show at the closing ceremony of the Gay Games (Sydney 2002), which is a real highlight for me. The closing ceremony was a bit hodge-podge and we were getting dressed and we had a Stage Manager rush in and go ‘you’re on right now, you have to get there right now!’ and we were throwing wigs on, we had the Gay and Lesbian Choir out there and I’ll just never forget these thousands of people in an oval all waving their arms singing ‘Close to You’ and it was really special – the gay community helped launched it I guess.”

Playing in Sydney in July – tickets and details at carpentersfromkempsey.com 

Paddo RSL, Sydney – Fri July 29, 2022

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