For the love: Melissa Langton in A Singer Must Die

If you are in Melbourne this week and are looking for a fun frolic at the Fringe, best check out Melissa Langton’s latest cabaret at Chapel Off Chapel!

Melissa Langton. Image by Blueprint Studios
Melissa Langton. Image by Blueprint Studios

With a sparkling stage presence and a voice to match, Green Room Award winning cabaret artist Melissa Langton knows how to put on a show. This week at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Langton is appearing in her latest cabaret A Singer Must Die at Chapel Off Chapel and amid her busy schedule, she took some time to chat with AussieTheatre.

“This cabaret is a little darker than our previous shows” she says of A Singer Must Die, which features Stephen Gray on the ivories and a directorial vision from husband (and musical director) Mark Jones.

“To be honest, I wanted to do something that would really stretch me into unchartered waters! So not as much random chatting as normal, and more monologues and even some poetry!”

Langton has performed her cabaret shows in New York, Dublin and at The Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Sydney Cabaret Convention, The Auckland Festival and The Famous Spiegeltent at the Melbourne Festival. This new production moves away from previous formulae and features new arrangements of popular music (including an impressive treatment of an Alanis Morisette number) which Langton says she is looking forward to ‘really singing’ in this brand new show.

“My favourite moments in this show are when I really get to sing” she said.

“So much of the music theatre that I have performed over the years has been through a character, so there is always some quirky character voice, or a character that is based more around being larger than life than necessarily getting to sing the really moving songs. The closest I came to that was probably when I got to sing the role of Nettie in Carousel for The Production Company, and sang You’ll Never Walk Alone. That is the type of singing that I get to do a bit more of in this cabaret.”

Each and every song in this one woman show has been revamped and rearranged to find the drama and to tell a story, with Langton putting her own unique spin on all the material presented. 

“Mark has this terrific ability for creating great evocative images through the piano” she said. “His specialty is taking pop songs and finding the drama or theatre in them.”

Following this limited season at Chapel Off Chapel, Langton is hoping to take the production to festivals across Australia and New Zealand over the next 18 months – for the love, not the money!

“It is so difficult to make money out of cabaret, so more often than not, the rewards are not financial, but about investing in yourself and developing areas of your craft that you might not necessarily get to experiment with on the main stage,” she said.

But if you are in Melbourne this week, be sure to check out the show – it may be a while before A Singer Must Die winds up in town again!

A Singer Must Die

24 – 29 September

Tuesday – Saturday 7:30pm

Sunday 6:30pm 

Book tickets via

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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