Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele, is the debut work from Queensland’s the little red company, with Queensland musical theatre import, British chanteuse Naomi Price. It receives its premiere this month at Stockholm Syndrome as part of Brisbane Cabaret Festival.
Co-devised by Naomi and Adam Brunes, Rumour Has It also collaborates with musicians Michael Manikus and Jason McGregor.
AussieTheatre’s QLD correspondent caught up with Naomi to talk about the perfect antidote to heartbreak – Adele and cabaret.
When asked what inspired her to create a cabaret based on Adele, Naomi explained:
“Adele is such an intriguing artist – she’s intensely private which means there’s a lot of opportunity for me to expand theatrically on her as a persona”, she said.
“Doing research for this piece was so interesting because I discovered so many fascinating things about her that I never knew before. For example, she famously cried during her performance of ‘Someone Like You’ on the Brit Awards – I always thought that the emotion of the song and the moment was getting to her, but when I read into it, I found out that she cried because all she could think about was the guy who she wrote the song about sitting at home watching her on his tv and laughing at her because she was still wrapped around his little finger. What an incredible thought – this insanely talented, influential musician being so vulnerable because of the thought that the prick who broke her heart was laughing at her.”
But there is also a more personal connection with Adele’s music that has impacted on Naomi’s life.
“When Adele’s album 21 first came out, it was my best friend Rodney who told me to download it – he said (and I quote) “this will be the album of the year” and he was absolutely right.”
[pull_left]I truly believe her music found me when I needed it most. I was in a period of intense change in my life, and was embarking down a road of uncertainty both professionally and personally.[/pull_left]
“I truly believe her music found me when I needed it most. I was in a period of intense change in my life, and was embarking down a road of uncertainty both professionally and personally. Her songs grabbed me – literally arrested my thoughts – and provided a soundtrack to a time of my life I will never forget. I think Adele and I bonded over mutual heartbreak, and I am so grateful to have had her music as a vehicle for expression.”
It seems Naomi is drawn to vulnerable characters, joking that she’s spent the past six years of her life crying onstage, which was the inspiration for her first cabaret Still Hurting.
“I wanted to get all my angst and pain out in one show so that I could concentrate on being sweetness and light forevermore – it was not to be! I was drawn to the music and the iconic figure of Adele, and her music is far from happy and upbeat! I think I learned after doing Still Hurting that I really enjoyed cabaret performance as a genre and wanted to explore it as a character rather than as an inflated version of myself.”
With a show that explores such a celebrity as Adele, Naomi knew the potential of reaching out to more people was great.
“I also want to connect with a wider audience, an audience who doesn’t really give a shit about me and my life but who might be interested in knowing more about a woman whose music has infiltrated people’s lives in an unmatched way.”
Naomi explained that the first performance of Rumour Has It was filled with an audience who “don’t really go to the theatre much”, but who were intrigued by Adele and love her music.
“Those people are the ones I want to perform this show for”, she said.
Price was quick to highlight Rumour Has It isn’t a tribute show. “No one sings Adele better than Adele. We’ve spent a lot of time reinventing and reinterpreting the songs everyone knows and loves”.
Rumour Has It plays at Stockholm Syndrome, Albion, Friday 2 and Saturday 3 November as part of Brisbane Cabaret Festival.
For more information, visit www.brisbanecabaretfestival.com
Rumour Has It will then tour to Sydney where Naomi will perform at Slide on 14 November. For more information, visit www.slide.com.au/shows/rumour-has-it-sixty-minutes-inside-adele