Brisbane Cabaret to 'wallow in politics'


By Denis Olsen

BRISBANE — For many years, the local branches of the Democratic Socialists and Resistance have been involved in various forms of cultural dissent.

At first, after opening the Resistance Centre at New Farm in 1986, these occasions were built around a meal and a cabaret show and went by such titles as "Counter Contra Culinary Cabaret" and "Glasnost Gastronomy".

It was through these events that the performance troupe, the Resistance Cabaret, was formed. The Resistance Cabaret soon became a popular feature at Green Left Weekly fundraising dinners.

From 1991 until it folded a few years ago, Resistance and Democratic Socialists concentrated on Green It Up — which each week drew on some of the best alternative performers in Brisbane.

This year that tradition of cultural activism is to be revived. Under the banner of Cabaret Resist!, the DSP and Resistance will be organising monthly performances of "acoustic music and biting satire" at the Resistance Centre in New Farm. Cabaret Resist! premiered on February 26.

Dave Riley, one of the organisers for the event, believes Cabaret Resist! is sure to be welcomed. "We're trying to establish a regular venue that focuses on political performance. What happens on our stage has to be relevant to contemporary issues. Unfortunately, so much theatre and music steers clear of politics — but that's what we want to wallow in, while still guaranteeing a good time.

"These nights are sure to be rough and ready affairs. But we hope to sustain them on a casual level of intimacy where the audience does not feel separated from the performances. We're after a ready interchange between them. So we'll be open to a lot of acts that aren't established or likely to be; and we're keen to feature performances other than music."

Riley told Green Left Weekly that the Resistance Centre is also to host monthly Friday film and video nights. "There are so many great political movies and documentaries that don't get shown. Maybe we could launch it with a feminist film night to mark International Women's Day.

"The idea is one that dovetails monthly film showings with the cabaret evenings. In same way that we hope to showcase new performers, we are also keen to screen videos done by anyone if they carry a salient message."

Anyone interested in performing at Cabaret Resist! or screening their videos, phone Dave Riley on (07) 3266 4281 or 3254 0565.