By Holly Ferguson
Playing from the 20th to 24th of Feb, Mavis (And Other Broken Objects) is a one of a kind cabaret brought to you by some of WA’s freshest theatre talents. Scored by Conor Neylon and Jackson Peele, the character of Mavis has been described as “in a leotard and living off of last night’s kebab. Not even ISIS would claim responsibility for this disaster.” To find out more about the impending shenanigans set to hit His Majesty’s next week, I spoke with the show’s writer, playing Mavis herself, Megan Hunter.
Who is Mavis?
She’s a mess! Oh my God! How I love to explain her is that she is everyone’s really crazy aunty that you only see at weddings or funerals. Her whole life is a train wreck and she’s more than happy to sit down with you and tell you all about all the inappropriate stuff that happens in her life. Your classic, absolute disaster!
I’m getting some Mariah Carey vibes from Mavis, leotard wearing, won’t be seen in fluorescent lighting. Any connection?
Oh totally! She thinks she’s completely fabulous and revels in the fact that her life is probably complete trash but that’s her! We’ve glitzed up this really trashy show.
The show is described as a tragically comic cabaret? So, is it tragically funny? Or a mix of Tragedy and comedy?
You know what! It’s so both! The way the plot goes is that she jumps from one place in her life to another and you watch her delve into one moment of her life, which explodes in her face. Then she jumps to something completely different! It should hopefully be very funny along the way.
Will we be seeing some Shakespearean-esque tragic deaths?
No but that would be totally something that fits!
What makes you most excited about performing Mavis?
For me it’s the first show I’ve made since leaving WAAPA. It’s also the first show I’ve ever written and created myself. I’ve done Fringe over the last two years and that’s sort of performing in other people’s works and choreographing. And although this comes with a lot of pressure and stress, it’s sort of my baby and it’s exhilarating to put up something that’s quite big for me in my eyes.
What brought yourself, Conor and Jackson together to create Mavis?
We all went to WAAPA together. I didn’t know them too well, but the character of Mavis had been around for a while. I made a 10-minute version of the show as an assessment when I was studying. I knew it was something that I really wanted to do once I graduated. I was recommended to speak to Connor and Jackson, who were fresh musical theatre newbies. When we met for the first time, they jumped in blindly and so did I and we ended up with this pretty cool show!
What was the process like from meeting Conor and Jackson to now?
All of our initial meetings were talking about the show. I wrote the text and they wrote the music and lyrics around it. So, a lot of it was sort of developing the plot with them. It was really nice to see two musical theatre boys from WAAPA get really into the devising process and thinking “oh we can really make some awesome stuff out of this.” It was a lot of jumping back and forth and bouncing off each other. It was great because no idea was a bad idea in the process and we ended up with all these really funny and insane things for this character to be in and do. It was one of those processes where you meet creatives who are really like minded, which is always lovely.
Will there be a life for Mavis following Fringe?
I hope so! We’ve got a five-night-run, but I think there’s bigger things for her. I’d love to see what the show evolves into when put into different spaces. We’re currently in a beautiful cabaret venue, which is down stairs at His Majesty. But I’d also like to put it into a little black box theatre, with like a 40-seat capacity, and see what that does to it.
Who should see Mavis?
It’s definitely a young people show. It’s a touch inappropriate but that’s what makes a good cabaret. Anyone who’s looking at that Fringe program and thinking “there’s so much to see and it’s so overwhelming,” but wants to see something a little different and get a good laugh out of it- this is that sort of show for people who are looking to get a bit more out of Fringe.
I noticed in the promo pics that there’s a lot of glitter. How much glitter is in the show?
Tonnes! There’s glitter, innuendos with burritos, leotards, suits. It starts off very glamourous and then just descends into … I don’t want to give it away! It’s a lot of madness but a lot of fun.
Mavis is “running off last night’s kebab”, what was her kebab?
Oh, it’s totally a doner kebab with the lot! She doesn’t give a crap about onion breath! She’ll have everything in there!
If you’d like to see Mavis (And Other Broken Objects) buy tickets Here