NORTHBRIDGE never feels happier, safer and more wonderful than when it’s Fringe season, says North Perth homegrown cabaret performer Robert Hofmann.
“People are walking from the Perth Cultural Centre to The Ice Cream Factory and up to The Pleasure Garden – they are everywhere and of all ages: children, young people, middle-aged people and older folk as well,” he said.
“It really gives Northbridge a huge injection of wonderful life: that’s probably the best thing about Fringe.
“There is only so long a festival can go on for, which is sad.”
Hofmann returns to the Fringe World stage with new show What the Fandango?!, reprising the characters Dr Gaye Thyme, Sr Virgillious, Helmut Wunderlicher and Susan Higgins.
Debuting four years ago in Hofmann’s award-winning cabaret Desperately Young at Heart, these much-loved personas have captured the hearts of fans.
“I bring them back because people say they want to see them more, especially Susan Higgins, which ironically is the one that displays the least amount of vocal talent or finesse – she sings quite awfully,” Hofmann said.
“She probably is my most purely comic character because she is lampooning a person with lack of skill but she thinks she has great skills so she’s not self aware, which is what a lot of comedy is about: the conflict of inner person.”
Cleverly weaving costume changes into the script, Hofmann never leaves the stage throughout the show.
“You see me changing, but don’t worry, you don‘t see anything you don’t want to see,” he said.
“Cabaret shows often lose energy when the performer leaves to change costume.”
A regular with WA Opera for several years, the talented showman craved a comedy career in lights.
“I’ve always loved the art form of cabaret; it’s usually about an hour long so you get a short, sharp burst of entertainment,” he said.
“It’s like a baby musical with one person that doesn’t necessarily have to have a proper narrative like a musical does, so you’re freed up a lot.”
What: What the Fandango?!
When: February 13-17
Where: De Parel Spiegeltent in The Pleasure Garden, Northbridge