Monday, 11 June 2012

Mary Bijou Cabaret & Social Club fundraising drive

I'm still here! And I'm asking for money!

Well, actually, asking for support. And offering you, dear readers, the opportunity to be a Patron of the Arts. As some of you might know, I also perform in cabaret as one half of Peek & Boo, in parallel to my work as a Serious Actor. I have been involved over the last few years with the Mary Bijou Cabaret & Social Club, the brain child of George Orange and a number of our circus performer friends here in Cardiff. Cabaret is, I suppose, like old fashioned British variety, but it tends to have more circus acts. I perform a musical act with my cabaret partner Becky Dell, a classically-trained pianist. We write comic songs, and rude songs, and some serious ones as well, and I get to indulge my love/terror of clowning...

Although we started out running cabaret nights in church halls, last year we were offered the chance to perform at the Wales Millennium Centre. We created a show called "The Port of Amsterdam", based on the Jacques Brel song as well as Cardiff's marine history (the theme was my idea!!) and we sold out completely. That was two nights at almost 200 people per night. It was one of the highlights of my year.

This year we are back, for three nights in July. The show is called Revolution Cubana. A cabaret themed around revolution seemed appropriate in these days of protests in the street in every major capital in the world, and the Occupy movement, and the Arab Spring... and the list goes on. We anticipate selling out again, even with the extra night. Becky and I are already working on new pieces for the night - we've just finished a few days' intensive rehearsing/creating and have made something EPIC. More information about the show here (including how to buy tickets... SOON! They WILL sell out...)

We do, however, need to raise some money for Mary Bijou Cabaret. We're reluctant to turn to Arts Council funding to raise the money we need to plan shows for the next year or so. I think the cabaret is something that could be commercially viable and self-supporting; there's plenty of more experimental art out there that deserves arts subsidies. Like any business, however, we need investors to give us the initial boost in the right direction. So we have decided to go down the route of "crowd-sourcing" funding; that is, asking those we know, and anyone they might know, if they are interested in supporting us.

Please have a look at our WeFund page.

We've put a lot of time and effort into our pitch, and we've tried to come up with tempting rewards for your support. Obviously, some of them are not applicable if you don't live close by, but if there's something else you want please suggest it to us and we'll see what we can do. We don't expect money for nothing! Equally, there is no support that is "too small" for us; we appreciate it all.

I do hope that someday you all be able to come to a Mary Bijou show and enjoy the spectacle from a table at the front. In the meantime, I hope it's not too cheeky to ask you for the price of an admission ticket anyway.