Where: Theatre Lounge Café, B1-3A, No. 63 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
When: June 2-4, 9pm
Cover charge: RM100/RM135
Call 0122369100/03-67307982 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Much like in life, if you’re too busy in your head or planning in the future, you can miss the beautiful opportunities in the present. Sometimes the best moments in a show are when something has gone wrong or an audience member says something unexpected. If you are present and flexible, it can turn into the highlight of the night.”
JE Regrette is a character-driven cabaret about a deeply insecure diva with a massive ego who just wants to be loved, says its chanteuse Sarah-Louise Young.
Je Regrette features 10 songs and a poignantly crafted story around ‘La Poule’, a character of which Edith Piaf has a big influence, says the lady from Canterbury, England.
“You can expect laughter and tears, heart-breaking ballads and hilarious comic original songs,” says Young, who with pianist Michael Roulston, has been writing together for 10 years.
“This is our ninth show together: we love exploring the complex relationship between a performer and their audience, that strange co-dependency. We also both come from theatre backgrounds so it has a narrative arc and a great story to follow.”
The duo has won several awards in Britain, including London’s West End, in the US (New York), Germany (Berlin) and Australia (Adelaide Cabaret Festival) for their shows.
“I studied drama at university before training in musical theatre but I was always interested in the immediacy of cabaret: how close you could get to your audience and how you can adapt the show to incorporate what that particular audience gives you that night.
“A group of us started a cabaret show in London about 18 years ago, when there was not much of a scene and started creating shows together. That’s where I met Michael and gradually we discovered a shared passion for writing and made our first show together.
“The Edinburgh Fringe has always been an important place to develop and showcase work and that’s where we took our first multi-character piece, ‘Cabaret Whore’. From that, the prestigious Adelaide Cabaret Festival came calling which opened many doors for us around the world.”
Young says she tends to prefer the smaller spaces, “so you can really get to know the audience”, which might explain her return to Theatre Lounge Café in Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas. She last performed at the Dama Asia space in 2014 with The English Tongue (a celebration of English songwriting, with a focus on great lyricists like Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim) and My Favourite Things, about the life of Julie Andrews.
Be it big theatres or small venues, Young says: “I never take for granted a single person who decides to give you their evening in exchange for entertainment. We always hope to make people laugh but also hope to move them and make them feel. I’m so excited to be returning to the Theatre Lounge where I performed six shows a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time.”