Arts & Entertainment


Velvet_Sydney Opera House

Fans of circus, variety, cabaret and/or disco – rejoice! Velvet explodes into Sydney in an electrifying boogie wonderland of glitter and disco glamour. Following award-winning runs at the Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals and hot off the stage in Brisbane, director Craig Iliott is excited to bring his fabulous show home to the Sydney Opera House stage.

Velvet is a nightclub, but it’s a state of mind, it’s a fantasy,” explained Craig. “On one level its an amalgamate of variety and concert forms put together to a disco soundtrack, but on another level there’s a loose narrative where we chart the progression of a young man’s journey of self discovery.”

The protagonist in question is played by “stunning performer” Brendan Maclean (The Great Gatsby), who has carved himself an undeniable mark in the entertainment world through his work in pop music and film.

A fairy-god-mother-like mentor embodied by no other than Marcia Hines guides Maclean through the night.

Ilott considers the initial idea of meeting Australia’s queen of disco for the first time one of the most challenging parts of the production, having thought to himself “Is she even going to take me seriously? Or is she going to say ‘Little boy, go away! Stop talking to me about what disco is, I lived it!’”
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case: “The best thing about Marcia is that she’s got such a generous soul, she’s such a fine woman… I think there’s no doubt that Marcia’s energy in the room helped immeasurably to create the great family vibe that the cast has.”

Ilott has assembled a handpicked cast of ten including “an astonishing bunch of Australian singers and performers” accompanied by international acts including Perle Noire, a burlesque artist hailing from New Orleans; German handstand acrobat Mirko Köckenberger; and most eccentric of all Scotland’s “Incredible Hula Boy” Craig Reid.

Velvet is an uplifting crowd pleaser of a show, “but that’s not to say it doesn’t have levels”. (AM)

Oct 6 – Nov 1. Studio, Sydney Opera House. $35-$89. Tickets & info: or

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