Arts & Entertainment

All Aboard The Soul Express with Laura Zarb

By Elysia Cook

All-rounded talent and proud Inner Westie Laura Zarb has proven she can do it all, taking the leap from singer to writer, producer and lead in her first and very own cabaret, The Soul Express. Zarb told the Inner West Independent that she had always wanted to do more with her performances, especially when it came to comedic expression.

“I had been dreaming about this idea of a more dramatic show for years while I was playing and performing as a musician.

Cabaret is such an individual thing, everyone’s version of it is different.”

Settle in for a compelling performance and discover that you’re on a journey; the final destination being self-love and acceptance. Clever, beguiling and down-right funny, Zarb has deftly pieced together a cabaret which navigates mental health in the complex landscape of modernity, all while keeping things light-hearted.

“There is a moment where I chat about my own experience with panic attacks and how beautiful it is that we can talk about these things more openly. But ultimately, it’s more about having a good time and having a laugh at ourselves.”

Zarb’s own struggle with mental health was the catalyst for The Soul Express’ creation. This is why she is generously donating $1 from every ticket sold to Lifeline, a cause close to her heart.

“By donating a dollar it’s my way of saying thank you, but it’s also a way of raising awareness and bringing to light that there are these gorgeous people that are there to listen if you’re in a tough spot.”

In the midst of Sydney’s first lockdown Zarb also ran a service called “Free Songs”, offering renditions of requested songs and a chat over the phone to those who were isolated and in need of support.

“It wasn’t just about singing the song, it was also about making sure that we had a good chat and connected. It was a lovely way to focus my energy at the time.”

Speaking on the current lockdown, Zarb said she had all her fingers crossed that the show would go ahead. “I’m promoting it like everything’s going to be fine,” she said.

Asked about her experience with the Inner West, the Dulwich Hill resident expressed her gratitude for the area’s championing of gigs and local musicians. Although she has performed all over the world, Zarb insisted that the Inner West’s ‘live music hub’ held its own.

“It’s what I know. It’s where I grew up.”

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