BIJOU – A CABARET OFSECRETS AND SEDUCTION
The Famous Spiegeltent: Canberra Season 2016
From Jennifer Jones, Public Artist:
Dear Chrissie Shaw, you are a treasure! I was so lucky to see you transform into Les Bijou, and in the jewel box that is the Spiegeltent. Your every gesture was perfectly timed and pitched, I’m sure everyone in the packed house was hanging on every word, every note, every movement and revelation. Thanks to you and Alan and the crew for giving me such a treat.
SECOND SEASON at The Street September 2015
From Graham McDonald, stringed-instrument maker, former program manager National Folk Festival:
If anyone around Canberra is looking for an evening’s entertainment this week, Chrissie Shaw‘s show Bijou is highly reccommended. A fascinating couple of hours theatre with some great music at The Street Theatre in Childers Street. We both found the show totally engaging and I think most importantly it wasn’t Chrissie on stage, but Bijou. You fully inhabit the character which I am in awe of.
On 16 September 2015 at 23:05, Angela Giblin <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear people at Hayes Theatre,
Might I suggest that you consider Chrissie Shaw’s cabaret, Bijou, now playing at The Street Theatre, Canberra?
It’s a wonderful show, edgy and intense, tight and topical. And unusual for Australia, as far as I can figure out. Sydney audiences might take to it!
A terrific program. Chrissie Shaw is a wonderful actor-singer, and Alan Hicks a great collaborator at the piano.
I’ve seen several of your shows, and admire what you’re doing.
All the best,
From Evol McLeod, former CEO Museums Australia, ANAPAC:
So, so glad I got to your show. What a remarkable performance you gave us Chrissie. I am so hugely impressed with Bijou. Such a very rich wealth of material, both charmingly quirky and – dark! And I rather like that combination in theatre of this nature.
I also loved the perfect work by Alan Hicks. Such an accomplished and beautifully balanced performance. Together, you make magic Ms Shaw.
Congratulations and I do hope the season goes well for you. Such a great venue; the set worked like a dream.
I’ll spread the word.
From Lisa Teasdale, Marriage Celebrant:
Just returned from a night at the Street Theatre watching Chrissie Shaw perform Bijou. Congratulations on a great show.
From Heather Powell:
Brava ! Brava!!
From Anne Mathas:
This is a must see show.
From Jo Davidson:
She played this show in Wauchope some months back -It was sensational fabulous marvellous and amazing.
From Lucus Allerton, pianist, to Alan Hicks:
Lucus Allerton here – I saw you and Chrissie Shaw perform Bijou at the Street Theatre on Friday 18 September, and I wanted to tell you that I thought it was fantastic – Chrissie was relentless in her charisma and character throughout the entire show, and hearing you sing too for the first time was a great treat. Hearing your voice harmonise with Chrissie’s really added to the textures of the songs, and the solo you sang made a great interlude!
After the show, I went to the stage area to get to the tip mug, and dropped in some extra change 🙂
I’m afraid I don’t have any of Chrissie’s contact details, but I hope you can pass on my sentiments to her too!
Hope you have been well,
From Jenny Sawer, singer, singing teacher:
Watching the amazing Chrissie Shaw in Bijou. Wonderful performance!
From Laura, localnlive 2xx:
Saw the show last night, Loved it!!! Laura
From Wallace Cooper, musician, pianist:
Just a short note to say congratulations on your, at times, immensely moving show. Every song was wonderful, you guys harmonise beautifully and I was really impressed by the whole thing. I knew I was in for a great night the moment I walked in, because Alan’s playing is arcane.
I’d forgotten what brilliant theatre can achieve so thank you so much for the invitation.
Looking forward to catching up soon
From Brian and Betty Hill:
Dear Chrissie,congratulations ,a tour de force yet again. It was still as refreshing ,challenging and even more topical than ever .Well done ! What next. ? Best wishes .Brian and Betty H.
From Geoff Page, writer, critic, poet:
Just a note to let you know I enjoyed Bijou — and not only because I pulled off a belle epoque stocking!
It’s a very affecting story in parts and a reminder that the demimonde was pretty much arranged for the males.
I’m glad you got to tour it too via Pozible.
Anyway, I’m glad I caught Bijou at last. Congratulations.
All the best
From Yolanthe Daly:
Bravo! Thank you Chrissie for sharing a wonderful story in your incredible way!
From Rachael Hilton:
Magnificent show tonight at the Street Theatre Canberra! Thank you for the laughter and tears!
From Giselle Nathan: Music Educator
This was/is a beautiful show, typical of Chrissie’s story-telling genius. FaceBook Oct 7
FROM THE FIRST, SELL-OUT SEASON IN 2013
Bijou, an Appreciation
Chrissie Shaw’s creation of Bijou, is a stunning piece of theatre. From our first glimpse of Bijou, we know we are in the hands of an artist of magnetic stage presence and command of technique.
Chrissie Shaw applies the emotional colours of her story with consummate professionalism. Her palate grows with the vivacity and deftness of a surrealistic painter. By play’s end, we have witnessed the life of a woman who has survived some of the darkest episodes of the early twentieth century, with the inevitable and complex effects on her psyche.
This was a cabaret performance of high calibre, as Bijou twirled around the enclosed space – set up intimately as a cluster of richly dressed, candle lit tables – and invited the audience to see her wheel of many colours.
And the audience responded with fascination, sympathy and humour. Bijou’s garter flirtations with audience members, up close and personal, worked beautifully to lighten a mood growing deeper and more somber as her life events became a kaleidescope in constant movement. The whole was a dazzling montage of emotional colour… We saw the survival aspects of Bijou’s life and the twists and turns of a woman’s life lived on the gritty edge.
Bijou swirled around the edges of the room in her gaudy costumes, approached an audience member with coquettish zeal, played with them for an erotic moment, then sashayed back on stage to give a cameo of another event in her life, or to belt out a song to the skilled accompaniment of the pianist, a man of elegant ability and effective presence.
The whole of Bijou is a cabaret performance of memorable intensity, giving the audience a jewel like cameo of a woman’s survival through war and peace, love and abuse. It embodies the best of the European cabaret tradition.
FROM TESS HORWITZ (VISUAL ARTIST)
What a performance! We were blown away by your transformations from flirty twenty-something-ish to worn-down aged courtesan.
And wow can you sing!!!!! You should be singing in all your plays! What a great cabaret voice.
Loved the premise of the painting/photo done from only one perspective, and a male one at that – and then the gradual disclosure of all these episodes that were also glimpses into the turbulent history of that era.
The character of Bijou was rich – from early abuse of trust to endless search for love and security – the pain and joys of a life thoroughly lived!
Still sexy, raw, courageous, not allowing herself to sink into misery and oblivion – too much spunk! Very likeable and entertaining.
Well done Chrissie – a virtuoso play and performance.
How clever and beautiful you are!!
I loved Ara’s comment that she wished she’d brought her actor boyfriend cos then he could have seen a really terrific actor at work managing a monologue and a huge range of effect.
Tess, Tony, Ara, Liam
FROM MARESOL PACHECO (MUSICIAN AND JEWELLER)
WE LOVED BIJOU!! THE BITTER SWEET STORIES, SONGS, HER CHARACTER, THE COSTUMES, CHRISSIE LOOKED BEAUTIFUL. WE ENJOYED HER WIT, WISDOM, SENSITIVITY. SOMETIMES SHE SEEMED LIKE A VERY YOUNG ENCHANTING GIRL, THEN CHANGED INTO A POWERFUL AMAZON. THIS SHOW REALLY TRANSPORTS
YOU IN TIME.
Maresol Pacheco, John Brew 11/9/13
FROM CAROLINE STACEY (AD/CEO THE STREET THEATRE ACT)
A rather belated congratulations on a very successful Bijoutiful season.
Thank you for all your work it was a terrific experience to be in the room and thoroughly transported by design and performance. I recall the very beginnings of the work with conversations between Chrissie and Peter and it has been very satisfying to see the work emerge over the last few years under the canny eye of your direction Susan.
So well done and I look forward to its progress nationally.
Caroline Stacey Artistic Director/CEO The Street Theatre http://www.thestreet.org.au performing for the act t. +61 2 6247 1519
FROM MARGARET HUNT (ARTS APPRECIATOR)
Congratulations on your tour de force last night! There was so much to admire: your superb characterization and all the research involved; your singing style (so very French) and the perfect accompanying music; the ambience of the venue and the wonderful costuming – you could have been Mme Bijou from the painging.
Your amazing energy to carry the whole show (for someone not in the first flush of youth) and commit the songs and text to memory with perfection, again, just wonderful.
Sincerely with kindest regards,
Margaret Hunt (Branson).
FROM GABRIELA CABRAL
This is a very belated note to let you know that my husband and I enjoyed your show immensely on Sunday night.
Fabulous voice, girl! …with those French songs! Loved your performance, thank you. Big hug.
Gabriela Cabral | FELLOWSHIP & EVENTS|
The Australian Academy of the Humanities
3 Liversidge Street | Acton | ANU Campus
GPO Box 93 | Canberra | ACT 2601 | Australia
T+61 2 6125 9860 | F +61 2 62486287 www.humanities.org.au
FROM ANNE GUNN
We meant to thank you for Bijou: an amazing solo performance (though Alan of course now and then gracefully appears as a character and then withdraws into the background).
Pete and I were both quite moved by the whole thing. She is so brassy and so vulnerable at the same time. Not like you at all! and yet an actor is vulnerable, and a woman actor more so as she gets older. So there’s the added punch of you, Chrissie, undaunted by this, on stage making us marvel as you bring that character to life, and the voice sounding as beautiful as ever, if not even better.
FROM ENA CHASE (PROBUS)
WOW!!! We all LOVED your “Bijou”. You must have worked so hard – I am still picturing bits and pieces. I wish I had gone to an earlier show – then could have gone again. About 30 of my Club went and I an still getting told what a “show” it was.
FROM KAY REARDON
Hello Chrissie, I saw your performance of Bijou on Friday 7th Sept. I would like to thank you for your wonderful portrayal of another era. In that other time Bijou the Woman in all her ages and experience was so understandable.
I have seen you perform over the years and I just feel that you have come to a peak in your acting.
Is there any possibility of a repeat season. I would love to see the show again and I have friends who missed out and would also love to see it. The venue of The Street is one which I love and which was perfect for Bijou.
With the very best of good wishes. Kay Reardon.