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susie mccann: interview


Image credit: Gerard Assi Photography

Image credit: Gerard Assi Photography

Lip is giving away a double pass to see Susie McCann perform her self-devised cabaret show Bogan Bombshell – Janeen from Clarinda, on Friday 7th August at the Beaumaris Theatre in Melbourne. For your chance to win, simply email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Susie McCann: Interview’ by 12pm on Friday 7th August. 

Check out my interview with Susie below, where she explains how she got started in cabaret and where her character ‘Janeen’ came from.

First tell me about your background and how you got started in performance and cabaret?

I have been playing keyboard and singing since I was 13 and then went on to study a Bachelor of Music Theatre in Queensland. During the last year of my degree is where I started to explore the area of cabaret.

What is your show Bogan Bombshell – Janeen from Clarinda all about?

Bogan Bombshell – Janeen from Clarinda is a sanitation engineer who teaches beginner’s Burlesque above the dumpling shop in her lovable suburb of Clarinda. She tells her tales of living in Clarinda, her various jobs, her hubby Johnno and being a bogan. Direct from triumphant engagements in rural Victoria, the Bogan Bombshell herself; Janeen from Clarinda is on a mission! After being caught embezzling hundreds of dollars from the McHappy Day Fund, Janeen’s hubby Johnno has landed in jail – with the bail set at $176. In a bu-lesk-q-ee specatcular featuring her hit songs “Bogans are People Too’, “Get em out” plus classics like “All that BAM”, she puts her sanitation engineer skills to their biggest ever test. Can the Duchess of Dunnies raise the cash to rescue her hubby from prison popularity?

Did you devise this show yourself?

Well I was asked to do a 5 min spot at a bowls club in Caulfield called Burlesque in the Burbs about 5 years ago. But, I didn’t do Burlesque. The brief from the producer was ‘just make it fabulous!’ So, I did! “Janeen” does bad Burlesque. After this I started to get known around the Melbourne Burlesque scene and MCing shows and further 5-10mins spots. And then the idea of doing a full length show came from this. It took me about 2 years to get the courage up to do this, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve also been privileged to collaborate with amazing Melbourne based songwriters, including David Peak, Greg Mason & Matt Fennell. They all know “Janeen” and so grateful for their musical talents to really bring her to life.

What was the inspiration behind this show?

I had toyed with other characters in my early 20’s and they were also Bogans. I liked this idea and incorporated Burlesque and living in Melbourne to “Janeen” and it just took off from there.

What do you hope audiences walk away with after seeing Bogan Bombshell – Janeen from Clarinda?

Firstly, I do hope they come away with a smile and laughing about how much they loved “Janeen”.  Also walking out humming the tunes from the songs. The original songs aren’t necessarily ‘toe -tapper’s but most definitely memorable! I’ve had friends txts me days after seeing my show with “I can’t get…out of my head!”

What do you enjoy most about cabaret and performing?

I love to make people laugh. It’s such a good feeling! To know that what I thought was funny actually gets a laugh when I say it/sing it out loud. It doesn’t get any better than that.

What are the biggest challenges of performing and devising cabaret and performing this show in particular?

The biggest challenge I’ve had is keeping the story simple. I get so many ideas but having many isn’t always better. Quality over quantity always. And I learn that the hard way. Which is okay.

What are your future plans for your cabaret career?

This year I am planning a “Raise the Bail” tour for Janeen. A mini tour of Melbourne if you will.

Bogan Bombshell – Janeen from Clarinda is playing at the Beaumaris Theatre, 82 Wells Rd, Beaumaris on Friday 7th August at 8pm, doors open at 7pm. BYO drinks, glasses and nibbles.

All tickets $15

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