Adelady’s first queen spends some time with the naughty Clara Rose! Enjoy an interview while Anya’s in Melbourne and soon to be in Edinburgh for the Fringe where she’ll be performing Torte-e-Mort and Rogue Romantic (where the recital got this reviewer addicted to Bollinger!)
Clara Rosetta: I saw you in Torte-e-Mort at the most recent Adelaide Fringe on a whim and it was delightful like red velvet cake. At the very beginning of the show, you reminded the audience that this was a cabaret show, not a burlesque performance. What is the difference to you as an artist and creator?
Anya Anastasia: Burlesque is about parodying and challenging convention, often whilst celebrating and showcasing sexuality (in my humble opinion). Cabaret can be just as bitingly satirical and just as sexy, but as an art form it has a little more scope in spanning the genres, and certainly a more musical bent. I love both, but the piece you are referring to is a parody of burlesque and despite my tongue in cheek claims that it has nothing to do with the genre, it is “ironically” the most burlesque thing going- a parody of parody.
CR: Torte-e-Mort was an incredibly complex performance from the depictions of the underworld (I noticed as a classicist and you got extra chocolate brownie points), to the costume changes and musical compositions. How did you conceive a cabaret show about Marie Antoinette that would be met with more than audience popularity and great reviews, but real critical acclaim in the arts community?
AA: As much as I’d love to pretend it was a lucky magical formula of something that just worked, there’s no use downplaying the complexity of the process of constructing such a show. It is about layers. I want to create work that offers non-stop high quality entertainment to anyone who is generous enough to lend me their attention for that hour; after all life is too short and too full of stuff we DON’T WANT to be doing, for our time off not to be exhilarating. But I believe that great cabaret can (and has to) offer both that entertainment factor, and the deeper message, layers of meaning, and that is not something that everyone will walk away with – but it is certainly there if you are looking, and it is very intentionally crafted.
CR: Can you give mere mortals like me a quick taste of autobiography of how the divine Anya Anastasia came into the world? What and who were your influences (musically, lyrically and in the art of storytelling)? Did you do much historical research for Torte-e-Mort?
AA: Yes, I did quite a bit of research for Torte-e-Mort, it was a fascinating time in the world. And what is more fascinating – always – is how things seem to repeat themselves, in different ways, and how slowly we learn our lessons. I was born with a curious and quick mind. I’m not happy unless I’m out of my depth struggling to master or accomplish something far bigger or more challenging than last time. I grew up in the Adelaide Hills, ever fascinated with story, myths, creative play, music, folk music, folklore, humans, anthropology, and nature. And I love making melodies. I started on the violin, but I wrote a lot of lyrics from early on, so before too long I had to work out how to sing. Stuck at it and got quite good. Eventually.
CR: How would you describe a Rogue Romantic and what is your process in creating the performance? I’d imagine that with Fringe Festivals, the dramatic fourth wall is down and you have to plan for very naughty girls?
AA: I love performing Rogue Romantic, it is a chance to work with the audience to create an incredible and electric vibe in the room. It is important that I manage to stay in control though that can be hard, as you say, when people in the audience get too excited and want to take too much of the limelight! A delicate juggling act.
CR: How does it feel to go from local celebrity to Adelaide ambassador at the biggest Fringe festivals nationally and soon internationally?
AA: I’m ready. I’ve trained for 10 years specifically for this!! I’m lucky to be from the best festival city in Australia, and so proud to be an Adelady. Very excited about being a part of the awesome team representing Adelaide O.S.
CR: Finally how do we all find a little rogue romance in our lives (apart from getting the blogger addicted to good champagne at fine restaurants)?!
AA: Get yourself in trouble, take yourself out on a limb. Throw yourself into the deep end to find out if you can swim! Sincerely, ROGUE ROMANTIC xox
Anya’s webpage can be found at: anyaanastasia.com
All images attached credited and copyright Kate Pardey Photography with permission granted. See more at: katepardey.com
Interviewed by Clara Rosetta Mae who will be posting a Torte-e-Mort Review over the weekend. Lightly edited for copy and clarity by Conjoint Professor Michael C Ewans and tech support by gremlin hunter, Jana