Meow Meow: 'Cabaret has a sexual energy. The atmosphere is electric'


Cabaret is having a renaissance because of the blandness of TV and films We all crave genuine excitement, that true gasp of surprise or joy, and that's what cabaret can bring, by assaulting the senses from as many levels as possible. For me, it's about my pose and my shrieks, political satire as well as long fishnet legs in the air; tackling loads of emotions gives you a glimpse of human excess, and its frailty.

I'm obsessed with shaking up an audience's expectations Cabaret should be unpredictable and exciting. More and more the audience will film me, and because there is a screen in front of their faces, they feel separate and passive; they've lost the sense of specialness of real flesh. So for me it's become a hilarious mission of screaming at them, "I'm not a television." We are in live theatre – anything could happen.

Crowd-surfing shouldn't be the sole province of rock stars I started doing it in my performances as an expression of joy, and I've been very lucky, as I've not been dropped yet; I've got long ballet legs, so my weight gets distributed between a number of guests. It's such an interesting human experiment: who will touch you, who will move out of the way?

Music is a direct line to the heart A great song is something you can perform or listen to throughout your life and its meaning changes as you age. When I'm singing Brecht material, such as "Surabaya Johnny", which I've sung all my life, I feel its history and I become non-existent, like I'm channelling it through me. There are a lot of Radiohead songs that blow me away, too; it's exhilarating being shaken by a song.

It's disingenuous to pretend that Cabaret is not about objectification There's a sexual energy there. I want to make the atmosphere electric. It's not unique in society, we all do it – even politicians are objectified – but why not have the joy of looking at beautiful things? I have long legs and gorgeous bosoms, so I would be stupid not to make use of them; I throw myself on the mercy of the crowd and say, "Consume me, but be gentle."

I'm a mad fan of technology but at the same time it's easy for people to sit back in the darkness with their laptops, write mean comments and forget how it can affect others; we are all fragile human beings and I want people to feel individual responsibility. I find the anonymous trolling phenomenon [of posting inflammatory messages online] awful.

I sometimes feel filthy viewing the images of devastation from japan The journalists are trying to evoke the terrible destruction, but sometimes it just feels sensationalist; trying to behave with responsibility is difficult with all this information – you don't want it to descend into disaster fetishism.

I think you could sue the us government for manslaughter When there's so much wealth, you shouldn't have to fight for it. Just look at the health system they have there. People still can't afford the insurance and don't go to a doctor unless they are seriously ill, and by then it's often too late.

I'm a worrier My nightmares are always full of tidal waves chasing me on to the stage. I dream that I've not learnt my lines, I've put my stockings on over my pointe shoes and instead of drawing on eyeliner, the pencil is out of control and I'm drawing a huge Dali moustache on my face. But I can easily access joy; I'm a critical optimist.

Meow Meow is a performance artist. She is currently in 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' at the Gielgud Theatre, London W1, runs to 1 October ( delfontmackintosh.co.uk). For more on her cabaret act, visit meowmeowrevolution.com

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links