Easter, Yeast and Cabaret


I hope you’ve all had a tremendous week of eating and talking about Jesus. I wish I could say something more profound about this deeply significant religious holiday but unfortunately it only means two things to me – the Easter show and chocolate.

I know this is an appalling statement for all the cultivated and godly individuals (which let’s face it, is MOST of my audience), but it’s not my fault. I’m a product of my upbringing. I was raised by an atheist father and an occasionally Jewish mother. I say occasionally because most of the time everything was normal, except that once or twice a year Mum would leap up and light some candles. We’d all gather round and pretend to know what we were doing and this meant that we were Jewish.

Easter always coincided with the well-known Jewish holiday of Passover. When it came around, my Mum would say, “Now for the next eight days, you’re not allowed to eat bread.” “Why?” my brother and I would ask. “Because I said so.” “Yes but why?” “Something about willpower. Yes that’s right, willpower and yeast” she would respond. Then she would take us to the Easter Show and Dad would eat ham sandwiches whilst Mum took us around the Showbag pavilion and bought us hundreds of Bertie Beetle bags. When we got home she would say, “Now you’re not allowed to eat those either.” “Why?” we would again ask. “Because you’re not allowed to eat chocolate; chocolate or bread or anything fun. I know it’s the school holidays and all the other kids are enjoying themselves, but you can only have stale unleavened bread. Because that’s what the Jewish people did thousands of years ago when they were being persecuted. So now, even though you are only half Jewish and I can’t really remember the point of this festival, we must suffer in their memory and eat cardboard. It’s been blessed by the Rabbis so it must be good for you.”

“What about gummi bears?” I would ask, “gummi bears don’t have yeast in them.”

She would pause, knowing I’d raised a fair point. “That’s the part about willpower” she would reply. And the subject was closed.

So this was my concept of Easter. I hope it explains my lack of spiritual wisdom or appropriate reverence at this time.

But I haven’t just been lying around in a chocolate-induced coma, reminiscing on the good old days of childhood deprivation. I’ve been busily re-writing and editing my cabaret show because… IT’S COMING BACK!

Yes! I’ve decided to do a one-night only return of Coffee with Kate: the Cabaret! It will be at Slide Lounge on Wednesday 2nd May. I wrote the show in 2010 and performed it at the Seymour Centre as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. It’s based on my weekly columns from 2009, which documented my first year out of WAAPA and my travels overseas. The show is much like me – sometimes fun, sometimes thoughtful and with plenty of good tunes! More details will be up on Aussietheatre.com very soon so watch this space.

Have a great week!

Kate Walder

Kate is a 2008 graduate of the BA Music Theatre course from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). During her time at the academy she played the role of Linda in Blood Brothers, The Young Wife in Hello Again, Marguerita in West Side Story and featured in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd and Oklahoma!, for which she was Dance Captain. After moving to London in 2009 Kate played the role of Clio in La Dispute at the Soho Theatre and subsequently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since returning to Sydney, Kate has written and performed her one-woman show Coffee with Kate: the Cabaret at the 2010 inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival, a show based on a series of weekly columns she wrote for Aussietheatre.com. She is currently co-writing a new show with a fellow WAAPA graduate which will premiere later in the year.

Kate Walder

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