Independent Spotlight Perth: Nicole In Red

Nicole Warren
Nicole Warren

Nicole In Red is a production house founded and run by Nicole Warren, one of Perth arts scene’s movers and shakers, and someone who is equally as comfortable on stage as she is behind the scenes. Nicole In Red is everywhere you want to be in Perth.

Warren is currently the Principal Arts Officer at the City of Joondalup and is playing a huge part in creating an arts scene in that sleepy suburb. She also runs a monthly cabaret down in Fremantle at Little Creatures Brewery called “Naught to Naughty.” And she’s currently producing a show for Fringe World called KiTSCH which is taking place at Canton Lounge Bar in the city.

Nicole started producing events in 2010 with Cabaret Noir at the WA Circus School space in Fremantle. She partnered with Jacob McGrath and Dream State Circus and they pooled their resources to bring in all the necessary equipment and licenses to this non-conventional venue. The show featured members of the WA Circus School as well as theatre and live music, all accompanied by hand-picked beverages and refreshments, which points to Warren’s background in catering. Creating a multi-sensory experience for patrons is high on her list when producing a show and it helps to know what elements work together.

Warren also has a taste for fashion and next on her list of things to do was to produce several shows which fused fashion and performance. She put together shows for Velvet Sushi, a local fashion label, and these featured performers and models of all shapes and sizes collaborating with the likes of Perth independent theatre favourites such as Georgia King, Mark Storen, Joe Lui, Ella Hetherington and Rhoda Lopez. She transformed both the Canton Lounge Bar and the Little Creatures Loft into theatre spaces-cum-catwalks that evoked exotic travel, femininity, luxury and sensuality.

Nat Ragus in Naught to Naughty Photo:  Cicely Binford
Nat Ragus in Naught to Naughty
Photo: Cicely Binford

Then in 2012, she began developing a cabaret at the Little Creatures Loft and after the success of that venture, she and Little Creatures intended to put on a cabaret there about three to four times a year in 2012. It has taken off and has now become a monthly event called Naught to Naughty which takes place on the last Friday of every month. Naught to Naughty features a variety of acts who each get about fifteen minutes in which to perform their music, short theatre, juggling, magic, aerials, pole dancing, comedy, burlesque, you name it.

No single night at Naught to Naughty is the same; Warren tries to bring in new acts each time and there are usually very few repeat performances. If an act is popular, Warren will bring it back for a repeat performance, but the performers can only repeat a single act twice. Performers are encouraged to bring new acts to the cabaret so that there is always variety and something new for the very loyal audience. The cabaret’s sell-out popularity has spread by word of mouth, and Warren gets a lot of repeat customers who bring different people – friends, family, co-workers – with them each time.

The venue at Little Creatures is perfect for cabaret, with plenty of multi-level seating, sofas, tables, benches, bar stools. There is a bar inside (with plenty of the home brew on tap) and patrons can order from a delicious menu that features bite-size to meal-size proportions. The evening is hosted by Narelle Belle as Amy Housewine and she is a firecracker who warms up the audience, and can also cool things down a bit with a jazzy rendition. The next Naught to Naughty takes place on 31 Jan at 7pm. It’s usually a bit adult, can feature some nudity, and probably a generous helping of language, but it’s all tasteful and fun.

Narelle Bell Photo:  Cicely Binford
Narelle Bell
Photo: Cicely Binford

Less than a week after 2014’s first Naught to Naughty Nicole In Red’s entry into Fringe World 2014, KiTSCH, opens at the Canton Lounge Bar at 8pm. It promises to be another signature immersive Nicole In Red experience, where performance happens all around the space, which will surely be transformed by her tasteful eye for detail and style. It features seven of Perth’s most talented female performers, Georgia King, Holly Garvey, Dawn Pascoe, Ruth Battle, Beth Sheldon and Nicole herself, and is directed by Joe Lui. Originally inspired by Mariel Clayton’s ‘bad Barbie’ or ‘serial killer Barbie’ photography, KiTSCH explores the domestic life of women; Nicole describes it as “despicable, hilarious, domestic and deranged.” Patrons will receive a free beverage on entry and hopefully there won’t be too many ‘Bad Barbies’ on the rampage after the show.

And, as if Nicole didn’t already have enough on her plate for the start of the year, she’s also ramping up planning for the next Joondalup Festival which kicks off in March to the theme of ‘Transport Yourself’. Last year Warren was in charge of programming for the festival and it was by all accounts a huge success. She pulled in her skills as an event planner to really give the festival shape and form, she called on her circus friends, and enlisted the help of Jacob McGrath to build the festival’s very own Festival Tent inspired by speakeasies and the 1920s. McGrath oversaw the construction of the tent, gathered the fabric to line the tent’s ceiling, fireproofed it all himself, and created a beautiful portal to give it that vintage intimate feel. She also collaborated with a number of local talents to create the Festival Finale, an aerial spectacular featuring two aerialists performing 35 feet in the air with a sparkling pyrotechnics display. These are the kinds of big ideas that will bring much-needed spark and vitality to Joondalup and the northern suburbs.

Nicole In Red is sure to continue to create “theatrical experiences in non-theatrical spaces” and will be sure to keep delighting audiences all across this growing city.

Nicole In Red



twitter: @NicoleInRed


Canton Lounge Bar

532 Hay St, Perth

Feb 4 – 7 at 8pm

book at

facebook: KiTSCH – FRINGE WORLD 2014


Naught to Naughty

The Red Room at The Little Creatures Next Door

40 Mews Road, Fremantle

Jan 31 at 7pm

book at

facebook: Naught to Naughty Cabaret 31 January

Cicely Binford

Cicely originally hails from Dallas, deep in the heart of Texas, USA. She graduated from Texas Woman's University with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama. While at university, she had the opportunity to explore as many aspects of the theatre world as she could fit under her belt, both as a performer, as well as in a number of different design and technical roles. After moving to Australia in 2007, she found herself back in the theatre world, performing, designing, and even directing once again, with a passion rekindled by the increasingly vibrant theatre and performing arts scene in Perth. She is also an avid photographer and can often be found around town at various performing arts events with a camera strapped to her neck. Her aim is to have her finger on the thriving pulse of the arts scene in WA through participation and immersion in everything it has to offer.

Cicely Binford

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