Life is a Short and Sweet Cabaret Old Chum: Hugo and Robert

 With the Short+Sweet Cabaret Festival just around the corner, we thought we’d catch up with some of the participants and ask them 10 quick questions about the festival, about cabaret and about their tastes in pizza and coffee (just ’cause we can). 

 With the Short+Sweet Cabaret Festival just around the corner, we thought we’d catch up with some of the participants and ask them 10 quick questions about the festival, about cabaret and about their tastes in pizza and coffee (just ’cause we can).  Our first short and very sweet feature is with Hugo Chiarella and Robert Tripolino, who will be performing their show The Pursuit of Haphazardness in Short+Sweet’s Program Two at Chapel Off Chapel (November 2, 3 4 at 7.30PM) The Pursuit of Haphazardness is a collection of songs written and performed by songwriting team Hugo Chiarella and Robert Tripolino. They are true stories based on the trials, but mostly tribulations, of acquaintances, family, friends and enemies of Hugo and Robert. Hugo Chiarella and Robert Tripolino will both graduate this year from the VCA’s Bachelor of Music Theatre. During their time at VCA they co-wrote the musical Dreamsong. Dreamsong was produced and performed earlier this year as one of their graduating productions. It was also recently selected for the 2012 Carnegie 18 New Music Theatre program at the Victorian Arts Centre and will receive a four night presentation in february next year in the Fairfax Studio. For more information about Short+Sweet Cabaret and a full list of participants, see: Short and Sweet Cabaret Returns To Melbourne


A very short (and rather sweet) chat with Hugo and Robert

Hugo and Robert1. Have you ever been involved with Short and Sweet before, or are you a S+S virgin?
Hugo: Virgin…Rob: Make that two.
2. What do you love about the Short and Sweet Cabaret Festival?
Hugo: It’s giving us an opportunity to perform some material we had nothing else to do with. And if everybody hates us it’s all over in a matter of minutes anyway.Rob: I agree. It forces an audience to hear our material whether they like it or not. And it’s an early night.
3. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Hugo: How pre-show are we talking? Do rehearsals count?Rob: Giggling nervously and getting Hugo to calm me down.
4. What do you love about cabaret?
Hugo: The freedom to stand in front of an audience and be ourselves, presenting our material in the way that we want to do it.Rob: It’s such a great opportunity to get up on the floor and do something that you love in front of your audience.
5. Is life a cabaret old Chum?
Hugo: I’d prefer if it was an episode of Entourage.Rob: I think it is. I just hope there is a better pianist than ours…
6. The premise of Short and Sweet Cabaret is to present 10 minute works. Do you think your show will become a longer cabaret piece eventually, or does it work best as a short piece? 
Hugo: Our show is really just a collection of trunk songs we came up with when we first started writing together. I would love the opportunity to make an evening out of them. Writing songs for a musical there are a lot of different elements you have to factor in. It’s fun to write songs that can exist in their own self contained world. 
Rob: I think this is a good indicator to see if we have potential to continue writing as Hugo calls “trunk” songs and perform a show’s worth of material that isn’t thematically linked like a musical.
7. What do you hope to gain from this Short and Sweet experience? 
Hugo: It’ll be good to see if the material stands up in front of an audience…Rob: Confidence in performing our own material in front of an audience…and a girlfriend?
8. How do you have your coffee? 
Hugo: Warm. On skim. one sugar.Rob: Give me a short black.
9. What’s the best Pizza Topping? 
Hugo: Did you include all this stuff about coffee and Pizza because we both have Italian names? Because I find that a little racist…Rob: Whoah..Hugo, take it easy. It’s fine. We cool. [ed: we ask this question of everyone, but nice photo with the pizza and the coffee…] 10. What’s your favourite place in Melbourne? 
Hugo: Its a toss up between the Botanical Gardens and Misty’s Diner… If I’m really honest with myself though probably Misty’s. Try the thickshakes! Rob: I love being surrounded in the Art’s Precinct – Southbank area. It gives a great vibe and I love living around the arts!    

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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