End of an Era: Midsumma at The Butterfly Club

Midsumma has broken out all over Melbourne and Jan Chandler spoke with The Butterfly Club’s manager Simone Pulga about their shows.

Simone Pulga. Image by Ange Leggas
Simone Pulga. Image by Ange Leggas

Midsumma has had performances at The Butterfly Club for some six years and holds a special place in Simone Pulga’s heart because he joined the Club during the 2011 Festival. As he tells me, the performances that year were the first shows he could call his own.

Pulga believes passionately in what Midsumma represents. Since he came to Australia from Italy Pulga has never missed a Mardi Gras or a Pride March and believes that Australia has come further than Italy in both the acceptance and celebration of queer life and culture.

“During Midsumma I met some of my closest friends” he said. “Midsumma was the first time I visited The Butterfly Club, back in 2006.”

New to Melbourne and experiencing difficulty in finding what was around, Pulga was taken in hand by a good friend who took him to The Butterfly Club and was ‘completely blown away’ by the performances he saw.

Midsumma at The Butterfly Club is a little different this year. Instead of running shows that change every week they are giving fewer performers an extended season. There are two shows, each of which will run for three weeks. Both involve artists they have known for a long time and who have done lots of shows at the Club. Pulga assures me the performances are ‘quite different in terms of mood’.


Nikki Aitken in Gobsmacked: Showbiz and Dating
Nikki Aitken in Gobsmacked: Showbiz and Dating

Gobsmacked: Showbiz and Dating is written and performed by Nikki Aitken and Jamie Burgess. The show opened last Tuesday and runs until 3 February.

“It’s about the relationship between a straight woman and her best gay boyfriend … The kind of show where you come out with a smile on your face” says Pulga


The Cost of Love

Justin Clausen in The Cost Of Love
Justin Clausen in The Cost Of Love

The Cost of Love starring Justin Clausen and dance artist Jason Teasdale opened on January 17 and runs until the 27th.

Gabe (Clausen) is a male prostitute who is strictly anti-love; but rules are made to be broken. Pulga doesn’t want to give anything away but assures me that there is a very powerful conclusion to Gabe’s story.

Not only is the story powerful but according to Pulga, Clausen has succeeded in squeezing a fully choreographed, hour long musical onto the tiny stage at The Butterfly Club.

“Seeing choreographed dance on the stage of The Butterfly Club is quite extraordinary … it’s not about step to the left and step to the right … this is proper dancing. Take it from a former Australian Ballet member, this is well done” says Pulga.

Given that The Butterfly Club will be moving to its new venue in early February, this will be your last chance to enjoy the kitschy intimacy and the tasty cocktails that are synonymous with the South Melbourne Venue.

Why not see both shows in one night?

For more information, visit thebutterflyclub.com

Jan Chandler

Jan has been working freelance in the arts industry for some 15+ years in a variety of roles including: arts management; journalism (print, radio and online); publicity; and media relations. Passionate about the arts in all their variety, Jan has worked in film (production assistant; reviewer); dance (publicity; producer and presenter of 'Dance Dialogues - 3CR) and Board Member of Ausdance (Victoria)); performing arts (company manager, performer, reviewer, online editor). Jan had the honour of being the General Manager of Ilbijerri Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre for some 18 months.

3 thoughts on “End of an Era: Midsumma at The Butterfly Club

  • Man Covets Bird is AMAZING and I suggest adults get along to it. I felt it resonated more with me now (at 28) than it would have as a child. Beautiful piece of work which really got to me. I was also proud to be a very (very!) small part of the Patch Me and My Shadow national tour, Patch are a great company. Windmill also do brilliant work, and while I didn’t get to Pinocchio myself, I heard nothing but rave reviews. South Australia is very lucky to have such amazing, innovative, theatre companies down here, and I’m am so happy for them and proud of their success.

    • Oh dear, I should have proof-read this comment before submitting, whoops!

      • You should have read the article. I don’t think The Butterfly Club is in South Australia.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *