Kate goes from the web to the stage

For Kate Walder, writing a regular column for AussieTheatre.com provided a creative outlet in her first year out of WAAPA.

For Kate Walder, writing a regular column for AussieTheatre.com provided a creative outlet in her first year out of WAAPA.

A year later, that creative outlet goes from the web to the stage with her debut cabaret show, which opens next week at the Sydney Fringe Festival.

The Festival officially launches on Wednesday.

Walder’s show, Coffee With Kate, takes inspiration from the columns she wrote for AussieTheatre.com during 2009.

“I can’t actually take credit for the idea of turning the columns into a cabaret,” Walder said.

“It was a friend who suggested I do something with the character from the columns – the slightly jaded and sardonic woman trying to make her life work.

“I loved the idea, but it wasn’t until this friend decided to convert his spare bedroom into a cabaret venue that I actually began to write the show. I figured the jaded, sardonic woman didn’t need any new material when she already had 45 columns, so I began pulling the writing apart and looking for interesting ways to make it theatrical.”

Directed by Tyran Parke, the show follows Walder’s first year out of drama school and goes through the usual challenges facing a young performer entering the professional industry for the first time.

“Essentially the show is a live, one hour journey through my 2009 columns – from WAAPA graduation to London, Edinburgh, Italy and home again,” she said.

“There are real exerpts along with new writing, songs by William Finn, Jacques Brel and original music. But don’t expect to find me behind a lectern reading the columns in chronological order!”

During her time at WAAPA, Walder played such roles as 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 also Dance Captain.

Walder has recently returned from the UK where she spent the better part of 2009 travelling and exploring the London theatre scene. During her time abroad she performed the role of Clio in La Dispute, which previewed at the Old Red Lion Theatre and Soho Theatre in London and subsequently played at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Walder said she is looking forward to taking her columns with the website to the next level.

“I loved writing the columns last year,” she said.

“It was wonderful to have a voice and to be able to talk about the reality of life in the performing arts. It kind of rekindled my interest in writing and allowed me to see it a rewarding and helpful supplement to my career.”

Coffee With Kate plays at the Seymour Sound Lounge on September 14 and 23.

Bookings: (02) 9351 7940.

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