Fascinating Aida co-founder and cabaret legend Dillie Keane is off on a mini tour as a soloist. I was delighted to interview the lady herself about her show. Thank you so much for chatting to Break A Leg. Tell me about your latest tour and what the audience can expect.
This isn’t a big tour – I’m just nursing the show along so that it stays fresh, doing small gigs and enjoying them thoroughly. I will be doing a big tour of larger venues next year. The show is much more personal than a Fascinating Aïda show, and though it’s rude in parts, it’s not quite as searingly blue…! I didn’t want it to be “Fascinating Aïda lite” – so it’s not a topical or particularly satirical show. I have woven old songs with new, and I tell the stories of what inspired some of the songs. It’s very poignant in parts, and people tell me every night that they were very surprised to be moved to tears at least once. But it’s still a very funny show.
Have you got a personal favourite number in the set?
I started to answer this and then realised that what I’ve done is put many of my favourite songs in the show. It’s hard to single one out because being so personal, many of them mean something very deep to me. I’m very fond of a song called LITTLE SHADOWS, and another called ONE MORE CAMPAIGN. And another song, OUT OF PRACTICE, about a first date between two divorcees, is very tender and dear to my heart.
You have recently toured New York theatres, how did that compare to touring the UK?
I did a month long season in one theatre there. It was hard work doing 7 shows a week, but this being such a personal show, it translated much easier than the Fascinating Aïda material which is very British and always requires tiny re-writes which fry our brains. I got the reviews of a lifetime, honestly, the best I’ve ever had. So I was delighted that I went.
What was your Edinburgh festival experience like with the Fascinating Aida girls? Any particular highlights?
I have a particularly fond memory of staggering home at 3 in the morning with Adèle Anderson, my partner in crime for these last 33 years. We had horrible heads in the morning but it was a great way to get a hangover. And we had an absolutely marvellous run – the brand new Spiegeltent in Assembly Gardens in George Square is unbelievably beautiful, they looked after us so well, and the DVD we’ve made of the show is looking ravishing. (It’ll be out in November.)
What’s the best part of going on tour?
It’s all bloody marvellous. The daily banter with the girls in the people carrier, the fabulous audiences we have around the country, never having to make your own bed or breakfast, the beauty of this amazing country, the laughs, the microwave meals… well, perhaps not the microwave meals. But I am truly addicted to life on the road.
Which are your favourite venues to appear in?
Oh I think Belfast Opera House is pretty high on the list. Glasgow Kings Theatre as well. Both the venues and the audiences are glorious.
Finally, what would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket to come and see you?
What else are you gonna do? Stay home and stick a chop under the grill? Nah, come and see my show – you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll think too.
Huge thanks to Dillie for a wonderful interview, can’t wait to see the show when it comes to Banbury!