Australian performer Trent aka ‘The Birdmann’ took the Victoria Fringe by storm last year with the comic genius of his weird and wonderful vaudeville variety act. He returns to Victoria for an encore Uno Fest run and talked to Intrepid Theatre’s Sammie Gough prior to departing from Australia.
1. How would you describe the experience of seeing the Birdmann to the uninitiated?
Like nothing you have ever felt in your life except if you enjoy diving into the ocean while holding a chocolate eclair. On my hit tour of the fringe circuit across the country just last year most media and audience declared I was incredibly different, fun and most of all interesting. I just think it is nice to feel free.
2. Why the name ‘Birdmann’?
It is a common one, everyone wants to know. Not often is one asked why are they called Dan or Melanie. I think the name is just ideal for a man like I. Once you see my theatrical vaudeville act, the themes, design and my look you will get the idea of my life as a The Birdmann. (And, my first name is ‘The’.)
3. What is it about Vaudeville that you find so alluring?
Folk can come out as a family, gang or individual and witness things they never imagined they thought they would in a world full of wonder and fun. One thing that I do for example is balance a plastic bag on my nose in a very uncommon fashion while making a comment on the environment with cool jazz music playing the whole time.
As I sit here in Australia looking out to the Pacific Ocean that I will fly all the way across just to see you in Victoria. I think maybe, just maybe, I will just make the Uno Fest the one and only then come back and go for a swim. I am coming thousands of miles just to see you Victoria so I hope you can make it to see me.The Birdmann has traveled all around the world.
5. What have been your performance highlights?
Here are a few lovely memories of gigs I have achieved over 15 years of my life – performing of the cliffs of Stigliano in Southern Italy at an outdoor Arts festival, being a headline act at the 20th Anniversary of the Belfast Circus School, the Glastonbury Rock Festival last year in the UK,and I just did a show in high-heels on top of a black grande piano at the Sydney Opera House here in Australia. I think this show at Uno is going to be very memorable too as I think Victoria is very beautiful and I am very grateful to be invited so I will try and make it my finest hour!