How to… become a world-famous cabaret star by Bernie Dieter

Bernie Dieter is the star of The Little Death Club, currently at Underbelly Southbank

I was born in Köln, Germany and I have always had a fascination with Kabarett ever since I was 16 and ran away to Berlin to live above a drag club.

My Oma (my grandma) is one of my biggest inspirations as her family owned a circus in Germany just before the war, and when the political climate changed, she was forced to flee from East to West Germany, hiding in a circus caravan underneath sequinned costumes. There is some scary shit going on in the world right now, just as there was then. Living through it all she taught me so much- to celebrate and to be whoever you want to be, to embrace everyone you meet as if they were family, and most importantly- she taught me how to drink.

Kabarett was always a natural progression for me – I always wanted to write original songs, subversive, satirical, social commentary about what I was experiencing in my life and I always admire the phenomenal talent of the queens in the clubs – making people laugh and sing and step out of their comfort zones. The kabarett dens of iniquity allow you to be funny and filthy and fabulous all at once, and to drink gin while you work of course. 

So I started writing songs and found creatives and musicians to collaborate with – Tom Velvick from Dead Man Label is a long term writing partner of mine, a genius of satire and lyrics and the creative director of the Little Death Club. Plus Marty Hailey and Martin Martini are brilliant musicians that can make our lyrics musically come to life. We travel and drink and write things that make us laugh or think.

My Oma taught me so much- to celebrate and to be whoever you want to be, to embrace everyone you meet as if they were family, and most importantly- she taught me how to drink

I am so lucky to be able to tour all over the world performing in Spiegeltents and dive bars and on festival stages, meeting all kinds of glorious punks, freaks and weirdos wherever I go, and when I like someone I ask them to come and be a part of the show so the cast are like a family.

Before each show I love to meet the audience, as they are often just as freaky if not freakier than we carnies are. We share a drink, I find myself some beautiful bearded man to play with, and when the show starts it feels like a big spiegeltent lock-in at the end of the world. Something you have just stumbled into where you can drink, laugh, stroke a stranger’s thigh and have the night of your life.

I cannot wait to take over the Underbelly Festival Speigeltent on the Southbank this summer, as the London crowds are always a lot of fun. Once you pierce the initial layer of politeness you can delve into that beautiful seedy underbelly of Britishness- that wonderful sense of humour and a deep-rooted love of all debauchery. Come and play darlings!

Little Death Club – Underbelly Southbank Festival

Playing until 23rd June 2019

http://www.underbellyfestival.com/whats-on/little-death-club

 

Leave a Reply

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