Bijou: A Cabaret of Secrets and Seduction

Enjoy a saucy evening in a dimly lit Parisian bar as the aging, exotic and irresistible Bijou weaves her tale. Chrissie Shaw, 72 year old award winning theatre veteran, brings her gem of a cabaret to The Butterfly Club, giving audiences a a rare glimpse into the private and sensual world of an aging woman on the fringes of society.

It’s Paris, 1933. Bijou enters the Bar du Papillon ready to regale the other regulars with her scandalous tales and lurid palm readings. Her glory days are long gone, but she basks in their glow. This bubble is burst as she catches sight of an unflattering photo of herself on the wall.  Who is this ‘Nightmare from Baudelaire’, in tatty fur and fake pearls?  Insulted, she launches into a wild recounting of her life, a tale of seduction, secrets, reinvention and triumph.

Once Queen of the Demi-Monde, Madame Bijou is one of the night people captured in Brassai’s revealing photographs of depression-era Paris.  Chrissie Shaw first glimpsed a photo of her at the National Gallery of Victoria, six years ago.  She was hooked.  She says “since then I have taken an engrossing journey through the streets and tunnels of Paris, its years of turmoil and triumph, a lot of French literature as well as much internet surfing”.

Bijou is a sumptuous feast of Satie, Weill, Lenoir, Hollaender, Bruant, Saint-Saens, Debussy and a tasty tale of love, lust and loss.  Chrissie Shaw is joined by leading accompanist Alan Hicks as the long-suffering bar pianist and occasional reciter of symbolist poetry.

Show Details: Bijou

Dates: 23rd – 27th November

Time: 7 pm

Cost: $25-32

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne