Bang on the Strillers

A podcast of sparkle warriors from cabaret, burlesque, drag, music theatre and comedy hosted by multi-award-winning Melbourne rock cabaret songwriter/performer Geraldine Quinn.
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Now displaying: 2016

Welcome to Bang On The Strillers, a podcast where rock cabaret songwriter Geraldine Quinn talks wonderful nonsense to various colleagues from cabaret, musical comedy, burlesque, drag and other glittery fringe art forms.

Dec 23, 2016

Part 2 of my conversation with Gillian Cosgriff which, I am slightly chastened to admit, was recorded a full year ago (21 December 2015). She was still writing To The Moon And Back, a show which is now award-nominated, and it turns out we're both book nerds - TO THE EXTREME.

Also discuss procrastinating, Quentin Tarantino, robots and the film Gravity; it's a good old nuts and bolts cabaret chat!

Bonus content: during recording I was embroiled in a Facebook argument with some random angry person regarding Nabokov's Lolita (one of my favourite books, and one I have studied and read many, many times). Cosgriff is an excellent voice of reason, but never underestimate how stubborn I can be. Listen in to hear this play out in real time...silly Quinn...

Nov 27, 2016


What accent does your dog have? Would 'Wuthering Heights' have been even better if Bronte had incorporated an alien abduction into the plot? How expensive IS working with a band? And wait - HOW many nieces/nephews does Quinn have now???

Recorded on the historic day of the US presidential election/birth of my latest family member (take your pick as to which is better for the world at large), join myself and Helpmann-award-winning super-music-hero Casey Bennetto (Keating! The Musical, A Swingin' Bella Christmas, The Terminativity The Narelles, and all-round in-demand dramaturg, writer, MC, performer and beloved local scenester) as we splash around in pre-apocalyptic bliss, discussing the pitfalls of performance, dogs, The 12 Keys of Christmas, Tasmania, loving the art while having problems with the artist, SO many elections, the delicious image of Mark Trevorrow (Bob Downe) and Julie Gillard on the piss in New York, Neil Hannon, performance personas (and Bowie obviously), writer's block solutions, Dave Allen, the importance of arts' contribution to the aconomy, me becoming an aunt for the twentieth time and one magnificent belch. 

Visit to book tickets to my 11 December album launch for The Last Gig In Melbourne (feat. Casey Bennetto), and then book for the 21-23 December season of A Swingin' Bella Christmas 2016 with guests Tim Rogers (21/12/16), Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier (22/12/16) and Eddie Perfect/Scott Edgar/Steven Gates (23/12/16).

Photo by Photobat (Alan Moyle). 

All music written by G.M. Quinn.

Nov 20, 2016

Richard Chadwick has only been performing as Karen From Finance in the drag/cabaret/burlesque scenes for three and a half years and already he's made sparkling waves across the globe.

From his viral mash up of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard's misogyny speech at Midsumma Festival to a very public stoush with Foxtel over the need to fast-track RuPaul's Drag Race to Australia, none of Karen's controversies should detract from the fact the Richard is one of the best and most tireless performance makers in Melbourne, nay, Australia.

We talk about the post-US-election funk, faux queens (aka bio queens), the heady rise (and problems) in the local drag and burlesque scenes, RuPaul's Drag Race and that fight with Foxtel, Dolly Parton's wigs, Joy 94.4 FM, Mortein-can-flamethrower-wielding altar boys, Dandenong, Facebook algorithms, Richard's fabulous poodle (not a euphemism) and plaster animals.

And make sure you stick around until after the closing 'Fang It (To Tony's Place)' credits for an extra surprise revelation...

Oct 30, 2016

Part 2 of my conversation with music theatre/cabaret star and creator of Jan van de Stool (as seen on Australia's Got Talent - ROBBED! SHE WAS ROBBED!). Originally recorded in January 2016, we talk about people who call people "toxic", forgiveness, depression and anxiety in the arts, what shits us (oh all right, what shits ME) about music theatre, why the hell cabaret is so dominantly white in Australia (apart from Mama Alto, and this was pre-Hot Brown Honey, btw), the lack of casting diversity not just in cultural background, but also in gender, age and body shape, how cabaret is great because it really IS what you bring to it, and that it's OK to have a fight with your friends. If your life isn't sorted out by the end of this one, we're out of ideas. Because Queenie has seriously read every self-help book there is. All of them.

Hey - remember: Barbra Streisand can never be as good at being you as YOU can.

P.S. I do talk a fair bit in this one. We both do. It's a conversation. If you were expecting an interview, I am sorry, this isn't an interview. We're drinking tea in a lovely sunny house philosophising about arts and life. You know - living.

Oct 9, 2016

Oof, this is a great episode, I reckon. The thumbnail just doesn't do it justice (it's really hard putting text on fountains, guys - REALLY HARD). Wynter's a smart cookie and we have a good, thorough chat about independent producing. Smeriously. I rectum-end it.

Jenny Wynter is a Queensland-based singer/songwriter/performance maker and she's a gem. We not only manage to rattle off some pretty damn insightful political commentary, but we covered the joy of silliness, quite a lot more about lettuce than you would expect from cabaret artists, a labrador called Bublé, working smarter not harder, the future of performance vs online production, and how phenomenal Mad Max Fury Road is. So good... FANG IT!!

Since the recording of this podcast (June 2016) I have had my own brush with not being able to walk for a while so it's been quite enlightening to listen to this Who knows what the future will bring?

P.S. If you do like the theme tune Fang It (To Tony's Place) you can purchase the album You're the Voice: Songs for the Ordinary by an Anthemaniac via my website -

Photo of Jenny Wynter by previous podcast guest Alexis Dubus. So incestuous, we are...

Aug 28, 2016

Covers vs original cabaret! Deal or No Deal! River Phoenix! Marrying young! Aaaand why we're not big fans of the Australian Football League.

After 5-odd weeks of medical ridiculousness (follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to work out what was going on - OK now), I've finally had a chance to edit this podcast from May 2016 which I recorded with the King of (Perth) Cabaret Tomas Ford, in a teeny, tiny room in a doss house in Melbourne. Tomas is a darling of the WA cabaret scene and frequenter of our east coast, as well as an Edinburgh Fringe invader. He's of average height and pleasant demeanour, and not only has produced original (and confronting) electro cabarets Australia-wide for the last decade, but he is also the creator of Crap Rave Party, a celebration of the worst songs (by request) which has toured Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Edinburgh.

He has produced a small child and  supported Gary Numan - neither of which I have done.But I have had my face on a tram. Swings and roundabouts.

Jul 24, 2016


After a guerilla season of Bang On The Strillers live at The Butterfly Club in January 2016, Quinn put her welfare cheque where her mouth is an coralled some of the best cabaret writers/singer/performers in the industry together to record a live show as part of the 2016 Melbourne Cabaret Festival. Featuring Mike McLeish, Michelle Brasier and original songs from Astrid & Otto Rot (aka Die Roten Punkte), Karlis Zaid (and Karin Muiznieks), Shanon Whitelock (who also played house band) and myself - I even wrote a song specially for the show!

Thanks to Chapel Off Chapel and to Mike McLeish for being so supportive with the project, and to the audience who came, and specially to the audience to PAID to come. Forgive the mic blow outs, I couldn't afford someone to ride the mix, but it still sounds like a great bootleg and if you get behind us, we'll only get better. Considering I basically pulled this show out of my arse in the middle of a horrible cold, with a brand new all original show opening two days later, it's a wonder I don't have my own TV show to populate with my talented friends.

ENJOY! And please support the podcast. Share, rate, and soon I hope you can also donate.

Songs featured in the recording included the following copyrighted material from the original songwriters involved in the show:

Hair That You Wear - words & music Karlis Zaid;
Flasher - words & music Karin Muiznieks;
I Live for Music Theatre - words & music Geraldine Quinn;
Bi-Polar Rhapsody - words & music Shanon Whitelock;
Cabaret Overlord - words & music Geraldine Quinn;
Love Songs - words & music Geraldine Quinn;
Burger Store Dinosaur - words & music Die Roten Punkte (aka Astrid & Otto);
Astrid's Drinking song - words & music Die Roten Punkte (aka Astrid & Otto);
You Love It - words & music by Geraldine Quinn;

All other text and farting around written by or made up by the speakers.

Please don't rip anyone off for money. We're all independent and these guys agreed to do their original material for the podcast, knowing I make no money from it. So the best thing you can do is buy their stuff and see their shows. They're all really great.

Jun 17, 2016

Actor, performance maker and cabaret artiste Ash Flanders (Sisters Grimm) joins me for the second Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2016 special to talk about inbred dogs (yeah, I mean pugs), music theatre cabaret, brothels, stand up versus cabaret, being "safe" onstage, our mutual fascination with John Farnham, Casey Bennetto (again), theatre schools, the glamour of an artist's life, puppy play and how everyone's a failure and THAT'S OK!!

And I didn't have too much libelous material out. And why did I say "next week" at the end?? AM I A LUNATIC!?!?

If you get onto this early, you can still see Ash Flanders' show 'Playing To Win' at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2016 (at 6:45pm until 19 June 2016). I'm going tonight. And the fact I used the present tense is evidence of how hopeful I am that this podcast will upload with no problems (seriously, the amount of tech stuff that has been going awry lately, I'm about to throw my computer out the window and destroy the internet...check out my chipmunk transitions in this ep, thanks to some weird sample rate balls ups).

Please do book for our shows ('Playing to Win' until 19 June, 'Bang On The Strillers - Live' on 21 June and 'Fox Poncing' 23-25 June) via


Jun 6, 2016

In 2013, 'Slutmonster and Friends' blew Melbourne Fringe audiences away, winning a highly commended nod in the Fringe awards. It was frankly one of the most depraved and disgusting and hilarious things ever committed to theatre. And none of us will ever be the same.

This episode is a terrific example of how wrong our sense of humour is, and it's also the first time I've recorded more than two people at a time. We had some synching problems, and were recording on two different devices, so we also had some weird time-skip problems due to an unidentified problem (possibly SD card), but I would like to stress that in spite of this, it came out pretty good, and I was negotiating quiet boys and loud girls, and averaging it out, but also IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. Be nice. Please note: there are many swears and sometimes we just yell "sex offenders" for no reason.

Basically Slutmonster was like a late-90s episode of Red Dwarf crossed with a soft-core porn film but SO Much more funny. And now I can't wait until 'Trying My Best', the new web series is released.

I hope you indulge me for my very own birthday, as I chat to Lucas Heil, Wes Gardner and Jessie Ngaio about birthday kidnappers, the worst thing to hear when someone sees your genitals for the first time, implied erections, what is actually offensive, snorkle metaphors, and comedy pyramid schemes. They're part cabaret, part comedy, part musicals, part supportive porn - see why I like these guys?

And if you have never seen Lucas's jazz version of the Nyan Cat (and it will enrich you), here 'tis. Though my favourite is definitely Wanderwail...or the salt song...Look I just really like these guys.

May 31, 2016

*Content warning - We discuss violence in this episode, in the context of writing about dark stories. If you feel like this may be a topic that brings up issues for you,  go back and have a listen to Michelle Brasier's episode - she's a bubbly wonder! Next episode will be ridiculously cheerful. This one's still interesting, however I thought you should know.*

Welcome to the first special Melbourne Cabaret Festival episode of the podcast!

In between touring with musicals and teaching performance, Karlis Zaid has been splashing about in the dark side of cabaret for years and years. Zaid is currently appearing in the 2016 Melbourne Cabaret Festival with 'Australian Horror Story', as show he originally wrote with Karin Muiznieks in 2012. Since then, he's reworked, rewritten and added content, roped in the magnificent Aurora Sheehan (nee Kurth) and Mark Jones as co-performers and managed to snaffle Steven Gates from Tripod to direct (and I'm not jealous at all) and is re-launching the show in June 2016. From Collingwood vampires being terrified of contracting Hep C to chirpy little songs about capital punishment, Zaid makes some of my output seem hopelessly Pollyanna-esque.

Playing 17-19 June 2016 at Chapel Off Chapel. Book through the Melbourne Cabaret Festival website. Sexy people book. And you wanna be sexy, don't you?

And thanks for putting up with perhaps a slightly more dodgy sound quality than usual. With the show prep it's been a bit of a rush to get stuff out but there will be a RASH of episodes in June, as we gear up to the festival.

May 14, 2016

Adelaide Fringe cabaret king Matt Gilbertson (aka Hans the German) and Geraldine Quinn met at The Adelaide Fringe Bar through mutual friend Lori Bell more years ago than either of them care to remember, and together are two of the most be-sequinned, Eurovision-obsessed cabaret performers in the country - which is really saying something. 

In this episode we talk about grief porn, Grindr, why Geraldine is pathetically envious of her niece, how a stage persona like Hans can liberate the artist (as well as let you get away with terrible, terrible things), straight women at gay clubs, Lady Gaga's Bowie tribute (look, I was pressured to give a response), online outrage, Tina Arena, and we drop a TONNE of names. So many names dropped...

Please book for the live variety jamboree and podcast record on 21 June 2016! And here is a link to an article about Sir Tim Hunt who we talked about regarding the #distractinglysexy incident.

Please also follow BOTS on Twitter (@bangotstrillers) so the account doesn't look so lonely, and like the Facebook page too. You'd be brightening my life just a little more. 

Apr 23, 2016

In episode 11, Geraldine talks to fellow musical pan-artist (although he's made a lot more films than I have) and Hairy Soul Man Kai Smythe about festivals vs "fistivals", candle-making parents, non-childproof comedy spots, how bloody adorable his room-mate's dog is, status anxiety in the arts, growing up the odd one out in your town and why it's OK to take a little while to find your creative voice.

Kai Smythe along with his some-time musical comedy partner Tim Mager recently won Best Cabaret in Melbourne Fringe (2015) and were nominated for a staggering six Green Room Awards in Victoria, Australia (2015). He is a writer, film-maker, actor, musician and songwriter and plays enough instruments for me to want to rehearse a lot more. We first met at Triple RRR Community Radio when were both shortlisted for the 2011 Brian McCarthy Moosehead Award, and have crossed paths ever since. He's a hairy man, and a snappy dresser. 

Includes some swearing and stories of kids getting insults wrong or learning horrible insults from their parents. Name-drops a few clown/cabaret/comedy folks, including Ali McGregor, Ruth Wilkin, Harley Breen and Dr Brown. 

Mar 19, 2016

Before UK comedian Alexis Dubus caused an international stir with a measured, and initially private, Facebook post about the Adelaide Fringe glut, I was chasing the sparkly-eyed UK dynamo for a podcast chat. How fortunate, for it makes me look incredibly relevant. This cabaret podcast, we chat about the fall-out from his post, the perils of independent arts, strange encounters in Perth, passionate people with odd but grand ideas, and how to argue with a guy who has a rabbit on his knob. 

Alexis Dubus (aka Marcel Lucont) is an award-winning UK performer who has been traipsing the Australian and UK Fringe circuits for almost a decade, which means we would run into each other maybe twice a year (back when I did Edinburgh Fringe more often...I know, I'm sorry guys, I've not been over for way too long...). He's a very fine wordsmith, a very funny performer, a resourceful artist, a great photographer, and a mischievous imp, as you will hear. 


If you, like us, love odd corners of the world and people who have a dream, visit the Bang On The Strillers  website for links to the National Pioneer Women Hall of Fame and Atelier Sul Mare in Sicily, and the KGB Museum in Prague

Lots of loving name-checks this episode because we are frayed long-term Fringe-performers who know everyone, including Nicko Vaughan, Briefs, Harley Breen, Sam Simmons, Tommy Bradson (and how much we love him), David Quirk (and how much we love HIM), Lori Bell, Brendon Burns, Jon Bennett, Mitch Benn and my Episode #2 guest Becky Lou. We love all these guys, incidentally, we just carried on a bit more about Dave and Tommy. 


Do listen. AT ONCE. 

Feb 26, 2016

Part 1 of Quinn & Queenie's kitchen rambles - neuroscience, Elvis Costello, learning to sight-read in your 40s, Margaret Fulton, ceramic owls and inappropriate rubbing.

Episode 9 is the first half of Quinn's conversation with actor, singer, cabaret artist, mentor and beloved music theatre performer (she's my favourite, anyway) Queenie van de Zandt. Canberra-born (but she didn't know Wagga Wagga was a city? Weird...) Queenie confesses her love of self-help, how to deal with the Dutch, her yearning to own a dream catcher, her magnificent alter ego Jan van de Stool, and her terrible, terrible memory.

The greatest lesson in this first part of our conversation is that if Queenie is talking to you and suddenly runs to the other side of the room mid-sentence, she has definitely forgotten your name.

By the way, the language in this one is mostly clean. There are a couple of zingers, including early on, but overall it is significantly less fruity than usual. Don't take it personally... 

Feb 4, 2016

Part 1 of my conversation (aka The Cabaret Book Club) with Melbourne-based singer-songwriter (and actor, comedian, etc. - grossly overachieving) Gillian Cosgriff.


She's from Brisbane, she studied in Perth but she lives here in Melbourne (so there, Queensland and WA), Cosgriff is a much sought after performer, writer and actor, and award-winning to boot. She spent a solid six months on the road with Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow (I'm really jealous) and she has a laugh like Sid James. She's also very well cultured, so we sat next to my bookshelf and basically unpicked all sorts of topics, from women's stories on television, perspectives in literature, how neither of us have read Tolstoy and the pathetic reason why, what responsibility the artist has to the audience in terms of what the viewer infers versus the artist's intent, how grace through self-realisation and repentance seems to be increasingly rare, weird 1980s Disney releases and Rhett Butler's genitals. A good episode for people who like both lively debate about artistic expression/writing and cock jokes. 


Photograph of Gillian Cosgriff by Lachlan Woods.

Jan 4, 2016

Jude Perl is a singer-songwriter based in Melbourne who is about to embark on her second solo show. She's an American. She spent about a year in a cult when she was a tiny child. But she lives here now, and is only in one cult - the cult of being AWESOME.

Seriously, I was joking when I asked her about the cult thing, I didn't expect a serious response in the affirmative...moving forward!

Anyway, Jude and Geraldine (that's me) talk about how writing can be a pain in the arse, the weird way people who don't sing for a living seem to consider themselves experts on what is an amazing voice, the asbestosis risk of my rental property, discovering that explaining The Leyland Brothers to someone who has never seen them is a significant challenge, eating Tang by the spoonful, Jude's tenuous grip on reality (she struggles to differentiate movies from life, apparently...COME ON JUDE!!), quokkas, how Paul McCartney gives us musical blue balls, empaths, cultural appropriation, weird noises people make in their sleep, haunted houses, and why Beyoncé could work on being just a little bit crap. 

We also have a swearing AND scat solo warning. You've been informed. But stick with it, it's worth it.