The Letter String Quartet With Tina Del Twist

Cabaret powerhouse Tina Del Twist and eclectic virtuoso’s The Letter String Quartet combine for a music comedy collaboration like no other – a dark and debauched sensory tour of songs and stories negotiating the family outcast. Enter the marvellous Tina Del Twist thinking she is performing with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Starting out at what she thinks is a Xmas party, she is reminded of family events and tangents into a wedding story – to a birthday – to a funeral – and then some. Via original songs, covers and laughs, The Silly Season celebrates family fortunes and misfortunes, and what it means to be the bohemian-esque ‘Aunt’ Tina. Wes Snelling (aka Tina Del Twist) gives Hi Fi Way more insight to the show.

What are you looking forward to most about performing at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival?
Being around all the buzz. It is such a wonderful time of year in Adelaide and I just adore seeing a heap of other shows as well (that are not in my time slot of course!)

This looks like the kind of show that will be relatable to just about anyone – what can Cabaret Festival goers expect to experience at The Silly Season?
Really solid and quirky arrangements of some excellent songs, and via the drunk lush vessel that is Tina Del Twist we get to hear bits about what it is like to be the outcast in her family (and in general). She opens the show thinking she is doing Christmas Carols in Elder Park and then Tina tangents off into a birthday, a funeral, a wedding, and then some.

How did you come up with the concept of this show?
I have really wanted to work with The Letter String Quartet for a long time and a couple of years ago we were actually offered to do an actual Christmas gig and it all started there. And because the character of Tina is so delusional we thought it would actually work better to do the ‘Christmas’ show at another time of year. It actually works better! This show is a ‘dark and debauched sensory tour of songs and stories negotiating the family outcast.’

Did you draw from personal experience when writing the show?
Good question. Initially I didn’t think I was but it appears that is the case haha! I think every written character always has aspects drawn from the writer. I grew up in a caravan park environment around a very eclectic bunch of nomads and permanent residents who were essentially outcasts of the town. So there is definitely a bit of that content/vibe going on in the show.

What’s next for you beyond the Cabaret Festival?
Launceston! True story. Not with this show but another Tina gig at a new cabaret room there run by the fabulous Rachel Berger. Then off to Edinburgh Fringe to Tina it up and am also directing the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars for their first season in Edinburgh which is exciting.

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch the Adelaide premiere of The Silly Season with The Letter String Quartet and Tina Del Twist at the Space Theatre as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival on June 13. Tickets from the Adelaide Cabaret.