Adelaide’s Ukulele Dream Girl (Phi Theodoros) created a new Cabaret show during her time in lockdown and restrictions during COVID-19, Self Isolation Songbook. Premiering at the 2020 Feast Festival, audiences get the chance to finally attend a large scale Festival!
Self Isolation Songbook has themes of connection, and hyper attention, preservation and privilege, pretty much describing lockdown 2020 for most of us! Playing two shows only November 25 and 26 at Diverse-City – 116 Grote Street, Adelaide, Phi Theodoros answered some questions for the Hi-Fi Way about her new show and what audiences can expect to see.
You have a new show Self Isolation Songbook for the 2020 Feast Festival, can you tell us a bit about the show?
Self Isolation Songbook is a collection of poems and songs that share my experiences over the past few months. It explores the ways that the pandemic has impacted many of us and how prolonged screen-time, social isolation and ongoing uncertainty has taken its toll on our sense of community and ability to connect with one another. It’s also taking a new direction from some of my previous shows with the inclusion of multimedia elements, I’m very excited about playing with this as it incorporates some of my uni studies from a few years ago now.
Did COVID-19 inspire you to write this new show?
Absolutely! The idea of the ‘Self Isolation Songbook’ was initially an actual songbook I wanted to create and teach/share with people during the early days of Adelaide’s version of ‘lockdown’. I was really excited by the idea, until I started to realise the copyright implications of reproducing a book of cover songs. So, it evolved over time into a live stage show that has the ability to also be live-streamed so anyone has the opportunity to attend and participate.
How much did you live through your screen during COVID-19?
Far too much! I spent the better part of the past 7 months working from home and only interacting with people via screens (aside from my housemate and his partner and occasionally a few friends and family members… occasionally). It was incredibly exhausting and I progressively lost the ability to engage anywhere near the level of focus I’d usually have if I was face to face. I was hyper connected and ultra distracted and totally zoomed out!
How important is connecting to people in real life rather than a screen?
There is such incredible value in human connection. I’m not saying this cannot be achieved via any kind of media, because frankly we would be lost without most of the creature comforts we have now and the ability we have to so easily stay in touch with people outside of our immediate households. But the importance we place on mediated conversations, when we are already distracted is less and less. When we are in person – its much more obvious if we’re not paying attention and usually (if it’s meant to be quality time at least) one of the parties will hold the other accountable to this. Via a phone, there is less capacity to do this.
Having said that connecting in real life is important you also have tickets available via a Livestream, do you think that there are some positive elements for artists evolving through this COVID-19 pandemic?
I think that there are a few gifts the pandemic has given us and one is flexible ways of thinking about how we can work, connect and share stories. I am really excited to be able to share one of my shows in a way that anyone can join in regardless of what state, country or timezone they are in.
How can audiences link up if they want to see your show online?
You can book a livestream ticket for the Thursday 26th performance via trybooking/ the Feast Festival Website. We will email you a link to the show zoom link the afternoon of the performance.
Feast Festival is one of the first festivals going ahead after easing of restrictions in 2020, how important is it for the LGBTQIA community that its been able to proceed?
I think the resilience of the LGBTQIA community is incredibly inspiring. Many folks living under the Rainbow umbrella have been consistently met with adversity and oppression throughout their lives and so to have a queer multi arts festival be one of the first that audiences can engage with I think is a really exciting opportunity to amplify the voices of queer people across the state and online. Feast are such an amazing festival to work with, the team is small but mighty and genuinely care for their artists and providing amazing opportunities to celebrate our LGBTIQA community here in South Australia. I’m so proud to be premiering this show as part of Feast 2020!
Interview by Anastasia Lambis
Tickets from Feast Festival