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Kabarett project brings joy and creative challenges to NIDA Diploma students

The Weimar period has gone down in history as a period of a powerful artistic and experimental surge of modernist art, music, theatre, design, dance and film.

In 2020, NIDA students reimagined the period in their own Weimar Kabarett with a twist, with some pandemic-related songs, and the performance live streamed to NIDA’s Playhouse and Space Theatres to socially-distanced audiences.

The project was a collaboration across MFA Directing, BFA Design, and the Diplomas of Musical Theatre, Make-up and Live Production students. The students used all their talents and training in the satirical revue. Nightclub vibes were brought to life with passionate and mischievous characters performing to camera.

Diploma of Musical Theatre student Adorah Oloapu performed solo dance and songs was well as ensemble pieces. ‘I was a woman with a story to tell and a mission to accomplish!’ she says.

‘One thing I really learnt about singing in this performance was to bravely release the sound out and just be brave and kill my inner critics. The Kabarett experience really challenged my ability to multitask (singing and dancing in synchronisation) and my breathing techniques.’

Adorah said the collaboration with other students and performers was a huge bonus for learning. This means NIDA students are already comfortable with professional working practices onstage when they make their first breaks into the industry.

‘It really brought a lot of joy to us and many to be performing and shining some light into our lives after all that’s been happening in the world,’ said Adorah. ‘To really take our attention off all the problems and focus on our performances. To get creative and do what we love and to express some suppressed feelings that maybe some of us have been holding onto during lockdown.’

Make-up student Parker Dent-McClean explained that the brief was to adapt traditional Kabarett makeup and hair styles and modernise it.

‘In the 1920s it was all about a white base and strong lips and blocked brows. We’re working in the 21st century, so we added messy eyes, blended eyeliner and a fluffy brow to modernise it.’

‘I think the biggest challenge I faced was hair! Hair is a new learning curve for me and both my actresses had very different hair types so being able to adjust the for the desired look was a challenge.’

‘It was amazing to be able to work with other artist , do something out of my comfort zone, work as a head makeup artist and collaborate with other people from various fields such as designers and directors. It was an eye opening experience of the industry and watching it all come together was amazing!’

All photos: Patrick Boland.

Feeling inspired? Applications to study Musical Theatre or Make-up NIDA in 2021 are open now. Visit

CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services)

CUA50213 Diploma of Musical Theatre

CUA50415 Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services

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